The Well Laid Plans of Dragons and Men

These days, when RL permits me to step through the magic portal leading to SL, it’s like stepping into the very eye of a hurricane. Group talks go mad, ping-ping-ping, and not only the backstage crew chats about the Fantasy Faire. Almost everybody does. People ask for landmarks, merrily ooh and aah when they find the shops of their favourite creators, they boast about their new purchases and recommend that the others should visit the breathtaking sims as soon as possible.

The lands are crowded and people happily chat there, too. They joke, they compliment each other and the artists, and it seems almost everybody good-naturedly complains about spending too much… but the complaint always ends like this, “Well, but what I got is amazing, I love my new stuff, and I’ve spent those lindens on a really good cause, haven’t I? And tomorrow I can have a sandwich for lunch, innit?”

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I come to SL from RL, like everybody else (maybe some tinies actually come from outer space, but that’s another story… 😀 ), and my RL, like everybody else’s, is not a life without unpleasantness. People step on your toes in the Tube and they don’t apologize. People elbow you in the stomach during the sales because they want to grab the very pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing in the past five minutes. People are rude, pushy and annoying.

Yet… this winter was long and harsh, with blizzards instead of an egg hunt at Easter. The snowstorms caught many people on the roads, entire villages were left without electricity, and whole families spent the night on the highways, literally snowed under… and what happened? Volunteers appeared from nothing. People helped out other people with sandwiches, hot tea, shovels and nappies for the kids. The same grumbling, annoying, pushy beings turned into unselfish and compassionate fellow humans when necessity called for it.

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Now and then, when I’m rather tired, I almost give up on mankind in general. Then I meet people in Second Life who donate their actual lunch money for cancer research, I meet people in Real Life who invite an absolute stranger to supper when that stranger is stuck in the snow. …maybe, mankind isn’t that lost, after all.

Thank you, Second Lifers, for reminding me that I shouldn’t lose my faith.

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