Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something I Learned

When my Grandfather died, I was 19 years old. My Grandfather had fled the Great Pogrom in Russia in 1905, walked to Bremmerhaven, Germany and got on a boat to America. I'm skipping a huge number of details to get to a point. He lived a very difficult life, yet I never heard him complain once.

At his funeral, people stood up and praised him in English, Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish. At his death, he had become a scholar, having retired from the City of New York as an accountant, he learned seven languages fluently besides his native Russian and English. What bothered me was that no one that was praising him had ever said anything as nice to him when he was alive. As some of you know, that was when I decided that I would start telling people to their face the nice things I felt, while they were alive.

It's why I send you all a note every now and then when I can.

Pool has a post about a hideous crime that happened in her small town. In the details of Pool's story is a prominent doctor who went to sleep with a wife and two daughters, and suffered a home invasion in the middle of the night, his wife was taken hostage to the bank at 9 am, and then strangled. Both daughters died when the house was burned. The doctor was tied and beaten, and left in the basement, barely escaping with his life.

The doctor could not have known the night before that he would never see his wife and daughters alive again. I know how I feel about the last time I saw my nephew. I hug my wife daily, and tell her I love her. I am no longer a light and nimble 40 year old even though I am in great shape. I just no longer believe that I'll be here forever, anymore.

I have heard more talk of the blogosphere being a 'virtual community' as if it isn't real, doesn't exist. My response is that the blogosphere may be virtual, but it is made up of real people, and they have real emotions, and they can always meet in real life and not be virtual anymore. The need not all meet, we can meet in ones and two also.

I tried to relate to what was now happening in society that was new was a loss of respect for each other. Blogging can be an antidote if we choose to be smart and we decide to care. Anyone have any thoughts?


AmyTree said...

The key is remembering that there is a real, actual person on the other side! It's quite easy to get caught up in the persona that's being put forward, especially without a face to attach it to - I even find that with people that I know in real life - words on a page take on their own special personality. It's back to the grade-school lesson 'do unto others' - even if you can't see who the others might be.

In these scary and turbulent times I think we as a society need all the help we can get, and if that comes about through blogging communities, so be it. I count the blogs I read as friends, and I check on them as I would check on my 'real' friends - I like to think they would check on me!

MJ said...

I agree with you 100 % I felt the very same way when I lost my grandma… why did we not tell her how much we loved her and how appreciated she was when she was alive… When I have had a bad day, week or month.. without fail there is always comforting words left in the comments that a fellow blogger has written to cheer me up.

M@ said...

Yes, I agree. Real people with real feelings. They may seem faceless but they're not.

cmhl said...

I have absorbed an incredible amount of support from these anonymous people I have never met--yourself included, CEO. it is an amazing medium.

Odat said...

"Live every day as if it's your last"....It's a shame that in a lot of circumstances it takes a tradgedy in our lives to make us realize that life's too short and we should tell those around us how much we care (or not, for that matter). Sometimes tho these tradgic moments live on in our hearts and it takes a lot of love from others to bring us back....and for some blogging does just that!!! Keep on trucking Monty, you're very sweet!

Anonymous said...

you are amazing at dropping notes. I suck at it. with the ones closest to me especially. I just hope my actions and not my words speak loudest.

I have found the blogosphere to be more supportive and respectful than a few people I do know. Wierd huh.

notfearingchange said...

Great post

heartinsanfrancisco said...

A very thoughtful and inspiring post.

Some of my blogger friends really do feel like friends, even though I have never seen their faces or shared a cup of coffee or a movie with them.

I think the blogosphere is quite remarkable in that it has allowed so many people the freedom to care about each other without artificial boundaries. Perhaps the relative anonymity makes it safer to disclose our truths and offer suggestions to each other, and we all benefit.

cassie-b said...

I love reading blog posts, and being let into a small part of someone's life. And when things happen to them, I almost always remember. And I say as many nice things to people as I can. If my thoughts aren't that good, I keep my opinions to myself.

Shibari said...

hello love ... thank you for sharing your life with us.
by the way i know not much your thing... but I am tagging you .. come by to see why

Glamourpuss said...

One of the greatest revelations and pleasures of blogging was the sense of community and support I encountered. I never expected it. I also never expected to make friends across the globe and to find, when I did finally meet them or talk to them on the phone, that they were indeed as lovely as they appeared to be in the blogosphere.


The CEO said...

Hi Amy, you are with friends.

MJ, it's always good to see you. I'm glad you're posting more.

M@, I can attest to the fact that you are real, and better looking than your picture.

CMHL, I want to grow up and be like you.

Odat, if I make it to New York, I'm buying lunch.

Pool, I am in touch with my female side. You, on the other hand, are a parent.

NFC, glad you liked it.

Hearts, I was asked by both MCI and then Reuters about electronic communities as we did research in my doc program with SPARC (Xerox's research campus) using something called the ARPAnet. We knew that communities would emerge because we did using e mail and file sharing. We never had a clue about blogs, or this level of interactivity.

Cassie-b, welcome aboard, and I hope that you come back again!

Shibari, it's always a pleasure seeing you. I tagged you too.

Puss, you make me want to go to England.

The Militant Gardener said...

Oh how we disconnect with one another. This world we live in so callous it seems. Yet, the "blogosphere" is one of the places that we do connect. I think it is wonderful about your grandfather. It reminds me of my father. He, like your grandfather, was honored in is passing by so many truly unique individuals. Perhaps, we forget, in our fast-paced society, that truly what makes a (wo)man is their unique VISION and the respectability that comes with pursuing it.

just my thought. thanks