In a made up city that’s shrouded in perpetual darkness, whose foundation was built on ephemeral dreams, broken hearts, lies and deceit, it is sometimes hard to recognise the good that we often fail to see. It is easier to cast a look of disdain, pass on a discouraging word and do hurtful things to others than it is to be sincere or even offer a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.
Jesse Jackson once said, “The only justification we have to look down on someone is because we are about to pick him up.”
I often hear others voice out that they do not understand why people do the things they do and say the things they say. I think that the way to understand others is to be understanding. I was intrigued to learn that the derivative of the verb “to understand” is literally, “to observe standing beneath.” There is a great wisdom in this. To understand something, you must truly know it fully, from the bottom up.
People love to rush to judgements and jump to conclusions. We all have opinions about everything, even when we don’t know anything about the subjects. People spend an inordinate amount of time predicting, estimating, speculating, deciding and criticizing, usually with little or no foundation at all. Mostly this is true because we are confined in our understanding of things by what we know about ourselves, which can often, indeed, be very meager.
It follows then that a better understanding of ourselves could bring us closer to an understanding of others. I believe that when we are able to accept the often unpredictable ways in which we behave and think, we can begin to see more clearly why others do what they do and think how they think. An old saying says that we can’t understand anyone else until we have spent ample time in their shoes. To this, I would like to add that we should consider being more comfortable in our own shoes before we try to fit into anyone else’s.
In all my time here, I’ve beared witness to countless changes and transformations. Some were for the better and some – let’s just say that some just breaks my heart. Which brings me to a couple of quotes that comes to mind…
The first, from Charles Dickens who said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.” The other, was from someone quoted by my great grandfather and sensei who passed it along to me and said, “Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.”
The subject line of this post is ‘have you forgotten?’.
A few weeks back, I passed along a question to everyone out there. I asked people, if they can name a single person out there who has had some kind of impact on them in RavenBlack’s vampire game, be it profound or slight, who would it be? It filled my heart with joy to read the numerous replies discreetly sent to me. With the constant disturbances and drama going on, it’s nice to know that there is still good out there. That in some odd way, someone out there has made their mark on others and from then on, those they have “touched” would be forever changed.
People need the proper environment and atmosphere in which to grow and discover their distinctiveness. We are fortunate if someone has taken the time to look closely enough to see our unique spark and help us develop our special abilities. Even when no one else seems to recognise how truly remarkable we all are, we always have ourselves, the one inexhaustible resource for positive reinforcement, the one person who will always proudly wave our personal flag. Isn’t that what self-respect is all about? Some people seem to let go of it along the way.
I’m an old, sentimental fool. I cherish what little memories I have left. Memories that I choose to hold on to. Memories that I cannot let go. I still smile and I still am filled with joy whenever I learn about someone getting their powers for the first time or finally getting that pesky vampire hunter, or even their very first successful rob. I remember the frustration newcomers had when they first started out and how everything was a bit overwhelming. Knowledge back then was scarce and it was up to those who have been there before to pass it along. To some, such an act was never forgotten but to others, it was barely even noticed.
What happened to you along the way? Did you, some how lose yourself out there, lost a part of you that, for some reason, caused you to be the way you are now? We all gave part of ourselves to others out there. Some gave unselfishly. Some gave hesistantly. Some took from us more than what we were willing to give.
Have you forgotten?
It’s a shame that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. One day out of the whole year, set aside to honour and give thanks to those who had the courage to lead us when we were lost, those who gave us a helping hand when others turned their backs on us and turned us away. Those who, despite everything else, had the determination to stay true to themselves and stand their ground.
Change is constant in this game. People come and go here. And the enemies that you make now could very well be your allies tomorrow. The toes that you stepped on to get to the top could very well have the capable hands to help you up when you fall or when karma knocks you down.
We play this game for whatever reasons. Whether we like it or not, we’re brought together by this simple online game. I am thankful to those who kept things interesting for everyone. To those who, despite all else, perservered, which in turn showed others that it can be done and inadvertedly made themselves out to be the role models that others look up to now. I am also thankful to those who are no longer with us, those who have left the game and those who have passed on. Because at one time, they shared with us a part of themselves. They contributed something.
There are a lot of things we take for granted here. Not only things, but people too. Sometimes we forget that.
Forget about the roasted turkey and all its delectable trimmings. Forget about the football games, turkey legs, egg nog and pumpkin pies. Forget about the vampire game. Forget about all that for a moment and ask yourself, “What am I thankful for?”
What did you miss? What did you overlook? How fortunate or unfortunate are we to have each other? Ultimately, you decide all that. But do not let others dictate what’s best for you as only you can decide that. Only you can point out what you feel is important to you–what you think you should be thankful for.
I am thankful for a lot of things. From my health, as frail as it may be at times, to the simple comfort the warmth of sunshine on my back provides, down to this chance, this opportunity to be a part of something or someone because of an online game.
I do not know how you know me or know of me. I don’t want to know what you think of me or how you feel about me. None of that matters. What matters to me is because of this game and the people in this game, I learned to appreciate things that in the past have been taken for granted.
I owe all of that to all of you out there. And to you, of course, my dearest and beloved friend, Raven Black.
Thank you very much. And Happy Thanksgiving to you.
dislike seeing a wholly ‘Out of Character’ article published in a fully IN CHARCTER newspaper.
I just don’t see why this was posted here. I understand what was said here. I totally agree with her for sure I think it’s great she believes this. And I think it’s a commendable message: BUT
I don’t think it should have been posted here. There are other places to post stuff OOC. In fact there are more than enough ooc places for ooc statements & articles like this and I liked The Grimoire mainly because it doesn’t even HAVE a place for ooc.
Now we have whole ooc article? What sort of bizarre crossing is that? The last thing this city needs is a paper that doesn’t distinguish an ooc article from an in character one.
And is ~miyu her human’s name or her character’s name?
Puawai <- who thinks this was just a little inappropriate all things considered.
Who writes: _____
Damari ~Silence Raaawrs
…has been moved to the Editorial section. Though perhaps not the best choice for the paper, the sentiment behind it regarding the city of RavenBlack and the behavior of the players in it is rich.
My apologies if your sensibilities were insulted by said article. In the future I will ensure to be more careful regarding such article submissions.
Thank you for your input.