Tuesday, January 22

Blogging For Kindness: Mental Stimulation

“The world, Rich, needs more togetherness,” she said. “More healing. And I feel Bloggers Unite brings people closer together.”

Simply stated, but inspired.

Dee Graham (a.k.a Iriegal) is one of those bloggers, like many I have met through BlogCatalog’s Bloggers Unite social awareness campaigns, who turns blogging stereotypes inside out and upside down. And maybe that’s because there is no “them.”

You see, Graham was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. But she seldom has time to allow this fact to shed a dour shadow on her life. Instead, she says, she chooses to live life rather than allowing her life to live her. It’s just one of many reasons that she opened a computer repair business last year.

“It was a big step, but I love what I do. I love the freedom of being in charge of my own destiny,” she says, and that includes blogging. “I can’t see myself not blogging. I love to write and I love the connection with people.”

In fact, blending these two passions is what has since led her to create not one, but five different blogs. A Fe Mi Page Dis Iyah to share her love of Jamaica. Time to Eat Mon to share a surprising variety of Jamaican drinks, dishes, and recipes. Postal Jokes to cover an endless assortment of postal humor that touches every corner of the globe. Dark Child where she explores news, politics, celebrities, and everyday life within the African American community. And Mental Stimulation, which she considers her personal blog and where her second place blog post appeared.

As part of the Bloggers Unite campaign, which this time asked bloggers from around the world to perform an act of kindness and share a post, picture, or video about it, Graham added on to her 10-year volunteer commitment at a local youth center and decided to visit the senior center.

“I know how lonely it can be during the holidays, especially for the seniors with no family in our community,” Graham said. “I started working with Gladys and she appreciated our time together so much that I decided to stay the week.”

For an entire week, Graham served meals and spent time with Gladys, a 72-year-old woman who sometimes lives at the neighboring senior living center and gets lonely now that her children are older and busy with their own lives. Most of the time, they played hearts or spades, but Graham made a small grocery shopping trip for her as well.

“She was really proud of her children. Her daughter is a nurse and her son is in the military,” Graham said. “Oh, she beat me, by the way.”

For her inspiring account of her service, which was accompanied by a photo taken by the receptionist at the senior center, Graham will receive a 1/2-page advertisement in Blogger & Podcaster magazine. However, Graham never intended to win.

“I’ve been a member of BlogCatalog since August and they’ve become a new family,” she says. “That is what I can truly say about BlogCatalog for me. Family. It is a part of my daily life. Much like doing things for people.”

You don’t have to do big things, she adds. Just small acts of kindness that help your community. But this is no surprise coming from a woman as persevering as Graham.

Her passion for writing grew out of using it to heal after a painful divorce almost five years ago. Her passion for people was made evident in October, when she wrote about her daughter for the first time. Her daughter has autism, which keeps them apart much longer than they would like.

“She is my heart,” say Graham. “It was the happiest time for me in a long time.”

Simply stated, but inspired. Or perhaps better stated, if I am using it correctly, “One Love” as they say in Jamaica.



Sweet Tea on 1/22/08, 6:55 PM said...

Congratulations! A very deserving winner. Thanks, Rich, for spotlighting such kindness and courage.

iriegal on 1/23/08, 2:03 PM said...

Thank You Rich for a job well done. I made mention of it on my blog as well. I am going to print the post and read it to Gladys this Saturday.

Rich it is the little things in life, simply the little things that can change a world...an BloggerUnite is doing that for many people.

Keep Up the Good Work

Rich on 1/23/08, 7:01 PM said...

@Jane. Thank you for taking time to comment. I thought so too. A very inspiring story of courage that I considered an amazing gift.

@Dee. You really did touch in me in ways you may never know. You keep up the good work too. I'll see you around BC and look forward to the next time you participate with Bloggers Unite.

All my best,

Anonymous said...


This is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

Rich on 1/24/08, 5:35 PM said...

Thanks Lewis,

People amaze me. Dee's story touched me. I am glad to hear it touched you.

I have four more of these in the near future. There are becoming some of my favorite people to profile. So I am glad you liked it. Of courses, Dee is the real everyday hero to me.


My Den on 1/29/08, 8:12 AM said...

Congrats! What an inspiring and touching story! And how true that it is the little things in life that can make a big difference.

Thanks for sharing, Rich and another great effort on your part.


Rich on 1/29/08, 4:42 PM said...

Hey My Den,

I'm glad you liked it. I am sending out my questions for the next, and then I'll be contacting you. I'm really looking forward to it and cannot thank you enough for your support of everyone!



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