The following is my award for Blogger of The Year 2013. Maybe I should call it “My Merchants of Meaning in Social Media for 2013.” It’s noisy these days. The bits and bytes slamming into our lives from every imaginable digital, social networking source is – well – something to be mindful of – and managed. It’s also something to be appreciated. Thus, my annual recognition of said appreciation.
I concluded that for 2013 – well – my heartfelt appreciation is fourfold. These are the people whose posts have consistently made meaningful, enduring, positive deposits in my life during 2013 (and the lives of countless others). As the photo that’s associated with this article portrays, these people are headlights for me – illuminating the way ahead – in a world that requires people to lead with a flashlight. In alphabetical order:
Ron Cole – for me – Ron is the unequivocal conscience of post-modern chaos. He is consistent, an instigator, a provocateur…Ron Cole causes questions in a world consumed with the adoration of answers. He will make you uncomfortable. Cole will cause you to pause – ponder – to reconsider. He is the mouthpiece for many minorities – people, places, concerns, causes and challenges. Cole continues to “earn” his appreciation on my list, as he has over the past three years. Follow Ron on FB. Prepare to be disturbed, discombobulated and redirected.
Chad Estes – for me – Chad is the champion of compassion. His leadership in taking on tough, divisive, emotional issues with a carefully crafted, considerate, literate approach with his heart and mind’s pen – with a diverse audience – is unparalleled. Chad’s work with women and breast cancer is a phenomenal accomplishment – one that legitimately deserves national and international recognition (and replication). His photography prowess is spellbinding. Estes is an exceptional, undiscovered talent who deserves a syndicated column with a mainstream, national media distribution network. Period! Follow him on FB or his other social media outlets. You’ll be glad you did.
Jim Henderson – for me – Jim is the King of Kindness and the Reverend of Reconciliation. His ground breaking work with the issues of women in the church, causing Christians to see themselves from the viewpoint of outsiders, and his latest work with William P. (Paul) Young regarding “Where’s God When There’s No Happy Ending” — are just three of his spiritual anthropological endeavors that upend understanding, provoke the examination of the unspoken – and build new bridges amidst the fog-laden byways of life. Upon autopsy, it will be discovered that Jim’s physical being actually contained three to four hearts (he’s a likely organ donor). Henderson is a healer of profound humility. He’s a hero of mine. Ongoing. Forever. Follow Jim on FB – you’ll be challenged and changed for the better.
Chris Hill – for me – The Pontiff of Post-Modern Philosophy. From his portal in Albuquerque, New Mexico – Chris causes creative contemplation of critical challenges, concerns and understandings that inhabit post-modern life. Chris is a provocative purveyor of productively pursuing the plausible, the possible – the potential of wondering about why, when, where, who, and what-if. He’s the muse of meaning, matter, and mindfulness. He’s the King of The Questians! Follow Chris on FB…his meanderings will provide your life with mountains of meaning. Believe me…Chris will lead you on hikes through the wilderness of widely held (often unexamined) belief systems. Expect to encounter the unexamined.
The four identified above comprise – The Fellowship of the Flashlight – as I refer to them – and have several things in common. These include:
1. They live what the post.
2. They see a better way ahead.
3. They are people who live from the heart – as well as the head.
4. They care more about others than they do themselves.
5. They cherish questions.
6. They are teachers (and students).
7. They are creators of relational community.
8. They are innovative thinkers.
9. They live where we live – and share the challenges, burdens, possibilities and potential for this life.
10. Each is a uniquely gifted a merchant of meaning. Their social media contributions routinely rise above the digital noise that now inhabits human civilization.
11. Each lives sacrificially…unselfishly sharing their life with others at every opportunity, as they are able.
12. I am truly grateful and a better person because of their social media contributions.
Of course, the posts of a myriad of others have made meaningful, enduring deposits in my life. My list includes dozens and dozens of women!!! It also includes contributions from the rich diversity of people who populate our life. We are grateful for the meaning you provide to our lives.
These four routinely and consistently lead with flashlights in the fog. Follow them in 2014!
Thanks to ALL!
Grab your flashlight.