Ponderings and Thoughts


I've had the choice experience of having many readers leave some very sweet comments on the last post (the giveaway one). So many of you have made me smile and giggle. It's been a great way to spend a Saturday.

When I was making some creative decisions a month ago, I had a long discussion with Hubby. I expressed to him that I want to share my creative work with others. I told him that I was acutely aware of how badly the economy is affecting so many people right now, and how that made it extremely difficult for others to enjoy my work unless I gave it away as gifts. I've heard so many stories of an artist giving a painting to a neighbor or a friend just because they wanted to share their work. The problem was that the "neighbors" and friends I wanted to give my work to stretched all over the globe. Quite a dilemma.

Then it dawned on us that I could do that very thing by having a weekly giveaway every Saturday; by continuing to share my work on the blogs; and to offer some of my digital work for free download using Flicker. I felt peaceful with the thought of being able place my work in homes where it would be viewed instead of having it sit here in my studio collecting dust and only being seen by me, Hubby, the cats and the occasional visitor.

Shortly after that discussion, I heard a quote that went something like, "You can have a whole stack of canvases, but if they only sit in a closet what good are they?" That really solidified my decision for me.

As I pondered further, I've realized that we are entering a very different landscape thanks to this wonderful technology called the internet. You don't have to know the "right people" in order to publish your thoughts on a blog. You don't have to "be connected" in order to expose your creative work to the world. I've even read an online article entitled "Why Your Images Are Worthless" by Nikonian Martin Joergensen that pretty much says because of the combination of the internet and digital cameras, a lot of really beautiful photography is worth nothing monetarily because there is such a deluge of beautiful images available everywhere.

At first, I thought, "Well, what the heck am I doing then?"

Then over the next day or so I realized that if I valuate my creative work based on monetary value then, yes, my images probably are worthless. But if I valuate my creative work based on how much it makes someone else happy then its worth could be inestimable.

Over the past month, I've told Hubby more than once that I've been concerned that the blog readers will misinterpret my giveaways as a way to increase visitor traffic or gain exposure. I've really fretted over this, because I know in this coarse world we live in that it's hard for people to believe that everyone isn't out to get something from everybody else. I've worried about alienating friends that I've made over the past year of blogging. It's been a real concern particularly since a few of my favorite blogging friends have seemed to drift away over the past month.

So I pose this question to you all... what are your thoughts? Is it possible to give to others unconditionally in today's world without being misunderstood? Or has the world coarsened so much that it isn't possible? Will a giver's motives always be questioned thanks to this wonderful yet weird technological world we exist in? I'm sincerely interested in what all of you have to say. What do you think?

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23 comments:

patientgardener said...

I think it is nice to give things away, I often do this with plants. I think if people think you have an alteria motive then its because they are cynical and thats not your problem

Helen Read said...

Cindy, maybe if more people practice the kind of unconditional gifting that you are talking about, it would be a good thing ... helping people to reconnect like people used to do - to be kind and helpful and giving, just because others are "neighbors" (near or far) - and because we actually need each other and need to be connected! I hope so, at least!

PGL said...

I have to agree with PG. You can't worry about what others think. I think your giveaways are very sincere & generous. As a gardener I've given aways tons of free plants from my garden.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I have always been a firm believer in random acts of kindness. I think what you are doing is wonderful. Hugs my sweet and talented friend!
Penny
p.s. Did you ever get those botanitcal prints framed? I have wondered about that :-)

Annalunda said...

Dear Cindy!

I think it´s great to be a giving person if that is what you want to be. If you give you will reveive ... I think it´s neccesary in this maybe cynical world that we try to maintain unconditional giving to receive a better and kinder world. I give a lot...plants, roses, gifts, apples and so on just because I like to give and to share with others. If people want to interpret that in a cynical way it is their problems...not mine.
I think your meaning and purpose is admirable.

Love Annie

PS: I hope you understand in spite of my not so good English :)

Kylee said...

Cindy, I've always recognized your good heart and it is just one of the things I love about you. I don't see what you're doing as anything but altruistic and as the others said, if anyone is so cynical as to think you have an ulterior motive, that's their problem.

