By Dylan R.N. Crabb
“Journalism” and “journaling” are technically the same word, but they are used in vastly different contexts. Wikipedia explains the word “journalism” as “a person who collects, writes or distributes news or other current information;” and “journaling” as “filing information or writing therapy.” Both words infer the practice of writing but one is reserved for writing with the intent to publish for a wide audience and the other is reserved for writing for a limited audience, if not for one’s self only. In short; if you write for yourself in your bedroom every night, then you journal; if you write for a company to publish your writings for an entire region or country, then your a journalist.
I think this is a false dichotomy because the reasons behind why someone may journal and the reasons why someone would want to be a journalist may be similar. Being a journalist involves writing for a wide audience in order to give said audience more knowledge of the society in which they live, while one person journaling involves writing to discover more about yourself in order to improve yourself (and, in turn, improve your overall society). Writing is central to the way humans perceive the universe because it allows individuals to keep records of what we see, which allows for reiteration and analyzation of our environment. Record-keeping is also the key to preserving knowledge for prosperity, which is why historians place so much emphasis on written records. However; the most basic use of keeping a record of something we observe, is not our need to pass on knowledge to the next generation, but our need to ask questions for ourselves; to observe something in front of us and commit our higher brain functions to analyzing how that thing is the way it is.
How did that storm form?
How do waves move?
How do volcanoes shoot fire into the sky?
What color is the sky?
How do we breath?
All of these questions were asked by early human societies and the knowledge that they gained through intellect was preserved through writing. Today, humans are asking questions like:
How can we live in space?
What would it be like to live on another planet?
How can we plant more gardens in an area with less open space?
I think that the one thing that makes human beings unique on this planet is our drive for inquiry; our passion for curiosity; our capacity for greatness. Humans have risen above life through instinct and have developed ways for manipulating our environments (largely against our best, long-term interests) and shaping the world as we see fit. As arrogant as that sounds, it is our strongest quality as a species. We may not be the strongest or fastest creature on Earth in terms of physical attributes, (we may not even be the most intelligent species) but we’re definitely the most innovative.
I don’t believe in the supernatural, I believe that the universe is a random phenomenon of creation. Humans have the capacity to learn about the inner workings of the universe and I believe it is our duty as a species to attain that knowledge and pass it on, through whichever medium that you hold the most passion.
Writing is my passion, so it is how I will improve my surroundings. I hope that, by the end of my life, I inspire at least one other person to seek a higher purpose.