Posted in Awards, Concepts, Culture, Nature, Quotes, Social Justice

Spreading Peace with the GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD I (GAMBA I)

Kamal’s Blogging Café: To learn more about the award and its rules, here is the link. https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/great-achiever-mahasiddhi-blogger-award-gamba/

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I met a new blogger named Kamal who has introduced a new initiative with her new Great Achiever Blogger Award to spread peace among the blogging community. She is an ambitious visionary, and the award itself has such a beautiful origin story!

It has given me an extreme happiness and immense pleasure that I am here to introduce a ‘GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD‘ to expand peace in our global village- WordPress. This award goes to a real achiever and successor who has been giving their creative feelings and thoughts exquisitely presenting a good perfection of work of art in WordPress Writing.

I am from a birthplace of Gautam Buddha who enlightened many parts of the world in his lifetime by his wisdom and knowledge of equanimity, or peace of mind which is achieved by detaching oneself from the cycle of craving that produces trouble. And, from a lap of Mount Everest, giving an adventurous taste of mountain climbing to the people around the world. The most important thing is purity from the Himalayas, everyone get tastes of pure water flowing from mountain to the hills and then Terai region spreading tranquility in spring.

“महासिद्धी” is a term for someone who embodies and cultivates the “Siddhi of perfection”. A Siddha is an individual who, through the practice of sādhanā, attains the realization of siddhis, psychic and spiritual abilities and powers.

We are a member of a global village “WordPress” to help shape the world peacefully through our continuous effort to dedicate and invest our valuable time for writing giving a perfection, i.e. “महासिद्धी”.

What an introduction! Thank you, Kamal. ❤ I’m truly honored and humbled by such serendipity. Throughout my journey in blogging, earning a badge for reaching particular criteria is a fascinating concept. I apologize for replying sooner as I have many other obligations outside of my blog.

However, spreading peace is a wonderful cause I can easily rally behind during these times. Unlike a peacekeeper, a peacemaker is neither passive nor fearful. Throughout history, society has a myriad of approaches for maintaining peace. The complexities of human nature, being what it is, has demonstrated conflicting ideas of how peace will transpire.

It takes diligence to remain calm within your heart in the midst of chaos. I have known many bloggers who have done this well but are award-free. Thus, I will open this nomination to any of my readers who would like to contemplate and explore these ideas.

Rules & Regulations

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, with a link to their blog.
  2. Make a Post of the Award with a Statement of PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT as above. Tag your post with the #greatachiever.
  3. Mention the rules and regulations.
  4. Ask 7 questions of your choice. One of the questions must include “PEACE” and one for “SAVE Environment”.
  5. Nominate at least 7 fellow bloggers or more to 21 bloggers and notify them.
  6. Follow @kamalsbloggingcafe (https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com) to secure certification as a badge to get a chance of collecting badge of GAMBA WORDPRESS SHINING STAR AWARD for PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. For more details, visit https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/award/.

Musings

I like to imagine climbing Mount Everest one day, but I think I’m content watching the incredible views in a documentary while I condition myself. 😉 If you are not familiar with the Terai region, these flatlands stretch along the border between Nepal and India. They can be quite beautiful in the spring time.

Image Credit: Knowledge @ Wharton

With such sweeping, natural beauty, it’s unfortunate to know that the country is struggling with many challenges such as natural disasters, cycles of extreme poverty, and political instability, to name a few.

Image Credit: Sagarmatha Dispatch-Gazette
http://sceenius.com/2015/07/27/flatlands-of-nepal-the-terai/

Some of my readers are aware that I was raised with mixed religious traditions. Sometimes, my hybrid, eclectic upbringing has led to some friendly tension with my “pure” friends, but c’est la vie! (That’s life!) 🙂

Years ago, one of my classmates once called me a “Bodhisattva“. I had no clue what that was, so I looked it up.

A person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.

Oxford Dictionary
Image Credit: Stephen Lucas
Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara), Bodhisattva of compassion

My father’s brother was a Buddhist monk. When I was a young girl, I attended various beautiful temples with some lovely gardens and fountains. My dad said Buddha’s birthday was near my own which I thought was a fun piece of trivia. There I spent time with and learned from other monks and more devout Buddhists.

Image Credit: Dan Pancamo
This photo contains an example of some of the colorful, architectural elements that I remember most

Kamal’s Questions

  • How can you be a good blogger as a member of WordPress Global Village?

