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Thread: Must read: I Don't Know a Single Person on this Earth Anymore

  1. #1
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    Must read: I Don't Know a Single Person on this Earth Anymore

    http://www.aish.com/ci/s/I-Dont-Know...=fb&mobile=yes

    I thought this was a very thought-provoking sobering article. One reason society is falling apart.

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    I know many people but not one I could call in an emergency. Everyone has their own life. Family is far away. If spouse died, I would be alone. Sad, but true.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    My great-aunt died at 92, shortly after the death of her last friend. She certainly had me and my mother, so she wasn't totally alone, but she was an hour away from us and probably knew we also had our own lives. Actually, she died the day after I dropped her off home after our last summer together at her cottage.

    I truly believe we've lost our grip on community, and this probably connects with the discussion we've been having on the school shootings.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    My great-aunt died at 92, shortly after the death of her last friend. She certainly had me and my mother, so she wasn't totally alone, but she was an hour away from us and probably knew we also had our own lives. Actually, she died the day after I dropped her off home after our last summer together at her cottage.

    I truly believe we've lost our grip on community, and this probably connects with the discussion we've been having on the school shootings.
    Yes, I was thinking the same thing when I posted this.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    That was really heart wrenching. I guess I am fortunate that there are several people I could call in an emergency. I'm sure it helps that I am not 95 years old, and the fact that we live in the town where DH & I grew up is probably also a factor.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Catherine, I think it also ties in with the threads we have going on helping our aging parents.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    When I read this type of a story, I wonder what people did with their lives. When I walk the dog, I visit with every person that I meet to some degree. We might discuss the weather, dogs, commiserate or whatever interests them at the moment.

    Do people wait for others to come to them or do they reach out for activities that include others? I know that people can be very aggravating at times and reaching out may run into rejection but nothing is without risk or guaranteed in life.

    What interests have people cultivated over the long-term that can be shared with others? Have solo individuals relied on the same group for years? Have they tried new things?

    I saw an article where the loneliness in the UK is so bad that the government is seeing it as serious enough issue to invest healthcare $$ in research and response. It will be interesting to see how that develops.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    I know many people but not one I could call in an emergency. Everyone has their own life. Family is far away. If spouse died, I would be alone. Sad, but true.
    I have been thinking lately; our modern society does not value staying close to "home" any more. Travel, moving away to attend college or to get a higher paying job, adventure in far away places is valued. I know my parents' generation, in the rural area where many people lived back then, had many more persons that rarely if ever traveled far away from home. So many farmed, they pretty much had to stay there to take care of the farm chores, and extended family that needed help. And family was so close, they just had much less desire to move away. I know my generation tended to encourage travel, moving to climb the career ladder, and learning other cultures and languages is more valued now than it was back then. But all this comes at a cost to society I think. The loss of the old and their wisdom is a huge loss when it happens. The greatest generation is almost gone, and our country will never be the same.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I finally saw the film A Man Called Ove which is relevant here. Such a sweet movie. It really spoke to how neighbors simply reaching out can make a huge difference in our lives.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    That story reminds me of a neighbor I had when I was high school age. He was an older man in his eighties, a widower, and lonely. I didn’t know about the lonely part until one day he was out in his yard knee deep in maple leaves trying feebly to encourage a huge pile of leaves to make its way to the roadside where the road master would come by and take them away.

    He loved his chewing tobacco. There was always a trail of brown tobacco saliva from each corner of his mouth. And he’d spit on the ground and then wipe his face with the back of his sleeve. I went over this particular day and asked him if he needed some help with the leaves. He said he couldn’t afford to pay me anything and I said I didn’t want anything. We immediately hit it off, after I finally wrestled the rake out of his hands.

    I had that pile of leaves out to the road in just a few minutes. He looked at me, spit on the ground, wiped his face and asked me if I’d ever been to the river carp fishing. Well, no I hadnt. I fancied myself a trout conisuer. He wondered if I’d like to go down to the Ohio and try my hand at catching carp. I said, “Sure.” And a smile gave way that betrayed his tobacco stained teeth .....all three of them. The next morning I was sitting in his driveway in my Chevy Nova. The exhaust suddenly seemed a little too loud. The garage man door creaked open and out he walked carrying a fishing pole in one hand and a maxwell house coffee can in the other.

    I followed his directions to a little sandy sandy beach behind a junk yard that bordered the confluence of the Ohio and Beaver Rivers. He snapped the plastic lid off the coffee can and leaned it over so I could see inside. “Right here son, is the finest carp bait ever.” It was a mix of corn meal, honey, oatmeal, and Karo syrup. And tobacco juice. That day I reeled in some of the heaviest fish I’ve ever caught in my life. It was hard to tell if you had a fish or had snagged a log.

    My neighbor never stopped smiling that day. And I have to admit, I think I got more out of it than he did. He told me about how he met his wife, how his kids didn’t visit often and how some of the neighbor kids called him names from the other side of the hedges. He told me about his job as a union welder and how old age was often really difficult. But he didn’t want no sympathy, he was sure his life had been blessed more than he deserved.

    I only got to fish a few times with him before winter set in. And one day I saw an ambulance backed into his driveway. His obituary followed not to long after.

    Today, I made a strawberry pie. My next door neighbors are getting up in years and poor health has them shut up inside a lot. They have visiting nurses, physical therapy, doctors appointments but their kids live a long ways off. I took them over two slices of pie and chatted a little. I think that seemed to help. And I think I got more out of it than they did.

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