Monday, March 18, 2013

Nod To The Past

To my son Tommy,

One of the best things I did in what they call the social media is to follow "The Book Thing of Baltimore".  The published mission of the Book Thing is to put unwanted books in the hands of those who want them, a very honorable goal indeed. The unspoken mission of the Book Thing is to love reading and love books and celebrate those who love reading and love books and love writing books and love critiquing books and love all aspects of books.  It twangs me a bit when I see a good post from them simply because it makes me realize how little extra time I have and how I should make some extra time to volunteer at this lovely organization.  But other than the occasional pangs of guilt, I really enjoy their posts.  They find little tidbits that start my mind racing and thinking, which depending on who you ask can be a good thing or bad.

The share today was from a blogpost found at about a 1968 book written by Joan Didion.  They highlighted a very insightful quote "I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be" and it simply struck a chord with me.

I often write of things I did in my younger and dumber days and share those in story with you.  To the untrained eye it could seem as I live in the past with either pride in my past antics or regret and shame of these same mistakes.  However, for the first time ever, I now actually have words to express why I write these things.  I write these stories as a "nod" to my past selves.  It allows me to recognize who I am and who I was.  It keeps me filled with humility as I change and evolve.  I will not climb high on that horse for I know I used to have many of those vices and behaviors that people look down on with a shake of their head.  I write these stories so you recognize those same traits in other people and, God forbid, yourself.  I don't want these traits to "turn up unannounced and surprise us" as they may truly be "unattractive company".  When you walk down the street and see someone you used to know but have fallen out of contact with, you can either embrace them, ignore them, or simply acknowledge them with a nod.  Many times I don't want to "catch up" and reengage with who I used to be.  Ignoring who I used to be doesn't quite seem right either though many take that past.  Instead a simple nod or wave of hand, or in the case of this blog a few words of acknowledgement and warning, is a satisfactory greeting for my past personas that existed pre-you.

To me it is amazing that a simple singular idea written down can inspire a mind with so much insight.  One phrase elegantly expressing a simple concept can give insight into our own actions and the world around us.  It is also amazing how social media can be used to pass on these inspirations.  Now thanks to the post/share from the Book Thing I now have to go find a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and immediately after I can check my Wednesday schedule and finally make it down to volunteer.  But that result is welcomed change from the result of most post/shares/dribble on social media and once again gives me hope for the concept.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

No comments:

Post a Comment