When one’s day starts with news of terrorist attacks and more war, it’s good to receive unexpected news that makes one smile and warms the heart. I received such news recently from blogger, Dr. Gerald Stein, a retired psychotherapist in Chicago. His candid blog posts on our relationships are well articulated, insightful, and knitted together with engaging humor and honesty. In his latest post, he surprised me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
When I started my blog over three years ago, inspiring others was far from my mind. As a newbie novelist seeking to have my work published, I started my blog as a means of building my author’s platform.
After learning that I was working on a novel set in Guyana, a friend sent me the link to the Guyanese Online Blog as a source of information. The blog, published by Cyril Bryan, went far beyond a resource hub. It connected me with the Guyana Diaspora, strengthening my frayed link with my native land. What’s more, in reblogging my posts, Cyril Bryan has expanded my readership.
Other bloggers inspire us with their life stories and vision of our world. As an Award recipient, I share the Very Inspiring Blogger Award with two such bloggers:
Bruce Witzel, a carpenter, lives on Vancouver Island, Canada. His self-constructed, off-grid home – powered by clean energy and integrated with a waste disposal system for maintaining a kitchen garden – gives me hope for our sustainable future. His down-to-earth spirituality expands my vision of life.
John Castellenas is a Vietnam veteran who found healing through poetry. The honesty of his prose and poetry touches my soul. His stories of saving himself from alienation and self-hate and finding love speak volumes to our nation engaged in never-ending wars.
In accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, I’m also required to answer seven questions.
- Who is your favorite public figure?
Senator Elizabeth Warren
- What do you like most? (I presume this refers to Question 1.)
I admire Senator Warren’s political courage in defending consumers against the Too-Big-To-Jail financial institutions that decimated middle-class America.
- Do you follow trends?
I follow trends that jeopardize our security and survival: changing job market, criminalization of the poor, militarization of the police force, privatization of prisons, growing income inequality, perpetual wars, and climate change.
- What do you do when someone gets angry?
With strangers, I get out of their way. With bosses, I let them let off steam before I open my mouth. With close relations, I go with the flow.
- What have you loved most?
My sons are my greatest treasure.
- Do you have causes?
I support the following non-profit organizations:
Feeding America (feeding the hungry)
Public Citizen (getting Big Business out of politics)
350.org (saving our planet for future generations)
- What quality do you admire most?
Integrity: much needed to curb inequality and end wars.
Through blogging, I’m reminded that we all share the same humanity.