Thursday, October 23

Twittering Works: And Then Things Spread

Ryan Anderson recently did something remarkable. He wrote a post, but it wasn't just any post to me.

He wrote a post a few days after sending me a check for $60, money that was never meant to be paid back. Since the check was unexpected and unnecessary, I donated it in his name to the Arthritis Foundation where it will do the most good.

After I did that, he wrote a post that talks about how this $60 will go a long way to help children like my daughter, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis just before her second birthday. On Saturday, she will be walking with Team Beers. You can see her donation page here.

“I don't let it get me down, but JRA is tough. Since there are no doctors in Las Vegas who can treat JRA, Dr. Lisa Majlessi travels here from California a few days each month to treat children like me. We need more doctors like her," it reads. “I will be in my stroller at the Arthritis Walk, but I hope you might sign up and walk next to me. Or, if you would like, please make a small donation to help me and my friends at Team Beers raise funds for arthritis research.”

You know, I didn't think much about helping Ryan after his wallet turned up missing, perhaps stolen, in Las Vegas. But I do now.

Sometimes social networks are social. And sometimes they just work.

Ryan Anderson didn't have to write the post or mail me a check or send a "thank you" basket. And I suppose he might argue that I didn't have to respond to his tweet or give him a ride or give him enough money to eat or donate his unexpected payback to charity. But that's the point, isn't it?

Neither one of us had to do anything, except we did. And it's this kind of simple, often neglected, never talked about, every day stuff that reminds me how kindness can spread well beyond two people without any other third-party intervention whatsoever. Governments, companies, and social networks are all merely tools; it's up to us to decide how we might use them rather than allow them to find ways to use us.

Give people a chance to use them right and they will work. After that, you never know what might just happen. Except, I can probably say with quiet certitude that Ryan and I won't think each other strangers next time nor wonder how Twitter works.



Anonymous said...

It's always a good lesson when you're reminded that little things often mean a lot to other people. I think the world would be a better place if we all took the time to do a few small things that made a big difference in someone else's life - without thinking about what's in it for us.

Thanks again, Rich.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a wonderful story. In this horribly pessimistic age, we hear too little about such kindnesses.

It's nice to know humanity is not completely doomed. :)

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. -unknown

Anonymous said...

Well said.
Pay it forward does not have to be a big deal. And didn't the Bible say something about treating others the way you would wish to be treated yourself?
2000 years, how many times do we all have to learn this?

Anonymous said...

I just happened across your blog. What a great story. I love the last few inspirational words about finding ways to use these tools for exceptional things instead of letting them use us. I am a social media junkie and just participating in Blog Action Day. Another great use of tools for great causes.

Rich on 10/24/08, 3:18 PM said...

@Ryan Exactly that, Ryan. And the thanks belongs to you. :)

@Web-Betty, On behalf of daughter, thank you. I keep a scrap book of sorts so that she may remember that message.

@Dan, We all have to keep learning the same lessons until one day we get the answer right. At least, I think so.

@Crystal, I really enjoy Blog Action Day too. If you are not familiar with Bloggers Unite, I would encourage you to learn about it a little more as well. It's about to undergo an amazing transformation and our friends at Blog Action Day are in full support of what is to come. :)

Sen. Bob Beers, who I mentioned in the first post about the walk, added his own post today as well.

You know, it would have taken weeks and weeks to have the same impact ten years ago. (It took five weeks to raise a little less for the MDA in 1998). What an amazing world. Thank you all very much.

All the best,

Chaffee Street Cafe` on 10/26/08, 2:28 PM said...

Rich, Caring is such a beautiful thing. It only take one person to start a wave of kindness. You instigator, you! Wonderful!

Chaffee Street Cafe` on 10/26/08, 2:28 PM said...

takes, not take!

Rich on 10/26/08, 5:47 PM said...

Thanks Theresa! You are too by your own right. :D


Blog Archive

by Richard R Becker Copyright and Trademark, Copywrite, Ink. © 2021; Theme designed by Bie Blogger Template