Sign Up For News And Updates

Your Contact Information
First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:
Sign up for the following:

Your Address
Mobile Phone:
Learn more about opt-in
By checking this box, you agree to receive email and text message updates from us. By checking this box, I consent to receive event and news updates via email and SMS. Unsubscribe anytime via provided links. Your information is safe with us and used solely for providing our News and updates. Standard Msg & Data rates may apply.

Try a Little Kindness (4.17.24)

Only once in my life has my wife and I had a beautiful experience of being a foster parent to a beautiful 9-year-old girl.  I did not know how old I had gotten until I tried to stay up with a nine-year-old.  Our kids are in their 40’s down to their 20’s.  I have gotten comfortable with grandparent duty, a few fun hours, then turn them back over to the real parents.  I had forgotten the 24-hour care from the early morning rush to catch the school bus, to the change in the middle of the afternoon to pick someone up off of the bus.  God bless the bus drivers, teachers, school workers, and all who help in a child’s life.  Even with the fact that she was with us, it was sad to see how lonely she appeared.  She had been separated from her family for whatever reason, and transferred from place to place.  She was among people, but she was really alone.

In the past few decades’ family life has remarkedly deteriorated.  Divorce rates in virtually all countries have skyrocketed.  There has been a dramatic increase in single-parent families.   More and more people find themselves living alone.  Then add the number of widowed persons and singles and the total is staggering. 

Attitudes and developments in today’s society have also created an atmosphere that fosters loneliness.  In this generation a lot of emphasis has been placed on impersonal technology, I-pads, I-phones, laptop computers, etc.  Texting someone across the table from you rather then just talking to them.  What happened to the generation that lived dangerously like drinking water out of a water hose, riding a friend on the front handle bars of a bike, playing in the streets with your friends, and when the only seat belts were your mother’s arm stretch out to protect you.  I am not suggesting we go back to those dangerous life-styles but I am suggesting we learn how to spend time with each other again with family, friends, and neighbors.   I believe the whole goal of impersonal technology is to get the maximum production out of life with the minimum amount of effort.  Sometimes people, or individuals are often viewed as more of just a tool and not a personality.  With this in mind many people apply similar principles to their personal lives.  They do not want to make the emotional investment needed to develop satisfying relationships with others, so they end up with mere superficial acquaintances.  When you couple this with the mobility of today’s society space age and you can see why it is not difficult for people to be so lonely. 

Television, the internet, and streaming also has played its role in discouraging genuine communications with family and friends.   The flocking of the multitudes from the farm life, were often families, friends, and neighbors had to help each other, or look out for each other, for any of them to make it, to the “big city” life where you can be lonely in a crowd is just another level of loneliness.   Our generation was warned in the TV show, “Green Acres” lyrics that was sung by Eddie Albert, who played the husband character, Oliver Wendell Douglas that said, “Green acres is the place to be, farm livin’ is the life for me, Land spreadin out so far and wide, keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.  Then Eva Gabor, a Hungarian-American socialite actress played his wife, Lisa Douglas would say, “New York is where I’d rather stay, I get allergic smelling hay, I just adore a penthouse view. Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue!  Then the husband would say, “The Chores,” she says, “The stores.”  He says “Fresh air,” she says, “Times Square.” He says “you are my wife,” she says, “Good bye, city life!”  Together they say, “Green acres we are there!” Then the comedy would began with a New York couple living in the farm community.  I don’t know if this would be a hit show today!  Did you hear about Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist, the couple who found love on the first season of the show, “The Golden Bachelor.’” They sadly announced that they were getting a divorce.  They had such a beautiful romance and wedding on the TV show.  It is reported that part of the reason for the divorce was they were not able to agree about where to live.  No Green Acres for you!

This is said to have happened in Japan as well, and is typical in many countries around the world.  Reportedly, before World War II, families were a lot closer than they are today.  Relatives, neighbors, and friends were always around when someone in the circle had a problem or a need.  But, according to a Japanese sociology professor Susumu Iivuka, says, “now, 60% of Japan’s millions of residents live in only 2% of the land area, “meaning more and more families are finding themselves living in an isolated concrete jungle and have not fully adapted in a positive way. 

Living in a large city, can be a blessing and a curse, a person can become, “people weary” and at the end of the day may want to escape from people, perhaps escape from his or her own family.  They may also ignore the stranger who needs their help.  They may withdraw into a protective shell.  They begin a process that can cause them to become more and more isolated.  Gradually their “heaven” of isolation becomes their “hell” of loneliness.  The truth is the reasons for loneliness are so many and so complex, but the answer is still the same.  Reaching out to others, and converting strangers into friends.

Being apart of a small group of friends, family, neighbors, churches, service organizations, volunteering at a hospital, nursing home, etc.  A small wave of love and care can turn into a tile wave of joy and happiness. “If I can help somebody, “the song says, “then my living will not be in vain!”  It is a fact I can not help everybody, no matter how worthy the cause, but it is also a fact, I can help somebody!  

Was it Dianna Ross that to sung, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can!  Take a little time out of your busy day to give encouragement to someone who’s lost their way.  The next verse said, “Or would I be talking to a stone, if I asked you to share a problem that’s not your own.  We can change things if we start giving.  Why don’t you reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can.” Last verse said, “If you see an old friend on the street, and he’s down, remember his shoes could fit your feet.  Try a little kindness, you’ll see, it’s something that comes naturally, we can change things if we start giving!