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Social isolation is a significant contributor to unhappiness and ill-health, and unhappy people tend to die earlier than happier ones.

It’s easy to forget in our self-obsessed and pressured daily lives that contact with others helps not only them, but us as well. Compassion, empathy and caring can be as restorative for the giver, as for the person on the receiving end of the gesture.

Not everyone can give, particularly when they are isolated by their age, life circumstances or illness. The rest of us can do something about this by building bridges and keeping lines of communication open.

It’s not complicated to pick up the phone, cross the street, or wave.

 

2 Responses to “Reach Out As Well As In”

  1. I do volunteer driving, mostly elderly folk, some all alone, without family and sometimes even friends close by. My trips are an hour each way driving and then anywhere from 1 to 7 hours with them at clinic appointments. From the very beginning I have always felt that I’ve benefited more from this activity than my clients do. As a retired nurse my empathy skills are well-honed and even with the oldest and grumpiest my patience remains (at the age of 72 I can now visualize me in their position), but I get so much from doing this. My drives are one on one and I’ve learned more than I ever learned in school about the world at large, humanness, new skills, new ways to do things at almost every level of life. Holding a soft, browned, elderly hand when they are scared, or just need a human touch is an amazing feeling. This brings such joy to my life and my mental state always is rewarded. Everyone should be reading this post of your Barry, thank you once again for really understanding the psychology of the human being…

     
  2. Thank you for your comment, confirmation, as is it was needed, that human contact not only nourishes us, but teaches us things as well. If we are receptive. It is also a tribute to insight; being alert and alive to possibilities helps create them, I believe. Thanks.

     

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