Celebrations in Virtual Communities
Currently teaching Nursing Care in the Communities to nurses working on achieving their B.S.N. degrees, I am reminded of the many communities that form our life tapestry:
Family - school - church - work - social groups - volunteer efforts ...to name a few, not even including the physical neighborhoods / environments we have lived.
Wait...! How about the virtual communities that readers, writers, anyone with a technological device find themselves belonging to?
In fact, opportunities for employment, higher education and social play are plentiful, just for the looking, in the virtual world.
Neil Diamond: Girl You'll Be A Woman
My virtual reality
While admittedly cautious and slow in all things 'tekkie', I joined a virtual community three years ago called HubPages.
For me, it was like moving to a neighborhood and not understanding a thing about the demographics, climate, protocol, really anything to survive...kinda silly, huh?
I surely cannot imagine moving into a new home, taking on a new job, entering a school program, or joining a social group without doing a great deal of research into the community, the norms and the philosophy. Yet I signed on to HubPages like a trusting child running into a den of cobras.
Neil Diamond: I Am I Said
My virtual connection
Before I knew it, I had followers on this site. I admit at first it felt like being stalked...soon learning it was simply a matter of semantics.
In shift report as a new graduate nurse, I was told a patient had eloped. I got so excited, happy in fact, at the joyful news...!
The overworked, overweight and chagrined supervisor informed me the patient had escaped from the unit. I was simultaneously embarrassed and confused.
Today I tend to use words that mean what I think they mean - if you know what I mean...?!
To elope is to get married and to run away is to escape. And followers are acquaintances, if that. In fact, virtual friends are just as precious as our friends in reality and for me, just as few.
Sometimes, when you least expect it, someone touches you. You realize that you share both vulnerability and bravery with this person. You connect as effortlessly as peanut butter and jelly. You both love Neil Diamond's music and getting lost in gardening.
My 'peace' of reality
Neil Diamond: I'm Alive
"We know the rules of community; we know the healing effect of community in terms of individual lives. If we could somehow find a way across the bridge of our knowledge, would not these same rules have a healing effect upon our world? We human beings have often been referred to as social animals. But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail parties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task--our essential, central, crucial task--to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceed."
M. Scott Peck
The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace
Neil Diamond: Forever in Blue Jeans
My Virtual Twin
I cannot imagine a day for the last three years that Martie Coetser hasn't enriched my life.
With nerves of steel on the exterior and the innards of a marshmallow, Martie inspires me each and every day through her example, actions and ever salty mouth. I am proud to be her big Sista and reign her in -- not nearly as often as she would have you think!
I am forever proud of the subjects that Martie tackles in her writing. No issue is too controversial, yet every issue is written in a most honorable and objective manner.
Now, mind you, Martie serves quite often as my big Sista too. She is 'no holds barred' in telling me when to shape up or even to go easy on myself about the issue of the day. And in 100% of the situations, her counsel is sage and has helped me grow.
I can be myself with Martie, serious or silly as the situation warrants. I imagine what it would have been like growing up with her, while feeling as though I've known her my whole life. It is quite funny how often our daily moods match before we've even read each other's correspondence. In short, she is a 'true blue' jeans friend...!
And on this lovely Spring day, April 15th, I wish my Sista, Martie, a happy, healthy and perfectly beautiful birthday. May the gifts she gives so freely to me and all of those who love her be returned to her a million times over...
A Maple for Martie
Neil Diamond: Play Me
A virtual celebration
Break out the streamers, the balloons and virtual cake and ice cream (every flavor under the rainbow) on the house for Martie's big day! How wonderful there are no concerns about the calories or the cost when you stop on by...!
And my dear Sista, if there are already not enough reasons to celebrate your role in our community, then here are a few more:
O utspoken (in the best of ways)
Please take a moment to tell Martie what gift she has given you in the comment section.
Happy Spring to all and my love to Martie always, mar
© Maria Jordan (April, 2014)
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