Supporting a Friend in Real Life
I just read this and it made me stop and think. If you follow the link, the quote is near the bottom of the page under the sub heading, “Is it important to you to be part of a creative community of people?”
Also, my mom passed recently and a bunch of people from the web community sent me a whole month’s wages so that I didn’t have to worry about working. They did it so understated—it was just an email with a link to PayPal and the message read, “Hey, this is us. We realize what you’re going through and we don’t want you to have to worry. Here’s some money. Do with it what you will.” I think that was a real testament to how strong our industry is. People who are dotted all around the world thought enough of me to do that.
Now, Sarah Parmenter who said that in an interview, is a designer who works in the web industry. That has little to do with care and support but what she said does. So much so, I thought it worth mentioning here. I’d stumbled across that sentence after having the site recommended as a good example of something called responsive design. It’s the sort of thing I read about to help the development of this site and I’m glad I visited it.
Truth or Dare
Supporting a friend is something that Sarah experienced and benefitted from during a difficult time. She says that her mother died and a group of her friends rallied round and gave her money; the equivalent of a months wages. I’m guessing she was self-employed and this must have helped her take some time off.
As soon as I read this, I wondered whether I would ever be as courageous as Sarah’s friends but then, maybe they weren’t so daring because they could afford it? But that’s not the point at all! It’s not about the money it’s about the gesture, the act, the intent and its meaning. The quiet, unassuming ties that held this group of people in friendship. That challenged me considerably and I think this is the stuff of The Neighbourgood. A community isn’t just a group of people joined by a common language, race or culture it’s a group that recognises the part that each member plays and in some organic fashion, defends that participation.
Oh, and if I’m honest, another reaction I noticed when I read the interview was to think that Sarah wasn’t telling the truth and that it was just a bit of PR aimed at keeping us all smiling and making us believe web designers are all saintly people, whilst they quietly take over the world! I suppose I can’t say for sure whether it was truthful but why would anyone make that up?
Supporting a Friend is Unremarkable
Whilst I’m here, there’s one more thing I found satisfying in the story: it was told and happened it seems, without a fuss. No fanfare, no parade or naming the friends, just a nod to their kindness and a fairly matter of fact statement about the event and a reference to the support Sarah finds in her industry. It made me think of family support. We make little fuss when family members help each other and recognise the sense of loyalty or obligation we feel towards each other. This story of a group of people helping each other seemed such a natural, organic event and life-affirming.
What Do You Think?
Not what do you think about whether the story was true but what about the thing the friends did? Tell us your thoughts using the comment box.
Sarah says more about the death of her mother on her own web site. It’s a thought provoking piece.