Illustration for the Blog: Pearlies Of Wisdom
"Building Bridges" - Paulo Zerbato/2011
Breaking Down Barriers
Monday, May 14, 2012
Now you might think that this blog post title has to do with physical barriers: it doesn't. Not that they don't exist. 'Cause they do.
But this catch phrase has been part of my life and my consciousness for SO MANY YEARS!
I am a person who likes to break down barriers.
I respect authority, I respect formality, but it doesn't mean I have to like doing so.
It pleased me what a little friendliness could do and how far it could go.
These days you don't find me much in blogland; I much prefer Facebook, and over my three-plus years of giving myself over to that wicked, time-sucking medium, I have broken down other barriers. I have become Facebook friends with celebrities, comedians among them. I still put "Facebook" in front of "friend" in their cases because I'm realistic. We're not friends, but with several, I do more than just write a comment about their status update, I often write them an off-line message. There is one such celebrity with whom I did so, and as a result, I created some poetry, inspired by some of his artwork and stories, and he created some poetry, based on my inspiration. How thrilled I was to learn that his creative mind was inspired by my offline "conversations"!
To know that my words and comments -- whether online or offline -- are leaving some kind of impression on a FB friend gives me great joy. To get a thumbs' up or a response directly related to my comment gives me double joy.
I will still refer to some of these people as Facebook friends, but I know for a fact that one of them has referred to me simply as "friend". I have seen her use it in print, I have heard her use it on Internet radio.
And then I smile because I know...that I have managed to break down barriers. It's all about jumping on a bandwagon, becoming a back-seat passenger for a while, and then slowly inching to the front-seat passenger seat, alongside the driver ... helping to navigate or just be a friendly companion.
To be a reader on FB is one thing; to be an active participant is another. It is thrilling to think that over on the other side of the country there are celebrity types who read my words and smile, just as I do with theirs. To think that one can have an ongoing personal type of rapport with someone who not all that long ago was a familiar, well-liked but distant person whose path you'd hope to cross but couldn't imagine having the chance to do so. ..
As was once a familiar expression: "Who'd have thunk it?"
It pays to be friendly and have no airs about you, it pays to know when to listen and when to speak, it pays to have an honest interest in what is happening in people's lives -- along with sometimes displaying just the "right" measure of chutzpah.
I have extended my hand to many people in this life, I have extended an ear, as well. To break down barriers, one has to see, one has to listen, and one has to hear what the other person is saying. Reception works both ways...
It just occurred to me that maybe the title of this post should be amended to BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS AND....BUILDING BRIDGES
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