From the End to the Beginning?


You hear about people ranting and raving about their kids spending too much time in front of video games or computers, and how cell phone use while driving or walking is dangerous (or not), and how kids have bastardized the English language by texting (and sexting) all the time. I’ve been known to throw more than a few choice words through the windshield of my truck at dipsticks more concerned with their phone conversation than the direction and speed of their vehicle too. But, as a whole, social networking has proven to fill in a lot of holes in a lot of lives, with the benefits reaching even into the realm of life-saving. The drama about the use of cell phones, one networked gadget out of many, will more than likely die down as time goes on.

Social networking, for me, has filled in quite a few of those holes. I blog, I share my photos and the tidbits I find in the news. It’s all give and take, and I’ve come to know many wonderful people who share their thoughts, photos and opinions too. Blogging has not only broadened my world view, it has brought true meaning to cultural, religious and political variations on life’s theme as I get to know people from all over the world. Facebook brings another dimension of depth to the people behind all my favorite blogs.

But, it’s all backwards!

The latest is on top. If you read and read, you read backwards, from end to beginning. That just ain’t right!
I used to tell people struggling to write a decent paper or essay to read what they wrote backward. This forces the mind to read each sentence as a stand-alone, and it breaks the train of thought that makes the mind see what was intended instead of what’s really there. Reading a piece backwards makes it much easier to check grammar and spelling because you can actually see if there are errors.

Breaking a piece down in such a way, reading it backward, blows the Big Picture out of the water, gets the passion, the intent, the feel, the humor or anger, the personality of the writer completely out of the way and into obscurity and out of the way of the editing process.

We humans are linear by nature. Time goes forward, not backward. An author writes a book from beginning to end and readers read it that way. We watch a movie from beginning to end. Our day starts in the morning and ends at night. We’re young, live and grow old. Beginning, middle and end. We put things together in our mind that way and we learn that way.

Without that beginning-middle-end structure, there is no value and very little meaning. There is no depth in our countless, random status updates and blog posts that end up falling into the circular file that is labeled “superficial junk.”

Let’s say you just stumbled on this blog post and just happen to like what you read enough to want to read more coming out of my crazy mind. What post would you most likely read? The one right before this one (it’s a decent rant, if I do say so myself), or would you start reading from the very beginning and get to know me by the way I’ve grown over the past three years?

Sure, you could subscribe to my feed, friend me on Facebook, connect with me via Google’s Friendconnect, leave comments now and then, and get to know me from here on. The same thing would happen if I met you in person today.

But, when two people meet, they spend a lot of time talking about their pasts, their experiences, their trials and errors and challenges and successes. There is the benefit of voice inflections, facial expressions and body language that goes a long way to fill in the person behind the words.

It’s not backwards if you follow closely over time. Like I’ve said, I’ve come to know quite a few wonderful people through social networking. And, more than once, I have started at the very beginning of their blogs and read forward. It’s an amazing journey and privilege.

It’s all here, people. This blog has over 400 posts! Not only will you get to know me, should you decide to read from beginning to end, you won’t be talking or texting on your cell phone or spending hours upon hours playing a video game for a good long while.

But, please, please don’t read this blog while driving your car! Promise?


Both photos were taken today. They illustrate my point nicely, just the way you read this blog post – from beginning to end.

1 comment:

  1. From the end to the beginning is how usually most people will do it; and that is how I am doing it too. It is a great idea to start reading from the beginning to the end where you will get a deep understanding of another person. I have come to your blog, read some of your posts and commented on some of them ever since I started out Entrecard about 2 years ago. I wouldn't say I understand you but I share some of your thoughts, especially the one on talking and texting while driving. I think that is how people are connected through shared thoughts and understanding of differences. I will continue to connect with others through sharing their thoughts and understanding the differences between them and I.