This morning while walking at the park I accidentally brushed past a man. “Sorry!” I said.
“Thank you!” he replied.
I walked on a little puzzled, wondering whether I’d heard right, and then slowed down waiting for him to pass, “Why did you say thank you?” I asked.
“Because you’re the first person who’s ever spoken to me in this park!” he said.
I heard a story about an older woman who stood in line at the Post Office. She struck up a conversation with a young man next to her. He noticed that she had no packages to mail, and asked why she was standing in line. She said that she just needed a few stamps.
“Ma’am, you must be tired standing here. Did you know there’s a stamp machine over there in the corner?” He pointed to the machine built into the wall. “Why yes, thank you,” the lady replied, “but I’ll just wait here a little while longer. I’m getting close to the window.”
The customer became insistent.
“But it would be so much easier for you to avoid this long line and buy your stamps from the machine.”
The woman patted him on the arm and answered, “Oh, I know. But that old machine would never ask me how my grandchildren are doing!”
She had a need greater than the need for postage stamps — a need to feel connected to other people. And it was a need that could not be met by a stamp machine.
When my dad who lived in New York discovered he had prostate cancer and in quite an advanced stage, decided to come down to India, and spend his last days at my home, many asked him while either visiting at the hospital or at my home, why he’d wanted to leave a country where he could have got excellent treatment and which had advanced in the field of his cancer. “Because, “he would say with a twinkle in his eye, as the person asking this question sat next to his bed holding his hand, “Nobody would have held my hand like you are doing, and spend time being with me!”
My dad had a need greater than good medical assistance. He needed people who cared: Someone to ask how his grandchildren were doing. Someone to sit by him and stop by his home. Someone to care.
A few of such caring people meant more than the best medical facilities in the world.
The man who I’d said sorry to, walked on ahead, I couldn’t walk with him lest he see my tears, big drops that filled my eyes. I waited till they’d dried and then caught up with him, I saw his eyes light up as he looked up at me, we walked together, I hope he didn’t see fresh tears that refused to go away!
Are there people around who you could stretch out and touch?
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12 thoughts on “Stretching Out to Touch..!”
Great, Bob, machines may be great and efficient but they are heartless.
Bob! You’re really a blessing (also ) for sharing, God bless you, nice day! ?
It’s a fact of life! Human beings need company, very few are loners.
No man can live as an island, we need fellow companions to accompany us.
The world is getting lonely, inspite of the crowds. In our own small way, we could do something about it…
No man is an island. We all crave for both solitude as well as to have someone to talk with. Someone who cares. God bless you Bobby you truly awaken our feelings
Man is a social animal.
With respect to what Arshad said yesterday regarding psychologists advocating solitude to refresh and replenish your mind in order to have peace of mind . I feel that’s incomplete, as psychologists also contradict themselves by saying man is a social being , conversation , communication and social interaction is necessary for one’s health and wellbeing. The psychologists necessarily have to make contradictory statements depending upon who they are speaking to. Looks like it is their way of making a living and perhaps a survival need.
This is very similar to people rushing to the doctor at the drop of a hat! When you fall ill you go to a doctor because the doctors have to live , then buy the medicine because the pharmacist has to live , then go and throw the medicine in the river because you have got to live This is our present social ecosystem ! 🙂
Very profound Ayesha!
India is a country where you can strike up a conversation with anyone at anytime more so when it’s a poor soul you don’t mind talking to
Loneliness is a killer n no one can escape it.