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I feel like I’m one of those hosts who annoy me during Pledge Week on PBS. I’m watching something I really enjoy, on a station devoid of the commercials that can destroy any work of Art, and in they come with their tote bags and coffee mugs trying to get me to send them money so they can keep airing fantastic programs like the one that I was enjoying… until they interrupted it. I hate those guys.

Sadly, though, I understand why they do that. People love what PBS is doing. People love that they can watch it without interruption. And, yeah, it costs money to create the Art I enjoy. Since they don’t make money from the corporations who destroy Art in order to sell soap, they have to make it elsewhere. They can’t do it for free. People need to get paid. And I would like you to be able to enjoy the blog commercial free.

I was forced, recently, to do a Go Fund Me to pay for the expenses for my dog’s passing. And when I did it, I was called an Online Panhandler. You can read about that, here.

I would prefer not to think of myself in that way. I would like to believe I earn money for the things I do.

One of the things my former friend told me was that I should “…get a job! ANY job!” To be clear, I have a job. I teach Defensive Driving. I’m good at it. I recently got a raise. I’m doing training next month that will allow me to teach it to corporations all over the country, and I’m likely to make a little more money doing it that way. Whether my health will permit this, I don’t know yet. If it won’t, that will create brand new problems.

I taught Elementary School for 29 years. Prior to that, I worked at Day Care Centers, grocery stores, and even had a paper route when such things still existed. I have worked hard in my life. I have contributed. I have made a difference.

My health is now shot. If I work more than 2 days in a row it is a near certainty that I will wind up in the hospital. (I teach between 4 and 6 classes a month at the moment. I had as many as 10 in a month, but I wound up hospitalized. If they gave me more classes, I would teach them. I have no control over that.) I’ve had Diabetic Ketoacidosis more than a dozen times in the last five years. It turns out that once you’ve had DKA, the likelihood of a recurrence increases. Each case of it weakens your body and your resistance to the outside conditions that can cause it. At this point, a common cold can wind me up in the hospital. I’m extremely careful to avoid any situation which increases my odds of illness.

I’m applying for Disability. I have no idea if I will get it. I’m told it usually takes forever. If I get it, that would be helpful. If I don’t, I will get by as well as I can on the money I make.

But what I would really like to be able to do is to make money for writing. I’m told I can be a Copy Writer, which means writing ads for people. I could do that, I suppose, but everyone who says it can be done wants me to pay money so they can show me how it’s done. Why don’t I trust them? Barefoot Writer, AWAI, and the others that show up all over Facebook sound wonderful at the outset, but upon further investigation, turn out to be disappointing. If someone offers me a job writing something for them, I will almost certainly accept it. But, that’s not where I am.

I’m no sort of promoter. I don’t ever plan to be. I write. I teach. I make videos. I try to be nice to people. I am cuddled by cats. That’s pretty much it. Those are all the things I do well.

If you enjoy my writing, and you would like to contribute to my being able to continue doing it, that would be helpful. I’m told that the first thing I need to do is explain what is called my Mission Statement. In brief, what is it I want to accomplish? How do I plan to accomplish this? What do I need in order to be able to do so. I have been giving this quite a bit of thought.

What Do I Want to Accomplish With This Blog?

  1. I want to make a difference. I want to suggest a kinder, more compassionate world. I would like to increase the number of people who share my admittedly Idealistic picture of the world. Perhaps someone with more power than I have will read my words and find a way toward a better world. My core beliefs include the following:
    1. We are all one People. The Idea of Us vs Them has no place in a civilized society. There is no Them. We are all Us.
    2. All human beings deserve The Bare Necessities of Life. These include food, shelter, clothing, basic safety, sanitary living conditions, genuine education, and healthcare.
    3. We need to base our policies and practices on facts, well supported by reliable evidence. Science is an effective method of determining facts, and not simply a Western Prejudice.
    4. We must all be aware of, and guard against the ill effects of, our own cognitive biases. Wanting to believe something is true or false has nothing to do with whether something is true of false.
  2. I want to entertain people. I want to make them smile, or laugh, or feel a deeper catharsis. When we get to know fictional characters, when we learn to care about them, we increase our abilities to empathize. I think this a key portion of being human. I have a nice post on Empathy, here:
  3. I want to express who I am. I suspect all artists, of any sort, are trying to do the same thing. It’s a part of us.

How Will I Make a Difference, Entertain People, and Express Myself?

  1. I will write. I will air my thoughts here, on Facebook, and in discussions with anyone who is interested in them.
  2. I will make videos that express my feelings, almost always connected to music that I find moving. (Most often it will probably be Sara Niemietz and Snuffy Walden. Their music, which most people don’t seem to know, is incredibly powerful.) You’ll find most of them on my very quiet little YouTube channel.

3. I will read and learn from all the places I find useful. I don’t like to express an uninformed opinion. I will do the research necessary to provide reliable evidence for any claim I make, particularly if it is relevant to how I reached the position I’m advocating.

What Do I Need in Order to Accomplish These Goals?

  1. I need ink, paper, time, and a decent blog. I also need a computer with a legible keyboard, a phone, and internet access. (I’m using Mobile Hotspot now. It’s cheaper than a separate internet connection.) It would be great if I had the money to remove the evil advertisements from my blog. You don’t want to read them. I don’t want you to be submitted to them.
  2. I need to have enough money to sustain my existence. I make well below the poverty level in this society, and if I didn’t have food stamps and free health care, I would simply be dead. My roommates help to keep me alive and well. I’m grateful for that.
  3. I need people who are willing to support my writing, not only by reading it (which is, for me, the most valuable way), but also by contributing money so I can keep doing it.

There are successful bloggers in the world. I can’t name any, but I’m sure they exist. I’m told they’re good at marketing. I don’t want to do marketing. I don’t want to work out strategies to improve my online presence, or whatever it is I’m supposed to do. All I am interested in doing is sharing my thoughts with anyone who may be interested in them. If you are an expert in marketing, and you would like to do the marketing for me, I won’t say no. I just don’t have the money to spend on it. And I have done enough research to know that I don’t want to do all of those things, myself.

I would just like to share thoughts, quietly, with people who want to read them. I’d like my blog to be a front porch in a little town where people like to come by and sit for a spell. I want no neon lights. I prefer sunlight and moonlight.

My Grandpa Schuelke told me once, when I was very, very little, “Fred, you can’t change the world, only your corner of it.” Welcome to My Corner of The World.