Feedback Requested: Ideals Don’t Have to Stop at Death

A friend who still does vol­un­teer work with Freecy­cle men­tioned that some­one asked a ques­tion on the big inter­na­tion­al mod­er­a­tors’ list. Does the orga­ni­za­tion have any­thing set up to hon­or mod­er­a­tors who die?

The ques­tion had­n’t been answered offi­cial­ly yet, so she fig­ured I might know. I could only tell her that I’d nev­er heard of any such thing, but it was pos­si­ble that they’d put some­thing like that in place since I left.

I did think about it after we signed off, though. There are many thou­sands of Freecy­cle mod­er­a­tors all over the world. They are, by def­i­n­i­tion, peo­ple who tend to get involved and give of themselves. 

Now that they knew about the sit­u­a­tion, what would be an appro­pri­ate gesture?

Putting the deceased’s name on the main web­site seems rather insipid. 

My first thought was to find out if there was one book or mag­a­zine or some­thing that the per­son real­ly *believed* in, some­thing she rec­om­mend­ed to the whole world, some­thing that made a big dif­fer­ence in her life.

Maybe we could do a cen­tral data­base of rec­om­men­da­tions from every­one, kin­da like Bor­ders has all those store rec­om­men­da­tions from employees?

So if some­one pass­es, as many of us as feel led would get copies of his or her rec­om­men­da­tion and release it through BookCross­ing or Freecy­cle or leave it in a wait­ing room, donate it to a library—something. If it’s a peri­od­i­cal, we donate a sub­scrip­tion to a near­by library or school or assist­ed liv­ing home, that kind of thing.

But since this orig­i­nal­ly came up regard­ing a Freecy­cle mod­er­a­tor, I was still both­ered by the idea of “stuff” involved.

So how about liv­ing their ideals instead?

If there’s a par­tic­u­lar max­im, quote, verse, etc. that was par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant to that per­son, and you don’t find it offen­sive, you could devote a cer­tain amount of time to spread­ing or liv­ing it. You could cre­ate some­thing based on it, like a piece of music, an LJ lay­out, a needle­work design—however you express your cre­ativ­i­ty. You could tell oth­ers about it, espe­cial­ly the very young. You could just live it, loud­ly (but not offen­sive­ly), mem­o­rably, in his hon­or for a day or a week.

That, I think, would be even bet­ter than any­thing that could ever be done with mate­r­i­al goods.

Just a “pay it forward/make a dif­fer­ence” idea for the think­ing, but usu­al­ly some­what broke crowd 😉

What do you think?

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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