This past Sunday was the 9th Blog Blast for Peace. I visited more than 200 Peace posts. There were many hundreds more on Facebook that I wasn't able to see. I learned a lot from reading the words and seeing the graphics. I learned a lot from reading some of the comments on each post.
I also learned from my reaction to the various ways bloggers have employed to encourage commenting but discourage spammers.
When faced with word verifications I simply couldn't read, I kept trying. I did become frustrated at times, but that frustration didn't stop me from trying and eventually succeeding to leave a comment. It was important to show my solidarity with those bloggers, and to affirm my respect for their effort.
That's kind of the point of working for Peace. Sometimes you get frustrated, but it shouldn't stop you from trying.
There were times while I traveled the bloggosphere in search of Peace Globes that I wondered why some bloggers didn't just turn off the word verification to make it easier to comment on this one day.
That's not really the point of working for Peace. Sometimes it is hard and no one can make it easy. So I kept trying.
I couldn't figure out how to comment on a few blogs. On many others I had to keep retyping my name, email, and URL. Some even had an extra bit of work, like answering a question or marking a box.
There is the lesson.
Wait...you thought the lesson was to keep trying, didn't you? Well, that's the obvious lesson. That's the lesson to persevere, and not let frustration turn me from my path.
Yes, that's a really important lesson. But it's not the lesson I took.
The lesson I took was that there are always going to be different things that are important to different people, and they are going to illustrate those things in behaviors as they move through life. Some will put up with spammers so that they can maintain an open environment because that is important to them. Others will put up a minimum effort because they want to try and block spam, but not make it so difficult that real conributors will turn away. And still others try and completely eliminate onerous spam, putting stiff measures in place, understanding and accepting that some will simply turn away because it's too much work to get through.
Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We're all different. We all have different things that are important to us. We're all moving through life in the way that seems best to us. Our blogs are a reflection of the things that are important to us, up to and including the way we protect those blogs from things we don't want on them.
That's the lesson. Respect our different choices. Follow the guidelines each of us sets out individually within the greater whole. As frustrated as I may get with word verification, I have to remember that the blogger who decided to use it was frustrated with spam and chose this way to minimize that frustration.
Celebrate our diversity. Work through frustration. Understand from a different point of view.
The lesson goes on.
Dona Nobis Pacem