Well done, Internet.

04 December 2014

I love the Internet and the idea that it has made the world smaller and us closer, but sometimes there are things that make me want to turn my laptop off and not open it again anytime soon. Tumblr-speak like "feels", "childhood ruined" (is your childhood that inconsequential that a little piece of information is enough to ruin it for you?), "I can't even", and "faith in humanity restored" (I've always found this phrase odd − and not good odd) make me cringe. I get hyperbole, I'm the queen of hyperbole (see?) but I find nothing comforting in these clichés thrown offhandedly in every comment section you come across.

Still, I love the Internet for the aforementioned reason and I'm sure you do, too. And because sometimes, it astounds you.

If you need your "faith in humanity restored" or something, all you have to do is visit Amanda Palmer's Facebook page and feel the love emanating from your screen because of her and her fans' posts. For the uninitiated, Amanda is a singer, performer, and crowdfunding pioneer. She is also Neil Gaiman's wife, and that is how I first came across her page. Last month her book The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help based on her TED talk was released.
Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn't alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING. 
Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.
I really wanted to pre-order an autographed copy from Book Depository but at the time I didn't have enough funds for everything I wanted to buy, and now they've already run out of these signed copies.

Recognizing the fact that not everyone who wants to read her book has the means to do so, she posted about Amazon's 30% discount and her fans responded by saying THEY WANT TO BUY BOOKS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T. It got so crazy that a system had to be put in place, and someone forwarded the idea of using Mass Mosaic, a website where people can post what they want/ have and enable them to ask for it/ give it away/ trade it. AMAZING. In less than an hour, a mosaic group for Amanda's book was created.

Since I really wanted a copy and local bookstores hasn't stocked her book yet (and I'm not sure if they ever will, I hope they do), I decided to just go for it and ask. I didn't want to incur additional charges to whoever would be kind enough to give me a copy though, so I asked for a Kindle edition.

I didn't really know what to say so I just kept my message short
In less than three hours, I got this:

A kind soul gifted a Kindle edition of The Art of Asking to me!
Max the Kindle is very happy with this new addition
Meanwhile, so many people are buying the books to give as gifts that Amazon ran out of stock!

AMAZING
And since I'm new to Mass Mosaic, I didn't realize I incorrectly put up two 'wants'. Silly me. So when another kind soul offered to send me the book...


We need more movements like this. The world is filled with wonderful people. Doesn't that "restore your faith in humanity" or sumthin'?

I guess this avalanche of kindness and generosity is to be expected from someone as awesome as Amanda Palmer, but to be a firsthand witness to that? It fills my heart with so much love and awe I feel like I can spontaneously combust.

This book is not about seeing people from safe distances − that seductive place where most of us live, hide, and run to for what we think is emotional safety. The Art of Asking is a book about cultivating trust and getting as close as possible to love, vulnerability, and connection. Uncomfortably close. Dangerously close. Beautifully close. And uncomfortably close is exactly where we need to be if we want to transform this culture of scarcity and fundamental distrust.
− Foreword by Brené Brown
Join the mass-asking and mass-gifting by going here and visit Amanda's Facebook page here. Unless you have a heart of stone, I'm sure the stories will touch you.

I really needed this. Thank you, Amanda. Thank you, Internet.

***

And since we're in the process of asking, I ask that you help us pray for the soul of my Uncle Karl.


Pain comes when you least expect it, like a thief in the night. It has been 40 days since he passed, but I still get a jolt of disbelief every time I think of him and remember that he's no longer here. The pain never really goes away. Acceptance will come soon. For now, we'll say we miss him and we love him very much.

2 comments:

Greta said...

Hey thanks for this :) More inspiration to ask. Keeping uncle Karl in my thoughts. Hugs xxxx

krissy said...

Thanks, Greta! <3