Monday, April 6, 2009

The Unexpected Surprise of a Stranger’s Support

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Those fateful words, uttered by Blanche Dubois in the classic Tennessee William’s play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” have always struck me as a little odd. Mostly because I have never depended on the kindness of anyone, let alone a stranger. Though it certainly would be nice to rely on perfect strangers to get me through my life, I realized quite early that you can’t really depend on anyone. With the possible exception of your immediate family and a few close friends, most of the people you rely on in life tend to let you down.

And before you think me too cynical, I’m only suggesting that going through life with the philosophy that other people should take care of you is most likely going to result in many disappointments and heartache. Unless, of course, you happen to look like a supermodel, in which case, you can probably subscribe to Blanche’s method of acquisition and do very well at it too. Not being a supermodel myself, I’ve found that anything I really want to achieve, I can only rely on myself to get there.

That’s why it's always such a pleasant surprise when somebody decides to take it upon themselves to help you out. Without any idea of gain on their part, or any solicitation from you, someone independently gives you a little show of support. These are the kinds of things we can never depend on, but always benefit greatly from. Not only because it's one of those little moments in life that take you by surprise, but also because you are reminded of the generosity and kindness of others. (Strangers or not.)

This happened to me recently. I have several people on YouTube that I maintain an ongoing casual friendship with, mostly because we share similar interests in video production, creative ideas or our love for animals. It is similar to some of the wonderful friendships I have established through this blog. It was one of these unique individuals, Twish1999, who one day decided that I needed more subscribers and viewers for my YouTube efforts, as she thought my “Cat Clips” were especially worthy of attention. She also thought it wrong that YouTube recently turned me down as a partner, and figured that a boost in subscribers might help the cause.

You can imagine how touched I was that anyone would care, let alone do something about it. But true to her word, Twish1999 created a video for her subscriber base (currently in excess of 1,800) that not only introduced my Cat Clips to all her friends, but also showed several clips from her favorite Cat Clips videos as well. The result of this incredibly selfless act was a boost of nearly 90 new subscribers over the following week. Not only was I floored, but very appreciative as well.

Twish1999, also known as Trish, is a very creative British woman who always has some kind of interesting video to share. Whether it’s giving us a pleasant little walk around her beautiful English village, or creating some kind of funny video using her cats or other subjects, or sharing a funny little poem she created, Trish is always delighting her fans with something unique and interesting. She is one of several people I follow on YouTube on a regular basis. And though we are technically still strangers, the bond of mutual interests has brought us together as friends in the amazing world of cyberspace.

And the amazing show of support didn’t end with Twish1999, as now other subscribers have jumped on the bandwagon to help me out as well. It’s amazing to think that something you do could affect people in such a positive manner that they want to go to bat for you. Needless to say, I am learning a great deal from my adventures on the World Wide Web.

But that’s just me. What has someone surprised you with lately?


Twish1999 said...

Michael, i am so happy to be mentioned here in your blog. I am quite touched that you should mention me at all!
I think you are making a fantastic series of videos on YouTube, not just your 'Cat Clips' but your other work as well and i recognise all the effort and hard work you must put in to them.
Naturally i want everyone to see your work and so it was natural for me to want to mention you to my friends and subscribers so that they too could enjoy watching your videos.
I have been on YouTube for a couple of years now and rarely have i seen such talent as you have and i look forward to seeing each new episode of 'Cat Clips' so much!
Thank you so much for all you do and keep on doing it!
If there was ever someone 'worthy' of being a YouTube partner then it is you Michael and i hope very soon that you will indeed become one'
x hugs x

TheSnackHound said...

That was so nice of Twish. Gold stars all around :) Unless you don't like stickers, of course.

Phyl said...

What a wonderful thing to do!

I've experienced this several times, from online friends. The most recent was February, when I knew I was going to have to walk out of my apartment and leave everything behind and move onto the street as of March 1st, because after 15 months of unemployment there was nothing left.

Someone got wind of this, on a forum I hang out on, and before I knew it, everyone started donating, and I had two months' rent! Which bought me some time to get more writing & editing gigs, and I may now manage to scrape through and really get going.

And this wasn't the first time they had done this; it happened 6 years ago too. Once I got back on my feet again, I was able to contribute similar help to others on the forum when they ran into their own financial difficulties.

So I know how you feel. Unexpected people can be so unexpectedly kind. You don't just assume they're going to help you out -- but sometimes they can save your life.

Henson Ray said...

Phyl, That's an amazing story. Glad you found support in the times you needed it most. Always good to hear those types of stories.