According to Wikipedia, a "meme" is a "unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme."
A "meme," in other words, is something like a "gene" for "ideas." To continue to quote Wikipedia, memes are "cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures. In popular language, a meme may refer to an Internet meme, typically an image, that is remixed, copied, and circulated in a shared cultural experience online."
The image above, I think, is a perfect example of an "Internet meme." It was transmitted to me on Facebook, by way of a posting by a Facebook Friend. Now, I am, passing it along to you! Consider this picture and quote, featuring Alice Walker, as a beneficent virus. Don't you think it would be good if everyone could "catch" it? If they could "catch on" to what Alice Walker is saying?
The Truth (I am talking about "Capital T"-type Truth here) is usually a little more "complex" than your typical meme. Or so we tend to think. However, as I have been thinking about what I "know," what I have "learned" in my many years of life, I am more and more coming to appreciate the importance of very simple statements.
Such simple statements - we can call them "memes," or can call them "truths" - seem successfully to distill my life experience into short summaries, worthy of transmission to others. The words of Alice Walker, reproduced above, are a perfect example of what I am talking about. As far as I am concerned, that Alice Walker "meme," featured today, is definitely an example of a "Capital T"- type Truth.
As I do those Memento Mori exercises I have mentioned before, I know what I'd like to achieve before departing the scene. Not that I haven't already had some success in this, but my definition of accomplishment is actually to "do" something worthwhile, something that changes the world for the better, as opposed to demonstrating that I "know" something worthwhile that "might" change the world. In other words, I continue to urge that we need to be "actors," not just "observers," as we live our lives.
So, as I consider Alice Walker's "Meme Of The Day," I am asking myself what I might do that would go beyond just passing along what I think of as an obvious, and very powerful, "Capital T"-type Truth.
Passing on the "meme" is a good "Step One." But once we convince people that they actually "have" the power they haven't believed in, we all then need to move on up to "Step Two."
In other words, once we all realize that we've got the power, our next step is to USE it!
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