Most days, in SL especially (possibly due to the size of the community) there's bitchiness, arguing, fighting and drama. We all love a good piece of drama on plurk. I am sure nobody will deny it.
The metaverse has a negative reputation both inside and out. Residents stick to their small groups, or alone in skyboxes. Outsiders sneer and scream that it's a terrible 'game' that is all about the virtual sex.
Yet, this week, I have seen a whole new side the our little world.
I came back just over a week ago because I missed it. I missed the creativity, and yes, the drama. I missed the random chatter, and missed playing dressup. I came back, considering it part-time and temporary. Just to see if it had changed at all in a year.
After a day I wanted something fun to do. I asked on plurk if there were any jobs/projects that I could get involved in and quickly got told about Ulaa Coronet's struggle to raise funds to visit her terminally sick mother. My first question was "who?" Then I was reminded that Ulaa is a fellow plurker, and the creator of many of the houses that I adored and lived in before I left. Funky Junk is a brand that I used to follow avidly.
I read her gofundme page with tears in my eyes. Knowing that I would never want to be in her position. I am very close to my mother, both emotionally and geographically. We live 20 minutes walk apart, and see each other daily. We are inseparable. Best friends. I could never imagine having to struggle to see her one final time. I wouldn't ever want to imagine ANYONE having that to deal with.
That is why I jumped on the idea to help her. That is why I have barely slept for over a week, my mind focused on spreadsheets, messages and getting this event off the ground. I knew that I had to do this to the very best of my ability, and that I had to put my all into it.
The fundraising was only a part of what I wanted to achieve.
When I heard about Ulaa's story, I also heard about the anon plurks, SL Secrets and drama that had popped up when she had asked for help. It was a cry for help which, for the most part had been answered. But the minority had stomped on it for reasons only they truly know. Maybe because they had been stung by scam "help me" requests before? I don't know, I didn't see the drama first hand. But it was that minority that stung. That minority that hurt Ulaa's spirit.
I wanted this event to try to fix that. To give her some faith in humanity and kindness and love. I wanted her to feel, and know that people truly do care. I wanted it to give her a spark of hope, and love.... lots of love.
I also wanted it to do something else. I wanted people reading her story to consider their own lives. Some of us are close to their parents, others not so much and some, sadly, have already lost one or both.
Our parents are important no matter what. Be it the biological ones who gave us life, or a substitute (adoptive, foster or somebody we see as a parent.) Yet time with them is very short.
I visited my biological father yesterday. We have never been close. He and my mother separated when I was three years old. We get on perfectly well, but we have never been close enough to really talk or do things together. Or make memories.
I sat with him, talking about my grandfather who passed away a few years ago, about my great grandparents and about my Dad's life.
He used to be a biker. He rode a chopper, wore leathers and was tough and strong.
He was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and it struck me yesterday that he looks frail. He's getting older before my eyes, and I never took the time to really get to know him. Doing this event gave me the clarity to see that I need to spend all of the time with him that I can.
Please, before it is too late. Go and visit your parents, or simply pick up the telephone and have a long talk with them. If you don't get on, try and make amends now, before there is no longer a chance to.
As I am writing this we are under 24 hours into the event for Ulaa. The initial target was 50,000$L. We are currently at just over 65000$L. We still have over three days to go and Ulaa is able, with the funds raised on gofundme, and directly donated to herself, to begin considering booking those flights and hotels.
More importantly she is able to see, very clearly, that the minority do not matter. The dozens of designers and bloggers, and the huge numbers of people dropping in to either throw a donation into a tip jar or buy one of the gorgeous creations on sale. Each one of them matters, and each one is a little spark to make her feel loved and cared for by the community that she is a part of.
Most of the designers and bloggers who jumped up to help did so with under 1 week of notice. Some with only a day. They dropped everything to do what they could. I, for one, will never ever forget that.
It is not only Ulaa who has seen something very special happen this week. We all have.
Second Life now has a new reputation for me. It is a place where kindness and compassion prevails over everything else. Where love can be found in amazing amounts when it is needed. A place where people truly do care.
I am sorry if this letter is a bit jumbled. But the words needed to come out, regardless of the tears that have flowed gently as I have watched the $200 target be destroyed with human kindness.
Thankyou for supporting this cause, and thank you for restoring and building my faith in humanity, and in the goodness in this world. Both physical and virtual.
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