A Letter to Google.
My Favorite Quote! Author’s Essay Challenge
Our wonderful fellow hubber Jo Goldsmith recently issued the following challenge:
"My Favorite Quote Essay"
We all enjoy quotes. We have occasionally used quotes from some of the greatest minds in history.
I thought why not create a challenge because of and in the spirit of creative writing challenges recently. I have come up with a fun and interesting one that I hope you will take on.
The goal is to:
(1.) Identify a historical person who has quoted something profound that you can relate to.
(2.) Explain why you chose the quote you selected
(3.) How has the famous quote you selected allowed you to grow in your life?
And we will use the format of an Essay approach."
Now, I am always up for a new challenge. In fact I can rarely turn one down. Even when I am convinced I won't take another on for awhile and concentrate on my own writing I invariably have a change of heart. This is another one of those occasions.
I had in fact planned on writing another hub in regard to all the recent (and probably old as well) concerns expressed by many hubbers and ex-squids in regard to weirdly fluctuating hub scores, large numbers of hubs suddenly losing their featured status (first due to low engagement and then to low quality). Although these complaints are initially directed at Hub Pages it appears that the real culprit behind these dastardly deeds is in fact Google.
My intended hub was going to be a poem titled either "Mr.Google How Do You Do?" or "A Letter to Google." Now I hear you ask, what has this got to do with Jo's "My Favorite Quote" essay challenge? Well originally nothing, but I got to thinking (I do that sometimes). I had told Jo that I would try to find time to take part in her challenge but that I wasn't sure I could find the time with Christmas and the holidays approaching.
The fact that I was considering writing an alternative hub made me feel a little guilty, so I thought (I did it again) why not combine the two. Brilliant idea! Kill two birds with one stone. But how would I combine my favorite quote with a poem about Google? Well let's look at my favorite quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”— Mahatma Gandhi
Hmm....poets, short fiction, and creative writers are often ignored by search engines (of which Google is the most powerful). We are often treated as second class writers and ridiculed by the general public and online traffic. Now I am just ready for the fight .. Google and other search engines penalizing us and trying to exclude our writing from the Internet completely. Once that happens, we creative writers will win because people in general will begin to think what a sad, creatively barren world this would be without our poems, stories, essays, etc etc.
There will be an uprising, protests. marching in the streets....well maybe that's gong a little far, but I do feel common sense will prevail and people will force Google to change its algorithms and how it views online content. Never give up my friends! Doesn't the Bible say, "The meek will inherit the Earth?"
So this hub is kind of a mishmash of different types of content and ideas...hence I'm calling myself "Frankenhubber." (At least for this hub)
A Letter to Google
by John Hansen © 2014
Mr.Google how do you do?
I'd like to have a word with you
I'll write nice content that people view
To keep you happy and Adsense too.
Even though I feel unclean,
While my poetry remains unseen.
Your Panda updates make things rough,
For creative writers times are tough.
Your algorithm seems so unfair
That many writers pull out their hair.
If you want "how to" I'll obey,
Write, "How to get up every day,"
"How to this and how to that,"
"How you should put out the cat."
It goes a little past a joke,
Your rules upset so many folk.
Disillusionment with you is rife,
Just like so many things in life.
You are the king of online search
Please look down from your lofty perch.
Creative writing must survive,
Please help us keep the art alive.
My Favorite Quote (again)
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
When did I first hear this quote? I am not 100% sure. I can remember though that I read it on a desk calendar that had a different famous quote for each day of the week. It could have been while I was at high school, but I think it more likely when I was working in the Personnel (Staff) Section of the Queensland Railway Department in the early 1980s. This quote immediately captured my attention as I have always been a champion of the underdog or suppressed, and encouraged me to seek out more about Gandhi's quotes an teachings.
I was blown away by this man's wisdom. A few of his other memorable quotes are:
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
“God has no religion.”
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
These are just the tip of the iceberg. If we all had a list of all his quotes and tried to live our lives by them this world would be a much better place.
Even this one that I was a little reluctant to include, but it may strike a nerve with some people:
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
How do I relate to this quote? I have always been encouraged to try to protect the weak, the downtrodden or shunned. My parents brought me up with advice such as:
- boys should never hit girls
- don't pick on or fight anyone smaller or younger than you
- be kind to animals
- always be polite, say "please" and "thank you"
- always respect your elders
- protect anyone weaker than yourself
- stick up for what you believe to be right
- don't brag
- men should never swear in front of women
I feel this quote is very relevant to these values. I may not always succeed, but I do try my best to live up to all these. For instance my first day at school in first grade, I was on parade when I saw a boy in my class pushing and teasing a girl. I didn't even know the guy yet and he was bigger than me, so maybe I was crazy but I repeated my parents words to him, "Boys shouldn't hit girls." He ignored me and kept doing it so I grabbed his arm and we got into a fight. The teacher broke us up and sent us both to the office.. very first day at school. I seemed to get myself into similar situations throughout my school days (thanks Mom and Dad).
I am passionate about trying to write poetry that will appeal to those people who have always said "I don't like poetry" or "I can't understand poetry."
How is this quote still effecting my life? Even as an adult I have gone out of my way to befriend and associate with people who may have a slight mental disability, homeless, or who are challenged in some way. I feel comfortable around them and they are human beings who deserve respect.
I have always loved poetry however, apart from my wife, many people I have known and in fact a large proportion of the general public have never taken it seriously. Some treat it as a necessary evil they were forced to study in English lessons at school. It was a wonderful day when I found Hub Pages, and other online poetry and creative writing forums. I am constantly experimenting with different form of poetry and writing and continually trying to improve. I am passionate about trying to write poetry that will appeal to those people who have always said "I don't like poetry" or "I can't understand poetry."
So, now I find myself defending the importance of my preferred art of poetry and creative writing and my talented colleagues who write in these genres. We just need to show patience and determination against whatever Google throws at us. Stay strong while others laugh at us, and ignore us. When they decide to fight us .. then we will win.
More by this Author
Five short flash fiction stories in response to a writing challenge by friend Chris Mills. Flash fiction is becoming very popular as a quick read for people leading busy lifestyles.
A look at some of the pros and cons I experienced recently when setting up and managing a multi-author website.
"The Dreamtime" is actually the story of creation as believed and told by the Australian Aboriginals. The unlikely inspiration for this article was the name of Ursula Le Guin's "The Beginning Place"