Giving backOn January 25, 2020 by Barbara
I am one of those people who, when presented with a question, will immediately google it. Well, I guess not just any question, but, you know, general knowledge, specific knowledge, how-tos, etc. That kind of stuff.
And I have to admit that, over the years, I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge because so many people have graciously decided to share whatever they could. It has made me a better developer, a better wife, a better friend, a better organizer, a better planner… I could go on. Let’s just say it’s made me a better person.
Wikipedia. Youtube. Quora. Stack Overflow. Google, of course. Such a wealth of information at our fingertips. The world’s knowledge is yours, my friend. All you have to do is look for it, and the answer is out there.
But I never really gave it much thought – at least for me, it’s always been just another one of those things taken for granted.
The other night my husband and I went to a friend’s house for a poker tournament. He is a super smart guy who has recently started a blog, and we were chatting about it. To be honest, the conversation started more on the topic of “what platform are you using and why did you choose that one”, but it evolved a little bit and at some point he just offhandedly said something along the lines of “I’ve been using the internet to acquire knowledge for so long, I decided that it was time I gave some back”.
That was a crucial moment for me, because I had never thought of it in those terms. These are people you’ve never met (and most likely never will). And yet you’re devoting some of your time to help them.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a terrible person. I’d totes volunteer at the SPCA, but that’s just for the cuddles (can I be giving and selfish at the same time? 😅😻).
But seriously, I come from a culture where people are not as eager to help. My knee jerk reaction to a stranger that smiles at me is to be suspicious. Nothing ever comes without strings attached. So… yes, it surprised me. But it also marveled me. It opened my eyes to the idea of not only giving back, but just plain giving.
I was about to write that I don’t know what I can do to give back, when I realized that I’m building my dad a website. I give him as much advice as I can think of on his new project. I try to be a really good friend. I try to support local businesses. So that got me thinking – maybe my bubble is just smaller. Maybe I’m giving back to the people closest to me. And maybe that’s enough.
Hopefully someone’s day will be a little better because of something I said or did. But for now I really just want to say thank you.
Thank you, internet.
Thank you, person reading this post.
Thank you, family and friends.
Thank you, strangers.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for helping me.
Thank you for helping me help you.
Thank you for showing me how much I am helped.
Thank you for making me realize that I can help back.
And today, thank you Darren.