Sometime in December someone gave me a Versatile Blogger Award. I was very touched and have been pondering since on who else I should hand this on to. (Part of the process is for each recipient to nominate other bloggers and thank the giver as well as a few other tasks that really do require thinking about). This proved harder than I expected. There are so many bloggers out there who make my life more than it would otherwise be. They inform me, delight me, make me laugh, share their sorrows and successes and so much more. So one by one I've been revisiting my favourites and I've been making my choices. I'll be passing on the award and all the other details required of me soon.
This process reminded me of something which has been going on in the blogosphere which is different - very different in fact because a physical object is being passed around - but which in spirit seems to me to be in some way similar. Jenny Lawson, who blogs as The Bloggess, (and just a word of warning if you visit her blog that she sometimes uses earthy language) posted recently about the travelling red dress. This is an actual red ball gown which she bought for no other reason than for once in her life she wanted to wear a wonderful red ball gown. She wore it and had photos taken then decided to share the joy by handing it on to other women who needed a lift. The travelling red dress has now passed through so many hands that it is worn out. So she launched another. This caught the imagination of many of her readers and now along with her ball gowns - she decided one wasn't enough. Last time I checked it had increased to ten - folk all over the world have joined in buying their own red ball gowns, taking photos and passing them on to others they feel need the lift they bring.
The connection? Well it seems to me that with a Versatile Blogger Award when I pass on the Award (although I get to keep mine unlike the travelling red dress) I'm saying to someone that they have impacted on my life in a way that has meant something to me. In a similar way the travelling red dress means that someone has looked at you, seen beyond the superficial and is acknowledging you as a person. They can't cure your ills but they can give you a chance to break out of them for a short time - and you, in turn, get the opportunity to to do the same for someone else.
I despair of humanity sometimes but gestures like this remind me that really we're not so bad after all.