Facebook status rant, December 14, 2012

So, apparently unspeakable tragedy happened in Connecticut today. I’m not going to belittle it; it’s historic in its magnitude, and the fallout will be happening for a very long time.

But I don’t GET it. I was with 30 middle schoolers this afternoon, for one last time in this month-and-a-half long program we’ve been doing (and that I’ve been shilling for the company). I got to play “random question!” with them, and go to all kind of scientific and silly and philosophical and ridiculous ideas with them like you can only get from a group of middle schoolers. I got to thank their parents for getting to work with them, and encourage them going forward. I was loud, madcap, passionate, all that.

I’m trying to put together in my head how the one thing could happen when I experience a completely different thing. I can’t get there.

I’ve hit a point in life where I only know how to do one thing, and that’s fly around everywhere I can as wildly as I can explaining as many things as I can while being as positive as I can and affirming everyone that I can. I don’t expect appreciation for that, or even want it. Honestly, the excitement in a kid as a thing makes sense to them for the first time, or as they feel freedom to ask weird and wonderful questions for the first time – that is its own reward.

But if I can encourage those of you who care to read these thoughts somehow, it is this way: the Golden Rule still matters. Giving to others the way you would like for people to be giving to you still WORKS. Think about that, and ACT on that. Instead of another complaint on Facebook about another way in which this world is sad and broken and over, make the world better. Go. Do.

Birthday gratitude

I wrote this on December 7, 2005, back in the days when your college had to get added to Facebook in order to get a page and my “social networking” was just a month into transitioning to Facebook from Xanga (yes, Xanga) and you couldn’t put a note or a long-form status update on FB.  It was the first time my wall got bombed with “happy birthday” wishes, and I was blown away with the power of this medium to spread good cheer.

As I had a little bit more time than usual to reflect yesterday (trying to rest your backside so it doesn’t go from “sprained” to “locked up and unable to move” will do that to you), I found myself getting blown away all over again.  So, seven years later, I repeat myself.

Okay, let’s recap.

When I set up the Facebook thing, I made the ill-considered decision to post my birthday on it, not thinking that my birthday would actually be noticed by people (who could then do the math and figure out my age, oh goody).

Between Monday night and now, I have received over 50 birthday greetings in various electronic forms, some of which have come from people in other places who really haven’t had a reason to want to think of me in three or four years.

Every now and again I just feel really loved.

So thanks.  A ton.  You guys don’t know how much I appreciate it.

Because, if I honestly could, I’d find things to moan about getting older, getting farther and farther away from my youth, having to deal with adulthood and responsibility and all that rot.

I said, if I honestly could.

You know what?

With people like you around, I honestly can’t.