Why I write….

by Rod Smith

I am sometimes asked why I write about 200 words a day for a growing audience both in hard-copy newspapers and on the web.I will tell you 5 reasons:

Reason # 1. I get a high, a thrill, call it what you will, when I know someone has read my column and made the decision to live more meaningfully, more determinedly, more powerfully. I know things often work in tandem, and sometimes the column is a necessary catalyst to get someone out of a pointless orbit and into something more rewarding and purposeful. The fact that I hardly ever know the person (sometimes I do) or even what country he or she is in makes it even more rewarding for me.

Reason # 2. It’s a little tiresome for me to hear strong talk about sin as smoking or drinking or sex before marriage (I’ve worked in church circles a lot) – when the real sin, in my mind (without appearing to endorse any “traditional” sin) is the failure to fully live, to fully use ones skills and talents, to live at half or even quarter potential. If a handful of readers move towards greater effectiveness as a direct or indirect result of anything I have written I will count the daily joy worth every minute. (Reason 2 sounds a lot like Reason 1 — aah, a theme!)

Reason # 3. I grew up reading The Mercury – a South African morning newspaper – and my favorite section was The Idler. It captured my boyhood imagination that one person could “talk” to so many people every day for years and I wanted to do the same. After a brief visit in 2000 with the then editor, Dennis Pather, I was in. “You and Me” has been published every weekday since, usually in the top right-hand corner of the op-ed page and on opposite ends of spread where The Idler still appears.

Reason # 4. I LOVE Family Systems Theory and know that its application to any issue, in any culture, will bring desired reasonable change directly proportional to the willingness of the person or family to “stay” with the change they wish to see occur.

Reason # 5. I have and have always had an almost insatiable desire to communicate. Even if I am in an airport terminal (or on a bus or in a waiting room) I want to call a meeting. I want to challenge people to get to know each other, I want to get people motivated to “do” something. The web, a column, and an audience is perfect for me to express my inner desire to reach out and communicate. It’s not about money or reward – it’s about the desire to influence and to be connected.

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