Friday, October 31, 2008

Commenting as Service, Reviewing as Heroic Service

To understand my current crusade, you have to understand about me and baritone horns. It’s a bit of a story, but stay with me.

A few years ago, after a hiatus of forty years, my husband picked up the trombone and began playing again. Quite well, I might add. I thought it might be fun to play with him, and having spurned the alto horn when I was in eighth grade, I thought I’d atone for that error, and bought one on ebay. I was over sixty, had never played a brass instrument, and I really struggled with that alto horn.

In the meantime, my son-in-law, who played baritone in high school, got excited about playing again and showed up with a well-used baritone horn. It looked like it had tangled with a truck, but actually sounded pretty good. So, we’d play hymns in three parts, but I never got to play melody because my range was only about five notes.

One day, I picked up my son-in-law’s beater baritone and played melody on one of the hymns. “I think I’m in love,” I told him. What a wonderful instrument! Sure, it didn’t look like much, but it was so easy to play. I was on Ebay that afternoon, and the alto horn was history.

I loved the baritone, therefore, everyone must also love the baritone. Another son-in-law, a pretty good alto sax player, found himself the proud owner of an Ebay Special. My daughter, the viola player, got a baritone for her birthday, as did my son and daughter-in-law who had held themselves aloof from the family band. I was convinced they could not stay away if they once tried the baritone. Actually, they moved shortly after that, though I don’t think that’s the reason. Come to think of it, they left the baritones behind.

Well, anyway, we now have a low brass ensemble consisting of five baritone horns, a trombone and a French horn, and we practice all year to be ready to play at the Life Care Center at Christmas. (That's me with my back to the camera.)

So what does that have to do with my current crusade? Only that, if I’ve developed a passion about something, then EVERYONE has to be passionate about it, too. And what is my current passion? It’s raising the ‘ virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy’ (VLGRP) profile on the internet.

In my crusade, I’m exhorting people to begin blogging. Setting one up is dead easy, and it’s free. Just go to and follow the directions.
Don’t want to blog? Then encourage the people who are blogging: comment. Comments are such a shot in the arm to a blogger. A comment always makes my day. Comments are huge.

If comments are huge, reviews are gargantuan. For someone to take the time to write a review of a book or a CD or a movie and post it on Amazon or on their own blog is really, really important. It doesn’t have to be something written or produced by a Latter-day Saint. Remember, we’re looking at the VLGRP profile. If it fits in that category, then let people know. Don't worry that you're not a 'critic'. You have an opinion. You know what you like. Think of all the good things that go unmentioned because the 'critics' are touting edgy, push-the-envelope, or just-plain-sleazy fare. If something uplifts you, makes you think, makes you want to be a better person, then let us know. Your word will carry weight.

I had the same reservations. I didn't feel I was a good critic. But, remember, I'm on a crusade. I'm not asking you to do something I'm not willing to do myself. If you'd like to check out some of my reviews, they're on my blog, Mom Said.

If you’re uncomfortable making your voice heard in cyberspace, let me ask you to do one small act of service. Will you please comment on a blog—not necessarily this one—but some blog that you enjoy reading? You may have to register with Google to be able to post, but that’s a non-threatening thing and will allow you to comment on anyone who blogs through Blogger.

If you’re not a regular blog reader, just google something you’re interested in: taking photos of your kids, fly fishing, growing tomatoes, quilting—you name it, there’s probably a blog on it. (If not, maybe you’ve found your calling.) But, read the blog and then comment. I guarantee it’ll make you feel good to know you made the day of someone you don’t even know.

Return to the Neighborhood

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