Ways to Show Kindness in the Blogging World

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It is my unshakable belief that the relationships we cultivate with others – be they humans, dogs, cats, parakeets, or goldfish –  bring the most happiness and create the most meaning. If I can change lives in as positive a way as my dog has changed mine, I will have lived a successful life.

As I’ve ranted in this space and others, 2013 has been a trying year on many fronts. At times I have felt at war. However, through it all, I have also been the recipient of  much unexpected kindness. This kindness has been to such a degree and from so many quadrants and all I can feel in return is grateful and humble. It’s a bit tragic that things have to swoop so low in order for me to notice just how supportive people are and how lucky I am to be connected with so many generous individuals. I hope it is a lesson I will not forget. Even more, I hope it is something I will never take for granted.

I wish I was in a place I could repay everyone for their actions and kindness. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I could ever make a gesture or give a gift powerful enough to match the way others have made me feel this year. It may take me the rest of my life, but I figure I owe it to myself to try. Today is Pay It Forward Day. It is a day specifically dedicated to doing good deeds for others without asking for anything in return. I can’t think of a better way of beginning my own journey of thanks.

On the Pay It Forward website there is a terrific list of suggestions of ways people can make a difference in someone else’s life. They range from small, specific things like paying for a stranger’s coffee to larger, more general things like being a mentor. A long time ago, I wrote a list of ways people can show kindness in the dog world. There are some even better ideas in the comments. As a dog owner and a citizen in my community, I try to live my life according to the sentiments expressed in that list, even when it’s easier not to. These lists are hardly exhaustive. There are countless other ways we can reach out to others to make their days a little brighter.

Since I am also a blogger, I tried to think of ways to we can all show kindness in the online world.

1. Link up – To bloggers, traffic is always appreciated. There is no greater gift than sending others in a certain blog’s direction. Fortunately, there are so many easy ways to do this via your own blog and social media.

2. Write a meaningful comment – No one wants to blog in a vacuum. The reason I keep returning to this space is because of the sense of community it brings. It’s so heartwarming to know that you are not alone, that others have gone through the same things. There have been some rough days in my life that have been turned around by a kind word or a thoughtful blog comment.

3. Send a message – Who doesn’t love getting an email or a message on a Facebook wall? A short little message to share a joke or a fun video, a simple compliment about something they wrote, even just a quick hello. It all shows you are reading, which is the reason someone blogs in the first place.

4. Don’t say anything – I try to only comment if I have something positive to say or something constructive to add to a discussion. If something I read makes me feel upset or angry, it’s usually good practice to keep my emotional thoughts to myself. I understand having a knee-jerk reaction to something you disagree with but it’s much kinder to wait a little while before responding. Time adds perspective. Sometimes the kind thing to do is to keep quiet.

5. Offer to help – I know, I know. I am the first person to vent about unsolicited advice. However, when it’s offered freely and with the right tone, even I appreciate it sometimes. We all struggle with certain things and asking for help is tough. If you have a lot of skills in a particular area, say with the technological side of things, and another blogger mentions having trouble, sharing your knowledge is a huge way of paying it forward.

I am hardly an expert. Knowing the awesomeness of the Petosphere I am sure you all can come up with some fantastic ways to help other bloggers. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments! Maybe you can help me start to repay some of the generosity you have shown me these past three years.

 

36 thoughts on “Ways to Show Kindness in the Blogging World

  1. In the end, when we look back, I believe the only thing that will matter is whether we’ve made a success of our relationships. This post reminded me of that. Thanks!

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  2. I can so relate to this post… Blog friends really make a difference. I will never forget how much love and support I received this year when we had to put Alex to sleep in the sumner and then got slammed by Hurricane Sandy. The love and support of my blog friends made such a huge difference in my life

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  3. Thanks, for the heads up about International Pay It Forward Day. I’m a big believer in this concept. It’s REALLY nice that a days been set aside and it’s not a Hallmark Holiday!

    Even more awesome are the simple ideas You’ve shared. I always think that even a smile is good enough, if that’s what you’ve got to give.

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  4. What a great post – and great ideas! You are so right – when my father died 3 years ago it was brought home to me that the only thing of value we leave behind us is the mark we leave on the lives of others.