Your work is beautiful. Keep it up and thank you for sharing!

I know what you mean though, about comments dropping off from old-time readers. I've noticed the same, but I just attribute it to everyone being busy. I know that's how it is for me. I've not visited and commented like I have previously and it isn't because I didn't want to, it just seems like I don't have the time to devote to it earlier in the year. I do well if I can get my own blog posts written!

Emiline said...

If some people think that, then they are not a regular reader. The people that read your blog regularly know that your heart is good.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Hey Cindy Sue...let's just go ahead and talk religion since its your blog and that's where your heart is anyway, helping people to feel the love and acceptance that you feel as a daughter of God. Isn't it great that there are outlets to do that? We know that both love to reach out and draw others into our loving circle and you just have the ability to reach some many more because of your talents with technology and photography. So you keep it up honey, it just spreads the love we are able to feel each day.

Catherine Holman said...

Hi Cindy, I never for one moment thought you were doing it to gain more readership and I'm sure most people don't. I love what you're doing and your blog is lovely.
Hugs,
Cathie

Holly said...

I think there are always going to be people who question what we do. It's sad. I think that was Helen said is true: more people practicing unconditional gifting would be a good thing.

Those of us who know you, know your heart. We also understand and appreciate when someone gives from their heart, with no quest for gain or notoriety. Those who understand it, are more inclined to do it themselves.

In doing these giveaways, have you noticed that there are bloggers who patrol blogs, simply to get enter giveaways, with no thought to what is being offered, let alone who is offering it and why? Does it bother you? I did a chocolate giveaway to celebrate my 100th post, simply because I wanted to, and it was amazing the number of people who came by just for that, and never came by again.

Cottage Rose said...

Hey Cindy; In this day and time it is so hard for some people to just accept a gift with out question. Hearts are hardened so much. But what you are doing is a Lovely thing not a greedy one. To share ones talent with others is a great thing. Now I am not a amazing craft person but I do pretty well when I create and most of the time I give it away never have had someone pay for it. Guess that is why I can't make a living at it. lol; So please don't worry about what others think, Only one you should worry about is Our Lord and he knows your heart is good and that is all that matters. So follow your heart an what God leads you to do. God Bless you Cindy I am blessed to have you as a friend and not because of material things, but because of friendship.

Hugs;
Alaura

Joanie said...

Sweet Cindy-
As one who's known you your whole life and appreciates your wonderful heart and sweet personality... I say YOU JUST KEEP BEING YOU!! The thing that I have found is that most of the people in the world are good and kind and usually will return what they get.
You have such a lovely gift and such a wonderful artistic eye. I appreciate that fact that you share it with all of us who CAN'T come to your lovely little cottage and see it first hand.
IF (in caps) someone has a problem with what you are doing (and why would they?) it needs to be their problem.
You just keep being your wonderful, vibrant, glorious self!
I love you SO much!!!!

aunties said...

Cindy,
You too have made me smile and plain feel good by the genuine and kind person you are. I have appreciated your sweet comments you have left me. I was happy to find a person in blogland who also loved Women's conference and Education week! I have enjoyed perusing your blog and enjoying the incredibly talented
gifts Heavenly Father has blessed you with. Thanks for having such a huge giving heart and sharing your many talents with all of us!
A funny thing happened tonight though...I opened my blog email and I was recieving Mail for you!
Some how I am so naive as just being in this new realm of blogland a short time, I left you my (blog)email address...did it get posted as yours? I need to figure out how to send these messages on to you!:) tomorrow.. Such fun!
Have a great night and thank you again for being wonderful you!
Beth

Nancy J. Bond said...

My Dad, who was a very talented painter and sculptor before a stroke, always used to say that painters weren't worth painting unless someone enjoyed them. After our houses were well hung with his oil on canvass creations, he gave dozens of paintings away, even shipping some half way round the world to friends who had moved away from the area. So, I completely understand your desire to share your art with others. And we're all so glad you do!

Joanie said...

BTW I love the photos of your beautiful lavender roses. Just lovely!

The Kittens' Mother said...

