Our words are powerful

I think that as writers, we sometimes forget just how much what we write may, or can, influence those who read our efforts.  Some of us, myself included, use our site on WordPress or wherever we choose to post, to rail against the inanities and insanities of various levels of government.  Or we will post a rant against whatever has incensed us that day.  Then again, we may write glowing reports on something we’ve thoroughly enjoyed  and want to share with our readers and followers. Nothing wrong with those reasons.

Yesterday, feeling somewhat more mellow than usual, I posted a piece I called “An essay on friends”.  I’ll wait if you want to read it before continuing.  There, finished?  I hope you read the comments as well.  Yes, those comments came from the two people I mention in the posting, but that doesn’t lessen the sentiments expressed.

“proudtobe” is a person I first met here on WordPress, then we began chatting on Facebook.  As with many conversations between close friends – and yes, I consider her a close friend, despite not having met yet – we cover many topics during our discussions.  She occasionally asks my opinion on various matters and I always try to answer her honestly and fully. None of those “that’s a dumb question” or “I don’t know” answers from me.  If someone asks a question, I’ll answer it to the best of my ability.  From her comments it is apparent she appreciates my candour when I respond to her questions.

Her response affected me.  Yes, it is filled with compliments, which are good for my ego I’ll admit, but what really struck me was the way it seems my words have influenced her.  In fact, I found her comments to be so heartfelt that I printed it and have in hanging on the wall near my desk to remind myself just how much influence our words can have.  And that she thinks I look great in fishnets doesn’t hurt either.  And no, I won’t post a photo so you can judge for yourself 🙂

I know there are times we’ll rattle off an opinion piece without really thinking about what we’re writing.  Keep in mind that although our posting may not attract any comments, that doesn’t mean we haven’t influenced someone, or given them something to think about.  As wrote in the title “Our words are powerful”.

Enjoy your weekend.  Do whatever you can to help the victims of Sandy.  Remember to  hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

An essay on friends

In my posting “Some of this, some of that” of earlier today, I mentioned a friend in New Jersey.  That started me thinking about friends and friendship, so of course I have to write about it.

Friends come into our lives in various ways – through work, social settings, social media or mutual interests to name four ways this happens.  Obviously by “social media” I‘m referring to sites such as Facebook and other such sites.  And yes, I’ve actually met some of the people on my Facebook friends list and count them among my dearest friends.  And there is one lady, mentioned in “Some of this, some of that” who, because of some of our conversations, I do consider a friend in fact, not just on Facebook and am looking forward to meeting her some day.  Ms M, keep that in mind 🙂

One lady I first met through a mutual friend on MySpace (remember MySpace?).  We began chatting and arranged to meet one day at a Starbucks and have become good friends since.  By the way Carol, coffee’s on me next time 🙂

I drove a cab for several years and some of the people I first met as passengers have become friends and even though I haven’t driven in seven years, we remain close.

Sometimes people enter our lives, become friends, then suddenly are gone again.  My view is that we were brought together with these people for a specific purpose – either so they could influence us, or we, them – then, when the purpose is accomplished, they move on. Or their purpose is to introduce us to yet another person.  Yet because they were a part of our lives for even a brief moment, both we and them are better people for having met.  At least we hope they are better people for having known us.  I’ve had that happen a couple of times and yes, I am a better person for having come under the influence of these people.

I treasure my friends, am honoured that they consider me a friend as well and am always flattered when they comment on something I’ve posted either here on WordPress as words or as images on Facebook.  If you have close friends, friends you value, tell them so.

Now, enjoy your day, offer prayers and whatever support you can for the victims of Sandy and, remember to hug an artist – we need love (and friends) too.

Cat.

