Commentary Saturday #3

Why I Do What I Do

(Okay, it’s Sunday, I know. Me and the calendar don’t get along sometimes. My bad.)

It’s broad questions like these that I love to just ponder whenever I have a quiet moment. And with all vague queries, there are about a million different solutions to that one.

Sociology says I act along logical guidelines based on the label society has bestowed upon me, whether that be “student” or “male” or “writer.”

Darwinism says that my mindset, during a process of thousands of years, has been found to be the most advantageous by my ancestors and passed on accordingly.

Marxism says that culture and society are really just engineered by the capitalist system, therefore the economy decides my actions.

As a self-proclaimed Marxist-Darwinist, I would love to dedicate this post to fleshing out my theories on society and the inevitable cliff our individualistic culture is going to drive off on the back of a super-charged economy of self-perpetuating exploitation, but then I’d sound like a radical. Instead, we’ll be delving into “Why I Do What I Do” when it comes to writing, and why I think so many more should.

The first stop on this trip arrives at a small text that I wrote a couple months prior. During a time of frustration, during a time of isolation, I wondered why I defined myself so starkly as a writer. These words entered my head, and I scribbled them down the first chance I had.

It is my firm belief that everyone deserves a voice. The downtrodden, the forgotten, the outcast, the hated, the revolutionary, the ostracized, the banished, the weak, the weary, all deserve to have a say. No matter how small, how quiet, how ignored, their opinions demand the right to be heard, should someone choose to listen. This is why I turned to writing, and this is why I write to this day. It is a call, a call into the darkness.

Back when “the revolutionary” was trapped in the alien social climate of middle school, a girl approached me and started talking, to me. As if that wasn’t jarring enough, she seemed interested in my writing, my dabbling with fiction that I’d never held much love for. Danielle inspired me to continue onwards, to flesh out larger and fuller works. I was more than eager to write the part, to message her the final result over Facebook, to hear her thoughts on Outcast and “The Beast” and many others.

So yes, even the Marxist is motivated by more basic things than the creation of a worker’s paradise from time to time. But my work evolved from just cool stories into something else, a faucet for my voice. Even in those earliest of times, the pen served as a way for me to express my frustration with the alienating social system, my disenfranchisement with the “best years of our lives.” Veiled in fictive settings and characters, I channeled these emotions into my pieces, the “writer” articulating them where the “quiet student” never would.

The message here is not that everyone has the inherent right to be listened to, but that there must be the potential to be heard. Society can never accommodate nor accept every opinion, and I admit that I accept majority rule as the most legitimate form of government. However, even if the majority holds sway, the minority must be able to articulate their beliefs on par with the majority.

This is why I write, not so that everyone will hear and embrace my thoughts, but so that those who seek such ideas may find them. Come what may, if they’re ever even heard at all is not what counts. My voice is out there, it speaks within this blog, and that is what truly matters.

So go out. Put pens to paper. Write your thoughts, write your ideas, write whatever it is you wish. Poetry, fiction, commentary; all capture an aspect of the writer, speak back to their mindset, their beliefs. Know that your words shall remain long after fate comes knocking, and the unique individual, the unique voice you hold, shall be immortalized.

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