Today is Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers all over the world will bring attention to this year’s theme: The Power of We — a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world.
Since I started blogging, I’ve learned a great deal about the Power of We. In fact, I see it in action every day. Every. Single. Day.
The Power of We occurs when someone tweets or posts on Facebook that they’re having a rough day and you respond with encouragement or even an offer to get together for coffee to talk it out.
The Power of We occurs when someone blogs about something difficult going on in their life and you leave a comment there offering your support. Or you email a longer message. Or you text a quick virtual hug and check in. Or you call just so that they can vent. Or you pop by their house with flowers and a hug.
The Power of We occurs when you run into someone you know and they clearly need a friend that day, so you stop and listen while they share their sorrows or stresses, then give them a hug, and then you follow up with them later to see how they’re doing.
Every day, you interact with people — either online or in real life — and your actions can help them, just as theirs can help you. While some people have complained that the internet and 21st century social media have broken down human relationships, I posit that they have actually helped build relationships. How else could you meet people around the world and stay in touch? The ease of communication means that you do connect with more people more frequently.
Because you can stay in contact with people more easily, you do. And because you do, you’re more in tune with what’s going on with their lives. And you know if they’re having a good day and should be cheered or if they’re having a bad day and need extra encouragement and support. And because you do, their day gets a little easier, a little better, a little nicer.
So while the Power of We can lead to great things and grassroots efforts, I think it starts at the individual level. With a single person offering compassion and caring to another single person. To show that person that he or she is not alone. That they matter. That their sorrows are shared and their triumphs are celebrated.
That is the Power of We.