Monday, June 7, 2010

The Original Monkey's Uncle

First, here’s a little tantalizing picture for Sharon and Catherine, the winners of the Great May Scramble. These goodies are winding their way to you tomorrow so you can take a break, read a book, and eat some candy. You’ve earned it.

Second, don’t anybody comment on the candy. Yes, they are the coconut M&Ms I’ve mentioned before. And yes I’m drooling because I’m eschewing sugar the whole month of June. The. Whole. Bloomin’. Month. My husband and I challenged ourselves and we’re stickin’ to it, by golly. (My body needs the break.)

Lastly, I have something to say. It involves this book.

Which I just finished and really loved. And it involves Making a Difference. It’s an ever-illusive thing I long to do. Not for fame or glory, but because there is something, some compulsion, inside of me that hopes I can help the world as a whole in some deep, lasting way. It’s hard to explain and it’s something I don’t usually talk about because truly, it’s not about me. It’s about what’s inside of me. Just like that compulsory need to write, I have an compulsory need to make a difference.

I especially admire people that have already made an altruistic impact on the world. I’ve talked about my adoration of Jane and Jane here. But Charles Darwin is another one I wish I could emulate. He didn’t set out to put the literate world aflame, but he wrote his books because he felt he needed to voice what he had observed in nature. He agonized over it. It even took him more than fifteen years before he could bring himself to publish his theory of Natural Selection. All this I knew about him, but I didn’t know that at the great climatic moment when his research was presented to the Linnaean Society, he was at home tending to sick children. His greatest triumph was his ten children, not his books or findings, not his fame, and not his collections from all over the world. His children were center stage. Thanks to Deborah Heiligman for such a wonderful, unique book.

Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to make a large, altruistic impact on the world. Maybe not. Maybe this desire to do something will go away too. Maybe not. But right now, at this moment, every thing I do makes the biggest difference to this person, her brother, and her sister. And no other influence is as important. Which is why my blogging this summer will be sporadic. (BTW, that isn't a cigarette in my hand and the baby doesn't have wonky eyes. There's a blur from the seven year old's attempt at photography. Just so we're clear. *grins*)

ETA: I just came from Lindsey Leavitt's blog and she and other authors are sharing stories of people impacting their lives. There are some wonderful tributes and if that's not enough, many chances to win books.


  1. *sob* coconut M&M's...

    *wail* we get nothing in NZ - crispies are still newish here

  2. Mmmm. Coconut M&Ms. I would never last a whole month without sugar. I think it's safe to call it an addiction. Sigh. Thanks for thoughts on Darwin and making a difference. The difference that you make in the lives of your kids can never be measured. Hope you have a great summer!

  3. I find it fascinating to learn about the personal lives of people who become icons. I'll have to check out that book. Thanks.

  4. Ooh, what a great prize. Sorry I missed the comp.

    I'll have to check that book out though.

  5. Good luck with eschewing (i love that word!! thank you!) sugar for the month! You and your hubby are brave amazing souls for doing so. GOOD LUCK!

    And what a lovely piece on making a difference. I hope we all make a difference everyday in our lives - not big flashy stuff but little tiny things - opening a door for a mum and her buggy, saying thank you to a shopkeeper after buying stuff, throwing litter in the bin, - little things - they all make a big difference!

    Good luck with your writing! Have a BRILLIANT summer!!

    The pic of you and baby is lovely.
    Take care

  6. I really like your blog! I'm a new author and have enjoyed this new experience. I find that it's the most difficult and most rewarding. I'm also a graphic designer and love having that creative outlet as well.
    Thanks for your post! I will be back for more updates. :-)

    Melissa Nielsen

  7. Congrats to the winners (although I still want to try those coconut m&ms). =)

    I think everyone who writes and blogs makes a difference to those who are trying to do the same thing. It's a difficult road to follow, but nice to know we are not alone. =)

  8. I've been meaning to read the Charles and Emma book. Guess I'd better get on that. :o)

  9. I love the idea of sharing stories like that. I do a mini post with the same purpose every Thursday. There are so many impressive, yet ordinary people out there - what fun it is to delve into their lives. :)

  10. The book sounds very intriguing. I'll have to check it out. What a great prize--coconut M&Ms and books. Heaven!

  11. Sounds interesting too. I hope to make an impact as well - it won't be a big one, but I hope I can impact some kids in positive ways and help them through their tough times.

  12. Your baskets look fabulous - those lucky winners! A whole month without sugar? More power to you, you're a stronger woman than I. :)

  13. It seems like the people that have the biggest effect on the people are the one that aren't trying to.

  14. Okay, I won't comment on the candy. But I don't know how you're fasting from sugar for so long. It's a staple in my diet. I'm in awe.

  15. My mouth is watering and my hands are sweating...Thanks again, Jackee! My daughter and I can't wait to receive your basket of goodies. :)

    I don't know if my writing will ever help anyone, but I try and do things here and there that hopefully are helpful.

    I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns on the sugar free June! WTG!

  16. Yep. No goodies over here either. Thanks for the heads up on the contest!

  17. Coconut M&Ms! I have never tried them.

    What a cute photo of you and the babe. I'm sure you're making a massive difference already!

  18. A whole month without sugar? Really? Wow! I'm impressed. See you wrote all that other inspiring stuff, but that what sticks in my head.

  19. Oh, wow. No sugar for a month?! I'm not sure I could go two days! Good luck to you!
    I think making a difference is so important. Whether it's to your family, your community, your support to internet friends.

  20. What an inspirational post, reminding us to think of the larger picture instead of just ourselves. We writers can be myopic. Even though we observe, it often becomes about our successes and failures.

    I'll miss you in the blogosophere, but I know how important family is to you. I think about your mom and amazed at her strength. And yours.

  21. I admire your goals in trying to make a difference. Just even the little things make a difference in people's lives too. I hope you attain your goal. It's rare to find people that want to be so selfless.

  22. Bahaha "that's not a cigarette in my hands" I wouldn't have noticed had you not said anything! I thought you two looked too cute!

    My mom and sister would die for coconut M&M's and I thought pretzel M&M's was the hot new thing! Boy was I wrong!

  23. I think it's quite wonderful, your desire to make a difference. And sometimes, it's the little things that add up to that difference. :)

    And thank you for visiting and following my blog!

  24. Hi Jackee! Thanks for stopping by my blog, commenting and following :) you're blog is really pretty, and i loved this post! cant wait to read some more :)

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