Today's guest blog come to us from Tracey Dolinar, a multi-talented individual who has had experience in theatre, public speaking, computer programming, and many other areas. His business, House Of Dolinar, is primarily geared toward educational multimedia. It is always looking to develop further niche markets and welcomes suggestions.
In his light and understated blog, Tracey reminds us of the importance of interpersonal relationships with others, even those we may not know. The need to have connection, conversation, and community with others is universal to all people. This message of optimism calls us to slow down and make an effort to reach out and connect, at least on some level, with the people we run into along our journeys. An empathetic or compassionate "hello" could be the best and brightest spark in someone's day.
“Reach out and touch someone.”
That was the catchphrase for a nationally known telephone company in the 1970’s. It was an attempt to get people to use the telephone, thus generating revenue for that company, in a time when having a land line was relatively novel, and having a separate phone for even a second room in the house was a sign of affluence. (This was also during the time when nobody had two TVs.)
Mom and Dad were always seemingly happy to hear my voice, verifying my existence and alleviating any fear that I might have been annexed by extraterrestrials.
I never really understood that until I began sharing my space with my girlfriend. If she didn’t show up on time or at least call, I began to fear the worst. (This, despite a logic that insisted she was capable of living without my constant presence. After all, she had existed quite comfortably before we ever met.)
On reflection, I began to understand that there are many forms of “touch.”
The touch of another’s voice, just to say “Hello” is something we take quite for granted, especially in the elderly, the developmentally disabled, or the otherwise disenfranchised.
It reminds me disturbingly of the time I was sitting in a Dunkin’ Donuts one night, and this woman who appeared to me to be borderline homeless was trying to engage a stranger in some trivial conversation. The waitress/cashier tried to shush her, telling her to leave the customers alone.
I couldn’t believe it.
All this woman had wanted was a little conversation, something to break the prison of isolation that had been erected around her by the cinder blocks of public indifference.
Choosing to be alone is one thing. Being forced to solitude because you’ve been conveniently “forgotten” is something else again.
“Hello” is often the first step to acknowledging a stranger as being worthwhile as opposed to making them feel as though their existence is somehow criminal.
So say “Hello” to a new person today. You never know where it can take you.
And pick up the phone.
Mom says you never call.