Friday, January 25, 2008

REFLECTION: Blogging as charity?

It’s a well-worn cliché - you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. But it’s also true that, just as we often underrate what we have, we also underrate what we give. What am I talking about?

I’ll try to say this without sounding like an arrogant pompous shite. Some weeks back, I was visiting an inland town in New South Wales. I decided to join a small congregation of students, farmers and workers performing their Friday prayer.

After the prayer, a young man approached me.

Aren’t you Irfan? I follow your blog alot. I really enjoy what you have to say. I hope you write more frequently like you used to.
Or something like that. The young man was from a nearby town famous for its good food, its multiculturalism and for having one of the few NSW State MP’s from the Coalition worth voting for.

At first I thought the young man was just trying to be polite. But in looking at his words in that manner, maybe I was insulting him and myself.

So how should I view what he had to say? I guess it reminded me of how I felt about another blog which had suffered a hiatus recently.

Australobe is probably my favourite Australian-based group blog. Recently when its moderator announced a temporary hiatus, I realised just how important that blog was to me. I realised I visited it at least 4 times a week, which is alot for me as I don’t spend much time reading blogs.

So the Australobe gang were giving to me. They were providing me with a means of making sense of events. They probably didn’t realise how big a hole in my part of the blogosphere their absence left. And I didn’t perhaps appreciate that my own (frequently nutty and imbecilic) spin on things was giving voice (or at least food for thought) for others. Including people I had never met. Or might only meet by accident if I end up performing Friday congregational prayers in some unfamiliar place.

Unless I recognise that blogging isn’t just a past time or hobby but rather an act of charity, I’ll just end up only blogging occasionally. The kind words of the young man have given me incentive to keep blogging. And I hope the Australobe dudes (and dudettes?) will keep sharing their profound thoughts with me.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, please keep blogging Irfan Yusuf.

People like me (50 something Australian born woman, convert to Islam of 10 years' standing) need people like you. More than you can ever realise. Thank you.
Thank you also for commenting in The Age on 'Jihad Sheilas'. Somebody had to do damage control on this.