Saturday, February 7, 2009
CHEERS ! Where everybody knows your name
A NEW LEARNING
There are other examples of community that I might choose but one of the most memorable examples of value of social interaction was the bar made famous by television’s long running ‘Cheers.’ The theme song of Cheers, was a compelling hit, with welcome lyrics, sentiments with which everyone can identify.
“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
(Tap the lyrics and listen)
Unless one is suffering from one of many disorders or syndromes or illnesses we generally like to be with people who know us by first name and are happy to see us. It feels good to be among others who understand what we are living with. We enjoy people who are interesting and interested in us.
When I retired from a very active career and life which involved daily contact with people I surprised myself with how little I needed to be with people. Being alone was just fine with me. It drove my wife crazy that I didn’t show interest in going out, doing things with others. It gradually changed and is changing. Now I miss going to the office and to boarding the plane to head to another function with hundreds of people. So, now I am relishing the ordinary interfaces I am privileged to have with people, the serendipities as well as the planned coffee shop meetings. These are people whose names I know and who know my name, and they are as pleased to see me as I am to recognize them, and we share a little of life for a little while. For those minutes accumulated over the week I am made richer and wiser and useful and encouraged. I guess I don’t need Cheers. I simply need to cheer up and be cheered by my friends and acquaintances.
"The only way to have a friend is to be one." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson