I’ve had a (mostly) good week. I think. I’m not even that tired as I write, but the threads of memory seem to be drifting in the breeze. As good as the week has been, it’s also been a slog, and right now I want to sit on a deck-chair in the sunshine, under bright blue skies and golden shimmering sunshine, and just watch the threads as they dance.
Oh, I’ll buckle down and be thankful – you can count on that – but today what I want to do is tell tales of heroes; stories of wonder and delight, which will leave you glowing with pleasure that the words you’re going to read are not only fantastical, but TRUE.
So snuggle up to me, lovelies, on a picnic blanket beneath the trees, and I’ll begin…
When the World Between the Wires first began, there was astonishment and such delight that people from opposite sides of the globe could be linked so immediately. Because we humans are designed to connect, the growth of this World was wonderously fast, and hundreds of thousands of people joined it each year, swelling its numbers and populating its corridors with their virtual presences. The draw was always that through the magic of technology, new communities were founded and people drawn into them to rub shoulders with the others there.
Whenever and however people meet, if there is connection on more than a superficial level, a meaningful relationship can flourish, and so it has been with the Blogosphere – this corner of the World Between the Wires where we’re currently idling away our time, sharing our weekly ritual together. And truly, this community built around the Ten Things of Thankful hop is one of my favourites – you are kind, determinedly thankful, engaged people, whose capacity to cheer each other onwards and offer support and encouragement, ASTONISHES me with its depth and robustness. You are not shy about being FOR one another, even as you report back on your own successes in finding moments which left you grateful for the experience.
The TLDR version is that YOU ROCK, and so do lots of others, but if you’re happy to sit with me a while longer, I’ll introduce you to a few of the characters I find particularly inspiring in this tale of the space we share.
I’ll start with a few of the bloggers I’ve known longest.
Christine is a quiet one, in spite of her loud and joyful sense of humour. Her acts of kindness, charity, and support for people in her local community are done quietly and not bragged about. She doesn’t ‘get caught’ doing them – she just gets on with filling needs where she sees them in her local community. She’s carefully involving all of her family, and role-modelling to them how to live in a manner which acts as though the world is how we would prefer it to be, rather than how it is.
Hasty struck gold with an idea which turned into the #BeReal series – a positive landslide of guest posts at her blog, where people share what their real is, and the ways it matters. The point was to look determinedly away from how society tells us we should be, and to celebrate who and how we truly are. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many people get so excited about being part of something, and that’s because it makes a point to cherish and nurture each individual, for the ways they are most perfectly, imperfectly, themselves. I wrote for it waaaay back, and it was glorious.
As Kristi’s son grew from a baby into a toddler, it became apparent that he had some additional needs. In spite of never discovering what they were, in spite of all the tests and appointments, she was determined that her little boy would NOT grow up in a world which saw his special needs, judged him wanting, and proceeded as though he was ‘less than’. So she set about changing it – the world. All of it. As you do. Her method: to encourage people to change their mindset to live in a land of compassion, empathy, and wonder. And in this world, her son would not only always be accepted, but appreciated for all that he is, just as he is. And you know what? That world – she’s changing it.
Beth has many superpowers, but the one which makes a daily impression on me is how very, very much she shares other people’s writing around the internet. It’s a relatively small act of service, but a big deal for the writers. She does it with such consistency and variety, that it leaves me just HAPPY to know someone so determinedly generous with shares. I know lots of people share each others’ work, and that’s great – it’s what we all need as bloggers (especially) in order to improve those niggly things like ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’. If you do it, KUDOS to you, and keep going.
Kerri decided that she was sick and tired of the state of the laws and gun violence and the havoc they wreak on people’s lives. So she started a group of people who were all keen to join in with her call for common sense and fresh dialogue, providing a place and an opportunity for people to air respectful, mindful viewpoints about the prevalence of gun crime, and their pleas that things might be changed for the good of all. She inspired me to write for this, earlier in the week.
Onward to people who are newer to me, but their actions in this here Blogosphere are OUTSTANDING!
Matt might be one of the most intensely supportive men I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. When his friend was incarcerated, Matt did quite literally ALL THE THINGS to make sure that she continued to be ‘in the loop’ and feeling as ‘normal’ as possible. She wrote about him here, but her thanks are really the tip of the iceberg, for the depth of his care is outstanding, and made me feel quite honoured to know him, even a little.
Byron is a fella with a very traumatic, painful past – entrenched in childhood abuse, but he determined early on that he would conquer the demons instilled in him then, and use his hurts to help others. His gentle manner, his kindness, and his brightshiny soul are all utterly wonderful. He’s currently involved in a filmmaking project showcasing a group of bikers, who stand vigil outside the homes of children who have been abused, and are going to testify against their abusers. This makes the kids feel safer and more able to make it through court – to have these compassionate bad-asses on their side, backing them up. It’s an amazing group, and an amazing film will surely come of a story with such heart.
Katie, in addition to blogging, has founded a group on Facebook where the entire purpose of the community is to raise their hands in support of each other, when one of us is suffering for some reason. There are many and complex indviduals there, with a plethora of challenges and hurts, but we are all together in just being there when one of us needs to know that yes – someone out there DOES care.
Sarah founded the Stigma Fighters blog to allow people with mental illnesses to share their stories in a safe environment aimed at promoting acceptance. SO many *makes air quotes* normal people *winks* have mental illness plaguing their days, and whilst some of the time we know, or it’s obvious, a lot of the time it’s a hidden condition. The invisibility of mental illness can lead to misconceptions and harmful stereotypes being made, and prejudices developing against sufferers. Stigma Fighters combats this with huge diligence and success.
Jeanette is the last and most ‘current’ (that will make sense in a moment, lovelies) of my heroes. Her friend…our friend…found herself trapped in an untenable position in her home life – stuck with an abusive partner, and with very little hope of escaping due to a lack of funds. So Jeanette started fund-raising. She’s not near her goal yet, and YES, if you have it in you to donate, then please do, because this is a very real, very bad situation, and a very simple fix. But what a wonderful answer to need.
THIS is where the Blogosphere makes a difference. Whilst many people can make a difference in their everyday lives, in Real, their impact tends to be limited to their local community. The Blogosphere knows no such bounds, and as such, ANYONE can reach into someone’s world and make all the difference. I’m even going to do a bonus shout-out to Erin, who posts something *twinklysparklyawesome* on my Facebook wall most days, just to cheer me up and keep me going…and it really helps and encourages me, just to know she’s thinking of me and sending virtual glitter in my direction.
But my lovelies, don’t just let me leave you there, basking in the delight of such stories of awesomeness – let me tell you something really magical: it’s not just them! These are everyday super-heroes. They’re changing the world with one good deed at a time, and the MOST awesome thing of all is that SO ARE YOU! Every time you behave towards others with empathy, compassion, and a desire to improve upon their day, you are backing the winning side, and acting with LOVE.
And we ALL know that #LoveWins.
Glitter wins a bit, because it’s *twinklysparklybeautiful*, but mostly it’s LOVE!
Whichever, though, these people, AND YOU, are all wonderful, amazing beings, capable of such incredible GOOD. And I’m convinced you’ve made at least SOME of it happen this week. So I made you a present to download and keep and splatter anywhere you want it seen. Because *I* think you’re marvellous.
Let’s all keep making this story more and more glorious, together, shall we?
Meantime,this is NOT The End – let’s have your thankfuls, shall we?