Sunday, November 14, 2021

A Letter to Wales

 I have been reading "Counting Steps", Mark Charlton's tribute to the footsteps of life, and what I see, in a life so very different from my own is the similarities of it.

Today he posted Letter To America, Thank you, Mark for your kind thoughts, and for putting words to exactly why it is that I read blogs. 

Kindness is in rather short order in my corner of the world. Pick a topic, any topic, and you've got people who are screaming mad about it. Politics. Covid. Poverty. Education. God. Afghanistan. No matter what the topic, it will be debated hotly. Usually rudely. 

I am not averse to discussion. I think when you put your thoughts out there, you have to be prepared that there will be those who disagree with you and that is okay. Different points of view can be debated respectfully. Too often, it is not. It seems particularly bad where I live and I have lost friends (and family) over some issues. The issues will not be resolved. I don't understand rudeness. I don't understand why they believe that they deserve every blessing, while also believing that others should be deprived of the smallest of blessings. It is unjust and it is heartbreaking. 

And so I withdraw into my world of blogs and bloggers. 

There is unkindness there too. I don't understand commenters totally ignoring the blog post to snipe at each other. I don't understand people who blog controversial ideas and name call those people with different opinions or tell them to 'bugger off'. And trolls...what joy is there in attacking others for the sheer pleasure of causing hurt?

But in the end, I read stories about persistence, about staying the course, about the joys of life, about the things that they question. Some posts are funny. Some quite serious. Some are ordinary. Some are extraordinary (imagine hearing that someone was married right after John and Yoko!)  Some are as well written as any philosophy, some are more like mine, ideas and glimpses and events all cobbled together in a post. 

All of them share one thing: they are a record of your own footsteps through turbulent and difficult times, and I am grateful for them. In a very real way, you are my 'letters' and you come from all the corners of the world. I enjoy you with my morning coffee and I begin my day knowing full well that I have kindred spirits all over. That knowledge alone, makes the world seem a kinder place.

Thank you. 

25 comments:

  1. A few years ago blogging seemed to be falling away and less popular but thank goodness so many from all parts of the world are still going strong. Like you say ....lots of 'letters' from friends we will probably never meet

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  2. I am fairly new to blogging but I look forward to reading everyone's posts each day, enjoying insights into other lives, thoughts and actions. I don't often comment but sometimes I do and it can seem just like a cosy chat over coffee with a friend.

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  3. More or less what Anne of Green Gables said - Kindred spirits are more common than you think - or something like that. Yes as far as I feel - life is too short for unpleasantness -- I blog because I want to chat to others all over the world - I love the hour I spend doing it every day and I love all you lovely people out there who go a long way to make my life a happy one.

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  4. Blogging has almost become an essential part of our lives. To blog you put yourself out into the mainstream of other people's thoughts. Sometimes it is scary if someone is less than polite but it teaches us humility ;)

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  5. I don't understand bloggers who want only to argue or stir up crap. Why bother?

    As for reading blogs, I think of it like pen pals. You get to see a slice of life someplace else and someone else. I find people endlessly fascinating and enjoy seeing how other people life and deal with life.

    I went to the writer of Letters to America and quite enjoyed his post. Thank you for recommending it.

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  6. Thanks for sharing the link to Letters to America... a lovely post. My attitude toward blogging (and reading blogs) has changed some over the 16+ years I've been at it. One thing I've noticed, particularly in recent years, is that many bloggers (and those that comment) are not nearly as tolerant of the views of others as they might think they are. Also, I've notice many are quick to make assumptions. Perhaps, in part, this is due to cultural or geographical differences that can lead to misunderstandings. Still...blogging has broadened my world and enriched my life so, for now, I continue to participate.

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  7. Like minds attract like minds, I suppose. If you don't like a person by their blog, you simply don't read the blog. If you don't like the way someone comments on your own blog, you ignore them. So around you gather people with a similar outlook on life, similar views of basic decency and generally of a similar age.
    While diverse opinions in many areas can be interesting and at times challenging, there are in the world some fairly basic known facts and I have little respect for anyone who argues against them.
    I always tried to listen to Cooke's Letter from America. It was amazing radio.

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  8. I loved having pen pals when I was young. It was wonderful to get a letter with an exotic stamp on it and news of a different kind from my own world and blogging has taken the place of that. I was late to the blogging party but I enjoy it immensely and have 'met' some wonderful people I regard as friends. I also do not understand why people make rude or unpleasant comments on posts when they can so easily skip right on past and not bother.

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  9. That's an interesting take on things, Andrew, and in reflecting on it, I think you're exactly right. Kelly's remark has had me in an agony of worry: Am I that blogger? Am I rude?

    I'd like to think not.

    I listen/read the opposing views, but in the end, those opposing views sometimes do not change my mind. Does this mean that I am dismissive of others' opinions? It probably comes off that way. In the end, I hold certain truths to be self evident.

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  10. All gif people I have met through blogging are kind and it’s their kindness and stories that keep me coming back. So thanks to you, too!

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  11. We all hold different views and that's what makes life interesting. Civil arguments can be challenging and enlightening. Name calling, abuse and aggression have no place and point to ignorance and bigotry. After a break from blogging (I started back in 2001) I find I prefer it to "social" media which is anything but.

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  12. And just so no one is left wondering... we've had a good email conversation about it and no, you're not one of those bloggers. You have strong opinions (don't most of us!?) and you don't hesitate to say when you disagree with someone, but you are willing to "agree to disagree" and leave it at that. I've never felt you were rude to me.

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  13. You make some very good observations about how people conduct themselves. They hold very rigid ideas and can't support them with logic. Other times they bend the truth out of shape to support their. You've made some very good points.

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  14. Bob, you and Red and Mr. Shife and Ed all remind me of Mark, with your own tender posts about about your children.

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  15. Your final paragraph is so clear and a marvellous statement about the benefits of blogging. I feel that I have become a victim of persistent nastiness here in Blogworld from three particular sources - so much so that I have thought about giving up blogging entirely.

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  16. I am sorry for that, YP. Best response is no response at all.

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  17. It is pleasant enough since we tend to blog with people who are on a similar wavelength as us. It can be a harsh world on other social media, however. And as you point out, sometimes on blogs.

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  18. I enjoy reading my blog friends' posts each day. And I do think of all you bloggers as "friends" even tho I really don't know you. I agree that we tend to find and follow those that have similar feelings and views but I just so enjoy reading about the lives, homes, families, stories of others. Oh, and so many terrific photos of beautiful places! It has really broadened my world and I thank you all!

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  19. It is good to see more bloggers appearing..and reappearing.
    I used to listen to Letter from America...and Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegone Days.

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  20. Oh GZ! I love Garrison Keiler. I was lucky enough to see a live show. I loved it.

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  21. You are a lovely corner of the world to visit Debby!! I am unfortunately in a job right now that is wonderful but so exhausting and so my creative get up and go is sleeping on the couch before bedtime these days!

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  22. Awww Debby... This is such a lovely post. We do need more kindness in our world. Too many people have forgotten the meaning of the word.

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  23. Good morning Debby. I'm the 'other recipient' of Mark's wonderful book which I'm enjoying so much. Thanks to his link to you I've just enjoyed reading back over several of your great posts. You are definitely a great writer yourself. . . . .I know I'll be spending time here with you often.
    Mary in North Carolina (ex-Pat from the UK)

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  24. Thanks (belatedly!) for this post. I love blogging (though I sometimes struggle to find the time for it) and my blog pals are an important, even critical, part of my social network. Like you, I am bewildered by those who seem intent on stirring up trouble.

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