I’m a lucky man

(Reprinted from Jon Shinn’s reflection in “The Bridge”, the official Friends Across the Ages snail mail newsletter. Contact us if you’d like to receive it.)

“I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands, the ones I love.”

From the song Just Breathe by Pearl Jam

Jon ShinnWhen I first heard these lyrics, it struck me that the artist tied his good fortune to the number of people that he loved, rather than to those who loved him. We often think of loneliness stemming from not having anyone who truly cares about you, but it may come just as much from not having anyone who you truly care about. Our friends in nursing homes may have limited opportunities to express kindness and love to others, or may feel jaded and no longer have an active desire to express those emotions. Either way, their feelings of loneliness may be worse because they don’t have anyone to love.

As we spend time with our resident friends this holiday season, let’s remember to not only let them be objects of our love and kindness, but to also look for opportunities to help them express these emotions towards others. By doing so we may help open a doorway to the true joy of the holiday season.

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