Sometimes I visualize humanity as all being at a huge party - not a get-drunk party, more like the socializing after a group dinner.
At this party, everyone is wearing lots and lots of chains with padlocks. Everyone also has keys - lots of keys.
The thing is this: most of the keys you have at this party don't fit any of the locks you're wearing. Some of them do, but most don't.
As you move around at the party, encountering people and making connections, you'll sometimes find that you have a key for those people, or they have a key for you. Sometimes the lock that's opened is a tiny one that you barely noticed at all, and sometimes an opened lock releases a great burden.
There's a lot more to this analogy in my own mind, but the point I wish to make is that we can never know who's going to help us or who we're going to be able to help. Sometimes locks are opened by loyal friends, sometimes by people we encounter on the bus. Someone can 'open a lock' for another through a kind word, through needed service, or through something they've written, and may other ways as well.
Although this idea is very important to me, I am far from perfect at living it. More than most people, I think, my struggles and fears much too often prevent me from being as interconnected as would suit my ideals. Still, the central idea of trying to bring people together for the matching of locks and keys is a sacred one.
That's part of why I love the DOC. The DOC isn't perfect - being made up of people, after all - and I know we don't come through for everyone, and that's sad. But all the blogs, all the tweets, all the forums, provide opportunities for people to find keys to their locks and to help other people as well. Even though there are those whose messages I don't particularly care for, but I'm still glad they're here, because if they're here they have the opportunity to help and be helped. My words aren't going to resonate with everyone, but many voices greatly increases the chances that a person can find words that DO resonate.
If you 'speak' in the community, please keep doing so. If you just listen, please keep doing so, and speak if and when you feel comfortable enough or compelled enough to do so.