Blog Funders Manifesto: Empathy and Evolution in Blogging
The Hunt for writing origins
To trace the roots of my passion for blogging and why the craft is important to you, I have to look back to my awkward days in high school
This is when I first considered the awesome power of written communication. I was a senior when I stumbled into Dr. Mooney in a noisy, jumbled high school hallway. Dr. Mooney was my composition teacher, and most students found him odd for his loud love of all things in reading and writing.
As a teenager, I was an introvert, walking to my World History class, head down, my acne plagued teenage face pointed at the carpet.
We bumped in passing, and he flipped his longish hair to the side. As we scrunched past one another, he said, “Hey, Darin, you’re a good writer.” He said this casually and moved on to his room.
I, however, was startled. I would have been equally surprised if he had called me Superman, an odd disconnect between what he said and the way I saw myself. I felt stupid and inept as a student, and in English, I felt clumsy. I wasn’t an author.
But, I set out on my writing path, as I worked harder than ever in Dr. Mooney’s writing class, craving that initial high that came with a bit of validation.
I had no self-confidence, and I latched onto that crumb of a compliment like a starving child and began to think of myself as a writer. While I was awkward as a speaker, I could speak on paper with power.
Cognitive Dissonance and Mental Growth
Have you heard of cognitive dissonance? It’s when you consider a new idea that conflicts with your traditional way of thinking. The dissonance is unsettling and disruptive. So, a devout worshipper of God who seriously considers atheism creates cognitive dissonance. People usually reject the disruptive thoughts. They usually want to get rid of the jarring thoughts that conflict with deeply held beliefs.
But occasionally, cognitive dissonance alters your belief system, forcing a change in thinking. My first major mind altering experience was to reconsider my written language skills.
Though painful, cognitive dissonance between current beliefs and new ideas is essential if one is to be a free, independent thinkers. According to the sociologist Sara Lawrence Lightfoot:
Dissonance between family and school, therefore, is not only inevitable in a changing society; it also helps to make children more malleable and responsive to a changing world. By the same token, one could say that absolute homogeneity between family and school would reflect a static, authoritarian society and discourage creative, adaptive development in children. -Sara Lawrence Lightfoot
A healthy progressive childhood education forces people to question and sometimes abandon past beliefs. In abandoning my feelings of inadequacy in communication, I progressed as an individual better able to adapt to life and experience.
As a writer and blogger now, cognitive dissonance is my essential companion in lifelong learning.
Blogging represents much more than a hobby because bloggers write and think in new, constructive ways. Bloggers work out meaning on the page, and the cognitive dissonance they generate in readers pushes cultural change in a healthy direction.
Human Heights of Evolution: Empathy
When a young person catches onto the power of writing and reading, magic happens — in thinking, communication, and imagination. Looking back, I see Dr. Mooney’s words as a pivotal moment in my literacy narrative, the story of my written language experience. I changed my life through disruptive thinking, placing value on education and stringing words into meaningful units of thought.
Dr. Mooney changed the trajectory of the chaotic path of my life. I am now a devoted blogger and reader because of his kind words. He turned me into a lifelong learner.
I could easily have ended up imprisoned by addiction, ignorance, and nasty habits. I was at a crossroads, a turning point, and words of kindness changed who I am.
Words spoken spontaneously can have tremendous power for good or evil. What might have happened if Dr. Mooney had said, “Darin, your writing sucks,” or “Darin, your writing is average,” or “Darin, your writing is adequate”? I would be a different individual.
My teacher might have simply passed me by, without making the effort to acknowledge my existence. He took a moment to reach out with a sincere compliment, in tune with my thoughts and feelings. He said just what I needed to hear.
Dr. Mooney had heightened empathic skills, the highest evolved human capacity. Empathy allowed him to feel what I felt and then act in a kind way. He probably doesn’t even know of his impact, as we have not kept in touch.
Empathy and kindness are profound, world changing.
Nurturing empathy in order to act altruistically makes you a better human. With these powers, you can elevate each person you encounter and become an influential positive force. I believe that this combination of feeling and action has the potential to save the world, not god or religion, but educated and evolved humans treating each other with kindness because it benefits everyone.
Try it out and see if it doesn’t elevate you and those around you.
Power Blogging: Digital and Cultural Evolution
Literacy is a product of societal evolution, transformations that are larger and exponentially faster than biological adaptation. The written word is responsible for the unprecedented growth spurt in human civilization and technology. Our current global situation is the result of those first words recorded on clay, now in tablets, smartphones, and computers. Human cultural evolution, since the beginnings of literacy until now, is moving at light speed with adaptations, compared to genetic evolution.
Now, the digital global consciousness evolves, adapts, and innovates almost beyond our own human capacity to reign it all in. Cultural evolution supercharges communication so that blogging is hypersocial global engagement. Our writing power has greater communicative reach and influence than ever before, and blogging will never disappear as a form of independent expression, education, and engagement.
The video below builds on these ideas that are the foundation of Blog Funders:
Hypersocial, Digital Self Identity and Bloggers
Blogging consumes me, has taken over my identity as a writer. The digitization of my language and stories define who I am, and I am unable to separate my digital self from my biological and psychological self. We are digitized in a culture thriving with technology, the world becoming better because of increased education.
We bloggers are so digitally and socially connected that blogging is a binary code embedded in our DNA, a part of our neural pathways and networks, defining us as human beings. Our double spiral helixes are laced with digitized words and stories, inseparable.
Literally, the plasticity of the brain changes and adapts the way we think and function when we blog.
We send our written messages digitally, and our words have infinite potential to affect readers around the globe. We have a responsibility to exert a positive influence on the globe by nurturing our empathy, acting and writing with altruism.
We are passionate bloggers who see the exercise of communicating digitally with the world as advantageous for all. We must find our authentic voices and are responsible to broadcast our ideas through social media channels. We have a responsibility to read and write blogs, pushing forward the global cause of evolution toward kindness and peace.
ThisManifesto is an important and binding document for Blog Funders, and each decision we make on the platform for crowd funding blogging projects is grounded in this philosophy.
The Blog Funders Manifesto
- Blogging is one of the best activities of modern humans in a digital, hypersocial, global environment, and blogging evolves and changes human cultures, improving lives.
- As with teaching, blogging is a high calling, which either empowers or fails our digital civilization, and our positive efforts elevate all humans in unseen ways.
- Capitalist economies feed upon bloggers, who are often exploited by the power and money hungry, and the lack of funds inhibits the creative efforts and projects of bloggers.
- A collaborative economy benefits bloggers, readers, and cultures, funding the the projects of those who struggle to maintain blogs.
- With empathy and altruism as our guides, Blog Funders will always lend aid to all blogging voices engaged in positive work, promoting survival, innovation, and evolution with a crowd funding platform that benefits the lives of bloggers.
- We give and receive in this collaborative economy of blog crowd funding, and each member of our community embraces the responsibility to both give and receive.
- At Blog Funders we look optimistically into the future, and embrace our roles in cultural progress based on empathy and altruism.
- Our primary objective is to facilitate the creative projects of bloggers because we believe that elevating bloggers improves civilization.
- We hold the relationship between Blog Funders, bloggers, and readers as a sacred trust, centered on empathy and altruism.
- We value empathy, altruism, communication, education, community, honesty, and fairness, and we pledge our resources to further these values.
Darin L. Hammond
Founder of Blog Funders
Please check out this manifesto in action on our platform at Blog Funders: Crowd Funding for Blogging Projects. We built the platform from the ground up with this Manifesto as its core, and we hope you like it and that you participate, contribute, and join our cause.
Originally published at blog.blogfunders.com.