Aphelion Editorial 048
The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...
by Dan L. Hollifield
Hello and welcome!
I'd like to apologise for the lateness of this issue, which is
entirely my fault. This has been the hardest issue of Aphelion that
I've ever done-- and I almost didn't get it done at all. Due to last
month's severe weather keeping me offline most of the month, a minor
bout of food poisoning from a local seafood restaurant, and some
distressing developments in my personal life-- I almost let myself wallow in depression and find a hole to crawl into and pull shut behind me.
But you helped me keep my head screwed on straight.
You see, I owe you. Each and every one of you. Every reader, every
writer, each member of the Aphelion staff-- All of you. And I pay my
Aphelion is more than a mere hobby for me, its an obsession. As
Publisher, I feel that I've made a promise to each and every one of you
that there will be an issue of Aphelion every month. No matter what's going on in my life, I'm committed to putting out the next issue, and the next, and the next... Come hail or high water.
So here I am on June 6th, finally getting off my butt to fulfil my obligations. "What a long, strange trip its been..."
So what am I going to rant about for this editorial? Well, I can't
do anything about the weather, the restaurant in question has been
advised that they need to tighten up on their food quality or next time
they'll see me in court, and my personal problems would bore you to
tears... So what's left?
My thoughts keep coming back to the subject of my obligations. From
where I stand, that's a curious concept. An un-written, un-spoken
promise to people worldwide that remain un-seen to me. A mental
contract, so to speak. Now that's heavy. But how do these sorts
of things come about? Gradually? Suddenly? Overtly? Covertly? Is it a
form of "honor" or is it a type of mental illness? What makes us as
human beings feel that we have incurred a debt to others?
Obligations pop up everywhere in our lives. Some of them without
our consent, some even without our notice, but there they are. We feel
driven to discharge the debt-- (or at least I do and I figure I'm
pretty average for a human. Anything I can do, you can learn to do if
you want.) As writers, we're obligated to produce the best work that we
can. As readers, we're obligated to give the writers an honest chance
to entertain us. (As Editors, we're obligated to get off our butts and
get the job done. LOL!) Obligations can steal our time away and leave
us with nothing left over for ourselves. They can also give us the
incentive that we need to keep going, despite the obstacles that our
lives put in our way. Like everything else in our all too human lives,
our obligations can be either constructive or destructive, hot or cold,
positive or negative. Its really up to each of us to make of our own
lives the best that we are able. That's an obligation to ourselves!
The life that you are living right now is the only one
you're going to have (or remember-- if you believe in reincarnation) so
you are obligated to yourself to make it the best one you can possibly
have. "To thine own self be true..."
You owe it to yourself to be the best "you" that you can be. Yeah,
I know that US Army has a copyright on that "be all that you can be"
jazz. But my point is that its a true statement for everyone, everywhere!
Life is far too short to waste on half-assed efforts, self pity, or
even procrastination. If you've got something that you need to do, do
it! Do it now! Do it the best that you are able and take pride in your work, then go on to the next
job, the next task, the next obligation. Sure, its a never-ending chain
of debts to others, but that's just life. All of us face the same
things, all of us have our own problems.
The trick is not to get overwhelmed by the problems. You are not
alone. Never have been, never will be. We are all interconnected by
obligations to each other. Use them as a source of strength, not as a
source of dispair. Its not a chain holding you down, it’s a lifeline
holding us all together for safety.
You are not alone. I'm here for when you need me. And thank you for being there for me when I need you.
Thanks for your time.
© 2001 Dan L. Hollifield
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