Zero

“0” means nothing.

My website, Warp and Woof, was recently moved from one server to another. In the transfer a few minor changes transpired. One was a personal – perhaps, even a prideful – loss for me. The numeric analytics listed for each post went to zero.

Each week I post essays which I hope will be helpful to any number of people in my social media circles and beyond. As a matter of course over the past decade plus, the numerical counter recorded the number of people who “liked” the post on Linked In, Twitter, or Facebook. I enjoyed seeing the numbers “pop.” 

Politics (here) was one of the most read posts I’ve ever written. But you would not know it now! Folks seemed to love my writing about Academic Free Speech (here) but you won’t see the numbers to back up the claim. My views on life’s sanctity (here) gained a great following but zeros are all that are left in the counter now.

In a digital age, we talk about “going viral” because people are seeing what we think is important. We talk about our “followers” as the basis for our outreach. We hype our “numbers” as a statement of our success. And now all I have is “zero” in my social media box.

But “zero” is no indication of influence. “Zero” has no bearing on mentoring. “Zero” does not measure involvement in others’ lives, investment in ideas, nor identification of legacy. 

To date, I have written over 550 essays and deposited scores of podcasts, videos, and sermons on Warp and Woof. Why? Why is it important? Why do I write? Why doesn’t “zero” matter? [OK. It matters a little 🙂 ]

I believe in the power of words over numbers

People’s minds – not their ‘likes’ – matter to me

Dialogue is prompted through writing

Storytelling – my posts begin as narrative – has lasting impact

I am compelled to communicate by The Spirit who lives in me

“Zero” means nothing when I consider history:

Thinkers are “rediscovered” hundreds of years after their deaths

Past discoveries are only now finding application

Creations sometimes accrue value over years

Memory is based on relationships

Thousand year old writings are still being studied today

Writing in the present is writing for the future. My words exist in multiple audio, video, published, digital, curricula, and hard-copy venues. Some may be burned or trashed. Others may never be read. Others simply ignored. Still more may be taken to task by a critic. Hopefully more will be quoted publications for a new audience. The words are anything but a “zero.”

More than anything else, however, I pray that the words follow The Word, impact The Body, benefit the culture, influence students, and remind all of great ideas and ideals. I’m mindful that my measure as a writer, teacher, mentor, or man is recorded in ideas, seeds planted in the minds of others.

Perennialists* like me count our “zeros” at the end of days, months, years, decades, centuries, and millennia.

*A perennialist is a person who believes in universal truths applicable across cultures, throughout time. As a Christian perennialist, Mark believes that universal truth originates from The Originator of the universe, Jesus (Colossians 1.15-20). Dr. Mark Eckel is President of The Comenius Institute (website) (1 minute video). Picture credit: SnappyGoat.com

 

 

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