I sometimes sit down – it’s rare to be fair – and consider how much the world has changed since I was a child. The short answer is one hell of a lot! A year after I was born, CompuServe became the first commercial online service offering dial-up connection to individuals and a few years later, Commodore started its success story with the Commodore Vic20 and C64. IBM began to realise – reluctantly – that there were big bucks to be earned in the PC market and professional business programs like spreadsheets and word processors were introduced for the PC.
We cannot go back to the past – unfortunately, though maybe that will be possible in the future – but when I was younger (so much younger than today….), I kept diaries, particularly when my family went on holiday. Some people kept journals or diaries on a more regular basis, à la Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones, and by reading these entries at a later date, you can read about that special day in your life or how you managed to get through a challenging time.
Some famous people kept a diary. Anne Frank, the German-Dutch young girl, the gifted writer who hid in an attic with eight people that included her family, kept a diary of her life during World War II in Amsterdam, Netherlands. An ordinary Jewish girl who was forced to live under extraordinary circumstances, Anne’s life was difficult in the attic, which she also called the Secret Annex. However, she still had hopes and dreams for the future. She dreamed of becoming a great writer some day. Despite the horrors and carnage of World War II, she still believed that mankind was good.
Other well-known individuals kept journals. Lewis and Clark, two explorers and adventurers, both kept journals of their travels to unexplored West as they crossed the recently purchased Louisiana Territory, now known as the northwest United States. The expedition started in 1804 and ended in 1806. In their journals, they wrote about all the interesting things they saw such as the plants, animals, Indian tribes, breath-taking sites and the Rockies.
Unlike famous people, most of us who keep a diary or a journal will never have it published. The value of keeping a diary or a journal is really a gift we give to ourselves that helps us to ultimately discover our dreams, our passions and our true identities.
And now we blog. Oh, how technology has moved on in the last thirty years….