Thursday, November 04, 2004

Something to Give

I've been thinking a lot this week about the very human need to have something to give others--a talent, a thought, a hope, a story. Here's a quote from a book I'm reading in my Spirituality & Addictions class that really crystallizes this point for me:

    Heard...If they only understood how important it is that we be heard! I can take being in a nursing home. It's really all right, with a positive attitude. My daughter has her hands full, three kids and a job. She visits regularly. I understand.

    But most people here...they just want to tell their story. That's what they have to give, don't you see? And it's a precious thing to them. It's their life they want to give. You'd think people would understand what it means to give our lives in a story.

    So we listen to each other. Most of what goes on here is people listening to each other's stories. People who work here consider that to be...filling time. If only they knew. If they'd just take a minute to listen!"

Excerpt from The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning, by Kurtz and Ketcham.


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