If by “good”, you mean integrity: I pay it forward and recognize other bloggers whenever I can or when time permits. I help others enjoy the blogging process and encourage them to keep growing in their craft if they’re new. If they’re veterans, I participate in their challenges. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers, and I learn new things everyday.

  • Could you please define a word “PEACE” from your point of view?

I’ve experienced many peaceful moments singing with groups of people in harmony. I also enjoy digging my toes in the sand and feel the ocean wash over my feet as I see the sun rise.

Image Credit: Wallpaper Cave

A picture is worth a thousand words.

American adage coined by Henrik Ibsen

For the past few years I’ve been following photography entries for the Global Peace Photo Award inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Alfred Hermann Fried and Tobias Michael Carel Asser. The photos are quite compelling. Here’s one I absolutely love!

Image Credit: Maria Turchanova, Russia
The World as a Manifestation of Love
  • How can we save a tree?

Sadly, I’m trying to save a weak crepe myrtle tree that has developed some lichens. It’s been fighting to stay alive for a very long time. I need to apply some herbicidal soaps and add more mulch. I feel like I have to accept the inevitability of the cycle of life on this one, but I will keep trying so long that it’s showing signs of life and sprouting new leaves.

  • Do you think human trafficking is still a crosscutting issue? 

Yes, human trafficking is one of the largest crimes in the world and intersects with a variety of studies. “This Power and Control wheel outlines the different types of abuse that can occur in labor and sex trafficking situations.” -Polaris Project

Image Credit: Polaris Project
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project’s Duluth Model

It’s even in my own backyard! A few years ago, the store where I worked at made national headline news. A trucker was smuggling illegal immigrants across the border in a large 18-wheeler truck. One of my coworkers reported suspicious activity in the parking lot and heard yelling inside the truck. The individuals in the truck bed were suffocating in summer weather, had no water, and no restrooms. Some died due to asphyxiation, and many were treated at the hospital.

Infographic Credit: Department of Homeland Security (Blue Campaign)
  • What thing do you sacrifice to make a happy family environment?

One thing we sacrifice is our pride and need to be right. We apologize when situations warrant it.

Pride is the longest distance between two people.

Kushandwizoom
  • Which animal do you like most? Why? 
Image Credit: Pixabay

The panda is one of my favorite animals. The symbolism behind the panda as a spirit animal really resonates with me.

  • What do you think about the journalist or Youtubers? 

Youtubers and journalists have a platform to share news, photographs, and information that they have gathered and researched with the public. They share their opinions, their truths, and sometimes deliver a new angle on an existing topic. Journalists expose themselves to potentially dangerous situations everyday. Youtubers also deal with their particular trolls. I feel that those who move forward in such situations are courageous and resolute.

Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy.

MSNBC
  • Is a movie-star play a vital role to aware most of the people around the world or just they present their performance to earn money?

There is a wide spectrum of the type of movie stars out there. Some movie stars try to raise awareness about many pressing issues. They play a role in the movie to enact change or shift the public’s mindset about a topic. Sometimes, they raise money to donate to a charitable cause. Audrey Hepburn danced in underground concerts to raise money for the Dutch resistance during World War II for instance.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

There are also movie stars who have done a movie purely for the money. I feel that there is no shame in this sort of honesty as money is a necessity. Acting is a profession, and they don’t call it “show business” for nothing. Do I feel that some are overly paid exorbitant amounts of money? Sometimes, but it’s peanuts in relation to an underground network of elite individuals who the public doesn’t see or know about.

Sometimes, actors would just like the cash and openly admitted it like Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Paul Bettany, Richard Dreyfess, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Marlo Brando, Betsy Palmer.

Image Credit: Fanpop
Ben Affleck in the movie, “Paycheck”:

My Questions

  • What does peace mean to you?
  • How do you resolve conflict?
  • What is one thing you do to help the environment?
  • How does security play a role in maintaining peace?
  • What kind of food makes you feel at peace with the world?
  • If you won the Nobel Peace Prize, what would you want the award recognize you for?
  • If you were sign up for the Peace Corps, what kind of work would you consider?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time! 🙂

Featured Nighttime Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Posted in Concepts, Culture, Events, Quotes, Technology

Part 2: Navigating Political Discussion with Family Members

Hello! Yesterday I posted some philosophical thoughts in Part 1: Reflections on “The Drowning Child”. I concluded that post with this question which I wanted to explore more in depth today:

If we are obligated to save the life of a child in need, is there a fundamental difference between saving one who is right in front of us and one on the other side of the world?”

