My Netflix rentals have been collecting dust lately. I tend to watch movies in batches, and I think it’s about time to start up again. Last night I sat down and watched About Schmidt. Jack Nicholson plays Warren Schmidt, recently retired insurance actuary and widower. Schmidt finds himself in the unhappy predicament of reaching the final years of his life and realizing it hasn’t been anything like what he hoped for.
Throughout the film, Schmidt struggles to understand what the meaning of his life has been. Has he had any impact? Does he matter in any real sense, or will he be long forgotten in one or two generations — as if he never existed.
We all want our lives to have meaning. We want to believe that what we do has purpose; that it matters to someone, or if we’re fortunate, many “someones.” We want to leave a lasting impact on this big, blue ball we live on.
I struck me that there are parallels to be drawn between the long, lonely life of mediocrity lived by Schmidt, and the long, lonely world of blogs such as this. Blogging in itself solves nothing. A Tool by itself can never make the world a better place. How the Tool is used determines it’s value.
We all know blogs that blather on about stuff of little value or interest to us personally. Like a life without purpose, they exist in the ether; soon to evaporate and be forgotten forever.
No, blogs alone answer nothing. They do not enrich our own lives or the world we live in. But…
When we use the Tool to communicate and connect with other people, we accomplish something meaningful. A connection; a shared idea; a question that makes someone reflect for a moment. These small, seemingly insignificant intersections weave our lives together, influencing and evolving our world.
We all have something of value to share. Say it plainly and directly, and nuture the interconnections that grow.