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March 21, 2011 / Mervyn Dinnen

Goddamn Right Its a Beautiful Day!

‘You’re a law unto yourself and we don’t suffer dreamers / But neither should you walk the earth alone

We’ve got open arms for broken hearts / Like yours my boy, come home again’ (Open Arms, Elbow 2011)

Anyone with a passing knowledge of the band Elbow will know that towards the end of each album you get an anthem full of hope, pride, dignity, optimism, redemption and love – Grace Under Pressure, One Day Like This – and the new CD is no different, giving us Open Arms from which the above lyrics are taken.

Without getting too mawkish, I sometime run out of superlatives to describe the online community of which I am part. I’ve often referred to it as being like family, but then I think it’s deeper than that. The depth of connections, the sharing, openness, inclusion, collaboration makes it seem so much more. And it is the strength of these bonds that continue to amaze me.

Almost every day is an Elbow-like anthem in which we support, confide, encourage and inspire each other through the highs, lows, achievements and frustrations…sharing the joy and feeling the pain. Open our arms and offer comfort to all.

It really is the community that keeps on giving.

And if you want to smile, then there are always random acts of kindness.

Take Friday morning.

Late on Thursday night Haylee Corfield (you know her as @sliah) tweeted that she was baking chocolate and banana muffins. I first met Haylee a few weeks ago after sharing tweets and LinkedIn messages for over a year. We live in the same area and had shared restaurant and cafe recommendations as well as job board chat. Since finally meeting we have bumped into each other a couple of times whilst out and about in our locality. We’ve probably crossed paths many times in the past without knowing…it was twitter that bought us near neighbours together.

Anyway, I responded to her tweet saying that she should share them with her twitter buddies.

And that’s just what she did! Having swapped messages on Friday morning, and realising that her train was stopping at the station where I was waiting for another train, she got off, found me and gave me one of her home made white chocolate and banana muffins! How random and how kind!

Made me laugh, made for a beautiful start to the day! ‘Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day’

Later on I met up with Christine Livingston (you know her as @coblyn) for the first time. Again, we have talked through social networks for about a year without meeting, yet from the off we were chatting like old friends.  We already had shared conversations and ideas, knew quite a bit about each other, and were able to enjoy a really constructive and entertaining lunch. Just like old friends should.

Naysayers will often tell me that social media connections aren’t real friends. I think they’re wrong.

Take the time to really engage and they are real.

We’re all part of something…long may the community grow and thrive.

Two tunes to get your heart singing and your week started…

Open Arms (Live at Comic Relief)

Mr E’s Beautiful Blues

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18 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Damon Klotz / Mar 21 2011 7:48 AM

    It sounds like you’ve read my latest post on womenofhr.com ???

    Either that or we were on very similar wave lengths when writing these posts…

    Good stuff!

    Damon Klotz – The HRockstar

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 6:58 AM

      Thanks Damon! I hadn’t read that post but can see where you’re coming from, having travelled half way round then globe to meet your network offline!

  2. Doug Shaw / Mar 21 2011 1:38 PM

    Mervyn – this is lovely 🙂

    Cheers for writing it – Doug

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 6:59 AM

      Thanks…I’m expecting one of these songs at the next ConnectingHR event!

  3. HR without ticking boxes / Mar 21 2011 1:51 PM

    Really lovely and uplifting post – thank you.
    If your ever passing Chez Mayes pop in for Cupcakes

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:00 AM

      Worth a detour for cupcakes, certainly! Thanks for commenting, hope to see you again soon.

  4. Christine Livingston / Mar 21 2011 2:13 PM

    I’m loving the enthusiasm in this post, Mervyn! And what you say about the power of social media is so true.

    Many of my “old school” colleagues think I’m crazy to invest so much time online. That I can’t be talking to “real” people. But, I agree with you, there’s something about the values set that unites a lot of us that “meet” online, so that, when we do get together in person, there’s a real heart and mind connection.

    So much better than some of those boring old networking meetings I used to go to (or, rather, avoid!!)

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:01 AM

      Great comment, thanks Christine. Love the link between the values set and the heart and mind connection…so true.

  5. janeblackmore / Mar 22 2011 12:05 AM

    oooh now i really want to meet you! i dont bake though!

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:02 AM

      There’s more to this community than cupcakes…not much, but more!! Looking forward to finally meeting you too.

  6. Little Brown Bird / Mar 22 2011 7:08 AM

    Lovely post Mervyn and so true 🙂

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:04 AM

      Thanks for commenting, hope to catch up with you again soon!

  7. Rowena Simpson / Mar 22 2011 9:31 AM

    Hi Mervyn,

    Nice post. As a remote worker in the wilds of North Yorkshire, the companionship and camaraderie you describe is just the stuff that keeps me going. I have virtual friends and followers all over the world who enlighten, educate and entertain me.

    This online community provides inspiration and stimulation in what could otherwise be a solitary existence. Perhaps it’s a chicken and egg situation, without online communities, remote working just wouldn’t work?

    As an aside, as I don’t have any trains to catch, the thing I’m really missing is my virtual banana muffin!

    @rowenasimpson

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:08 AM

      Great point about the support and camaraderie that the community can offer remote or solitary working. Except for the mufffins and cupcakes…

  8. Haylee Corfield / Mar 22 2011 3:02 PM

    Merv,

    Reading your post ‘made my Monday’ morning 🙂 What a start to the week.

    You are very right though, I thought it amazing that via SM I am jumping off a tube mid journey, to deliver a muffin and a smile, to someone I had been tweeting with for well on a year, but only recently met in person. I understand the demand for a hand delivered morning muffin on tube platforms has increased a hundred fold since your post, and I’m considering a career change 😉

    Haylee

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Mar 23 2011 7:15 AM

      Not sure there’s much of a business model in the cook doing the hand delivering, but you never know! Thanks for providing the inspiration for the post…it is strange that we live quite near each other, we now run into each other, yet without social media would not have connected. We look at the global aspect of this but it also works on a local level too.

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