A brief but opinionated interlude... Those who say that blogs are over and that they never really connected people anyhoo are so missing the point.
Granted, I know very little about science blogs and political blogs. But I do like music, mama, religion, food, photography, and craft blogs. And then there's Cute with Chris. If you have yet to dive into the Cute with Chris experience, you have a life that is less funny, but with more free time. He is RIDICULOUSLY addictive. I'm not even providing the link for fear of being held responsible for your exposure to him.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Connections. So I am looking over the visits to the blog this week to see which of you are faithful visitors and who is just a poser. (Kidding.) (...Sort of.) And I realize that I recognize little blots on the world map. Some are long-time friends who are keeping up with the blog because I am notoriously bad about keeping in touch. (My misguided motto: If I lose a limb or win the Pulitzer, I'll call!) But several are people I have come to know solely through blogging - writers, ministers, parents, fellow onion ring fans.
I found this incredibly heartwarming. We don't know each other in the historical sense of human knowing, and yet, we are connected. I am not selling you anything. You are not demanding anything of me. Thanks to blogs we get to peek inside each other's heads for a little while. Sometimes that experience is foreign, other times we nod knowingly. And more often than I ever would have believed, I find myself learning something about the world, other people, and what we value in life.
Although somewhat anonymous and without direct contact, blogs can teach us a thing or two on how to interact in person. Being ourselves, admitting what we care about, showing that our typing skills aren't primo... I believe that this can be a healthy and meaningful way of connection. Listening, sharing, wondering - aren't these are some of the best aspects of being human? We can all use daily tutorials in being better at being.
Another lesson or perhaps question that has come out of blogging for me: I can't help but wonder how much of the difficulties of human interaction are caused by our unconscious prejudices that are brought forth by our vision. How many of my un-met blog friends would have connected with me if they had run into the full six feet tall, oddly dressed and coiffed reality that is me in person?
I followed a blog for months thinking it was written by an African-Canadian woman. Imagine my surprise to find it was a Philippino man. Suddenly his ability to eat huge meals (he included photos) and beat all his male friends in tennis wasn't as exciting for me. I have wondered ever since what that says about me and how I relate to people.
Blogging has been a powerful connecting force not only with long-time pals and strangers - I would be missing the hugest influence in my blogging if I did not give a quick thanks to all the UUs who read this blog. You have offered me more in your responses than I can ever offer you with my thoughts. Thanks to you, I am able to go deeper in my own learning and teaching. Ours is a powerful connection in my life and I feel so fortunate.
Hmmm... I just read back over this and it sounds like I am about to retire or die or something. Really - I was just looking at the map and thinking. And for once the server didn't go down.
Word to my sister who is a recent Auspicious Jots reader. When are we doing karaoke again?