The web is a weird place. It’s at the same time intimate and very distancing. You can have the most intimate conversation with someone, and then never see that person again. It’s not uncommon for web communities to all of a sudden lose long-standing members. Sometimes we find out what happened to them. But often they just vanish, without a trace, and you’re left wondering.
At The Obama Diary we have created a real community. We care for each other. When one of us hurts, we all feel the pain. I can’t describe how gratified I was by the concern and well-wishes expressed by all of you during my wife’s recovery from surgery, and her subsequent search for a new job. And when Dudette vanished for a few weeks, a few of us sprang into action and tracked her down, not to invade her privacy, but to make sure she was well. This is what humans do: we create communities, and those communities bind us together in bonds even stronger than those of family.
Today our own GoBrooklyn gave us some distressing news. It was, quite frankly, life altering for her.
We can’t change her condition. But we can walk with her. We can offer her our shoulders. We can prop her up when she feels like falling. We can remind her at every moment that she is valued, she is treasured, she is a child of God. Because that is what communities do. They rejoice in your rejoicing, sorrow in your sorrow, and never let you forget that you are not alone.
A virtual community has its own parameters, its own strengths and weaknesses. But it is no less strong than the communities to which you belong in the “real world”. As much as GoBrooklyn has a circle of love surrounding her as she goes to doctor’s visits and therapy sessions, the circle of love we have for her here in this oasis created by Chipsticks is no less loving. Because it is who we are.
Keep chatting, and keep thinking of GoBrooklyn.