The Essential Human Element

I think a lot of us share a compelling need, at times, for solidarity, including me. I believe that need, above all else, is the reason people like us find so much joy and solace in literature. It’s that feeling you get when you read a book and the character thinks just like you do or feels something you feel and you learn that you’re not alone. To me, that’s the mark of a well written story: the ability to be raw and honest, to be unfailingly human.

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First, let me say I don’t know how you got here, but I’m so happy you did. Welcome and thanks (in advance) for reading.

Writing the first post in a series on one’s book blog feels like an awkwardly personal homework assignment: list points A, B, and C, wrap up with a nice conclusion of what you hope to accomplish, and don’t forget to site your sources. I’m not really going to do that, though that’s how I started thinking about this post. Instead, I’m just going to say things, and forego the organization my inner AP English nerd is screaming for.

Maybe I’ll start this blog the same way I started my dating profile a few years ago (and no it’s not still out there, so please don’t look for it):

“Hello, I’m a twenty-something bookaholic. I love: coffee, music, animals, being outside, being inside, sarcasm, the oxford comma and Really Really Big Books. I believe in: personal responsibility, freedom, existentialism, free t-shirts, The Matrix, and Really Really Big Robots. I hate: Allergies! And injustice and oppression also. I am an aspiring: novelist, musician, superhero, stand-up comedian, poet, philosopher, adventurer, entrepreneur, and Olympic gold medalist. OK…not that last one. ”

I guess, I’m just a girl who’s here to write about stuff I love, and what I think about it.

On a more serious note, I’ve never believed in one universal, human condition. Now that I say that, I find it a bit ludicrous, and I also find it obvious that the most basic, universal human condition is facing the inevitability of our own death, but I’ll stray from that line of thought for now, because who would start off a blog by reminding her readers they’re all going to die one day?

You won’t. You’ll be fine… 😉

Bear with me. I don’t really believe in one universal, human condition. I think there are conditions that many people share, but I don’t think we are born with the knowledge of any of them. As Jean-Paul Sartre — the father of existentialism and one of the most fascinating human beings who has ever lived — is famous for putting forth: Existence precedes essence. I’m not really here to philosophize, I only say this because I cringe at blanket statements, and because I don’t believe that anyone ever really needs anything. Especially someone like me, who has always had more than she will ever “need”. I don’t even believe that every human being needs happiness, especially not in a structural, societally-defined sort of way. I think it’s easy to try and break down human motivations into categories of, say… Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – health, security, relationships, self-esteem, cheese, self-actualization…Doctor Who…Okay, so I don’t remember psychology class all that well — but one thing I’m learning is that human beings are so much more complex than that.

That being said, I think a lot of us share a compelling need, at times, for solidarity, including me. I believe that need, above all else, is the reason people like me, or us, find so much joy and solace in literature. It’s that feeling you get when you read a book and the character thinks just like you do or feels something you feel and you learn that you’re not alone. To me, that’s the mark of a well written story: the ability to be raw and honest, to be unfailingly human.

Then there’s this blog. I don’t know much about blogging. I’m also an extremely private person. But, I’m here because I read, and I write, and because I’m a creative type surrounded by so many non-creative types in my everyday life that I am practically bursting at the seams. The purposes behind this blog, then, may be simple, and may even be easily shoved into the categories of: a need for solidarity, or a need for a structured, societally-defined sort of happiness. But, whatever the reasons are, I’m here, and I’m ready to try this thing. At the very least, I hope it will be a satisfying outlet. Wherever “outlets” fall on the Maslow pyramid, I’m not sure, but I think people need those too, sometimes.

So, welcome to RootReads. (Because who doesn’t love alliteration?)

4 thoughts on “The Essential Human Element

  1. Greetings, welcome to WordPress, the home of the best bloggers and usually a decent amount of free books as well which is always nice! Books are amazing and offer so many opportunities, I am always happy to make the acquaintance of a fellow reader and all round book fan!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are a ton of great book bloggers with so many different interests, your wish list of books will grow immensely.

        As for advice, I would say write about what you love and people will feel it and follow you, visit and answer comments and generally be involved. I am sure there is better advice but if you enjoy your writing, others will to. The people who comment on my site are mainly book lovers and could be a springboard for new book titles if you need new reviewers to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is great advice. Simple, and very encouraging, so thank you!
    My wish list is already immense, and I see what you mean, it’s already grown quite a bit since I’ve started following various book blogs. I may need a second job to sustain it!

    Like

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