An acquaintance of mine asked me: “Why do you write these posts?” and when I told her I don’t write them for any specific purpose she was perplexed. Do I have to? Who said we have to have a reason to do something? If nobody sees a reason in what I do I am totally fine with that.
I don’t write them to collect likes on social media or views on my website. I don’t write them to make any sort of income. I don’t write them to present myself as wise or because I think I am more knowledgeable than anybody else. I don’t have any kind of agenda with them. I don’t write them for fame or recognition. I don’t write them because I think I need to convince someone about something. And I most certainly don’t write them because I think I am helping someone with them.
Probably the best answer would be that I write them just to express myself. But the cause for writing them are all the problems and questions people from all walks of life confide with me. So I don’t mind at all if nobody reads them. The enjoyment with me lies in writing them. If people read them or not I’m fine either way. If they like them it’s OK, if they don’t it’s also OK. If they help somebody in some way that’s great. If they don’t that good also.
Anthony de Mello wonderfully wrote: “To enjoy a poem or a landscape or a piece of music seems a waste of time; you must produce a poem or a composition or a work of art. Even to produce it is of little value in itself; your work must be known. What good is it if no one ever knows it? And even if it is known, that means nothing if it is not applauded and praised by people. Your work achieves maximum value if it becomes popular and sells! So you are back again into the arms and control of people.”
How true that is. I also get caught up in this trap sometimes and as long as you live in this trap you will forever remain miserable. Everything else beyond the enjoyment of the things we do or the ability to express our creativity is really a bonus. It may happen or it may not happen but it’s not the main thing. If we think that the celebration, recognition or praise of our work is more or at least as important than our actual work then we’ve got a problem with attention-craving. As long as we crave attention from other people we will forever remain their slave.
The expression of oneself or the enjoyment of one’s work are their own reasons. They don’t have or need some higher reasons. But our modern society has so totally forgotten what really means to express the originality and creativity of an individual. We think that everything has to have some reasons and even that is not enough. That reason has to be sensible so ourselves or others can judge if something is really worthy or not.
When we think and live like that we become more like a machine than human. Our aliveness dies down and we become no more than a tool pushing the gears of a broken society. We stop doing things that are important to us and do more and more things that we think others will appreciate us for. The more we do that the more miserable we become and then we start asking ourselves: “Where has all the enjoyment of life I used to have gone?” Where has it gone? You’ve left it with other people.