Inspired by a lovely tweet from Rumpelnorcack, I thought I’d write again about my love for my Twitter family.
I’m a rather complicated man. I grew up with a bit of a fractured family. I never really managed to make friends very easily. And in particular I never really felt connected. As I grew older, this changed of course. I learnt a lot, I found me sense of self, but still felt oddly distant from people.
These last few months have seen a change. Although I still have great difficulty in relating to people in person.
I am amazed at the number of people who have come into my life, and into my wife’s. Including some amazing celebrities – yes, Colin, I know you don’t think of yourself as one, but you so are. It nearly brings tears to my eyes – the love, the respect and real caring. Within this family, we have all the usual things. Arguments, trial separations, even a divorce or two. But the sense of belonging, the sense of community, of placement has just blown me away.
And it reminds me of the power we all have. One of my early tweets in this new life was about how we all have the power to choose (although our ability to make “good” choices is affected my our health, genes and upbringing), and that we can choose to do great good or great evil. When asked what I chose, my response was that the world hasn’t told me yet.
It all reminds me of how the smallest act of kindness can grow exponentially. It can influence one person, who might influence another, and another. We don’t have to be the one who does the “big” things, the one who makes a massive and immediate impact on the world. Most of us work behind the scenes. Shifting things around just the tiniest bit to make a small improvement. Knowing that when enough of us do it, it mounts up to something massive, something beautiful.
I had talked previously about a single act by a check-out operator at a local supermarket. On a really shitty day when I ended up feeling like I hated everyone and everything, I had to pop into the supermarket. Whether the operator saw how miserable I was or not – I’ll never know. But her genuine smile and “Have a nice day” just lit up several million candles in my heart. And it changed me. I made a decision to try and do something similar as often as I could. One smile, a few kind words, and it changes someone. Who goes on to do the same and maybe change a few more people, who then go on to do the same. This thought just blows my mind. How, just maybe, a single kind act can change the whole world.
And this is where my Twitter family comes in. The caring we all show each other. The amazing love-tweets I see come through (you know I am talking about you), and how others seem to like my love-tweets to and about my darling wife. For the most part, I feel safe.
Then comes the young people setting up accounts to support others. Young people who display attitudes that should be foremost in the hearts and minds of all our world leaders.
All this quite apart from the outlet for our anger, our fear, our cries for support. Apart from the mechanism for staying in touch in times of crisis, for communicating the reality of world and local events.
It has been amazing. And the ride is ongoing. So thank you – all.