Are My Words Making a Difference — What If It’s Not?
In the process of making a difference, let’s not lose sight of why we started writing in the first place.
“Don’t ever let the pressure exceed the pleasure.”
— Joe Maddon
Whenever I stare at my blank word document, I get curious to know what words will make it on this virtual paper. What rambling thoughts of my brain will come pouring out through this medium of words, and what impact will it leave on the reader.
But before I think about all of this, I used writing solely as my coping mechanism. A safe space where I can be myself and escape reality or instead vent about what my version of reality is all about.
But once I started expressing myself, taking that courageous act to put my words out there, the results were unexpected. When I first started to publish my work on Facebook, surprisingly, people could resonate with my words. They encouraged me to keep going, and thus here I am today, writing these words.
The Unwanted Pressure of Making a Difference
But what started as a coping mechanism soon took over the form of how I am making a difference. Now that this feeling is added to my safe space, I felt this unwanted pressure, but still, I thought that I feel at peace when writing, so why the pressure?
Yet somehow, when I rush to my safe space to vent, and my palms sweat the moment I hit publish, I wonder, are my words making any difference?
It’s often said that you can hate what you love and love what you hate. Here is an example that I am thinking of right now that may help relate.
My mom cooks my favourite seafood dish once a month. When its aromas fill the room, I know that life is good and will magically take care of itself, no matter what is happening right now.
Anyway, as lunchtime arrives and we all sit to eat, she won’t even take a bite of what she made. I find it astonishing at times, but she tells me that I love cooking for you guys, but I have just lost the appetite for it. When she says it, her face cringes, and that’s when I learned that what you love you can also dislike to a great extent.
We are living in a day and age where we need to know if we matter. You see, someone somewhere is making a difference, so why not me? But what happens in the process is we dig a grave of worthlessness. We feel that we have no value, and we aren’t part of that crowd making the difference.
The funny thing is that when we discover the things that we love, we never focus on the ‘making a difference’ aspect. All we care about is if we are enjoying what we are doing in the first place.
My Safe Haven
That’s what happened with writing for me. I loved how my mind would be at peace when that thought was out of my head. I loved it when I wrote only to make myself happy. I was my only audience and, in the process, if someone else felt the same, I would consider it a cherry on the top.
But we are humans. We are always on the lookout for what’s next. What’s the next thing we must chase? When will the chase end? Will it ever end, we don’t know? However, the joy of simply doing something is lost.
I then told myself that I am too harsh on myself. Aren’t we all? We need to do this; we must get there. I get it. Having a purpose is what makes us feel worthy. But when the same thing turns into a quantifying measure, the fun is taken away.
Am I making a difference? Maybe, maybe not. But then I ask myself, why did I start writing in the first place? Was it to please others, or was it that by sharing my experience, someone felt that they aren’t alone? Someone felt that ‘wow, others feel it too’. Someone felt that ‘oh my goodness, I must share this because this needs to be heard’.
Thus, what is the quantifying measure of ‘difference’? Is it the number of comments and followers, or is it making someone’s day? Is it a response that heals someone or says they could resonate with what we have written, or is it gaining monetary gain?
To each its own. But let’s not diminish and lose sight of the reason why we began in the first place. Let’s remember how good it felt to share and get lost in the river of words. The rush of penning down our thoughts and relieving the mind of that constant idea that you must share. Let’s enjoy the therapeutic feeling words give us.
Are we making a difference? Of course, we are. But why must we measure everything? Why not just enjoy the act? Why not just do things for the sake of love. And where there is love, we heal, and that to me is making quite the difference.
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