“Grace changes everything.”
I’ve often wondered how many critics lens into the world of social media and challenge some of the fundamental principles of the platforms, tools, sites, and practices. From the outside in, one could easily question the number of followers someone has piled up, the number of times they post, or the circle of influencers they are a part of, who consistently share each others’ posts and promote each others’ books. Many see this as a superficial means to self-promote and prop each other up in hopes of reciprocation, but I’m here to offer a different point of view. One that stems from the best thing we have discovered since going social a few years back, and that was finding grace in a seemingly unlikely place, from those we’ve never even met.
Grace is defined as an ethic of kindness; an act of acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, and compassion towards that of another. It’s an act of humanity. After experiencing what we have in the social community we are a part of, I couldn’t think of a better word to describe all the extraordinary people we have met along the way. From thought leaders to academics, researchers, renowned authors, and PhDs alike, one by one we were welcomed into their well-established circles and they began sharing in our work long before we had any semblance of a voice. We’ve receive guidance, feedback, advice, encouragement, nurturing, and support without ever being asked for anything in return. Nothing.
“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato
Everyone is fighting something, you just don’t always know what that battle is. Over the last six months, our company has faced a few exceptionally difficult challenges. And while, on paper, this has been one of the best years in our 93-year history, these challenges have shaken us to the core and have, subsequently, quieted our posts and delayed our blogging activities, some of which were commitments to others and their sites. Yet, through it all, we have received nothing but well wishes, compassion, and support. The grace extended to us by our social community has not only strengthened the relationships we have virtually, but it has strengthened my faith in the best side of humanity.
To those who’ve reached out, offered support, and extended grace, I want to offer my sincerest thanks and appreciation for your understanding through this very difficult time for us. And to the non-believers, I subscribe to the notion that believing is seeing and I’d like for you to consider changing the lens through which you see social media. In doing so, perhaps you too might be taken away by all the grace there is in the virtual world.