a “challenge” meaning: from the 1570s, “having been called to a contest”
For the month of January 2023, a group of bloggers chose to participate in a “challenge” to post every day in the month to a daily prompt. I was one of those bloggers and there were some who had participated before who knew what to expect—I did not know what was coming, but it sounded interesting. I wrote for the first day, but the second and third day were prompts that I did not feel able to write about, so I did not (my record was 29 days completed out of 31).
This challenge caused me to stop and consider a much more difficult “prompt”—how do I show up daily in my world, a world that seems so cold and obviously fractured—people not working together in most ways and some very combative.
The January blog challenge showed me that a very diverse group of people could exchange thoughts, opinions, ideas, pain, joy, and pieces of their life story without becoming hateful or insulting or judgemental. There were different belief systems represented, different occupations, different lifestyles, different countries, different cultures, different ages . . . and yet, as I read the different posts and the comments made by others on those posts, I was struck by a non-combative tone by people who were only connected through their blogs and, as “strangers” could have felt free to express some degree of “negative feedback” as some pretty strong posts were shared, but I did not see any of that—rather I saw most often expressions of care and concern for those revealing struggles with many different challenges, voices of comfort and encouragement.
WHY was this “world” different than the one I see every day?
I think, perhaps, some would say that participants chose to participate or not
and that is true and the “prompts” guided the focus of the posts which could be accepted or not, each person’s choice, and each person would choose to read or not read the posts of others.
However, would that not also be true in the world we live in?
• I can choose to participate or not in the daily challenge of facing the day
• I can choose to accept or reject the “prompts”: the loud voices, the news, the gossip, the rumors—what guides my focus
• I can choose to “read” or listen to what others are putting out or I can filter the overwhelming chaos and noise according to my values
• I can choose my response—what will I post on the wall of my heart/mind and what will I share with others
Me, You, Us – the challenge is real, but each of us has the option to come daily to the challenge . . . our lives are our daily “post” to the world we live in—what am I choosing to “post” today? Me, You, Us . . . increasing the fractures or focusing on the tiny points of light coming through the cracks—I choose . . .
What a beautiful way to look at it!”
These prompts were very similar to the prompts given by the admin in a memoir group I belong to. She regularly asks questions like,
‘Who’d the individual that most touched you in your life and why?’, ‘What books have had the most influence in your life and why?’, or ‘Who in your family do you get along with the least and why?’
Then we are directed to spend at least 15 minutes on the answer before putting it in the comments section, These questions are meant to help us flesh out certain scenes in order to include details that wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed,
It’s great because some of my answers I plan to incorporate into my memoir.
The prompts are opportunity for exploration. Sometimes I’ll be “prompted” to write something that surprises me because I can’t ell where the heck it came from. that, I think, is part of the fun and value of the prompts.
Thanks! It was a unique experience and it certainly triggered some surprise thoughts . . . still working on sharing those (with myself and others) LOL!