– Saania

However, as I was editing this post, it evolved into something else, and I have to explore it in Part 3.

Recognizing Societal Illness

One of my favorite books is called “Teachings on Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk and Zen master who resides in the Plum Village monastery in France. He occasionally visits the West and leads mindfulness retreats. He’s dismayed when he finds suffering as the result of behaviors passed on from one generation to the next.

There is a deep malaise in society. When we put a young person in this society without trying to protect him, he receives violence, hatred, fear, and insecurity every day, and eventually he gets sick. Our conversations, TV programs, advertisements, newspapers, and magazines all water the seeds of suffering in young people, and not-so young people as well.

Thich Nhat Hanh

He further describes how we put ourselves in an unhealthy vacuum and offers a suggestion:

Taking refuge in these things [smoking, TV, overworking, eating, drinking] only makes us feel hungrier and less satisfied, and we want to ingest more. We need some guidelines, some preventative medicine, to protect ourselves, so we can be healthy again. We have to find a cure for our illness. We have to find something good, beautiful, and true in which we take refuge.

Thich Nhat Hanh

How Do We Even Begin to Heal?

Politics has always been a sensitive topic in my family. I suspect it’s typical for many families. My family prioritized harmony and preservation of familial bonds over open, heated debates all throughout my life. Dad never wanted the children to get upset and shielded us from most of these topics. I was grateful that my childhood and young adult life was relatively pleasant.

Quietly smiling at the irony of my blog name, “Culture Shocks”, I try to avoid talking about it here as well because this blogging space is my “relax and unwind zone”. However, I’m currently in figurative knots, and I’m on the search for understanding.

Now that my siblings and I are all adults, we now see how aspects of politics affect various facets of our lives. More discussions are cropping up during our phone calls. We’re talking things out and sifting various sources together trying to discern real news and fake news dissemination, but it’s gotten a bit sophisticated.

A while back I watched an episode, “Deepfake”, of Madam Secretary where I learned about the concept of deep fake technology. Seeing how easily it was to get society to get riled up and affect the decisions of each respective country’s leaders was quite alarming.

Deepfake technology enables anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create realistic-looking photos and videos of people saying and doing things that they did not actually say or do.

Rob Toews, Forbes contributor on AI. “Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society. We Are Not Prepared.”

The pressure is building. My mother and my uncle, in particular, are wanting me to vote in a particular direction, but the current state of American politics is stressful and rife with scandal.

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, and many times, I feel tempted not to vote at all. Yet to avoid participation, is making a decision too. It was easier to vote in local elections that impact the community I’m in. I feel like I relate to very few candidates on the national scale. Regardless of whether or not I relate well, I have to take into account how it will affect the nation as a whole.

Last year, I was really surprised to see Marianne Williamson make an appearance as a candidate. She seemed so refreshingly out of place, yet brilliantly addressed various inequities. She wrote a book called “Healing the Soul of America“.

Though I hold her in utmost high regard as a spiritual healer, I’m not sure the pursuit of presidential ambitions would be a good vocation for her. I appreciate her activism and influence and feel that she is more effective outside of the political sphere or at least nearby political circles as an advisor. Similar to how Billy Graham served as a spiritual advisor and counselor to several U.S. leaders. If she attained a presidential role, I feel that her idealism will be snuffed out in the day-to-day responsibilities and pragmatic and, at times, ruthless decisions. I certainly don’t want that to happen as she serves a vital role in society.

Choosing a leader for the melting pot of our nation seems to be an herculean task. I study their platform, their past history and track record, any changes they have publicly made to their stance. I was fascinated by the ideological beliefs of political giants such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard. I was intrigued by Republican nominee, Bill Weld, and his impressive record of fighting public corruption cases. Trump has been the most beguiling of them all, and has been featured in all types of media.

The Search to Find Common Ground

A few nights ago, mom and I had a discussion about the current American political landscape and the upcoming election. I implore her to look at the big picture and view the potential impact of each candidate. Economic, health, education, and immigration policies are important to her.

