behind the comments (soLs)

Words have power. A power all of their own. A power like no other. Words can



I want to tap this power during the Slice Challenge. Not just in the writing I do here, but more importantly in the   comments I leave for others.

I’m humbled that people trust Stacey and me enough to start a blog, to join the challenge, to document pieces of their lives. How can I show the slicing community how much they mean to me? How will they know they matter, their stories matter, and I’m honored they trust me enough to make their words public?

I comment as much as I can. I read words, powerful, healing, loving, brave words, and they soak into me. Your stories impact my story. I see the world more clearly. My empathy increases. I understand relationships better. All because of your stories.

So my house isn’t quite as clean as I like it to be on Friday mornings. I didn’t get quite as much sleep as I wanted. The slice I wanted to write on day one of the 2012 challenge is still swirling around in my head, because I didn’t take the time to write. The laundry is still in baskets instead of hanging in closets and tucked in drawers.

Instead, I used my words to let people know their stories matter to me. I commented on 137 blogs, and yet, I still feel like it wasn’t enough. Because there are slices I didn’t read.

But they weren’t unread.

That’s the beauty of a community. It takes all of us, using our powerful words, to support and encourage one another. I like this best. That my bit is enough because it is coupled with your bit and his bit and her bit.

Bit by bit words change the world.

Click on the image to join the challenge or  to
read other people’s slices.

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  1. Participating in this reminds me in a real way of the importance of audience for my children. We've come far in providing an audience….opportunities to celebrate in our planning, but I'm reminded again how far we've yet to go.

    You are right…words have power!

  2. The number of slices was unbelievable. You showed an amazing care when reading so many slices. I figured that three comments a day isn't enough. I have my favorites from the past year and thought that if I read some slices from new people every day, I should get to read everyone's blog at least once this month. The comments will be probably short.

  3. Sometimes I want to comment but I don't because I feel like my comments will be goofy. Sometimes the only thing I can think to comment is thank you for sharing. How do you comment if you don't know what to say?

  4. Ruth —
    137? Did you sleep last night?

    BTW: I have so many windows open in Firefox right now I think my computer might blow up. Going to get through as many as I can right now, but Isabelle doesn't seem to want to nap. We shall see…

    @Jessica: Speak from the heart. Say something about the writer's craft. Tell the writer how you connected with his/her writing. Just try it. No one will judge you on the comment you leave. They'll just be happy you cared enough to comment. 🙂

  5. WOW, I can't believe you commented on that many blogs! Truly admirable. I love your list of verbs to show all the different things words can do — it really illustrates the power of writing. Although I think my favorite part of your post was your little paragraph about all the things you gave up — the house isn't cleaned, the laundry's not done, you didn't even write the slice you had planned! Thanks for showing how much you care about others through your comments.

  6. hmmm…it seems we are still thinking alike! 🙂
    Did you notice the comment here about commenting on more than 3 other slices? I bet a lot of us are doing that!
    By the way, I have 2 new slicers just starting today. They got their blogs up and going before I left school.

  7. I'm so honored to be one of the 137 I look intentionally for certain comments from certain people in this community. They make me feel good. They encourage me. They make me feel relevant. They make my day. YOU and other's comments make my day.
    Thank you.
    First Grade @ Klinger Cafe

  8. I love that you are trying to do what you can do. I am excited that there are so many slicing, but wow, there are a lot. I guess I could say I'm reading & commenting as fast as I can! My laundry is still in the dryer! I just read this quote lately, Ruth: Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown I think that's part of what you're saying. If we all work together, people will be read and heard. Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this!

  9. You have already done so much through setting up this challenge and bringing us all together. It is appreciated! THANK YOU! The ripple effect of what you've started in each of us is huge!

  10. Thank you for reminding me the power of words. Sometimes as educators we forget what power words really do have.

    Thank you too for taking the time to read as many posts as you did. Truly amazing that you read 137. I feel fortunate to be part of such a WONDERful community of writers!

