11 May 2008

Sunday Supplement

When I was a young girl, many years ago, I sat in the kitchen of my Aunt & Uncle and spent hours discussing various topics of interest. Here the mind begins to see that the greatest high is really how we can think and connect on a mental and emotional plane.
One evening my Uncle pointed out that “People need rewards for positive social behavior”
I think of this many a day now as I have become a full fledged resident of a community where my input and existence in it gives me tremendous personal rewards. As Richard Bartle said, “You play for the glory” & as Jane Goodall said, “Humans are meaning seeking creatures.” So what is meaningful and what gives us the intangible satisfactions of emotional accomplishment, ie glory and a sense of belonging?

I would have to say community. A friend of mine in SL, someone I admire to the highest degree, said they recently purchased some land because they wished to join the community it was situated in. Community, that great fabric of invisible hands that holds us and feeds us in a nurturing way we cannot always describe, but often must have. Humans we are, and the basic human model has not changed so very much in 50,000 years. Great success in life might be measured in some ways in monetary form, as in dollars, or things or better yet I think, in some Quantifiable way.
It is my great belief that success which is available to all of is can be found in the Quality of of human relationships. To have someone whose eyes you can look into and feel “Yes this person knows me, really knows & appreciates & understands me!” This is a great human success, the reward for positive human behavior is to have this in your personal life. Perhaps today we have the electronic form of communication. Still an instant message with a friend is a communication nonetheless- we might not be able to see their eyes, all right if they have an avatar we have a better chance of imagining this, of connecting to them. Maybe this is why the form avatar and virtual worlds are so important- the connection is personalized so very much, and we can project onto that other that which we feel so very much inside.

Community in other people, and what they give to us, makes us feel whole and more in touch with a greater sense of purpose- Is this “reward?” Yes of course it is. The efforts of individuals on this site has been heroic at best, and it is to the greatness of their accomplishments, that SecondLife will be known more and more. It is a community based on heart because no one would labor that hard unless it was for love, and the rewards of accomplishing what we do here is for more than oneself- something greater than ourself alone. A kind of altruism steeped in benefit for the self, but also one that benefits the many, and the many more to come.

I am reminded of that old saw- “They who can do, do - they who can’t, teach” I have heard “those who don’t have a Life get a second life.” Both of these statements, perhaps easy to make are totally wrong because-
Those who can do it better, teach those who want a Better Life, come to SecondLife to actualize this.

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