She highlighted a point about Joe Biden and how he didn’t support the evacuation of Vietnamese refugees back in the 1970’s. Seeing how this decision would have impacted my ability to be here in the states in the first place and being the curious person that I am, I decide to look for various sources:

Yet Senator Biden, the future vice president, then at the age of 31, fiercely maintained that the U.S. had “no obligation, moral or otherwise, to evacuate foreign nationals,” dismissing concerns for their safety as the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong swept south toward Saigon in 1975….

LA Progressive by STEPHEN FOX March 7, 2020

President Gerald Ford was upset with Biden’s response at the time:

The United States has had a long tradition of opening its doors to immigrants of all countries. We’ve always been a humanitarian nation. We felt that a number of these South Vietnamese deserved an opportunity to live in freedom.

Washington Examiner article by Jerry Dunleavy, July 4, 2019

Kissinger said there were Vietnamese to whom we have an obligation, but Biden responded: “I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”

It seems clear here where all the decision makers stood here on this issue. Biden was patriotic and perhaps more of a nationalist than President Ford at the time. As I’m trying to remain even-keeled, I remember a memory of a time I spent at one of my first sociology meetings at the university after I introduced myself and my family’s background.

One of the leaders of the organization listened and responded:

At the time, the United States government sent so many American soldiers to Vietnam to fight and it was such a bloody war. Many Americans were very upset of losing so many of their loved ones on the front lines and felt that the effort was futile. Can you imagine how the American population felt about Vietnam as a whole?

Understandably, I can see why Joe Biden have felt this way. When you have witnessed the destruction that a senseless war has caused, you feel to the weight of the burdens of all your constituents and the people you serve. How can I even think about helping others when I can’t even help my own? He must have felt embittered at such loss and wanted nothing to do with the people who were influenced by their government to commit these heinous acts.

The US responded just as ruthlessly with a chemical warfare program called Operation Ranch Hand. Agent Orange, not only contaminated the health of the Viet Cong soldiers who were hiding in the forests, but also millions of innocent citizens and various animal species that lived nearby. Defoliants made it difficult to rebuild the forest habitat and the reparations for the damage done is still devastating.

The Complexity of Multiple Sides of An Issue

I reflected back on how my parents felt when they first arrived. They too were traumatized and simultaneously grateful to be here. Though, my parents were not the Viet Cong, they were cautious about building friendships with the American people realizing that many were not supportive of sponsoring Vietnamese refugees.

The safe route was to be insular and be friends with those who have faced similar strife and shared experiences, and rebuild their lives from there. They worked very hard to try not to lean on various welfare programs too much as they were aware of marginalized groups abusing the system. Today, my parents’ quality of life is far better than if they were to have stayed in Vietnam.

There’s a certain mentality that countries can only help a small percentage of immigrants, otherwise the native population begins to feel threatened. Despite whatever plight these immigrants have faced in their homeland, both sides’ ways of life becomes disrupted when trying to welcome foreign populations with different values or at least live side by side.

There are so many sides to the issue. Some countries faced the consequence of allowing too many immigrants to enter their country without review only to have the newcomers rape the native women and children in the streets. Some immigrants become valuable business leaders in their adoptive country and help serve their new community however they can. The immigration offices are flooded with so many cases and processing each of them can be cumbersome…

I’ll wrap it up for now. Thank you again for following along my thoughts today!

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, flashback, Quotes, Social Justice

Part 1: Reflections on “The Drowning Child”

This morning I was intrigued by a blogger’s article called “The Drowning Child“. At 15 years old, Saania is wise beyond her years and constantly looking for ways to expand her thinking. Her comment feed is a hub of lively discussion and a time of personal reflection.

Saania explores Peter’s stance in this particular scenario:

Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher who created a thought experiment called The Drowning Child, in 2009.

In this thought experiment, we imagine ourselves walking down the street. Suddenly, we notice a girl drowning in a lake. We have the ability to swim, and we are also close enough to save her life if we take action immediately. However, doing so will ruin our expensive shoes. Do we still have an obligation to save her?

Edmond Allen

Peter’s answer to this question is yes. We do have a responsibility to save the life of a drowning child and price is no object. If we agree with him on this statement, it leads us to a salient thought-provoking question: If we are obligated to save the life of a child in need, is there a fundamental difference between saving one who is right in front of us and one on the other side of the world?”

