Why be disappointed or complain at the duck who quacks at you? It isn't as if you didn't know they were a duck.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
In 2009, on a weird, wild hair of a whim, I decided to try Twitter. Someone mentioned it on television and in a moment of curiosity, I decided why not. In my early hours, everything I tweeted was fraught with peril. I had become E. F. Hutton, when Angela tweets, the world listens.
Which, of course, it does not.
I couldn’t tell you how long it took me to realize the core emptiness of the internet, but it didn’t take long before I was writing things like this:
We create blogs and websites; tweet on Twitter; share what’s on our minds on Facebook and our status and moods on MySpace. All of which is simply yelling into the internet vacuum, “Can you see me?”
“The Internet vacuum.” I had come to a self agreement of safety on the internet. Really I could be myself, say what I want, share what I want. No one is listening anyway.
On September 14, 2008, while at Disney’s California Adventure, I tried on a pair of goggles in the shop across from “Soarin.” Noticing me, a friend snapped the most fleeting of snapshots of me. It is a blurry shot and almost never happened at all. It had just the right amount of fun and anonymity to make it my perfect avatar. I used it on Twitter and every other internet site I’ve joined ever after and have seldom deviated for more than a requested hour or two.
Here’s the thing, though, just when I decided no one pays attention. No one cares. Someone did.
The person I now consider the love of my life saw that avatar on blip.fm and it caught his interest to want to learn more about me. He read my stories at writing.com. He read my blog at blogger. I could walk you through the ins and outs of how the relationship built, when I realized I lam in love with him. I could try to explain to you what is essentially the unexplainable. Instead I will say simply this:
Posting a blurry snapshot of myself on the internet created a domino effect in my life that has led to me falling in love with the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.
To quote Shakespeare: “There are more things possible in heaven and earth . . . . .than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
I have had living proof of the impossible being possible in my life.
I have had proof we live in one world rather than the 196 the world’s countries would lead you to believe. That guy who saw my picture and read my writing? Did I mention we aren’t from the same country? Did I mention we live not only 6500 miles apart, but at our best we are 21 hours apart and 23 hours at our worst. When we talk, via Skype, from out of own countries, we aren’t even living the same calendar date.
Perhaps instead of the big vacuum where fragile egos struggle to be heard, perhaps the internet is like a large body of water. Throw enough rocks or just one large one and you create enough ripples someone just may notice on the opposite shore. Perhaps the ripples will still happen even if you don’t believe in rocks, bodies of water or ripples. Perhaps someone will notice even if you believe no one is watching.
This is your chance. Watch the Invisible Children video and see if you don’t want to throw a metaphorical rock or two, by means of the Kony 2012 action kit, out into the world.
Near the end of the video, Jason Russell makes a brave promise.
"The better world you've waited for is coming."
Meanwhile memes across the internet proclaim it a joke. I posted the one below myself.
I should explain. You see, my country, America, has been in one damned war or another my entire life. Until September 11th, none were particularly marketed as anything protecting my safety or really any one else’s. Strong arguments can be made they were all simply about money. It seemed to me, before I was born Americans had a modicum of respect in the world, but by the time I was old enough to understand the question, I was pretty sure the answer is that we are hated.
I mean, we are the world’s biggest butt-in-ski’s. We pick sides all over the world, choose “allies” to be part of our team, and then fight the world’s battles. Sometimes it is a bit much to stomach. I mean, consider “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” According to the hierarchy, man’s needs begin at the physiological level, in other words, the things a person needs to simply stay alive. It is only after those basic needs are filled that humans can extend out and consider safety, love/belonging, esteem, and finally, self-actualization, or, morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. It always seemed to me that if a human being can’t even begin to think about solving the worlds problems until AFTER all of his other needs are met, you would think a government would be the same.
America herself would seem to still have enough problems we aren’t quite ready speak on anyone else’s.
It is that internet relationship which opened my eyes a little. I’ve seen my share of “Ugly American” assumptions across the internet. I’ve seen Americans be ugly and people of other countries assume that they will be. He and I weren’t part of that. He and I formed a bridge despite all bigoted, prejudicial assumptions. Where I cringed and saw a country with feet of clay, he praised it, talking of how quickly and thoroughly Americans come to the rescue in times of disaster. Where I was weary of being the citizen of the country seemingly determined to be the world’s police, he taught me the words to the theme of “Team America” and lightened my load. When I was skeptical, he presented the postulate, “what if sometimes the world DOES need police? What if sometimes America does get it right?” While I was posting negative memes about overthrowing a dictator by hitting “like” on Facebook, he watched the video and encouraged me to do the same.
Watch the video.
If there ever was a chance for America “to get it right,” this is it.
Help bring Joseph Kony to justice in 2012.
Watch the video. Take each and every action you can stir yourself to making. Each action is a pebble thrown in that water. Each action could be the outward edge of a ripple that makes a difference.
The better world you waited for is coming.
Bring Joseph Kony to justice in 2012. We achieve that and just imagine what we might attempt in 2013.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I’m watching Idol and Jimmy and Mary J. Blige are explaining a moment with one of the contestants. She had been running towards the big note in a song, kind of like an ice skater headed for a triple jump. Mary J told her not to anticipate the note. Sing everything up to it, forget about it, feel the song. The girl sang it again taking her advice and truth clicked in her perception and awareness. She got it. For a moment, she held the secret. But come time for the performance, she choked. She lost the leap of faith the task required.
Jennifer told her “There’s nothing in that song you can’t do. So why think about it? Just tell the story.”
Immediacy. I think I learned that what they all were talking about was that singers, really great singers, don’t just sing. They feel what they are singing. It is their truth, their pure emotion that floats the fire on the oil of their words.
That’s the secret. Even though a book out there has held the title for ages, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.” As usual, probably too many focused on the word “money” to really get the message.
Do what you love.
Accept no substitutes. This life doesn’t go on forever. It isn’t so it will pass more pleasantly or smoothly. It is your connectivity. It is your purpose. What you love is what you will do well. What you do well is what you contribute. The more people who are living at this level, the more beautiful the world, the greater the potential.
We are not living at our potential.
If there were a God, he would weep.
I imagine the world set off like a perpetual motion machine. Perfect. Synchronized. When was it then, some human took the first mis-step? When did they shift the motion to emit this clanging?
Fear and anger. Hate and racism.
If makes me afraid. Once something in perpetual motion gets moving, particularly out of sync, isn’t the end result destined to be everything running off the tracks? Falling to oblivion? How could we possibly love enough to provide the nudge to shift the momentum? How to shift so many people who don’t even speak the same language to be told how they’ve lost their boundaries?
Labeled as freak somewhere akin to Christian but with less credibility, your message would go unheard.
But instinctually, don’t you know it as truth? Mechanical things that fit together work smoothly, almost as if they are happy with each other. Almost as if they are doing what they love. There is no resistance. Smooth like a newly graphited lock.
We’re so mystified. Bewildered. We can’t even begin to tell you what it is that we love. Who it is we love. Surely what I love must be what that guy over there said he loved. Yeah, I’ll have what he’s having. I’ll value what he’s having. I want mine. Settling for someone else's dream, yet wondering why they are never happy. Shoving goods into the torn patches, those empty clumps missing their stuffing.
The minute it isn’t about the rewards, the rewards will come. That same minute you would do it for free just to be able to do it.
That’s what I think that girl on American Idol learned in that moment.