Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Strengthening Ties Through Sharing

I will admit that, like many people in the class, I was hesitant to begin to share my personal essay.  I started off where I felt most comfortable.  So I shared it with all of my siblings, except for my brother (whom I talk about in my essay).  I emailed the link to them, and they quickly responded with positive feedback.  They were suprised that I would write something like that.  I had never shared any writing with all of them before.

Then, this last weekend, my brother flew into town from North Carolina, and I was able to share my essay with him face to face.  It honestly was a little weird having him read what I had to say about him.  I left the room while he read it, and came back in when he was done.  I had predicted how he would respond. Being the humble person that he is, I knew he would begin to compliment me and tell me how cool I was.  That is exactly what he did. It was actually a pretty cool moment.

Next I shared my essay with my girlfriend.  We were just passing the time with my roommates one evening, and I asked her if she could read my essay.  She was flattered that I would share that with her, and told me that it was apparent that Idaho, Guatemala, and my brother, were three very important things to me.

I began sharing my essay through email and personal facebook messages to my friends around the world.  Some responded, some others have yet to respond.   I received very positive feedback from sharing Viridianas essay with my converts in Chihuahua, México.

Once I gained momentum, and began sharing my essay and my classmates essays with other people, I began seeing more opportunities to reconnect with old friends and to leave further invitations.  For example, as I was preparing to share Jeremy's essay with my Christian friend from high school, I texted her to find out how her medical school interviews went with the University of Utah School of Medicine.  She responded to tell me that she had been accepted and will be moving to Salt Lake City.  After reconnecting, I felt much more comfortable sharing Jeremy's essay with her.  So one day, we skyped, and I emailed her the link so she could read it.  She loved it.  She said that it was really well written, and asked about the Book of Mormon reference.  I had given her a Book of Mormon in high school, and when she asked me about it, I found a perfect opportunity to invite her to actually read it.  She promised that she would.

What I have found is that it is easier for me to share other people's essays first, and then invite them to read my own essay as a further invitation.  I am still fairly self conscious of sharing my own work, but I have enjoyed the feedback that i have received.

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