‘You’re a law unto yourself and we don’t suffer dreamers / But neither should you walk the earth alone
We’ve got open arms for broken hearts / Like yours my boy, come home again’ (Open Arms, Elbow 2011)
Anyone with a passing knowledge of the band Elbow will know that towards the end of each album you get an anthem full of hope, pride, dignity, optimism, redemption and love – Grace Under Pressure, One Day Like This – and the new CD is no different, giving us Open Arms from which the above lyrics are taken.
Without getting too mawkish, I sometime run out of superlatives to describe the online community of which I am part. I’ve often referred to it as being like family, but then I think it’s deeper than that. The depth of connections, the sharing, openness, inclusion, collaboration makes it seem so much more. And it is the strength of these bonds that continue to amaze me.
Almost every day is an Elbow-like anthem in which we support, confide, encourage and inspire each other through the highs, lows, achievements and frustrations…sharing the joy and feeling the pain. Open our arms and offer comfort to all.
It really is the community that keeps on giving.
And if you want to smile, then there are always random acts of kindness.
Take Friday morning.
Late on Thursday night Haylee Corfield (you know her as @sliah) tweeted that she was baking chocolate and banana muffins. I first met Haylee a few weeks ago after sharing tweets and LinkedIn messages for over a year. We live in the same area and had shared restaurant and cafe recommendations as well as job board chat. Since finally meeting we have bumped into each other a couple of times whilst out and about in our locality. We’ve probably crossed paths many times in the past without knowing…it was twitter that bought us near neighbours together.
Anyway, I responded to her tweet saying that she should share them with her twitter buddies.
And that’s just what she did! Having swapped messages on Friday morning, and realising that her train was stopping at the station where I was waiting for another train, she got off, found me and gave me one of her home made white chocolate and banana muffins! How random and how kind!
Made me laugh, made for a beautiful start to the day! ‘Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day’
Later on I met up with Christine Livingston (you know her as @coblyn) for the first time. Again, we have talked through social networks for about a year without meeting, yet from the off we were chatting like old friends. We already had shared conversations and ideas, knew quite a bit about each other, and were able to enjoy a really constructive and entertaining lunch. Just like old friends should.
Naysayers will often tell me that social media connections aren’t real friends. I think they’re wrong.
Take the time to really engage and they are real.
We’re all part of something…long may the community grow and thrive.
Two tunes to get your heart singing and your week started…
Open Arms (Live at Comic Relief)
Mr E’s Beautiful Blues