Friday, February 17, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #99: Making A Difference

"The purpose of life is not to be happy...but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that lived at all."

-Leo Rosten

Were one week away from the 100th Weekend Assignment, and for this week's assignment, we have the final AOL member-suggested topic, from Aim2theright:

Weekend Assignment #99: "What do others think they could do to make a difference? It doesn't have to be life-altering, as the smallest conception can bring the biggest results." In addition to things you could do, I'll also add in the if you are currently doing things you think make a difference, you can mention those too.

Extra Credit: Name someone you know who you admire for making a difference.

-John Scalzi

I have this really unreasonable goal in life, simply put, "I want to leave folks better off then when I found them." I decided that this is how I wanted to try and lead my life this way after watching the way my family treated others. Like hurting others was a sport or something. I had to do a lot of damage control, even from a young age, until one day I wised up and realized it wasn't up to me to make up for the shortcomings of people around me, nope, I was only really responsible for my own conduct...not the conduct of others. So, fast forward to August of 2003. I started my journal Ellipsis, with NO idea what to do with it, and then it became apparent. Sharing my life, the things I see and hear, the photographs I enjoy taking, the challenges I face, the joys that fill my soul, loves I left behind, and even the romantic specter, "The Ethereal Musician," all reaches out to those who read me and says, "Hey, your not alone, and neither am I." Isn't that a wonderful feeling? So, at this time in my life, that is what I have to offer. Myself.

It's simple but it's true. If I can make you smile or laugh, if I can make you ponder something you never considered before, if I can share an idea or political observation and you find it interesting or provocative, then I feel like I have done something to make that particular day worthwhile. I know every comment I have ever gotten, including the ones from folks who thought I was oh so wrong, have only made me strive to be a better writer and person. One of the most rewarding entries I have posted to date, was the entry I wrote about the "Port Chicago Disaster," and it's aftermath. I actually received more then one email from readers and friends who said they had never heard that such a situation had ever happened. It felt good to pass on what I had learned, and share that important piece of history that somehow didn't make it into most history books, if indeed any. So, I will toot my own horn here a bit, and say that I think I make a difference by blogging, because I have a lot to share...and learn. See how nice that works out for both of us? :)

"Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
-Dr. Seuss

"What I See"
Westbound HWY 24
Berkeley, California
February 15th, 2006
12:30 PM


tess said...

Your musings and beautiful entries always make me smile or think.
Thank you!

Nancy said...

Yup, yup, make a difference in an even bigger way than you might ever imagine.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Well, you've certainly made a big difference in my life with this blog, and in other ways. And I'm sure that's true for a lot of your readers. - K.

Sassy said...

Carly~Our answers were the same in that jounraling make a difference! Toot-toot! ;-) Great entry! ;-) Sassy