Blogging is a civilizing process

To the uninitiated, bloggers may seem like tiny vessels adrift in a vast, indifferent sea of strangers. Strangers, yes, but not indifferent or uncaring. Every one of us dreams of life as it could be or seeks answers to the problems we face daily.

We can reach out and instantly touch each other’s lives in this high tech age.  It is a measure of our need for companionship that we form strong bonds with people thousands of miles away but as close to us as family in our mutual needs and dreams.

With the magic of our publishing platforms, we post our ideas, our fears, our most heartfelt wishes where unsleeping search engines find them and make them available to our unknown friends and soulmates in this shrinking world community we live in.

This network, this protocol-bound agreement we call the internet,  transforms all that partake of it. We can reach anyone, anywhere, if we ask the right questions or provide the right answers.

The basic building block of society is the group which is small
enough that each member has a voice in it and is recognized for what
they can contribute. When this exists, there is a sense of community
and a common purpose and the group is supported by the actions of its
members. Individuals form into small groups in order to interact
effectively with the rest of society.

In this new age of the internet, these small groups are no longer
tied to geographical boundaries. Our dearest friends, those who share
our daily triumphs and struggles, may live on an island off the coast
of Spain, or in an embattled land that is struggling to chart a course
where people now have rights that never existed before.

We discover the commonality of our hopes and fears as we see our
distant friends face the same travails and triumphs as we do. Their
marriages fail or flourish as ours have done, their children make wise
or terribly unwise decisions as ours have done, and we grieve and
rejoice in turn as we see their lives unfold.

We indulge is lighthearted foolishness and share laughter and
delight with people from a world away who are closer than our families
in some cases. We rush to share our daily triumphs with friends around
the planet. One of my dear internet friends related today that she
couldn’t go to sleep until she put her chicken on the internet. She
would not end her day until she had shared pictures and descriptions of
a fantastically successful recipe.

We search for meaning in life and find others who have insights that
we need. We struggle to express ourselves and find those who encourage
our tentative and fumbling efforts. We seek advice on making a living
and we find many who are willing to share their hard-won experience.

We lash out at those we despise and find that we are sorely
uninformed. We pass along some juicy gossip and find that we have our
facts wrong. We learn from these encounters and eventually find a wiser
way to proceed.

We begin to see that open communication is a civilizing process. It
is increasingly hard to hate someone when you know what forces drive
them to do desperate or unwise deeds. Your own thoughts go toward
solutions rather than senseless attacks.

Those that don’t respond to communication are stuck in a constant
outflow of invective. We avoid them as we would avoid a vehicle with
its horn blaring.

We discover others who share our delight in expressing ourselves. We
discover others who can help us find meaningful work to support
ourselves. After a while, we find we can help others in turn and this
brings new meaning to our lives.

Work, play, life transformations of all kinds are facilitated by our
connecting up with others. Blogging is not the only way, but is is one
which is most conducive to long relationships.

In the future, blogs may be as common as cell phones. No telling where it will lead.

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0 Responses to Blogging is a civilizing process

  1. Michel Ickx says:

    How absolutely true. I hit upon your blog looking for Serendipity in Google. Then, on to the Chernobyl Blog. Thanks to you.
    I shall come back to Ripples without any doubt.
    Besides that Typepad is alos a family.

  2. David, when I started my blog back in September last year, I did it primarily as a way to get some ideas out of my head. In other words, I did it for ME. But a funny thing happened along the way…I found other kindred souls along the way. I’ve been amazed at the new connections I’ve made with people right here in Virginia as well as on the other side of the world. And not just casual acquaintances either, but deep and meaningful relationships with truly lovely people.

    Sometimes the best blessings are those that surprise us.

  3. Sean says:

    david–your thoughts today are spot-on in terms of communication being a civilizing thing. i have come to find that knowing there is an audience, even if small and occasional, forces me to rethink what i post, review what i think, decide what to share, reflect a little bit more. in addition i judge myself and my writing less critically than before. i find that i’m wanting to write more about place recently and about my perspective on this small corner of southwest virginia and that has value for me and perhaps for some others who stop by. keep on sharing your thoughts david–thanks.

  4. Carrie says:

    Cripes don’t I know it. Public flogging happening over at my place. Feel free to join in 😉 lol

  5. Rosa Say says:

    David, what a joyful and optimistic message for this Valentine’s Day!

    Reading Ripples always brings pleasure to my day, and this message is one that I am printing and tacking up on the bulletin board above my desk.

    My aloha to you and your readers,
    TITLE: Weekend Learning Links on Business Values: Vol. 2.
    BLOG NAME: Talking Story with Say Leadership Coaching
    DATE: 02/26/2005 06:30:30 AM
    A few days ago I asked where you get your inspiration from these days: Grab some inspiration and tip the scales. If you consider yourself a student of business, get inspired by some of these headlines. Then, click in, and
    TITLE: Blogging Has Stopped Change
    BLOG NAME: The Catalyst
    DATE: 02/14/2005 02:34:57 PM
    Over at Ripples this morning David St Lawrence wrote that blogging offers us a voice within our communities; a place to speak up, be heard, engage in conversation and form new relationships based on ideas and interest. I so much agree with David and …

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