I’ve been very blessed with the responses to my Blog Challenges, and frustrated with the responses of a few. For the few, I will clarify:
Accepting one of Lorelle’s blog challenges is free-of-charge. There are no strings attached. You accept the challenge of your own free will. There are no financial or material rewards to be gained by answering the challenge. This is not a competition, contest, or lottery. No prizes will be awarded. The winning comes in accepting the challenge and responding. The winning comes in expanding your horizons, in creating new neural pathways, in seeing things from a different perspective, from accepting new input into your brain and regurgitating new output, helping you blog better and feel better, and in the process, maybe learn a thing or two.
In accepting a recent blog challenge to write a “memoir of a moment” in your life, Eve Garden God’s Rebecca Shannon responded with a masterpiece:
…Already unable to break free, drawn back in time, I find myself cocooned in the narrow tunnel of a fined tuned memory.
Step by step, with the heaviness of feet immersed in cured concrete, I stop, half way up the stairs. Before me is the entrance to the building. I can’t move. Time stands still. Everything inside my being tells me, You are not suppose to be here. Like a butterfly trapped in a jar, the fluttering thoughts, the inner wisdom of a then only eighteen year old tries one last time to reason, There’s been a mistake. This is not your destiny. You are someone else. You are an athlete, you are a teacher, you’re suppose to teach, it is your life, your every breath, leave here now…just stop here, turn, and go.
In a few short moments, the butterfly resigns itself to the uselessness of the moment. The lid to this jar has been twisted tightly. There is no getting out…
In the comments below, one commenter says, “Rebecca, if I were the judge, you’d win the challenge for sure.”
I’m stunned. Rebecca has won.
Not a prize from myself or even her commenters.
She’s won because she accepted a challenge and made it her own. She won because she’s released amazing creative energy and spirit out for the world. She’s won because the world can see how brilliant, wise, and intuitive she is, and want to get to know her. She’s won because something magical was shared with the world.
She’s won because someone, some day, will stumble upon this poetical work and make a connection, deep and profound, and a life will be changed.
You want a stuffed animal instead? What about an iPod? Hmm?
While many bloggers are using attention-getting means to “give back” rewards to their readers, thus attracting even more readers and links, I’d like to reward those who go back to their roots and the real definitions of reward, like self-esteem, self-confidence, because it’s the right thing to do, because it was worth the doing, because I needed it, because it needed doing, because it feels good, because it’s there, because, because, because…because the greatest rewards are not found outside but inside.
To them, a toast!
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.