A cry for significance

By Barb Kugle
Special to The PREVIEW

I have come to believe that the cry of every human heart is a cry for significance.

Everyone wants to matter, to count for something.

We all want to be heard and acknowledged. It is what motivates us to succeed, or at least try, at whatever endeavor we pursue.

But, if my heart’s cry is only for my own significance, what value is there in that? Like a flower, I am here today and gone tomorrow. Do I exist for something bigger than my own significance?

I’ve been a writer for thirty-six years. I can be precise about the number of years because the passion to write came suddenly, like a spark sent from an unseen switch to the bulb in my head. Jesus told stories or parables to illustrate truths and that was what I wanted to do through fiction writing.

Recently, however, I fell into a bottomless pity-pit of self-doubt, and I asked myself, “Self, why are you putting yourself through all this heartache, hard work and rejection after rejection? For what?” What were my motives? Was it really no more than a cry for significance, or was there something deeper motivating me? And was this something real, or was it all a delusion.

All my writer friends will attest to the fact that they have gone through this same process of soul searching, yet most of them have persevered.

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me that if I couldn’t do something right, I probably shouldn’t do it at all, so I usually opted for the probably shouldn’t try.

And then the other day, I saw myself in my 3-year-old grandson. He was in one of those pissy, woe-is-me moods. With a whiny pitch in his voice, he rejected everything I suggested we do. We’d play at something for a few minutes, and then he would decide that didn’t suit him either. Finally he threw up his hands and headed for the door.

“Grandma,” he said, “I give up. I just give up. I’m going home.”

Am I acting like a 3 year-old? Is there something more than my own significance driving this new venue for expressing my heart’s cry? We will see.

Will you join me? What is the cry of your heart? I want to hear it. I want you to challenge my thinking.

In future articles, I want to explore ancient history as well as American history. What do they reveal about the human heart?

What does our culture today reveal about the heart’s cry?

How does your personal world view affect your heart’s cry?

How do we differ in world views and why?

As writers of fiction, we must first decide what drives our characters. What do they want? What is their goal? Then we can decide how to plot their story. Hopefully, the readers will be drawn to that character’s story to find out how it ends.

What do you want? How has what you want shaped your story? Let’s share at  heartscryblog.wordpress.com.

Oh, by the way: There is a deeper reason I quit writing for publication, but it’s one that makes me sound like a chopped nut. So, I won’t go there, not just yet. Why perpetuate the myth my whole family already believes of me?

This story was posted on November 19, 2012.