Hi Cindy, thank you for leaving such a supporting message on my blog. I will send you my email address soon.

As for your question, I do believe there are still very nice people around the world and you are right, they are widely spread. However, I also think you have to be cautious. Mum has helped many people over the years and has had it thrown in her face about three or four times.
Another example is on the Freecycling websites; some of the people who have given us things have said that they had given something to someone and then they have seen that very same object being sold by that person on Ebay or at a car-boot sale. Some people even make up stories about family members dying or having cancer so that they get the object. It's awful isn't it?!
But what we cannot and must not forget is that there are lovely people and people who are worthy of our help and gifts. Where we live, you can't give someone something without them saying "what's in it for you?", when you were just trying to be nice.
When it comes down to it, I would trust my instinct and if I was to choose someone to give a gift to, I would choose somebody I thought was a good person. Blogging has shown me that there are good people all around the world.
I think you should be able to give a person a gift out of the blue without being questioned about it and suddenly giving a gift to one person is likely to lead to the reciever giving something back and it becomes a chain.
Also when someone has a talent such as yours, it is nice to see someone enjoy something you have made. Mum has always preferred homemade gifts for birthdays and Christmas, so in this house we are quite used to creative thinking and projects on the go.

I would say, be yourself...be giving...but be cautious. That is my advice.

kari and kijsa said...

To love what you create, create what you love! Go for it!
Have a wonderful Labor Day! Thank you for all your prayers and blessings,
kari & kijsa

sulzzz said...

Cindy, you are incredibly sweet! While it is true that some giveaways are started to increase blog traffic, there are many who genuinely want to share their work or spread some love to others. Undeniably, you fall in the latter category. Your share your wonderful work with us on the blog with every post. Thank you for that =)

Cynthia said...

Cindy, it actually sort of saddened me to read this post as I never once saw your giveaways as a way to increase blog traffic. I can see that some cynical people out there may mistaken it for that and it is that fact alone that saddens me. I am fairly new to your blog and I continue to return to it because I find it to be lovely just like your work is. I can completely understand your desire to host the giveaways. When we follow our passion we naturally want to share it with the world and there is nothing wrong with that. It is hard to remember that you can't please everyone. That is the number one thing I have to remind myself of when I write my blog. I strive to write from my heart and if people like it then great if not then that is fine too. To me it is obvious that you are giving from your heart and I admire that.

Melanie said...

Hia Cindy sorry hectic here with school starting tomorrow so am catching up with you. My feeling is that may not have lost long term readers more that they have had a bust Summer and they will return when things are settled for them.

You have to do what you feel is right for you. The thing that makes the world interesting is the differences between people. If everyone were the same you'd have the one friend and not bother with many more. It's the same with blogging- do what is special and creative for you. Guaranteed it will be different from other people, and all the better for that. Follow the beat of your own drum. You never know where it will lead you creatively.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Cindy! I like being a giver too...and you can pretty much tell if someone is showing up for the free stuff or if it's something they would genuinely like to have and enjoy. I did a few giveaways in the past where people signed on but my sitemeter told me they vanished off the face of the world after they posted...I think sometimes people just type in GIVEAWAY on Google...LOL. Thats why I'm happy too when it goes to a great Blogger or someone who has expressed kind sentiment before the giveaway...thats not to say that I haven't met a lot of great new bloggers by having giveaways as well....but you can usually weed out the others...LOL. That doesn't sound bad does it? LOL

BittersweetPunkin said...

...and by the way...after receiving your great notecards and seeing how lovely they are in person I know I am going to purchase a set to tuck in with my Christmas Gift to my sis...DH said "Why don't you just give her yours?"...the look of horror on my face answered that question....these are MINE!

Alasandra said...

Is it possible to give to others unconditionally in today's world without being misunderstood?

I certainly hope so. I often give plants away. They make me so happy, I want to spread their happiness around.

I also like to think that they will be used to start butterfly gardens/provide food or shelter for birds ect. So I like to think they are gifts that keep on giving not just to the people who receive them but the animals that benifit from them.

Maybe I am just being naive.

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