Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friends, networking, and helping

Every once in a while, I will I will post on Twitter or Facebook something about "It's all about networking". I have truly been blessed to reach out and find old friends, family and new friends. Some of these people I see weekly, some I haven't seen for years and decades, and others I have never met. I am so grateful for these friends.

Some of the postings are funny, some are sad, some are angry and some are cries for help. The networking is a good thing; you can get and give suggestions for places to eat, services needed, or even make connections to run races together, go shopping or ride motorcycles. We can share pictures and videos, jokes and concerts.

Sometimes the jokes don't make sense, at least not to me, and sometimes an opinion gets shared that you don't agree with, or someone doesn't agree with yours. It's all good - it's LIFE!

Sometimes the mean people or haters come out. Most often the haters are people that have a voice simply because they have a venue to use. They validate their opinions and denigrate yours they same way they would control an in person conversation - they "shout" (all caps) and they repeat their words to overwhelm you with their own logic. The worst ones that I've dealt with are the ones demanding some kind of tolerance for their particular "whatever" but refuse to to allow you your own opinion.

Really? I have to accept and even approve of your ideal but you get to sit there and tell me mine is just wrong?

Every once in a while, I have been lucky to converse with someone who decides to be brave enough to share something personal with me. Sometimes funny, sometimes angry and sometimes pain. A handful of days ago I was blessed to be able to talk with someone about some pain they were holding. I hope I helped. I hope that I was able to provide some sort of relief and comfort.

I know I would like to thank them for trusting me enough to share something personal.

I'm not going to user her name, suffice to say they she falls into the category of "known her for decades, haven't talked for years". I can say that I've got some kindred feelings with her. She'd been hurt by someone in her family previously and was the unfortunate recipient of continued pain from the mistreatment by this person. I went through the same thing, but I've already written about that in another blog. Read it there if you want, I'd prefer that the focus here is on my friend.

She reached out one night with a post on Facebook. I misunderstood what she posted initially, I blame it on being tired, could be I'm a little slow. We posted comments for a few minutes then went private to have a more personal conversation. As she spoke about what was really going on, I offered what small comfort I could, commiserated with her, and was just there for her. Well, electronically there for her.

I'd like to think that she got something more out of it than just typing late one night. And if you're reading this now, know that I still offer an ear, a shoulder, or even just yell at me to vent.

I'd also like to ask anybody that DOES read this to please watch, please be aware that sometimes what people post on Facebook and Twitter is an attempt to say that they are hurting. Maybe they are just lonely, maybe they are just dealing with a moment of stress. Maybe, as with the other night, they are venting to release some pain.

I firmly believe that we are charged with serving one another, helping as we can, and offering what we are able to. We volunteer for things that are important to us. Please, when you find yourself in a position to offer, volunteer to help a friend.

And, to my friend, I care. I hope you are finding a way to heal. I hope I helped.