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.