Did you know that Robbie Burns may not have written the words to “Auld Lang Syne?” Or that Shakespeare – whoever he may have really been – possibly did not write any of the plays or poems attributed to him? And there are countless other examples I could rattle off.
But, does that really matter?
Because, at the end of the day, isn't what really matters is that someone cared about something and felt inspired enough to write those words and share them with others?
And, that those words were so powerfully expressed that they touched so many people when they were newly released, then they resonated with countless generations, and they continue to inspire people even today?
Just look at how much literature we have that has been written by “Anonymous” or “Author Unknown.” Is it worthless because we don't know exactly who wrote it? Does it cease to inspire and move people because we don't know the personality or background of the author?
I think, instead of “Anonymous” or “Author Unknown” we should acknowledge these mystery writers as “Somebody Who Cared.”
Because, that is the truth. Someone cared enough about something to write about it and share their thoughts. We don’t know who they are, but we can certainly know what they believed, thought, and cared about.
While we have complicated copyright laws, and it is proper and ethical to acknowledge authorship if it is known, and we certainly shouldn’t pass someone else’s work off as our own, it isn’t really the author’s identity at all that touches our hearts and minds, but the story the author has expressed in the sharing of their personal thoughts and feelings.
And, sometimes, the greatest wisdom and truth - hard as it may be to express, and to be received - can only be delivered in a manner of anonymity, with nothing extra to distract or detract from that wisdom or truth, so the words can really touch us, if we take the time to let them.
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