The Pakistani Spectator interviews Marianne
I was pleasantly surprised when the Pakistani Spectator contacted me for an interview about myself and the blog. I was deeply impressed that people I did not know from another country, and culture, would reach out to know me better. Reaching out to others is a warm and noble effort, and says much about one’s character and desires. I truly hope that more positive communication occurs in this world, bringing people together. It will help them discover that they are not really that different, after all.
The interview questions, and answers, are found at this link (The interviews are organized by date, so you have to scroll back to July 8, 2008)
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They are also reproduced below.
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
a. I am a biochemist and have worked in medical research for 30 years. I am now semi retired, and continue to do scientific writing in collaboration with a local toxicology laboratory in my area. My love for science is also combined with a love for God, as I see His design in everything I study. While some people think that science and religion disagree with each other, I find that many times they are in agreement. One thing I like to do is take the science that we know, and show that it is there to teach us about God’s creation, and His plan for us.
b. I try to take my analytical and academic ways and use them to examine the bible and science. I sometimes join them together to compare how different ideas from each fit together to make a new insight. Not all posts are like this however. Some are just about science, and some are just about God, or religion. I also love to study prophecy from the ancient prophets, and then I look to today’s world to see how these predicted events are coming true. Since I am Christian, I also feel the responsibility to look at any errors or mistakes people are making that misrepresent the faith, or what God really wants. Sometimes, people ignore what God says, and follow their own thinking. I try to show this human error, and bring people back to thinking in agreement with God. Holiness is following God, not man.
This is my website:
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
Yes, I feel that I grow each day, and with each writing that I do. Many times, I think there is nothing more to write about, and then I get inspired again. I like to express ideas, and hear from people. Sometimes they agree. Sometimes they disagree. Either way, their responses help me think more, and help me improve my content. This is important because it is a life lesson that no one knows everything, and we all learn from each other.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
The most memorable, and precious, experiences come from meeting people and sharing in their lives. Getting to know new people from all over the world is really a wonderful experience in personal growth. I learn about what their life is like, their fears and concerns, and even what makes them angry, or sad. Some very lasting friendships have been made, and some people are just like family to me now.
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
I always try to answer each persons’ comments on the site, and in a private email. This way, they can write back to me whenever they like, and tell me more about their problems or opinions, and keep some issues private. I also visit other sites and contribute there as well, showing interest in their viewpoints. Finally, I have a mailing list that is compiled from visits and comments to the site, and I send out updates when I write something new. In some cases, we have exchanged personal phone numbers, and have had long conversations on the phone. The conversations deepen the friendship.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
Politics? That is outside my area of expertise, but the internet and TV seem to have the most influential role. I am not a media genius, but I think that ipods, You Tube (internet videos) and even cell phones can carry web information, and this helps the communication process.
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
I hope so. Sometimes, I think people do not get involved soon enough in political issues. They may not realize how much certain decisions will affect their personal lives until it is too late. Getting involved early will prevent the wrong people getting elected.
What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
Mine seems unique because it has a scientist that writes about spiritual topics. Usually, you have scientific writers that express atheistic views, and say that religion is wrong, and it is only for stupid people. Then, you also have religious writers that complain science is all wrong about certain topics, and they say the scientists are evil. I hope to combine the best of both views. I look for harmony.
I have studied the bible for 40 years, so I know the content well. I try to keep the studies objective, and as academic as possible. I try to avoid negative, emotional statements. Also, I accept disagreement with me. This does not offend me. I try to see the other person’s point of view, and I will ask them about why they think that way. This way, they have a place to express themselves, even if they do not agree with me. Not everyone has a blog, so they need someplace to express themselves. I give them space to do this.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
My love for others.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
Happiest would be the birth of my children. Gloomiest would be the death of a loved one.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?
What is your favorite book and why?
The bible. It is a book of morals and wisdom. It is a lesson in the mistakes of others, as well, so that we can learn from these mistakes. It also contains the life and ministry of Jesus.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?
No. I have been writing since elementary (primary) school.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Normally, bloggers use noncommercial sites because they are free. If one wants to make money, to sell books or videos, then they need to purchase web space. You can find commercial web space at a cheap cost, if you look around. However, you can use a link on your non-commercial site to lead readers to another site, where you have the opportunity to sell something. For example, I have written a book, called “The Lions and the Bride.” I offer a free electronic version of the book on my personal site, but I also put a link to the Publisher’s site. That way, if they want a paper copy of the book, in final published form, they can follow my link, and go there.
Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Yes and no. A successful blog really reflects good thinking prior to posting the content. This may require time, but one can do something else while they are contemplating. Also, well formed thoughts come out quickly. Some of the things I write about are topics I have thought about for years. Then, when I sit down, I can write the content in less than 20 minutes. A successful blog also requires knowing how to treat guests that come there. Rudeness would push people away. Love and courtesy attracts them.
Finally, knowing what people are searching for helps me formulate the next post. There is an administrative page where I can see what key words people type in, before they end up on my page. I sometimes use that as a guide for topics. For example, I have seen many searches about witchcraft and demons. So I do my research, and collect information about these subjects, and offer the conclusions on my website.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendly, and less hostile?
They can set a good example for others, and provide a safe place for people to come and talk about what is on their minds. Not everyone has a blog of their own, but they still want other people to listen to them. Treating visitors in a kind way gives people a chance to ask for help, to express anger, to look for hope, to complain, to share information, and feel useful and appreciated. Right now, there are many people with anger, or hate, issues that release their anger and hate on others in a very physical way. If they could discuss issues with other people, and find answers, maybe there would be less crime. Also, blogs can be instructional, and be places of learning new things.
Who are your top five favorite bloggers?
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
Yes. My posts about South Africa. There is reverse apartheid going on there, and innocent people are being killed. People are writing to me, asking me to help them move away from there.
What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
Pakistan is a good Muslim country, with several religions living together. Most people there are joining in the new technology, to advance their country. They are working hard to bring the pieces together, and build a strong nation. Pakistan has gone through some bad days, and critical times, but it is slowly beginning to stand in this fast world. Pakistani people are intelligent within, but are not always given the opportunity to show this. They need more opportunities. Many students from Pakistan come here to the USA to attend universities, and they compete well with other foreign, and American, students. Pakistan is taking a big part in the anti-terrorists activity, and world peace. I share their hope for the future, that it will be a powerful, prosperous nation.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
No, not yet. Maybe, in time, I will, as I meet more bloggers.
What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
Maybe the level of education.
What is the future of blogging?
I think there will be more of it. People have an inherent need to communicate. The future can either be positive or negative. It depends on who is blogging, and what they are saying.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
I have really “found myself” in writing. I have also found valuable friends. It does not affect my professional life, as it is my personal time. Since I am semi retired, it does not interfere with a job. I have time for both work and personal activities.
What are your future plans?
As long as I continue to feel inspired by God, life, science, bible, prophecy and people, I will write until everything is said. But I do not know the time this end will come. I would like to spend some future time helping humanity, and suffering people, get the help they need. I also like photography. I think I would enjoy being a journalist, and helping increase awareness of problems, by alerting people through the media.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Maybe, soon, in the future, it will become a strong and powerful nation, with no worries and poverty. I wish the people peace, happiness, strength, and prosperity.