This was going to be a really awesome post I’ve been planning since Sunday. But when I sat down to write it tonight, I couldn’t figure out what my point was and worried that I was just meandering and complaining and perhaps even insulting some people unintentionally.
I was certain that I was going to link to this post on “Live Your Bliss” (entitled “When ‘Paying it Forward’ Really Matters”). That is an awesome post, and I had something really profound to say about it that worked in This American Life and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Oddly, when I sat down at the laptop tonight, the post didn’t really come together like I thought it would when I mentally drafted it in the shower this evening.
But here’s basically what I was trying to get at:
The “Live Your Bliss” post helped me realize that, while online connections and keeping in touch with geographically distant friends won’t help me feel connected to my local community (and won’t give me someone to have tea with on occasion), I can use my long-distance connections as inspiration for relationship-building, compassionate action in my everyday life.
I might not be able to take a meal to a sick friend in Utah, but I can take food to a neighbor here.
I can’t give a friend a ride to SFO, but I can drive a recent immigrant to the grocery store.
I can’t drive my mom (who lives 11 hours away by car) to her post-surgery doctor appointments or clean her house for her while she’s recovering, but I can nag my younger sister and brother to do more for her.
Okay, that last one wasn’t really a good example. But I’m confident that I’ll improve with practice.
And I might just have a stronger local community when all’s said and done.