Preventing the death of ideas

It has been a loooong time since I have written a blog post.

I have many websites, and they have all fallen silent over the past couple of years for the same reason. I still maintain them, despite the fact that few visit them (if anyone actually does). I cannot fully explain why I do this. Maybe I am reluctant to dispose of the evidence of effort and creativity that I had put into them. Maybe it is the challenge of keeping something functioning when every “update” and “improvement” someone throws out inevitably breaks them. Or maybe I am just waiting for them to have relevance in my life again. Probably a bit of “all of the above”. Whatever the motivations, they still remain.

So why did these aspects of my voice fall silent? It is a simple yet profound reason. I lost my power; I lost my belief that I can make a difference in the course of my own life, let alone that of humanity in general. I am nobody special. I have few skills (even if I am quite capable). From the perspective of those who designed the (to me) backwards structure of human culture I am not a productive or even necessary member of society. I don’t believe that life has any specific meaning; that there is a designated purpose to everyone’s existence. Rather I believe we create our own purpose and meaning, and I have so far failed to create a lasting purpose and meaning for myself. In short I am a powerless being.

The events of the last few years of my life and what is happening to the world in general of late has done little to ease this sense. If anything my relinquishing of power has just been reinforced or justified. So I exercise. I meditate. I walk my dog. I escape when I can. I deal with the responsibilities I have accepted in my life, occasionally even a bit gracefully. And I wonder why I bother.

Today I was reminded. I may not feel I have power to change much of anything, but that does not prevent me from recognizing the NEED for change. It does not prevent me from the rush of anger every time the bullies bully; the selfish and greedy reach for more; the compassionless manipulate for their own benefit despite what harm they might cause. I still WANT to do something even when I do not know what would make a difference. I get angry, I vent and rage and when the steam is released I …

… do nothing.

Yesterday my anger was ignited again as my bank decided to continue the war on the poor and powerless that is allowed (and even supported) by our skewed societal mores. Without unnecessary details, suffice to say instead of a personal confrontation at the bank that may have had a brief emotional release but no positive benefit beyond that, I wrote them a letter.

And had an epiphany.

Ideas are like seeds. They have potential to sprout into something beautiful and useful, but it is no more than potential if they are never even planted. Whether an idea flourishes or not depends on the soil it is planted in and how well its needs are met, but it will NEVER become more than a seed if it is not even planted. This is a fundamental truth. Also the key to reclaiming (creating?) some power for myself. If humanity is a garden, society its soil, I am no gardener. Some might consider me no more that a weed. I have little ability to nourish the soil, or otherwise tend to the needs of other sprouting seeds. Yet I often do not like how the garden is growing or even what is growing in it. So what can I do?

The answer is again profound but simple. I can create new seeds. I can plant them. I can learn how to make them grow, and in the process maybe help others learn as well. If enough new seeds are planted and allowed to reach their full growth, who knows how the garden will change.

I am posting these thoughts on this particular website because this is one of my seeds. I forgot this. I may have planted this particular seed in the wrong soil, or perhaps lacked the skill to nourish it properly, but it still has potential to grow. As can any seed if it is at least planted. I do not even know if anyone will read what I am sharing here. I am just casting seeds into the wind, hoping they will take somewhere. Still, now they have a chance.

I leave you with this. If you do not like how things are and have ideas how to change them but feel powerless to make those ideas a reality … share them anyway. Sign that petition even if you believe signing it will make no difference. Make that donation. Do that project. It may be small, but even small is better than not at all. Plant your seeds so they do not die before they even have a chance to germinate.

Plant your seeds.