Once again, events in the outer world make me question the very existence of this blog. My small thoughts and interests seem trivial in comparison. Can I justify continuing to write about books and reading, about my personal pleasures and achievements, when there would seem to be so many other, more important battles to be fought?
Big battles are important, but so are small battles. We can only fight the hatred, ignorance, and intolerance in the outer world by fighting it in ourselves. There’s no way I can call myself morally perfect, intellectually infallible, or invariably kind and compassionate. I know I have a long, long way to go.
For me, reading is THE major light on this journey. That means everything from the great wisdom texts of world religion, to folklore and mythology, to novels, plays, and poetry, to biography, memoir, and nonfiction. It means the books that wake me up and open my eyes, and the ones that comfort me with cheerfulness and beauty.
To be able to read, you have to open yourself to another person’s point of view. You learn new words. You reconsider old opinions. You hear someone’s story and they become real to you. You make small steps toward becoming bigger than you were.
It’s possible to take in words with our eyes or ears and have none of this happen, of course. We may find ourselves rejecting unfamiliar voices, only tolerating words that confirm our own opinions or reinforce unsavory sides of ourselves. No one is immune from this — people on every ray of the political spectrum can be intolerant and hateful.
But I’m going to define “reading” as meaning something more. To me it means reaching for the true potential of the human spirit — which I do believe in, no matter how polluted and obscured it may become. That is the meaning behind everything I may write here, even if it seems to be about something else. That is my reason for reading. That is my reason for living.
And that’s why, for the time being, I’m going to continue to blog in the same way I always have. I don’t know how long it will last … this is an unknown world we are entering. But for now, I have to hold on to something that has meant so much to me. And if you are still here to share it with me, I am grateful. Thank you.