Thursday, April 7


My regular readers may have noticed that in recent weeks I have added "Combat Boots" to my blogroll under the "Quid Pro Quo" heading. I hope you've taken the time to go into her blog, as I do regularly, because you'll get a reassuring sense about young people in the process. She is a good writer, has something to say, and leads a busy life in pursuit of broadening her interests and securing a quality education. Most impressively, she has a world view and takes in current events like a sponge. Her parents must be proud!

I tried to convince a group of college students earlier this week of the benefits and enjoyment of blogging. As a follow-up to that session, I wrote the following to those panel discussion attendees:

Now, if I may, I would like to conclude with a few words to the students who attended yesterday:

College can be an overwhelming, time-consuming experience, particularly when other responsibilities are heaped on those of attending classes, taking lecture notes, reading and studying textbooks, writing term papers, and preparing for and taking examinations. Many of you undoubtedly hold down jobs and some of you no doubt are married and have families. And, there are undoubtedly a number of you who recognize now that your high school years did not prepare you adequately for your college years. All of this can form a swirl of misgivings and apprehensions in your mind.

The strains of such a load are enormous; but the fundamental strain -- the one that exacts its toll on your energy level and your nerve-endings each and every day --is in trying to improve one's self. Professors can be intimidating and the course work even more so. Mastering college-level work can challenge the most self-assured among you. So you're no doubt asking yourselves: why should I add blogging to my punishing daily regiment of "things to do"; how will it benefit me; why become a writer?

To keep and update a web log (a "blog" of periodically published "posts") is to give yourself -- what makes you tick, what you think and care about, what is most important to you, what rouses your passions and soothes your soul, what drives you, what terrifies you, what you love, what you loathe, what cause you grief and exultation, and what, in Lincoln's words, form the "better angels" of your nature -- an immortality. Your words may never in this lifetime be cast in marble or in granite, but they will be there in cyberspace for the ages; and you will have been heard. Think about that: you will have been heard. The body in time will die; but what your senses took in, the brain digested, and your spirit revealed through the keyboard, while on this planet, will remain behind as a living testament, an affirmation, of the essential YOU.

And you can do this without any barrier to entry and without going through the process of endless rejection letters from publishers or any humbling, "You're not good enough!", from an earnest critic. Within a mere matter of minutes, you can set up a blog and begin giving expression to the essential YOU; and I promise you that in doing so you will be embarking upon a very special journey, one of ineluctable self-discovery, personal growth, and, in time, the sublime realization of certain of your dreams.

Go ahead. Give it a try. Give expression to your soul.

Obviously, this accomplished young woman has figured this out already. Here is a case in point. And here is another. And yet another. Impressive!

Keep up the good work, Crescendo!