An online life is a lot like a "real world" life. You meet good people, bad people, sweethearts and con-men, the amazing and the dangerous. I've been lucky in the folks I've met here.
Years ago, when I first started using a computer for more than keeping records and budgets and working from home, I met a man who is still a friend to this day. I was trying to untangle my genealogical tree that grew in some Rube Goldberg-invented forest. Drew helped teach me to sort through branches that had been tossed all over history. It was fun and I learned a lot. Never did untangle our family tree, but...
Since meeting Drew, I've met probably 8 or 9 people who really have made differences - good or bad - in my day-to-day life. Because of them, I've learned things - whether I agree with what I learn or not. They have given me new ways of looking at parts of life I am familiar with, and have shined a light into corners I never knew were there. I "know" people I have never met who teach me, encourage me and tell me the truth about myself. They share their wisdom and insight and point of view.
My mother always loved this verse from the Bible:
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)
Like with so many things, the older I get, the more I understand of what my mother tried to teach me. Ten years ago, I didn't really understand what she was talking about when she tried to explain why it's important to open your heart to people. I understand it now. She wasn't talking about what I could do for them, she was trying to teach me what they could do for me.
This might be a physics thing, but I heard something interesting once about our individual impact on existence. Not any one of us can come into another person's life without having some sort of influence - minor or major. It's like touching the surface of a pond and starting a ripple. I find that very fascinating to think about.
I am not always a good person. I can be very selfish and vain and foul-mouthed and childish. For as flawed as I am, though, I have been lucky to "entertain" some really special people who happened to come into my orbit. (See? Modest too!)
Thanks, +Drew Williams +Sandy Sandmeyer +Alex Taller +Julia Hawkins
I don't mean, "Thank you" in a random, I-was-feeling-emotional-today kind of way. I mean, "Thank you," seriously. If I never hear from any of you ever again, you have started ripples somewhere on my mind or heart. That's a little corny, but I mean it.
There's more I could say about you guys, but, hey - the internet is only so big. I don't want my blog to use up all the room!
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