Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And thus I present a challenge....

Given what I had to tell about "the desert" yesterday, I hope one of the things that became very clear is how easily it can happen. We know someone. She appears fine each day. She's not disliked. She's not unpleasant or troubled. She's kind of quiet-natured and doesn't share much about her private life. You might know her at school ~ at work ~ at the bookstore ~ in the neighborhood, walking her dog. You might have an occasional pleasant conversation and part ways.

She might be in the desert. It happens. It doesn't only happen to people who are distasteful for some reason. It can happen with Everyperson.

I have made peace with my experience but I won't say that those who surrounded me couldn't have made it easier with a tiny amount of effort. During those times, a phone call, an invitation for coffee ~ some minor act of friendship ~ would have meant the world to me. If we'd all been able to step out of ourselves a little bit (me included because I had too much pride to admit how alone I truly was) maybe the time wouldn't have been quite so long ~ or quite so hard.

And thus, I present a challenge:

To all who are willing, I would like to see everyone make a commitment to inviting one such person to your home for the holidays. Allow that person to have a place in your family and with those known to you. Step out of your comfort zone and include someone new. Just one person.

It might just bring someone out of the desert ~ if only for a day.

Peace to all ~



Pam said...

Lovely idea...did you ever see the movie "Pay it Forward"? Same premise.

Anonymous said...

Just want to clarify - you mean on the actual day we celebrate? Or "during the holidays?"

Thailand Gal said...

De, I mean either/or/both. Whatever works for you. I'm only asking that people be open to including someone new.


Jas said...

Wow...beautiful post, well written and very inspiring. I love it. I just got back from Thailand and shared some of my experience in Thailand on my blog. Drop by sometimes. :)

Ginnie said...

I do that faithfully every year and it makes my Holiday season much richer,... there are so many lonely people out there.
Good for you...presenting a challenge for us.

Stephen Newton said...

BTW, I've added you to my blog links. OK?

gawilli said...

You are right, this would be a great addition to "pay it forward"! We have done this in the past and found it very enjoyable - beneficial for all of us. The desert is a familiar place for me. It is important to remember that we all are just a breath away from the desert most days. Thanks for your very thoughtful post

QT said...

We have done this for many years at my parents home - all are welcome - "there is always enough food for one more plate" my dad always says. It costs nothing and you are right -it can really mean something to a person not to be alone during the holidays.

jen said...

nice. i like it. (hey, i tried it....)

Gobody said...

It's a very noble idea. We know of a friend who is going through a rough patch and we invited her to come over and extended the invitation that she is welcome any time. She feels as if she is 'pesting' on us, that's her words!

Thailand Gal said...

Pam, yes... I have seen that movie and it is a principle that has always made sense. Keeping score is an energy drain ~ so I prefer to just "put it out there" and it inevitably gets passed on to someone. :)


Jas, your site is beautiful! Thanks for making me aware of it. I've bookmarked. I noticed you don't allow comments?


Ginnie, there are more lonely people than most of us realize. With our shared living space here, I can't do nearly the amount of inviting I'd like to do (having to have consensus and all) but when I get to my own space, I'll definitely pay attention and do more inviting. I'll be living in a mobile home park in Payson while I wait until I gather the money to get to Thailand. It's all people > 55. There are plenty of lonely people in those places.


Stephen, of course it's okay. Thank you so much. :)


Gawilli, it was kind of nice that our posts matched up as well as they did. It just reinforces for me that it's a message that needs to be heard.


qt, I agree with your dad. There's always the space for one more, always enough. Somehow when it's needed, it appears.


Jen, glad you tried it. :) Somehow, I'm guessing you will try with many others.


Gobody, all you can do is try. Can't force anyone... but there might be someone else out there waiting. :)

Thanks, all :)



meno said...

I am late on this, but i did invite one person to lunch today who seems kind of alone. I know how that feels, as do you.
Does that count. :)
Don't answer, i know it does, and i will do it again.

Thailand Gal said...

Meno, it matters a lot! I remember one year going to see a lawyer. He invited me to stick around for their office holiday party. It was just food and talk, nothing elaborate. It made my entire month. We just never know.. and I'm sure that woman appreciates you very much!



KC said...

I love how your postings of this have me made so much more aware of those around me, and who I could extend myself to. The desert is a new concept to me and I would love to help someone feel less alone.