I couldn’t help but read the various responses. I’ve read comments along the lines of “Let me take off my shoes, and then dive in to save the girl!” or how there are many charitable organizations whose donations go to other costs rather than the cause itself. There’s many aspects to explore in Peter’s statement.

Summer Flashback

When I was a young girl, I almost drowned in a lake one summer.

We were celebrating a family reunion with a BBQ by a gorgeous lake nestled between a heavily forested area that provided lots of shade. Many other families were also enjoying their time and the whole area was packed.

My cousins wanted to cool down and decided to take me to the deep part of the lake. We were splashing each other and having fun.

They were supporting me until one of our parents called us to let us know that the BBQ is ready. Hungry, they started to swim back to shore and left me hanging without a life jacket.

I didn’t know how to swim at the time, but I was trying to learn as quickly as possible. I was sinking fast. I choked on a lot of water I swallowed and slowly couldn’t breathe.

Even with so many people around me, no one was coming to my rescue, and I was unable to call out for help. I couldn’t blame them, they weren’t life guards and were focused on enjoying their time.

I paddled my hands and arms to push myself to the surface, and focused on a point at the shore that I wanted to reach. I kicked my legs in that direction and crawled over there.

Eventually, just as I was getting closer to shore, my cousin spotted me unaware of the ordeal I went through and pulled me the rest of the way.

Whose Responsibility?

Thinking back to that fateful day, I wonder. Hundreds of people were there. Did anyone at the lake that day have an obligation to save me? Even if they knew I was drowning, would they?

I’m reminded of a psychology concept I read years ago in class called “Theory of Diffusion of Responsibility” by John Darley and Bibb Latane.

The more spectators there are, the less likely it is any one of them will actually help. When someone needs help, the spectators assume someone else will step in. Someone else will “do something.” But, the outcome of this individual way of thinking is that in the end none of the spectators will bother to step in. And the responsibility will end up spreading thin among the whole group. This means no one will take responsibility.

Kitty Genovese, the Girl who Screamed and Nobody Helped

My mother once described a situation where a young man dived in to save her sister from drowning in the ocean. The current was pulling her downward, and the young man risked his own life to save her sister.

She will never forget his heroism. I’m grateful for the people who take initiative.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who won’t do anything about it”

Albert Einstein

Charity & Social Conscience

Finally, I want to explore this last thought-provoking question:

If we are obligated to save the life of a child in need, is there a fundamental difference between saving one who is right in front of us and one on the other side of the world?”

I will be exploring this question more in Part 2 of my reflections in this philosophical question, but I’m immediately reminded of a quote:

Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world: yet is every man his greatest enemy.

Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1642

Some people have interpreted this to mean take care of your own family first before being kind and generous to others. Others take it to mean children should first learn what it means to be charitable in their home.

Often times, I wonder if people decide to help those who are immediately closest to them because they see an immediate effect from their actions.

Being in close proximity allows for the opportunity to develop a relationship with the person you’re helping. Increased exposure may help the two parties develop familiarity.

I also think of the differences between generous acts vs. generous people. Corporate responsibility vs a genuine desire to help as well.

There are so many facets to think about. Thanks for tagging along my thoughts today. I will be posting Part 2 tomorrow! 🙂

Posted in Concepts, flashback, Food/Recipes, poetry

#Paint-Chip Poem – When I was Little…

I enjoyed the aroma of turmeric in mom’s curry
Dad’s old leather boots were curiously in a hurry
A divine touch of luck to discover an Indian Head penny
Lazy lizard beaded key chains of which there were many

Experienced euphoria while gazing at sparkling lakes
Created my own potpourri out of orange peels and floral flakes
The sheer power of Gyarados, a sea serpent, gave me the shakes
So, to calm myself down, I would bake several mini-cakes!

New blogging friend over at revivedwriter introduced me to the concept paint chip poetry created by Linda Kruschke. It was a rather touching experience to go back to my childhood! Thank you!

Posted in Concepts, Dreams, Quotes

10 of My Favorite Feelings

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

Helen Keller

I love that when I come back to WordPress after my journey in the world, I feel enveloped by the comfort of the community. Chocoviv invited me to this fun tag, and I can’t help but join her! You’re welcome to join!

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

IBM World Community Grid

Hello everyone, hope you are well today! Inspired by a post I read on Tony Burgess’s post, “The Thing About: The Virus“, I thought about various efforts to help find a cure and treatment for COVID-19.