Some of this, some of that

1 – Unless you’ve been in another galaxy, you are aware of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in the New Jersey and New York areas earlier this week. We’ve all sat and watched the news reports of flooding and fires, while shaking our heads and saying ‘those poor people’, or words to that effect.  Through WordPress, and later Facebook, I’ve become friends (and yes, I mean “friends”, not “Facebook friends”) with a lady who lives near the Jersey coast.  When you actually know someone who lives in the affected areas, it seems to make it a little more personal – wondering how much damage they suffered, or given the number of people killed, if they’ve survived.  Fortunately my friend was able to send me a short message telling me her house had been flooded and she would fill in the details later.  I’ll admit it was a great relief to receive that short note.  To that friend: Ms M, I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

2 – I’m thinking of creating a macro for this next one since it seems to happen so often.  Once again, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto left a council meeting to coach a high school football team.  His reasoning this time was “it was a playoff game. If I weren’t there, they wouldn’t play and would have to forfeit the game.”  Robbie, if the city of Toronto is paying you to be the chief magistrate of Toronto, then you should keep your fat ass in council meetings, not run off to do some volunteer work for Don Bosco Catholic High School.  You yourself admitted that if you’d been in an accident, someone else would have covered the coaching duties, so why not apply that same logic to games that occur when you’re occupied at city hall performing the duties for which you were elected and for which you are being paid?

3 – I originally started in photography back in the ‘70s, with a Canon SLR.  When I started in digital photography about 2007, my first camera was a Polaroid PDC 2030 which a neighbour had given me.  I got some good shots with that camera, but it was very basic and I wanted to do more.  I was able to pick up a Canon PowerShot A460 point and shoot  on sale.  Loved that camera and it lasted about a year and a half, until a friend dropped it on a concrete floor. (No she didn’t offer to replace it.)  Such were the features of that A460 that it took two point and shoots (both Canons) to give me the same features and in the meantime I also moved up to a Canon EOS Rebel XT DSLR.  But I kept looking for another A460.  Finally, last week, Henry’s Cameras had not one, but two listed in the “used” section of their website.  I wasted very little time contacting them and arranging to have one of them shipped to my local store (or as a friend calls it “my local camera pusher”).  So, I now have a brand new old friend – a Canon PowerShot A460 point and shoot – to complement my Rebel.

Now, since it’s a sunny day, I’m taking my new/old friend out to take some photos.  Enjoy your week and pray for those affected by Sandy.

Cat.

Be careful out there

Here in the eastern half of North America it seems Hallowe’en will be either cancelled or made very, very miserable and dangerous thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Over the years I’ve worked as both a courier and a cab driver and the one night of the year I hated driving wasn’t, as you might expect, New Year’s, but Hallowe’en.  On New Year’s,  because of social pressure, I could pretty much take it as fact that most inebriated people would be travelling by taxi, so the roads would be relatively safe.  But not on Hallowe’en and especially not on side streets, or in townhouse complexes.

Remember back to when you would go out to trick-or-treat. You do remember, don’t you?  C’mon now.  I’m 68 and I remember going out, so you must remember as well.  If you were like me, you were much more interested in what goodies you’d get at the place across the street than in any traffic that might be coming down that street.  There are many more vehicles on the road today than in the time of my youth and most side streets are lined with parked cars. Parked cars make great concealment for small children ready to charge across the street, often in front of moving vehicles.  In addition to driving a taxi, I frequently acted as night dispatcher and on Hallowe’en, I would often remind the drivers to be careful on the side streets.  And, although I’m no longer dispatching, if you plan on driving on the evening of October 31, be careful on the side streets because the kids won’t be watching for you.

A friend posted on Facebook tonight that she expected to have lots of Hallowe’en goodies left over because of the expected foul weather.  The complex I live in gives out candy and stuff in the lobby and leftovers are donated to a local foodbank. If you find yourself in the situation of having most of your goodies left, consider doing that. Most foodbanks won’t accept home-made treats, but “store-bought” stuff is fine.  They will usually reserve these little treats for families with young children, or in some cases, keep some on hand to give to the kids accompanying their parents.

Once again, be careful if you’re on the roads on Hallowe’en and if you find you have plenty of candy left over, consider my suggestion.  And remember to hug an artist – we need love (and Hallowe’en candy) too.

Cat.