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  5. I really like the idea of paying it forward. The idea of “repaying” kindness always bothered me a little as it’s not currency – when we are kind to someone, we’re not giving away a non-renewable resource, after all. We’re not (or at least we shouldn’t be) looking to create a tit for tat situation or put someone in our debt. I think your solution is a brilliant one – paying it forward is a wonderful way to honor and acknowledge kindness received from others. If we all spent time paying it forward, the world would be a much better place.

    You’re pretty awesome, you know. Such a smarty pants. 🙂

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  6. Thank you for once again putting into words what i feel…I’ve received so much support from my blogging friends and it’s touched me deeply…I never thought that starting a blog would bring me into such a great and caring community of people from all over the world…I try to return the love in what ways I can, but never feel like it’s enough

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  7. There are so many things I can relate to in this post, and once again you articulate so much better than I do.

    I think you get back what you give Kristine, so if you’ve been shown some kindness and caring, it’s because of what you’ve given to us. Sometimes the very best gift we can give is kindness and caring.

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  8. I think this is fabulous and you pretty much covered everything. I think one thing that bloggers can do more of is “share” each other’s work via twitter and Facebook which I am planning on doing with your post right now! I didn’t even know it was “Pay It Forward Day!!”

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  9. Thanks for stating everything so well.

    There are so few ugly trolls that try to invade the dog blogging world and that alone makes it a great place to be. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by so much negativity in the world and dogs and dog bloggers can bring us back to a reality we want to live with.

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  10. What a wonderful post, and I don’t think I could add anything to your great ideas. When I started writing my blog a few months ago, the one thing I did not anticipate was the support that is out here, and the friendships that can be made. I try to always remember that it works both ways….and especially if I see a new blog out there, that is when I really want to pay it forward, to give them the welcome that I received.

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  11. What a sweet concept. I don’t think I was blogging back when your original list posted, so I ran over to read it, too.

    I can’t tell you how much that “walk away” has meant to me a few times. I still remember a couple who called out to me at a trail junction, asking which way I needed to go with Silas. Then they stepped to the other side. I also deeply appreciate cyclists who call out that they need to pass. Usually I already know about them and am hurrying up to a good place to get off the trail, but sometimes they really sneak up on me.

    I’m sorry you’re having a rough year. :hug:

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  12. What a great post! I must admit, I often stick with “saying nothing” – due to my own ‘issues’ – but I’m making a bigger effort this year to interact more, and at least try to make more meaningful comments. I like to think I’m getting there, slowly!

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  13. This is a fantastic list, and I just wanted to say that I’m happy to see you popping back up in my reader. I’ve missed you! Also, thanks for the heads up on Pay it Forward day. We’re heading up to the donation box to send some toys to the local shelter.

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  14. I love this community and am so glad I decided to start blogging… especially about pets. I’m not convinced that other blogging communities would have the same heart as this one does. It’s truly amazing!

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  15. Thanks for the great post on Pay It Forward Day. Didn’t even know that was a ‘thing.’

    Have to agree with many of the prev. comments – the dog blogger world is such a welcoming, supportive, generally happy place. You see so many trolls leaving comments on other types of blogs, but it’s (thankfully) such a rarity on dog blogs. Maybe because our pups tend to bring out the best in us. Now… having said that, I’m not sure Rita would participate in Pay It Fwd Day. She’d rather “Pay it Inward” – esp’y if we are talking about treats!

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  16. You are so right– I can’t believe the unbelievable support I’ve found from friends I’ve only met on-line.

    Gratitude for kindness done is a kindness in itself. No one wants to be taken for granted. By acknowledging what people have done for you, you have paid them back. And you really are a pretty terrific person all around. The love is well deserved.l

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  17. What a great post. Interesting idea for “paying it forward” on the web. Interestingly, in all the posts I have come across over the years I don’t think I have seen similar online karma ideas. I like your vision for the web-sounds like a happier place 🙂

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  18. I didn’t know it was Pay it Forward Day either! Geesh- now I want a redo!

    You pretty much nailed all the things I would say too, I love getting emails from readers. It always brings a smile to my face!

