|Universal Symbol of Compassion|
On January 10, 2012, this blog was introduced as “The Reluctant Blogger” and I thought the name summed up its existence rather well. I was reluctant. I had been encouraged to start blogging as a way of marketing myself and my books, but it wasn’t appealing to me because I never thought anyone would care to read what I had to say. In a sea of bloggers with a multitude of opinions on just about everything, how could I compete? I felt I’d probably sink, not swim, because content was more important than simply saying you had a blog. You needed readers. Plus, consistency was relevant, too. So reluctantly I waded in, setting a goal of at least one post per month and never believing it would last past the first year.
Sometimes I surprise myself. Here I am five years later, still hanging around with things to say. I’ve met and in some months surpassed the monthly posting minimum; finding topics to write about has gotten a little easier. Being able to share the posts on social media has garnered a nice amount of readers, and I’m very happy I didn’t give up. “The Reluctant Blogger” ceased to exist some time ago, and the title is simply my name.
I’m also happy that I didn’t take the blog into the direction I was considering. I have strong opinions about things, and there were times that I felt sharing them on a blog would be the perfect outlet. Given the current climate of opinions that are expressed on Facebook alone, I’m glad I didn’t take that route. Eclectic, varied, and safe are good ways to describe this place and that’s how I intend for it to remain. No themes are in the works either.
Speaking of that current climate, however, I will say this: words are important. How and how often they are used are relevant, too. We benefit from utilizing such words as ‘Thank you’, ‘Please’, ‘Excuse me’, and ‘I’m sorry’. Use them and use them often. I remember once being told by a server in a restaurant that I was the most grateful person she had ever encountered. This came after about the fifth ‘thank you’ I had given her for simply bringing something to the table. “Thank you,” I replied. That made her laugh, but I was serious. These basic responses are key to building values; and values allow for kindness, compassion, and courtesy. And we need these things now more than ever.
So be kind. Be thoughtful. Stop categorizing and judging. We’re a complicated lot, with many shades and backgrounds that make us tick. Respect that. And if you want respect, you have to give it. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and hold yourself to the same standards you expect in others. Be accountable. It’s important to have opinions; it’s not okay to express them by hurting others or justifying them by being contradictory. And while I don’t think any of us should feel entitled, I do believe everyone is deserving of the basic necessities of life. Know the difference. Work hard and set goals. Humility is a strength, not a weakness.
Finally, I didn’t know where I was going with this blog post. Usually I’ll work on a piece for a few days before posting it, but I realized last night that today was the fifth anniversary. If what you’re reading sounds a little convoluted or “preachy”, it’s because the post was written quickly to make the date. It really is a moment of musings. My apologies.
Thank you (there are those words again) for reading what I have to say here. It isn’t much, but I try to make it a little interesting.
Onward and peace to all.