  11. It's still amazing to me how you two came together and have written a book, have the blog, facebook, twitter and whatever else you do, which I know is so much more! Thank you! You are a mother, wife, friend at the same time you are doing all this! God has blessed you! Thanks for sharing your talents! Happy Slicing! 🙂

  12. I agree, you are a rock star! I loved see your fingerprints on posts I went to read and comment on–what a wonderful thing this challenge is. I'm so glad that I found it at just the right time. Thank you for lifting me (and 137 other slicers!) up!

    PS: How did that Thomas the Train domino go over with the little guy?

  13. 2 years ago, I started a blog because of you and Stacey. I have been inspired by your story and your words nearly daily since then. I am honored to be part of this community and will do my best to join you in commenting to keep the community growing!

  14. As a first time slicer, I enjoyed reading your comments on my writing yesterday! You are right…words do matter and I (along with many others) appreciated yours! Thank you!

  15. You are just amazing, Ruth! I am blessed to have been able to see how you have grown over the years! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to so many of us. This Slice of Life season is really outstanding. Such a tribute to you and Stacy!

  16. Ruth, you're inspiring. 137 responses yield a much more lasting result than clothes neatly hung in closets. (At least I tell myself some version of that every day… ;)) But, I'm buying it. Thank you, also, for inspiring me to take my writing/life public. I talked with a colleague today who's slicing for the first time and she said, “Wow. I got a comment from Ruth. I can't believe it—I feel so special.” The truth is, because you're so special we feel that way too. 🙂

  17. Let's see if we can comment 137 times on your post!!! I read posts on the first day of SOLS before I wrote my first. I needed the community's support!!!

  18. It is an amzing start – I too have been trying to do as much reading and commenting as I can fit in. It is an amazing community you and Stacey have created.

  19. I can't thank you (and Stacey) enough for hosting this challenge, inspiring the writers, encouraging the anxious, and supporting the brave. Never once have I left an evening spent within the SOLSC community un-touched! The way you describe the impact above is so eloquent and captures perfectly why I keep coming back! Thank YOU!

  20. I remember the first time you commented on my blog, I walked on air and told everyone around me and the same when Stacey commented. You two are the rock stars of writing in my world. How cool that I feel I can talk to you and you read my thoughts. Thank you!

  21. The power of what you and Stacey have created over the years of doing the Slice of Life Challenge is amazing! And, speaking directly to you, I'm not sure you'll ever know how many lives you impacted just the other weekend at the Dublin Literacy Conference. I know non-bloggers, students, teachers, and bloggers — all who are participating in the Challenge in their own way, even if it isn't linked to all the others.
    Bit by bit, YOUR words are changing the world!
    I'm so glad to join you and the rest of the community in this writing endeavor.

  22. You're amazing! The comments make a difference; I realize I have an audience. Thanks for commenting on my blog and for bringing this online community together.

  23. I am also amazed that you commented on 137 blogs! I liked reading this post because I have also been thinking more intentionally about the comments that I leave this time. I am thinking of the comments I receive as almost mentor texts, thinking about how the comments make me feel so that I can keep that in mind while I am commenting. I also notice the comments leave on other's posts.

  24. Powerful post – really. We do become connected don't we. I'm challenging myself to do the same, to read and comment on as many as I can as well – knowing how meaningful these comments are to me.

  25. Wonderful posts! I'm so excited that I decided to be a part of the challenge this year. It is amazing how the comments that people leave us stir up different feelings in each of us.

  26. The SOLS challenge is definitely magical. It was my “welcome to the blogosphere” five years ago, and it still feels like coming home. All the amazing thoughts and feelings that are shared in the slices amaze me every day. Thank you both for opening your arms wide enough for all of us in all our diversity to fit!

  27. Ruth, thank you so much for the SOLS challenge. I have always, always wanted to be a writer. I am a writer in that I have to write to think, but I mean I have always wanted to write well enough for others to read what I have written. It has been my dream since I was 8 years old – I am 56 now. I don't think I have ever written like this for even 4 days in a row. I never knew what to write about. Because of your dream, my dream is coming true. I am relishing being part of this writing community! Thank you, again!