Rogers had Hammerstein.
Han Solo had Chewbacca.
Cookies have milk.
And I have … you.
The “Thanks and Acknowledgements” section of my book, The Best Advice So Far, ends with this:
“My sincere thanks, as well, to every person so far who has read or listened or pondered or asked a question or checked in on things along the way. You are as much a part of this book as I hope it might become of you.”
I know authors sometimes say things like this that might come off as ingratiating, cliché or saccharine. Only, in my case … I really mean it, both with regard to the book and this blog.
I write. But my writing is not an end in itself. My aim is to inspire others to live like it matters, to challenge themselves to take more positive social risks, to notice and foster the best in people rather than the worst – and to remember, above all, that we always have a choice. I trust that, in small but consistent ways, that is happening as you read and experiment with me along the way.
Writing without engaged readers feels a lot like I imagine da Vinci might have felt creating the Mona Lisa, only to throw it into a tar pit and watch it sink (not that I can compare my work to da Vinci’s, but I trust you get my drift).
I’ve been struck anew lately by the importance of community. It may at first appear that I as a writer hold the role of a producer, while readers are merely consumers. But that just isn’t the case.
Every time you read and then post a comment …
Every time you press “LIKE” …
Every time you deem a post worthy of SHARE-ing with your friends …
Every time you ReTweet …
Every time you send a Message or text to let me know how a chapter or post impacted you …
Every time you take the time to tell me that you recommended the book, or got one for a friend …
… you encourage me to keep doing what I do. In fact, did you know that your feedback and stories actually prompt new thoughts and inspire new blog topics along the way? Well, they do.
In the bigger picture, I hope this also serves as a reminder that what you choose to do and say each day changes things:
Each time you meet somebody’s eyes and smile.
Each time you greet someone with genuine joy or open arms.
Each time you speak an encouraging word.
Each time you treat others with dignity.
Each time you believe in someone and tell them so.
Each time you make such a choice, you become an agent of change in a person’s life.
We don’t always get to see or hear about the difference we are making. But today, I wanted you to know just how integral you are to what I do. I couldn’t do this alone. Whether you’ve been an avid reader for years or today is your first time joining in, we are a team. I appreciate you!
And each choice you make to engage and be a positive part of the world around you – the world at large, my world, someone’s world – you are leaving it a little bit better than it would have been otherwise.
You are making a difference.