First Post: Blogging Our Own Narratives

As of right now, I am proud to be the latest of millions of people to start a blog.  I hope you will join me in celebration!

What’s that you say? There are enough blogs out there already?  That’s a fair point.  For that reason, I thought long and hard about whether it was worth the effort to start (and maintain) another one.  There’s simply so much content out there to consume.  Attention itself is a scarce thing in our society.

And yet, we read blogs. The stories that we share through them shape the narratives in which we live.

I reiterate that point: we live within narratives about our society, and somebody creates those narratives.

That sounds kind of sinister, doesn’t it?  Well, it can be (and certainly has been at times) depending on the forces and motives behind the narratives, but it doesn’t have to be.  Narratives are simply the ways we make sense of this very, very complex world in which we live.  You can put together a lot of facts, but they mean nothing without a narrative.  And in fact, people can draw very different narratives from the same pile of facts. (Witness, for instance, the narratives about any controversial topic in US politics, or, I’m sure, the politics of whatever country you’re in, dear international readers.)

It occurs to me that I’m unlikely to make an impact on my own. Few will have the greatness to bend history, as Robert F. Kennedy said in Cape Town, South Africa in 1966, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the totalall of these actswill be written in the history of this generation.

I am a writer, and so I’d like to use my writing to help examining the narratives that we’re presented with, deconstructing them where necessary, and reassembling them into one that makes more sense, with fuller interpretations of more data than we have otherwise received.  One person can’t do it alone, but as part of a broader current, it’s how the world changes.  As RFK’s speech continued:

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

I thank you most sincerely for being here and engaging with my written ripples, whether you are like-minded or disagree with every word.  I welcome all comments in the spirit of constructive debate.  I’ll do my utmost to make each post worth your time.

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