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.
9 Replies to “[Insert Awesome Post Here]”
You made me laugh, and that’s definitely was definitely paying it forward. Thanks, CJ! ;_
By the way, that was supposed to be a wink. 😉
Thanks for the clarification!
Thanks! And thanks for the inspiring blog post. I’ve been lurking on Live Your Bliss for more than a year, and I when I saw your post and how well it fits in with what’s going on for me right now, I knew I wanted to share it!
Stay safe! You’re in my thoughts.
Thanks, CJ. I’m now lurking on your blog, so consider yourself lurked.
Announcement coming up on LYB today or tomorrow…
Actually, this is a pretty awesome post. One of the things that kind of nags me is that I have so many on-line distant friends, but have made so few friends locally since we moved here. I see the need for both, one, as you say, “as inspiration for relationship building . . . “, and the other as the real time connections in everyday life.
Thanks for this awesome post! 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Cecelia. Yes, I, too, find myself fairly isolated friend-wise since our move. Even the people I know here are difficult to visit in person either due to scheduling or because we’re all so spread out across the region. It’s a tough thing.
Sounds like a good idea!
LOL what happened to you with this blog post happened to me yesterday morning with a story I am writing. I wasn’t very happy. Even now, I am thinking about the elements I thought would work so awesomely together, that would combine to make an INGENIOUS idea, and I can’t figure out what made me think it would ever work…. Things are working now, but for a while, it was pretty hairy!
But i like your idea of cultivating compassion this way.
Yes, that is definitely my most frustrating type of writing experience. It’s how it used to feel when I would try to draw something in my mind and it would never turn out like I imagined it. I’m glad to hear you worked through it, though. I just quit drawing, which works, too, but isn’t quite as satisfying.
And I do want to be clear that Leigh at Live Your Bliss is the one with the idea for cultivating compassion like this. Except for the nagging my siblings part. That’s all me. I’m fairly certain I invented it. (And I think my siblings would agree.)