    I’ve missed your posts! Hope you are doing well!

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  19. What a wonderful post.Without the pet-blogger community I would not have kept going past the first 6 months of our blog. We operate in such a kind and supportive system. I am glad that you have found uplifting and inspirational messages for you in your times of need. Sorry I haven’t been by to comment more.

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  20. You inspired me to make a blogpost where I link up and tell about all the blogs I follow and thank them and tell how wonderful they are.

    I just need to make the post now 😀 Might take awhile. But I’m definately now doing it.

    -Lilli-

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  21. Brilliant post, AGAIN! The little things you do make a difference, like becoming a member of a blog, RTing or even a #FF. It’s important to not only write about what you like but to share things that you think others will like too. It’s all about putting a smile on people’s faces.

    Which is why I’ll definitely be sharing your post.

    Thanks for an inspiring post. I’ll now be going to SHARE SHARE SHARE some of the fantastic content that pet bloggers have to offer 🙂

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  22. Great post Kristine.

    I am a big believer in paying it forward. Sometimes paying for someone’s cup of coffee is enough. Even a smile or a compliment can make a difference. I don’t always remember to Pay it Forward, but I try. I loved your blog post on paying it forward in the dog world too. It’s a good reminder to all of us that WE make the world a better place. It’s a choice. By spreading our love, we are spreading love beyond just us. 🙂

    Love the beautiful picture at the top of your post too!

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  23. Lovely post. I hope it brings you some joy.

    #4 is helpful advice to me. I can’t tell you how many FB comments I’ve written and deleted before hitting “post.” Anyone can have a bad day and FB is not the most supportive way to discuss an issue with someone.

    I’d add cut people some slack. Occasionally I’ll see a post about someone talking about how they’ve been disappointed by someone’s lack of gratitude.

    Yes, sometimes people are jerks. But sometimes they’re also suffering with their own pain and aren’t able to be polite or helpful back.

    2013 is only 1/4 over and spring is coming. I hope the year redeems itself for you provides joy, community, and even some zoomery. 🙂

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  24. My mom always told me that, before saying or writing anything emotional (gushingly positive or negative), I should sleep on it. If I still felt the same the next day, send it. I’ve found that that has been the single most important piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

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  25. Great post! I have recently been thinking again how great a place the pet blogging community is. They always seem to be paying it forward in some way. But I think one of the best ways to pay it forward is simply to say “thank you” and be appreciative of others. For instance, the other day, you thanked Mayzie for tweeting your post. You certainly didn’t have to do it and you probably didn’t think much about it. But it’s little things like that that mean a lot. 🙂

    MayzieMom

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  26. I have another community I’m involved in that really got me on Facebook. I resisted for the longest time, but there were people I really wanted to stay connected to so I made the plunge. I started “friending” the friends of friends (I’m sure you know how that works) and now I have this base of amazing people. These are people I may have never met in person or maybe just saw in passing at a common interest event, but they are supportive when you have a tragedy and cheer with you at your triumphs.
    I really should send out a thanks!
    Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

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  27. I love to blog, I blog on a car website informing people how to keep their cars in tip top condition etc. It is good to write and help people make the best choices with the hope of putting smiles on peoples faces – we live in a corrupt world so people need a lot of encouragement, particularly these days. It is my goal to reach out to the community. I also have a website that I am progressively building, it brings me joy to point people in the right direction.

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  28. Pingback: What I Am Reading: Not Keeping My Promises Edition

  29. I agree, and for more ideas my post today highlights many ways blogger friends have helped me heal from the loss of Brooks. The many words of comfort, cards, and thoughtful gestures by people I’ve never met in real life but understand the loss of a pet has touched me a great deal.

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  30. Great ideas to help others and show kindness in the blogging world. Glad you’ve come back to blogland to share that kindness – just as you always have. 🙂

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  31. There is no way I can adequately put into words how low I felt when I started Kol’s Notes. Life had dealt me a series of crappy hands and I felt like I had to do something, anything. I could never have imagined the support, love and kindness I’ve found in this community. You folks amaze me.

    I love the idea of paying it forward.

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