Today 1000 plus bloggers will join their voices talking about compassion. My voice will be amongst them. I wanted to write something profound, but nothing came to me. I wanted to write something that might spark change, but my mind went blank. There are so many places where compassion is lacking – the way we treat refugees, the way we treat the mentally ill, the way we treat people who might look or act differently, the way we treat our earth, the way we treat our elders, the way we treat the original caretakers of our country, the way we treat ourselves: the list is seemingly endless. Compassion is something that is so sorely needed in so many arenas. But somewhere I see so much compassion is within the blogging community.
There are blogs that have compassion at their very centre – blogs that reach out to the broken-hearted, the disenfranchised, the marginalised and the misunderstood. Blogs that offer safe spaces and the relief of unspoken feelings articulated. Blogs that use the power of the internet – the contraction of distance – to connect people with similar experiences and like minds.
There are bloggers that write with fierce passion about areas that need our compassion. Who bring light to issues that would otherwise remain obscured. The mainstream media in Australia has a narrow focus and an even narrower perspective. Within the blogging community, there are those that are bringing important issues into focus. I think this is such an important aspect to social media in general. And whilst some may call it electronic graffiti, I see real people inspiring real change.
The food bloggers, the artistic bloggers, the tutorial bloggers, the bloggers that reveal their heart – all of them are generously putting kindness back into the world. There are some blogs you read that simply restore your faith in humanity. There are some blogs that encourage you do things you might not have otherwise tried. There are bloggers that create projects that allow you to be a part of something bigger. I see compassion and a strong desire to make the world better in all of it.
A blogger had to be away from her blog for a while but she was scared to leave it without content. People came forward and offered to mind her blog for her – to feed it with guest posts whilst she was away. Within the blogging social groups, there is kindness and advice exchanged in equal measure. There are online friends that rally around those going through dark places. When the sucky blog things happen – trolls, copy cats and hackers – Oh My! – other bloggers come to the rescue, with advice, encouragement and virtual cups of tea.
When we first began our foray into the world of blogging with a capital B, it was overwhelming to realise just how large the blogosphere was. I was half expecting to be told “Party’s full – bugger off”. But the blogging community welcomed us with open arms and kind words. When we did the Blog with Pip course, we expected to learn things about blogging, we didn’t expect to be a part of a close-knit online community of compassionate and creative hearts.
We often hear about the negative online experience. We are warned against bullying, identity theft and online predators. The online news is often tragic, with bad news more attractive click-bait than it’s uplifting counter-part. Popular articles about blogging alternately herald its death, make it out to be online blood sport or describe it as waste of time. In amidst that negativity, it’s nice to reflect on the goodness that is occurring within the blogging community. The compassionate hearts. The brave souls. The voices that promote discussion and open our eyes to new ways of seeing things. A community that has reminded me what kindness is all about.