Saturday, March 8, 2014

Helping Others in Second Life

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


          With this story I want to get your attention.
          I’m doing something that I don’t often do in this blog.
          I’m going to get serious for a few moments and I ask that you please stay with me.
          The reason I’m doing this is because I’m going to ask you to do something we do in Real Life (RL) often and without thinking about it.
          What’s that you may ask?
          That’s helping others.
          In RL we just do it.  Whether we contribute money, take the time to visit a shut in, or help out in some other way.  We do it and the world’s a better place for it and I’d like to think we’re better people for it.
          Well, now we have an opportunity to do it in Second Life (SL) as well.
          The annual Relay for Life (RFL) in SL is getting underway as I write this blog. 
          This is the annual fund raising effort in support of the American Cancer Society.  Through this event, thousands of dollars are raised to support cancer research in RL.
          Now, some may say, ‘I gave at the office.’ And indeed they may have.  They may ask why should I give inworld?
          I’m here to tell you why.
          Some in RL think that SL is at worse a bunch of oversexed clowns with too much time on their hands, or at best, a good way to keep people with inadequate social skills off the streets in RL.
          After almost three years of exploring inworld and blogging about my travels, I can confidently say this is neither a fair nor an accurate description of the people and communities I’ve encountered.  (Yes, there’re a few examples of each type described above, but then I can say the same about some RL organizations I’ve been associated with whose names many of you would recognize.) 
          Inworld, people care about one another.  They help each other.  And, as in RL, they do it without thinking about it. 
          Today, I want you (Notice how I not so subtly switched to the second person?) to stop and think about it.  You help people every day.  A noob who can’t figure out how to walk.  A lonely person on the edge of group too shy to approach.  You help all of these and so many more. I’ve seen you do it.  Sometimes I was the person you helped.
          So, at the risk of being considered an ingrate, I’m going to reach out to you in your comfortable place and make you uncomfortable.
          Cancer reaches in and touches everyone.  A good friend in SL is going in for a double mastectomy in RL in a few days.  Someone I worked with in RL passed away from lung cancer a few days ago.  A RL friend’s father has only months to live.  I’ve lost relatives to the disease.
          Is there anyone here inworld who doesn’t have similar stories? 
          Now, I don’t say these things to evoke pity from you for either these people or myself. These people are brave, some of the bravest I’ve ever known in my life.  They don’t need pity but they and people like them can use your help.  I say these things to call you to action.  Here’s how you can help.
          If you can afford to donate money then please do so.  Research is expensive.  Care, sadly, doesn’t come cheap.  If you can’t afford to donate then can you come out and help the fundraisers in their activities?  Or, if all else fails then can you please come out and hang out with the fundraisers as they run their functions.  Having a big crowd helps them feel that people are paying attention. 
          In case you’re wondering why I’m pushing RFL this year there’s a couple of reasons.  First, as I mentioned above, there’s bit of it around me this year.
          Second, my good friend in SL, Jessii Warrhol  approached me recently and asked me to participate with the Tribute City RFL team.  The time was right for me.  After several years of passing through RFL fund raising events I decided to join. 
          I’ll blog for the cause, I’ll donate money, and I’ll try to help out in some other ways.  (Significant Other suggests that just staying out of Jessii’s and the team’s way might be enough.) 
          That’s me.  Everyone is different.  There are other RFL teams inworld if you’d rather go with them.  (Sorry, Jessii.)  The point is do something, anything! 
          Here are some logistical details to help you get started!
          The Tribute City Relayers Relay for Life Team is co-captained by Johannes1977 Resident and Rob Fenwitch.  Three other sites are relaying with Tribute City this year.  These are Zorro’s Tavern, Zenland, and Requiem. 
          There is a blog where all of Tribute City’s and its partners’ activities will be listed  for the duration of RFL which will run until late in the year.  The team even has its own clubhouse inworld.  Check it out! 
          The blog contains information on contributing and participating. 
          As a matter of fact, Zorro’s is having a party and fundraiser on March 9th from 1:00 to 3:00PM SLT.  But, if you can’t make it, don’t worry, there’ll be plenty more! 
          The Tribute City Relayers were established by Jessii two years ago and won several awards last year including the Cancer Education Award.  Their dedication and commitment are evident.  I look forward to working with them and enjoying myself. 
          With that, I’ll take my leave for now.  I’ll be blogging on this topic for a while and reporting back on progress.  Please think about what I’ve said and maybe I’ll meet you inworld!  SL is a community of caring, compassionate people and here’s our chance to show that once again!
          I’d like to thank Jessii for inviting me to join the Tribute City Relayers and I thank her and all her friends for their work on this very worthy cause.     
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I’ve included below links to a few pictures of sites associated with RFL inworld.  Hopefully, you get the sense that there’s a lot going on here. 
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.




Lindal Kidd said...

Relay for Life is THE major charity drive in Second Life, and SL residents have collected enough of those tiny Linden Dollars to make a SIGNIFICANT contribution in Real Life terms every year.

This is it, the Big One. Go to events, buy RFL promo products...organize an event yourself.

You'll feel good about yourself, and you'll make others feel even better!

May O. Mingzi said...

Yay! I'm glad you blogged about this. Beau Belle is fielding a team, too. Watch our calendar for RFL-tagged events and items in our sim stores.

webspelunker said...


Thanks for the support!



webspelunker said...


Thanks for reading and good luck!

I'll be by soon!