“We are going to sing so that they will remember this for the rest of their lives. There is no other reason to do it, folks, none.”
One thing that some readers of this feature point out is that not only do we trot out familiar writers on a regular basis, but it is not the Upset of the Year when we trot out a quote for an encore performance. Today’s Thought has been featured before. As we recall – and some research confirmed – Love Me wasn’t particularly well received when it came out. Keillor doesn’t really break any new ground with a midwestern, white male protagonist, and then the plot diverged into some literature mafia madness we never really understood, but in the end, Garrison was his familiar wise, old self.
We will always be grateful for this quote because it utterly crystalizes what we try to do. A version of it appears at the top of every page of this website and from time to time I will type it at the top of whatever doc I’m writing on because if we are not writing so you will remember it forever and ever every time we sit down to ply this trade, then we are not writing, we are merely typing. Your time and my time is being wasted.
Those who believe that only those people who amuse or entertain or thrill us can do something memorable are wrong. Nothing is further from the truth. Every single one of us can do something memorable. Based on those whom we remember, it can be anyone. Sure, teachers and coaches and masters have left their mark on us, but so have sports officials, waiters and waitresses and auto mechanics. What those who have left their mark on us have in common is they were doing what they were meant to be doing with their lives.
There is no other reason to do it, folks, none…
What are you doing that people will remember for the rest of their lives? As noted, what it is is of no consequence. We write. Bully for us. There are a lot of people who won’t read this, a loss they appear to be taking disappointingly well. No matter. It is sufficient that we wrote this because we would be doing anyone any good if we hadn’t.
Why you do something is all that matters. If you are acting because of force deep inside you, if you are living the life you are meant to live, then you are doing yourselves and everyone around you the most good.
Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in 1988 in a hotel room in Berkeley, California.