I recently received an encouraging message from an online friend who I do not see in person. I receive encouragement from close friends in person when needed. But there is something special about reaching new lives in new ways.
It adds priceless value to what I am doing. This feedback was just the motivation I needed to keep producing more of what I do. It could be a Facebook status, or a blog post, or a speech. It affects people more than I realise.
This friend said, "woow you're so amazing Melanie..." That is overwhelmingly sweet. Although it doesn't tell me a reason behind the compliment. And no, comments like this do not come along often. The explanation was not just flattering, it encouraged my work.
The online friend said, "Melanie you are such an inspiration to many... keep the good job on always..." Someone on another continent took the time to say this. I felt overwhelmed - and no, not overwhelmed with narcissism. The one thing I try to do is inform wider audiences about important issues.
My publicity work needs to be beneficial to someone. I need to believe that someone out there will have a better life, or broadened perspective, after being exposed to my ideas.
This particular person wanted to know more about Toastmasters. I did not ask the reason - it could be to gain confidence, develop leadership skills, meet new people, the reason is not my concern. Whichever the cause, I have reached out to someone.
I feel just a blessed when publicising other issues. It doesn't make me any money. There aren't even Google Adwords going into it. But there were a few occasions this year when the writing was all worth it.
A few individuals with Asperger's felt comforted by my blog. The blog is a reminder that similar people exist and survive with the same condition. They can learn from someone else's experiences. There are some days when I can provide that reassurance, and other days when I need that same reassurance. Relationships with audiences are magical.
Meanwhile, other friends enjoy hearing about causes which are supported by Rotaract. It could be cancer, local welfare, international aid, anything. We are able to spread the word about those in need.
Why would I take time out of my day to work on these issues? That's the big question which is commonly asked. Why am I not spending that time working the stock market or writing about commercial interests instead?
There is a time for commercialism. There is also a time to reach out to our fellow human beings in need. If I can find the time in my day for the community's needs, then hopefully a community of friends can find time for my needs.
I struggle too. Everything is overwhelming: careers, physical and psychological health, relational dilemmas, spiritual questions, everything. I love contributing to the well being of others because they then build me up just like this friend's words. Everyone should try this.