1. It's a way to engage in conversation about touchy or controversial subjects in gentle ways that sometimes lead to change – if not of ideologies, at least of how we engage each other. Sure, the opposite happens where we go off on rants, but more often than not, I am finding wonderful conversation partners about a whole host of subjects I wouldn’t be able to engage in otherwise.
2. Inspiration in the form of the shared thoughts of the greats and not-so-greats, beautiful photography from friends far and near that lift my spirits (special shout out to Linda Elsdon and Celia Rutt) and food for thought. There’s a lot of chaff to sort through, but the wheat is definitely there.
3. A way to stay connected with folks I don’t run across often even in my own very tiny corner of the world.
4. Outreach from friends and strangers seeking a friendly voice, a kind ear. It’s my job, but even more, it’s my privilege to be seen as someone to talk to.
5. Candor across the generations that never seems to happen in real time.
6. A way of knowing what others who see the world differently from me are thinking and saying.
7. Some great laughs. There are many wonderful humorists out there and they make me smile every day.
8. A way to stay in touch with family in a different way, sometimes just peeking into their page to see what they’re up to, reassuring me that all is well, or that I’ve missed an important birthday.