Why I Love Second Life

BLOG Why I Love Second<br /> Life

reflection 2

With all I have on my plate in real life, and given that I am happier than
I have ever been in this life, I am often asked why I am willing to spend
time and money in Second Life, a virtual world, a place that is ‘not real’.

My answer comes down to my ‘Sweet Spot’ — where my Gifts (what I am
particularly good at doing), my Passions (what I love doing), and my
Purpose (what is needed in the world that I care about), all intersect.
Over the past six years I have learned a great deal about myself, about
how the world really works, and about some possible better ways to live
and make a living.

I have learned that there is little point in setting objectives or
plans for your life, because external events will always interfere with
their attainment, and because we end up spending most or all of our
lives doing what’s urgent, not what’s important. We do what we must,
then we do what’s easy, and then we do what’s fun. There is no time,
for most of us, to do the things that are really important to us, that
give our life meaning, that are what we are really meant to do.

I have also learned that I am meant to do ten things, things that are
at or near to my ‘Sweet Spot’. I’ve also learned that there is no such
thing as mastery; there is only practice. So I spend my ‘real’ life, as
much as possible, practicing doing these ten things.

What I’ve discovered is that Second Love is a wonderful place to
practice doing these ten things, in ways that are often not possible in
‘real’ life. Here’s a brief summary of these ten things, and how they
apply in Second Life.

  1. Reflecting and
    Imagining Possibilities: We have a place here where you can create
    anything you can imagine, and where you can take tranquil walks among
    some of the most stunning scenery imaginable, and think, meditate,
    conceive, refresh, and see from a completely different perspective.
  2. Writing: Some of the
    conversations that have been written here, typed out one line at a time
    together, are masterpieces of collective thinking, creativity,
    collaboration, romance and imagination.
  3. Loving: In every sense
    — intellectual, emotional, sensual, erotic, spiritual — our island is
    a place to find and express and ‘make’ love.
  4. Learning, Exploring
    and Discovery: This is a place where you can learn by teaching, by
    showing, by studying, and by just trying things out for yourself. It
    is, perhaps, the future of higher education. It’s a place where you can
    explore and discover where you belong, and find who you belong with.
    And you can learn about the most important things for the future of our
    world: collaboration, consensus, community, conversation, and love.
  5. Conversing: No matter
    what language you speak, or how articulate you are, you can practice
    being a better conversationalist, sharing ideas and feelings and
    knowledge and beliefs with others, with the written word, voice, music,
    art, and movement.
  6. Sensing and Being
  7. Playing: Sometimes we
    tend to get too earnest here, concerned with rules and procedures and
    roles, and we forget that Second Life is a place for play, and that
    play is how all creatures learn best. We all need more fun in our
    lives, and this place makes that possible, even inevitable.
  8. Giving, coaching and
    showing: Second Life is a great equalizer — almost everything is free
    or nearly so, so what has value here in this world of abundance is the
    one thing that is scarce, and that we all have the same amount of —
    our time. What we give to others, with our time and our energy and our
    hearts, determines what we get out of this remarkable place.
  9. Self-managing: Second
    Life can be addictive, and heart-breaking, and one of the things we
    learn to ‘survive’ here is how to manage our time, our emotions, and
    how to give vent to our ideas in a constructive and disciplined way. We
    can learn to be more self-aware, self-knowledgable, and ultimately more
    self-sufficient here, which is a skill we’re going to need in the real
  10. Building working
    models: Our ‘real’ world is fragile, broken and full of struggle and
    suffering. Second Life gives us a place to build small-scale ‘models’
    of a better way to live and make a living, collaboratively in community
    with those we love. The future of our ‘real’ world may well depend on
    the types of working model we construct first in places like this.

So now you know why I love Second Life, and why I spend time here and
hope to spend even more in future. It is because of you, dear friends,
loved ones and fellow community members — who you are and what you do,
and what you give and teach me and others.

Thank you for the important work you do here. You have made, and
continue to make, Perfect Paradise a place of astonishing beauty, joy,
communion and discovery. So take a bow, beloved friends — you are a
part of something very important, a model for others to follow, one
that is evolving, innovatively, collaboratively, to be something
magical, and wondrous.

Practice may not make perfect, but it has made Perfect Paradise.