Getting 21,000 views on one's Youtube channel may not seem like very much, compared to other, bigger numbers we've seen lately... like the 50 million names that #CambridgeAnalytica underhandedly obtained from Facebook data, and ultimately used to influence an election.
Or the 800,000 protesters who showed up in Washington, DC yesterday, March 24, to make a stand against senseless gun violence in the #MarchForOurLives. (One of the largest-ever protests this generation has seen in the nation's capital, I'm told, and a very serious, very worthy, very significant political statement that will truly go down in history).
Or even the average circulation of some other Youtube or social media pieces that people have posted, like cute cat videos, cooking shows, or celebrity fan pix.
But, in perspective, 21,000 represents a far greater figure than any single issue of my Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper ever achieved...a publication which had to be laboriously printed by hand, sheet by sheet, each and every time — putting a real limit on how many readers I could reach in the 1700s!
What's the point of all this, you may wonder? Is it simply the ramblings of a 312-year-old man who's obviously proud of his achievements, and wants to boast about them to the modern world?
Is it my existential pondering, a way to prove the value of one's life by citing some otherwise meaningless numbers? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, has it really fallen... and can we honestly count it among the casualties of environmental war?
Perhaps paraphrasing the words of one of your modern-day saints, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, can shed some light on what I'm trying to communicate. When someone asked her how she kept her sanity in the face of such overwhelming poverty in India, and yet still managed to minister to hundreds of thousands of people, she replied that she tried to approach her work one person at a time.
"Not all of us can do great things," she said, "But we can do small things with great love."
So perhaps that's what it's all about. My 21,000 views are a mere drop in the bucket, but if my 21st century writings and video adventures can make one tiny bit of difference to one person, somewhere, somehow....then it is worth the effort.
Your humble servant,
Writer, diplomat, scientist, philanthropist, printer, inventor, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America...and a time traveler, too!