Today, I attended the annual Hospice luncheon to thank the volunteers for their service. As a Hospice volunteer we all receive much more than we give to our patients. A smile, a hug or just listening to them as they relive the significant parts of their lives, gives them an opportunity to be heard and appreciated. The meaningful parts of their memories that are forever etched into their minds deserve to be heard. We listen and we share. Some times the patients want to hear about our lives since they are home bound and are still choosing to live life, albeit, through their outside connections. The time we spend talking and listening is invaluable. A Hospice patient (nearing her 91st birthday) told me that she misses her ‘wheels.’ I was not only astounded but touched by this wonderful women’s sharing of her emotions. She felt a loss and was willing to share it with me. The training we go through to be a volunteer is both enlightening and uplifting. When we realize how life begins to close in on those who are in the last stages of their lives, we can be so thankful for our own ability to go out and be immersed in the living, breathing Universe.
The minister, at the meeting today, after talking about our willingness to listen, gave a non example of listening. It made me think about the occasional lack of attention we may give to others in our fast-paced world. He mentioned that he was in a coffee shop recently and there was a grandmother, mother and daughter sitting inside enjoying their beverages. What he found so astounding was that for 20 minutes each of them had their cell phones out and were either talking or texting others. He said there was literally no conversation going on among the three generations.
How sad, I thought to myself. So often a simple phone call to someone you care about is uplifting and gives you the opportunity to make a difference in their world.
Technology is an incredibly important part of all of our lives. We would be lost without it. The trick, if seems, is to keep a balance between being efficient and effective. It helps when we remember the importance of the human voice and the resultant energy that is shared between two people. Their is no substitute for it. Who knows, there may be someone who just needs to hear your voice and receive your energy to make it through another day. Just remember, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Think about it and pay it forward.