I just made a fresh pot of coffee for myself....kicking back on the couch and thinking through the last couple of days spent here on TLO. Maybe I have paid too much attention to the comments which have led me to expend several hours over the two days it would seem.
I'm not going to highlight or focus on any subject in particular but there has been an interesting lesson for me.... possibly for others also.
I came upon TLO while searching through all links Liverpool related. I flirted about the posts as a 'lurker' and was attracted to the humor often conveyed and general banter of Liverpool matters. Never a dull moment it seemed and so eventually I made my move and stepped into this community.
Internet communities offer the chance to engage with people Worldwide and instantly. They work as most communities do with warm welcomes as well suspicion possibly and a senior collective overseeing the well being of the community.
This community is a gathering of fellow supporters of a common bond....Liverpool FC. Of course each have our own opinions and each invests as much time into it as they feel they can or other obligations allow. Some members of the community may be of many years and others like myself new members. Some have formed close friendships and mutual understandings towards each other. Some may be loners who listen more than speak.
One thing that all internet communities have to acknowledge is that each of us has lived the life we have. Different cultures, ethnicity, economic background, social experiences,faiths,gender etc. I say internet communities because in the physical world I know full well I wouldn't enter a community whose idol was George Custer (unless I wanted to cause trouble.)
Anyway.... as I tell people who struggle to grasp diversity and acceptance of it "The various trees in a forest don't argue....and together they create such a wonder"...or..."imagine how different the world would look if every flower was the same?"
Sometimes we have to just accept differences and not demand that your way is the only way. Arguments tend to be futile because all sides involved have stopped listening and just want themselves to be heard. Communication is paramount to understanding though and at the very least leading to a mutual acknowledgment of difference.
Of course we have standards and those of TLO are apparently giving to a very comfortable community which stands firm against the worse things of society seeping in ie Racism. Yet allows room enough for it to be shaped by us the community members.
So finally.. as the title states "You Never Walk Alone".... I'm sure you have all heard the full song.It is a statement of unity. A statement of compassion to others and a statement of Will to overcome the worse storms life can bring upon us.
In Lakota we use a phrase to end Prayers or special gatherings... Mitakuye O'yasin which translates as All my Relations or We Are All Related. This doesn't just refer to the tribe nor all Human Beings but rather Everything of the Natural World.