IBM’s World Community Grid allows anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet to donate their unused processing power to advance scientific research on various topics ranging from health, poverty and sustainability. I’ve been a member for several years. It’s neat when I take a step away to eat lunch or a jog, my computer is playing a part in helping perform calculations for AIDS research.

You can learn more about their current projects here: Active Research
You can learn more about their program here: About

Posted in Concepts, fiction, Nature, Photography

#A2Z – Director’s Dilemma of Dogme 95 (fiction)

“CUT!!!” Director Cavanaugh acerbic voice sliced through the air.

Buzzing with energy from the two cups of coffee he drank, he chewed on his pen cap as he witnessed an interesting snapshot on his screen. It was linked to an underwater videographer’s feed. A fish inside a jellyfish! Could he turn this bizarre moment into a symbolic story left to the audience’s interpretation and imagination? The fish’s expression says it all. The gears were turning in Cavanaugh’s head

Try as the little fish might to direct its own path, the jellyfish will inevitability drag the fish wherever it pleases. Realizing its loss of autonomy, the fish’s eyes bug out in horror!

Image Credit: Tim Samuel

Cavanaugh wondered if he was insane for trying out an ambitious experiment after a period of hitting the doldrums. He was inspired by some prize-winning photos in a BBC article that he was browsing.

Image Credit: Anita Kainrath, from Austria, won Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year with Shark Nursery, showing baby lemon sharks in a mangrove in the Bahamas.

He wondered if he can authentically capture a live stream story letting the animals share their own stories. He was fascinated by their behavior. He couldn’t direct the animals, but then it wouldn’t really matter since his name wouldn’t be credited. During his time in film school, he was intrigued by a film movement founded in 1995 by Danish director Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. They wrote a manifesto called Dogme 95. The “rules” were as follows:

The question is… can he stick to the rules?

Posted in Concepts, Quotes

Blogging Insights #20 – Long form VS Short form Content

Hello everyone! Hope you are doing well! I’m officially free from the wrath of the flu! My goodness, I can just breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂 Today I want to explore this question:

Have you ever wondered the differences of impact between short-form content and long-form content for blog posts?

Today’s post will be centered on Dr.Tanya’s questions regarding blog length featured under #blogging insights on her blog, Salted Caramel.

  1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?
  2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
  3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
  4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been working on a class in which my professor wanted us to engage our audience via WordPress or LinkedIn platforms. Setting this intention and accomplishing assigned objectives required me to do some research.

I found an intriguing article called: 10 LinkedIn Publishing Tips: We Analyzed 3000 LinkedIn Blog Posts

It explored what sort of content works best on the LinkedIn platform, and various data correlation and comparison for successful LinkedIn posts. I began to wonder if there is similar analytics done for WordPress blogs.

Here are my responses to Tanya’s thought-provoking questions:

Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I really enjoy writing short form content when I want to relax from a busy, chaotic day. Typically the content I write is fun, light-hearted, and contains beautiful poetry, photo short story. This is primarily what my audience on my blog sees. It’s easier for me to generate posts prolifically when inspiration strikes spontaneously giving me more freedom to explore.

The downside to short-form content, in my opinion, is that it’s ideal for producing timely updates relevant for a short period of time which requires consistent production of posts. Otherwise, your stats and traffic begins to drop. Long-form content, on the other hand, has some lasting quality to it. While readers may not sit back and read all of it in one go, they will come back for more if they’re truly interested.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I write long form content for school or work when the content requires more time to plan and analytical thought. I enjoy writing long research papers when the subject matter is something I’m passionate about. I tend to dive really deep into the subject matter, and I lose track of time.

I’m competent in writing quality business reports, white papers, and proposals that require technical research. It’s a different sort of “like”. I feel more like a detective investigating a solution and feel a sort of thrill reaching a conclusion.

Writing long-form content develops your blog’s branding and credibility which can deepen a blogger’s relationship to their readers. Many people also reblog and reshare long-form content more often than short-form content.

How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

I feel that the ideal length varies from blogger to blogger and depends on the subject matter and purpose. Bloggers may ask themselves many questions such as:

  • Why do you blog? To improve your skills? To inspire? To meet people?
  • What are your goals? Do you want more followers? More posts?
  • Are you aligning the length of your posts with reader’s intention?

