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Acquaintances and casual friends are important, but they don’t make you wake up saying, “I can’t wait to see so-and-so today.” What keeps us going is close relationships with others. Many of us fear forming close relationships, because they inevitably wind up putting demands on our time. But as Mark Haven showed me, the rewards are worth it.
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This is well cool – something I will probably end up doing in future. So many times while I’m on the bus I end up in conversations with elders, particularly women, who are fascinating. Spending time in conversation with them usually seems more desirable than whatever I’m on my way to do. There are so many elders alone who still have much to offer, but are ignored and forgotten. So much wisdom and experience (not to mention quality companionship) going to waste. Bravo Mark! And you David, for sharing this story.
There, but for the grace of God, go you or I. Do help. Most real rewards don’t have a monetary value.
As a senior I have found some camaradie among’st my set; also a young woman who wanted to know ‘all about me’. But when we disembarked the bus, she called me ‘honey’ and I had to straighten her out: My name is Mary, I said, gently. Heaven forbid I should discourage her from reaching out and sharing with another human being — something that separates us from the animals: the need to connect emotionally with another.. From time to time I too speak to bus passengers, especially if we are seated nearby. I also listen to others who seem to be just then touching base with one another. It’s quite miraculous that we don’t have to go through a whole day without speaking one word to another person (which I have done). I always admired a friend who could bond instantly with deli workers or shop keepers, without patronizing and or compromising either of them. Speech is a very good thing for it helps me understand my motivation in reaching out to others, maybe they need it, maybe I need it. I’m just learning to appreciate the value and the gift of speech. To me, ‘small talk’ is an art. Thanks, David.
David, I am so glad to have found out about your blog! It’s a wonderful inspiration and I have bookmarked it so I can keep up with your posts.
It’s so often true that we get more than we give when we help others and transcend ourselves and what we think are our personal needs.
That’s why I love volunteering, whether it’s formal or informal.