What is more important? Personal privacy or feeling alone in your community? The advantage of a small place is that you are usually supported and known pretty well. The disadvantage is that many people know the details of your life! Good or bad.
I met someone last month, on the bus as it happens, and we started talking about the weather, travelling, living in cities versus villages and ultimately the sense of community you do or don’t have. The sense of connectedness or not. And the feeling of being supported by that community or literally being an invisible resident.
I feel sad at the level of aloneness in our communities. This is not the same as loneliness. It’s more about not seeing people at all. It’s a kind of social isolation. It seems to happen to the older generation, especially when their partners die (Age UK run a befriending service if of interest), to those confined to their home for multiple reasons and in my experience when you move to a new place and have a new baby!
I was particularly touched by the story of a blind woman, I suspect it was linked to a charity campaign but honestly can’t remember which one, who literally spent every day on her own, all week, with only the radio and story tapes for company. Horrendous. She then received a guide dog to help her get around, and suddenly her life was transformed. She could go out, meet people, talk. Guide dogs are precious in this situation, it’s hard to train them and not every dog has the inherent skills to succeed, but you can support them in trying to through sponsoring a puppy with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
As some of you know I’m an intermittent church goer and happened to go last Sunday to the local family service. The vicar spoke of the importance of not labelling people and asked us to make a badge. On the front we wrote ‘Loved by God’, our name, then VIP. For the back we were asked to think of someone we disliked, had labelled negatively or simply didn’t notice at all in our life. Then on the back we wrote ‘Loved by God’, their name (or a symbol to represent them) and VIP, and then we were asked to pin the badge on our left side, over our heart. I won’t tell you who I put on the back of my badge, just that it was a pretty difficult process to see that person as ‘Loved by God’! However, it did make me think.
Last week I also (in the spirit of talking to whoever is I front of you) found two great prospects for potential sales, without ever expecting those conversations to offer that possibility. I think watching the film ‘Legally Blonde 2‘ helped! Weirdly, it reminded me that opportunity, help and support come from the most unlikely places.
Have a great weekend!
Love Ruth x