Saturday, August 06, 2005

6 hours later, I went to bed.

If this keeps up I'm going to have to ditch the total bastard image.

Doc Ell told me something a couple of weeks ago which stopped me in my tracks and I've been giving it a bit of thought. Why do I do the things I do? Frankly, because I enjoy it. Why I enjoy it is what seems to be at issue here. He's a bright cookie, the Doc, but it's the time he's willing to spend with others for which I really respect him.

I do it because knowing I can make someone else feel a little bit better also makes me feel good. To me it's just natural human behaviour, community spirit without the draining effects of altruism. I get on the net to interact. If that interaction means more to some than the usual banal chit-chat, then so be it. I feel I've achieved something, even though the only benefit I get out of it, my recompense as it were, is just to see the person with whom I've interacted has come away from it with something more than just a few wasted minutes. It's the mutual growth and the learning that drives me. People underestimate the intrinsic value of learning. Our instinct to learn is only equalled by our instinct to survive. We crave it. It's better than sex and I'm not saying that to be funny, I'm saying it because it's true. It's also better than food. Even infants will put off eating if they're fully engaged in some intellectual pursuit.

Do I learn from what I do? What I do certainly makes me think. If I'm offering something to someone, it has to be right and it has to be reasonable. It has to be real and putting all that into words is not easy. The wrong word can ruin the entire sentiment of the message and that makes me think very very carefully about what I'm saying. I do it because I enjoy it. If someone else gets something out of it, that's a bonus. I want those bonuses so that's why I do what I do with great care.

Someone left a message to say I was wise. That also struck me. I hadn't considered myself wise since my teen years and that's nearly half my lifetime ago. Now I just consider myself as having learned from experience. If that defines wise then so be it. I suppose someone who doesn't learn from experience is a fool, but consider this:

Some people don't take kindly to what I do. Even though I put my whole heart and soul into it, I stand to be attacked and people don't generally hold back on the internet. If they don't agree with what you're doing or suspect your motives, they give you merry hell. Sometimes that hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. How wise is it to repeatedly set myself up for that? And I do. When I do what I do, it's really me people are seeing. What I do, I do with love and I've no doubt that comes through. (It sure as shit shows when I'm tearing strips off some lying scrote or ignorant toerag.)

Of course some people don't come to the internet for that and having it arrive by the bucketload can be the last thing they want. I know it's not something I particularly enjoy getting lumped with. I neither need it nor want it. Sometimes I manage to get the approach right - humour is often the best way - and I think I'm astute enough to get it right most of the time. I sure get to hear about it if I'm not but that's ok.

Since I resumed this blog on pretty much a daily basis, I have been blessed to meet nearly 30 people I would be proud to call friends. Which is not to say those I considered friends before are no longer, of course they are. They're just moving in different circles from the ones in which I am presently moving.

Doc Ell also gave me another pertinent bit of advice which today I finally got around to taking. It took me longer than I imagined it would to come up with a solution, but I think the result is ok. I'll run it by the Doc at some stage this weekend or maybe early next week.

I haven't been as contented as I am at present in a long time. That is due in large part to Doc Ell and Liz whom I don't think quite realises how much I treasure her friendship and Doc Ell whose comings and goings restored the balance after I became so unbalanced upon seeing that infamous blog which shall still remain nameless here. (Feelings of vengefulness are a fine thing if taken in moderation.)

Anyway, that's my bit of bloggery for now. It's early afternoon here in Melbourne, this city I love so much. It's the middle of winter and again, the sky is mostly blue with fluffy white clouds skipping briskly by in the fresh south westerly breeze. The sun is streaming through the windows, my headphones are on, my coffee cup is about to be replenished, the dog will sleep for another 45 minutes and all is unbelievably well in my world right now.


Eff said...

Is this the Liz I think it could be or a different Liz?

I have been thinking, too, about my place in the world of internet interactions, and I often do not know what to think about people's comments about me.

You say someone called you wise, and that is a nice thing to read and hear, and it is probably better to read it, since anytime a person calls someone that and intends sarcasm, it is less noticeable in text than in audio. I have had similar compliments. I have been told things, negative and positive about myself. I am glad most were positive. But if I had to choose, although at the time I might be hurt, I would almost surely want to hear the negative over the positive reviews. Positive comments imply the person giving them has an interest in what you have to say. Often, at least in my case, it is one compliment after another followed by nothing. I mention my blog or a community I am in, and they almost never follow up. I can understand that some cannot contribute as much as I hope. I even know specifically why in some cases. But what is so bothersome about it is that it indicates insincerity on their part. I do not expect someone that thinks I am an idiot to read my comments in various places, and I would not care to read what they have to say if they cannot be civil. I even understand random people not looking deeper into a person's words after they compliment him. But, for when it is long known friends that compliment you, why do it if you are not worthy of five more minutes of time?

Rat said...

Yep, it's our Tart.

The young lady who called me wise was unknown to me even two weeks ago. Building connections takes effort on all sides. I wouldn't expect anyone to hover around my output and make comments if I were not prepared to do likewise.

Thus, I saved their sites in my favourites so I can go through them all one by one and comment where I see fit.

Communities are not happy hunting grounds for that sort of thing. For example, going to P&A, I go there because of the stuff that's there. I don't go there necessarily to be drawn away from there. When I read your blog, it's because I'm reading 40 or more at a time and yours is fairly high on the list. But consider how long we've known each other and how recently it was you discovered this blog.

I built my first peer group by meeting people in chatrooms because while the chat waxes and wanes, people will then go and look at your stuff, come back to the room and tell everyone else and your stuff becomes the topic of conversation for a while. People get involved and they have a mutual topic of conversation. That doesn't happen in comms.

The other thing is, what interests you or I from one week to the next might not be what is interesting to others from week to week. It's just pot luck.