I have been a part of Medium for a short time. I have experienced two minimally “successful” posts with a meager 20 something green hearts. I think both of them got there because they included great words from Socrates and Ralph Waldo Emerson. This led me to the same realization you discuss here. In all honesty, I did not write them because of hearts and pings. I wrote them because of thoughts and feelings inspired by those great thinkers. (That is not to say that I didn’t like the likes. Of course, I did.)
I will continue to share the words of great thinkers and my personal story as it relates to them. Not to intentionally help anyone other than myself. I hope you will continue to do the same. Even if the inspiration is not original, we are unique in our interpretation and the meaning tied to it.