Often when I read blogs and articles about SL, I come across negative, derogatory remarks from people who know nothing about SL. They exhort SL’ers to “get a life” and “get psychological counseling” and suggest other such “advice”. I’m fairly used to the idea that people who don’t know about SL simply do not understand the positive aspects of life in a virtual world. But I rather expect that people who DO “live” here should understand that there are many, many benefits to a virtual life. So the fact that in the last week I read at least two blog posts claiming that everyone in SL is mentally ill – that ticked me off. I refuse to dignify those bloggers, both of whom have spent considerable time in SL, by providing links or names. I don’t agree with them. I don’t like how they phrased their opinion. I don’t like a lot of the comments from people chiming in to beat the same drum. I’m tired of people who have “left” SL but continually comment on SL, noting all that is wrong and harmful about it. I was annoyed enough that I vented to my friend Oura. We chatted a bit and I asked Oura to write down her thoughts, so that I could share them with you.
Now I turn my blog over to Oura:
It is no secret that the impact of others can have a profound effect on our lives… Whether just a smile as we pass on the sidewalk or a generous gift in a time of need, the compassion of another human being can be imprinted on the core of who we are.
This effect can be both positive and negative. That is the twist isn’t it, what do we allow to affect OUR core? Will we accept the generosity of strangers? Will we pass that along – the domino effect? Will we take the hatred that is there and allow it to imprint on OUR core as well? Will we pass that along to the next person with whom we come in contact? To go through life dealing with the many different types of people and only accepting the ‘good’ of their personalities, only allowing the positive to be imprinted on our souls, that is the goal isn’t it?
But what happens when the bad is there and it is so abundant that it gets to you, gets under your skin so to speak. There are people who feed on negativity, who grow problems it seems, some who look for trouble all the time. Our philosophy should not change, we should not be any different with those people than we are with the upbeat, positive people we meet. Take only the good and leave the bad. Someone once said, “you can find good in everyone if you look hard enough” (I tried to find if anyone was credited with that quote and was unable to do so).
There are some people who are negative about SL. WOW, have they spent any time in SL? I am amazed at the thought of this. Second Life is such a rich and rewarding community. It is like a community in First Life. There are rich and rewarding relationships, learning opportunities, things to explore and to help us grow as human beings. We can have very meaningful relationships, we can share ideas and information, we can work or play. Second Life is what we make it. It is our community.
On Mother’s Day I logged in and out a few times. During one visit I was privileged to read the group chat for the SL Divine Divas. There was a lot of conversation about the new hunt that started that day. One person in particular was asking about the gifts and how to determine which ones were the best value, because she had limited funds. She went on to explain that she had been troubled lately because of the holiday and the passing of her mother and how being in SL has helped and how the group chat was so encouraging. The Divas stepped up and outdid themselves. This, however, is not an uncommon thing in SL. The Divas immediately sent notes of encouragement and support. The love for a stranger was very apparent. Many sent this person SL funds so they did not have to pick and choose on the hunt, myself included. It is such a small amount for some of us but has such a profound difference for others.
I also attended a Relay for Life event where a friend of mine was going “Bald for Charity”. She set a goal of xL$/day – for each xL$ collected she would go bald for one day. I believe she was up to 7 days when the shaving began. This is another example of one of the many, many generous and caring individuals that I have had the privilege and honor of knowing ONLY through SL.
I say to those that are not happy here for whatever reason: loosen up – try to have fun – enjoy life. But if you do not want to take the good that is available, then go find your third life and leave us to our second life. We like it here and are very happy.