I’ve been awarded the “Thoughtful Blogger Award” by Jolly Roger at Reconstitution 2.0. JR said the most lovely thing:
Virus Head is one of the most gracious people I’ve encountered in my years of blogging. She has a gentle patience that almost makes me feel bad for the chainsaw approach I take to some of my more notable commenters. I DON’T feel bad, of course, but seeing her way stops me dead in my tracks from time to time.
For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.
This means a lot to me, all the more so because at times I really have to struggle to maintain civility. It is very comforting for me to know that some readers notice (and care) that I try to be as gracious and understanding as I can (even when provoked). I don’t always succeed. It is very tempting for me to give in to my flair for a kind of wicked wit; it’s fun! I enjoy argument more than dialogue, and I really, really enjoy winning an argument. It’s true. What can I say?
When the urge comes, I try to remember that I can’t see the person, so I miss all sorts of nonverbal cues in the communication. I can’t adjust my rhetoric or style when I am missing vital information. I can’t add a smile or convey a sense of irony. Words on the page come across differently. You can’t broadcast the tone of voice, the facial expression.
People are also at all sorts of levels in different areas. They are from all sorts of backgrounds, and a wide range of personal, community, and cultural experience. You have to take people where they are to get anywhere… if it’s worth bothering at all. Online, it is sometimes difficult to get much of a sense of where someone might really be “coming from.”
It’s the teacher in me that usually wins the battle over my inner debater and warrior. Sometimes it’s a strain. I can get a little derisive from time to time. But I think less of myself when I do.
So – thanks, Jolly Roger. The admiration of a pirate is a wondrous thing.
Yes, this is another of those “Create-a-network” meme awards. You can link this back to me if you wish, you may choose to name others, or not. It’s up to you.
Can I toss it back in your general direction, JR? I am so glad to have met you online.
Todd at Postcards from Hell’s Kitchen is my earliest blogger contact on the net. He gets out there and explores everything there is. He is kind and caring and witty and very gracious.
Maria has a MySpace blog. She is a doll (I mean that in the good way). I first encountered her through the site Women Evolving. I can’t find it on the net anymore, but I used to visit the site years ago to be refreshed. She’s so very sweet and kind it almost kills me sometimes. We are contemporaries from Massachusetts, but we’ve never met.
Actually, I’ve never met anyone on this list. If I were to list people I knew, the list would be unmanageable.
Vance’s Meditations on an Eyeball illustrate the value of quality over quantity. He wrestles with difficult religious and philosophical questions. His posts are somehow both opinionated and open. In correspondence, he is a thoughtful and gracious writer. I’m putting him on the list because I hope that he will get more comments on his blog and have more of a chance to let his inner hospitality shine.
Don at Life Cycle Analysis posts on environmental change, archaeology, and human interactions with the environment. He always gets a fair number of comments. Here’s a “moonbat” who rises above it all (note the url of the blog – I know that “moonbat” is meant to be an insulting word to signify a crazy liberal, but I love the sound of the word). His blog has some interesting things you won’t see elsewhere.
Some of the most thoughtful kind people I’ve encountered online don’t blog at all, or not much.
For example, Elainna is a long-time online friend and Care2 buddy (her site is The Wild Side). She is a tireless worker for spirituality, the environment, progressive politics, and a host of other causes. I get a whole bunch of leads from her on petitions to sign, letters to write, news to read, things to do. She is always gracious and caring, and I am rather fond of her.
Dennis doesn’t post very often at his blog, but he does post at his Care2 group Love, Tolerance, and Ridiculous Stuff. Do you really want to see the thoughtful and hospitable response? He’s got it down to a science. I think he even means it.