The Kindness of [digital] Strangers

A week ago, I began writing again and I decided to post these attempts on this blog. It has been a difficult week, and while I may not be out of the storm, I am definitely taking one step at a time, as creative writer and blogger Beth O’Neal from A Mile in My Shoes reminded me in a comment to one of my recent posts.

It isn’t easy, but nothing worth having or achieving ever is. Right?

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

–Blanch from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

I don’t know AMileinMyShoes (as I think of her when I read her comments or visit her website), and I don’t know any of the other visitors who have stumbled upon my writing on this blog, but I have so benefited from each visit.

I have been fairly heavy handed in the writing I’ve shared on this blog, so I especially appreciate the kindness and mercy of the digital strangers who have visited and left their own mark of support with each visit.

It may seem like a simple act, but simple acts often lead to simple gifts (in my opinion). Thank you — to all of you — for the simple gift of a visit, a like, a comment, and/or a follow.

I managed to make my 2pm class today. And with each encounter with a colleague or student, the day got easier.  And in my mind, I felt as if I was tackling the monumental challenge with the support of those who have visited this blog.

[Maybe Doctor Jasmine was right — when the anxiety tells me to avoid, I might consider approaching the situation and see what happens.]

Sufinawaz mercy 2007

Sufinawaz, “mercy,” 2007, Flickr,

I  recently stumbled upon a Gutenberg e-book archive of The Basis of Morality originally published in 1903. The author, Arthur Schopenhauer, essentially wrote about the kindness of strangers, and he captures the act quite stunningly.

I’m closing this post with the following quote and I hope all of you reading this benefit from its message as I did:

For how, otherwise than metaphysically, are we to account for even the smallest offering of alms made with absolutely no other object than that of lessening the want which afflicts a fellow-creature?

Such an act is only conceivable, only possible, in so far as the giver knows that it is his very self which stands before him, clad in the garments of suffering; in other words, so far as he recognises the essential part of his own being, under a form not his own.

–A. Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality, 1903


2 thoughts on “The Kindness of [digital] Strangers

  1. I think most people are inherently kind. Some people have a lot of things going on in and don’t have enough to give (or they’ve lost their way) – but we’ve all got it. Glad your day got easier and thanks for the mention – it was a nice surprise 🙂


Comments are closed.