It is Thanksgiving Eve here in the states and I, like so many others, have much to be thankful for. Health, family, a career I love, a house that isn’t going into foreclosure, new energy in the country after the elections….I could go on and on.
Tonight is a night that many of us are focusing on preparing a feast for our loved ones. I should be making pie crust and pondering the intricacies of the vegetable dishes I’m preparing.
But I’m not. Tonight I’m glued to Twitter, watching real-time updates of the situation in Mumbai, and alternately cringing in horror at what is going on over there and marveling that I can be so up to date on it through the power of social networking. People on the scene are tweeting, people in other parts of Mumbai are tweeting, people are aggregating news from TVs and other sources and tweeting. It is citizen journalism at its finest, and it is beating out any other media source for real-time news.
What’s happening in Mumbai is shocking and horrible beyond imagining. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is affected and to all of India.
But in an odd, strange way, the reaction on Twitter tonight gives me hope. Terrorism and evil breeds in hidden, dark places and citizen journalism shines a light on those dark places so that the rats and vermin have to scatter. Physicists say that all matter changes just by being observed. Social networking, at its finest, has the capacity to change matter and more by virtue of the fact that everyone is paying attention now.
Global is now truly local. General is specific. The universal is in the details.
Join with me in sending prayers, or positive thoughts, or good wishes for the people in Mumbai. And let’s all be grateful for what we have on this Thanksgiving Eve, okay?
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
This is a funny confession, but technology inspires me both creatively, and spiritually.
I used to live in a tiny bubble that was comprised of my immediate neighborhood, my city, occasional forays to other cities. Now, thanks to technology, I’m connected to a vast web of people, through my blog, email, and social networking. I’ve got ghostwriting clients in LA, students in Nashville, and friends all over the world. People say technology is the death of intimacy, but I say the opposite.
There’s no escaping it–we’re all connected. Quantum physicists tell us that everything we do impacts even the tiniest atoms of matter. Technology proves this to me, over and over again, every day. Because I have physical evidence of our interconnections through technology, it is much, much easier for me to believe it in a spiritual manner.
As above, so below, the ancients say. As technology, so spirituality.
Geez, things change in an instant. David Cook is no longer the front-runner to be the next American Idol (but I still think he should be, because he has way more artistic integrity than the pipsqueak David Archuleta and I voted for him a gazillion times anyway) and suddenly the TypePad interface is completely different. Cool, but completely different. It always takes me awhile to embrace changes like these.
The above was the Change is Scary part of this post. Now we get to the important part–the Praise is Good part. The wonderful Lori devoted an entire blog post to me today. (Pause for applause, please–I found the new make a link button and guess what? You can now open it in a new window.)
Lori won the contest I held awhile back and at first she was going to take a free coaching session as her prize but then she decided to take me up on my offer of reading the first 20 pages of her novel. It was an absolute pleasure to read her work but I always hold my breath a little after I deliver a critique. When I read a writer's work I do my utmost to be scrupulously honest and also supportive and encouraging.
The MFA program I attended operated on the principle that a supportive environment is just as good, if not better, at turning out fine writers than a harshly critical one and I like to uphold those values in my own teaching. However, what might seem supportive and encouraging and honest to me might read as scathing to you–particularly if you are not used to have your work critiqued.
My most favorite response to a critique is when someone says that it inspired them to get back to the project with renewed vigor and that is what Lori said today. So I'm basking just as much as Lori is today–its what makes this work I do worthwhile.
Let me also mention the other winners of the contest. Lauri also sent me the first chapter of her novel and it was great, too. I don't know what it is with the talented Lauri/Loris who read this blog, but I'm grateful for them.
And finally, I owe Jen and BellaVida coaching sessions. Email me, you guys!