My ideal blog post tends to be 200 words or less because it works with my schedule and it’s primarily for my enjoyment that I want to share with others. It’s difficult for me to write anything longer consistently due to time constraints. Every now and then, I’ll save a long post in my draft box and work on it until completion, but those are few and far between.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

If your intention is to create viral headlines and create content that generates a lot of traffic and followers, there seems to be several articles like the Linkedin article I mentioned above where data analytics tells a story of what makes for an ideal blog post.

Blogging boot camps also give recommendations for creating and monetizing blog posts that generate large sums of profit which depending on the blogger’s values and perspectives can be very ideal.

What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

On WordPress, I prefer reading shorter posts related to fiction only because there are so many talented writers I like to read throughout my busy day. It’s easier to read shorter posts on my phone and it’s also easier to scan for information I like. If bloggers like to write extended stories, I prefer it to be broken up in separate blog posts. If I’m still interested, I can buy their book if the blogger has published one.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

Despite my preferences mentioned above however, I don’t discount the effectiveness of long-form content. I really enjoy reading long articles in The Atlantic or The New Yorker when a writer demonstrates their authority and expertise writing about something that intrigues me such as trending updates in health/wellness, nutrition, improving home space, environment, history, business, technology, or anthropology.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Long-form content provides a platform to highlight important stories that define our time and generation. It may provide in-depth knowledge that you may need to succeed in your endeavors whether it’s starting your business, working through the pain-staking issues surrounding divorce, or a how-to article on fixing the intricacies of your car.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Long-form content gets higher search rankings and outperforms short-form content in this regard. The longer readers spend time reading a blog post, the more readers can develop trust with the blogger. Readers have invested time reading more of what the blogger has produced, and therefore more likely to interact with the blogger. Bloggers give direction to their posts and target a specific audience.

Quotes

Whether my preference is either short-form or long-form, there are benefits and limitations to both. With that in mind, I think I’ll focus on delivering the best valuable content I can. Curious about the topic of content in general, I’ve collected some food for thought below regarding content.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you soon 🙂

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, Quotes

#FFE 16 – Phases of the Effects of Broken Glass

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

European Proverb

As Mel has done, I turned to Google for help in interpreting this statement that Fandango has shared with everyone. It boils down to not criticizing the character faults of others when you have similar faults. Sounds like an ideal in understanding humanity’s fragility.

I came across some very striking interpretations along the way. Below is a creative work done by tattoo artist, Sam Barber, featuring a vulnerable woman who is struck by the aftermath from the blow of broken glass. It touches on some points Mel has written about how painstaking it is to rebuild a person who has been shattered. The storms in life can rank up such fear. How can one be comforted when they’re exposed and open to another attack once the glass has been shattered?

Jentheripper – 8 Sharp Broken Glass Tattoos

My mind jumps to an extreme literal example. My memory recalled an assignment I had about “Kristallnacht”, otherwise known as “Night of Broken Glass” during November 9-10, 1938 when the Nazis brutally assaulted the Jews while everything was ravaged and shattered.

Realizing that his home was now uninhabitable, he broke down and – as he confessed in the letter – started sobbing like a child.

Jewish merchant, Martin Fröhlich
The Conversation – The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Koenigsberg’s New Synagogue took as long as 80 YEARS to rebuild from the aftermath! Now that is the recovery of a building, can you imagine the recuperation of the people? Despite these devastating events, another Kristallnacht occurred 17 years later in Turkey in September 6, 1955.

Image Credit: Greek Reporter

Below is another compelling interpretation I found from a Dutch artist who seems to favor a realism approach acknowledging that people from glass houses will always throw stones even though they shouldn’t. From this pain, one can acquire wisdom.

Image Credit: MAF RÄDERSCHEIDT 

They say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Maybe, but sometimes it’s a good idea. Only those who live in a fragile surrounding in consciousness and with the fantasy of danger, protect themselves. And other glass houses. Daily Painting about glass houses

Alles, was Kunst ist – A painting a day keeps the doctor away

It leads me to think of the individuals who felt this way:

Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

Lao Tzu

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

Kahlil Gibran
Image Credit: Envato Market

It makes me wonder why people are attracted to super human individuals who can withstand the symbolic impact of broken glass when watching a film. Perhaps it’s because we realize how fragile we can be, and anything to the contrary intrigues or inspires us.

Image Credit: Envato Market