The first book I read this year was “Who Am I To Judge?: Responding to Relativism With Love and Logic” by Dr. Edward Sri. (You can find this fantastic book here on Amazon.)
It is an interesting, easy read that addresses the problems faced by Catholics talking to moral relativists. (You know, the overwhelming majority of people in our society whose worldview says: “you have your truth, I have mine… As long as you aren’t hurting anybody, who am I to judge?”).
To illustrate a certain point early on in the book, Dr. Sri talks about how we would want to be spoken of at our funeral.
We usually want to be remembered for having certain noble qualities like being honest, hardworking, generous etc. and we want to have been good in our relationships, such as having been a good spouse, a loving parent, and a loyal friend.
I almost laughed outloud as I read on page 23:
Neither do people mention popularity as the chief quality for which they want to be remembered. ‘Bob was so famous. He had so many friends following him on social media. ….And do you remember that picture he posted last year – he got 50,000 likes in just a few hours. Wasn’t Bob a great man?'”
While it’s obvious that in the light of eternity popularity and likes on social media are pretty meaningless, I am guilty of sometimes getting caught up in or stressing about the numbers.
While my blog is certainly a small one, some of my more “shareable” posts do spread around a bit online. On two occasions I’ve had posts be shared by huge Facebook pages with thousands and thousands of followers. Once it was my post on negative Catholics and sufficient grace, and another time it was this one about not lying to my toddler.
When those big shares happen I watch my pageviews soar by my blog’s standards with thousands of views and hundreds of shares. It is so exciting! Seeing something I likely typed out while laying on a bed nursing Zelie in her sleep, or sitting next to Philomena as she played with blocks, being viewed and shared by thousands of people is such a fun experience.
It is hard not to look at the stats and see the views, the shares, and the social media following numbers. In fact, I’ve noticed that I tend to write what deep down I know is going to be more popular. That’s something I want to stop doing because God is showing me that it’s not about the numbers.
I blogged about the Rosary a few months ago and that post was hardly clicked on…Like 21 clicks in a couple days hardly. But over time, I have had three separate people say because of that post they are now praying the Rosary daily with their families. That’s amazing. Who cares if it garnered a ton of views?
My post about our morning routine that included our Morning Offering prayer? Once again, very few views when I first put it up, but recently someone across the world reached out to me saying how it spoke to her and now she and her daughter pray it every morning.
Both of those times I almost didn’t write the post because I just had a feeling they wouldn’t be widely read. If I had only been thinking of the big things like numbers and views instead of loving my neighbor, the good fruit would have never been!
This blog and everything else I do should be able loving people around me, whether that’s encouraging them to pray more, eat cleaner, sharing holistic remedies to encourage better health naturally, or even telling my struggles so someone else who has similar ones can be encouraged and comforted that they’re not alone.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~ Mother Theresa
God may never call me to regularly touch large numbers with this blog. There are many writers out there far more eloquent and experienced than myself. I may be called to write about something that will resonate with many, but I may also write and only touch a few hearts or souls sometimes, and that should be fine by me. Helping others in this way and loving them would be something I would want to be remembered by one day, regardless of the numbers.
So, while I still hope to write things that people enjoy, I’m going to free myself from the mental pressure about constantly coming up with more “shareable” posts. I’m sure my thoughts about general life topics will always be my most popular, and I enjoy crafting them. But I also want to write more posts about my daily life or struggles or musings, knowing in humility that people will be less interested in what I am doing any given day in comparison to deeper thoughts on a subject like God or parenting.
I can’t do it all blogging, coming up with more deep or thought provoking posts all of the time. I can’t be interesting to everyone. I can’t touch or help everyone. But it’s not about big numbers. I need to see each individual person as worth writing something if it encourages or helps them in some way. Another wonderful quote by Saint Theresa of Calcultta sums it up –
We can do no great things – only small things with great love.”
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