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Cheer up the lonely

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Gloria Wall’s column appears Fridays in the Journal Review. She can be reached by email at gloriawall02@yahoo.com.

Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 1:15 am

Sometimes I think we all need a little reminder about the simple things in life. Today’s column is meant to serve as one of those reminders.

I’m sure practically all of us know someone lonely, shut-in due to health issues in a nursing home or other healthcare facility, or maybe even in jail. It’s sad to say, but I’m afraid it’s oh so true, it’s way too easy to forget about these people and their feelings of sadness and loneliness.

According to L.J. Pesek, Wednesday has been deemed Cheer Up the Lonely Day. She reports this special day was created by her father, Francis Pesek from Detroit, Mich.

She describes her father as a quiet, kind man with a heart of gold. He got the idea as a way of showing kindness toward others who were lonely or forgotten. A lot of the people he initially had in mind were shut-ins or those in nursing homes with no family or friends to look in on them. Why was July 11 chosen for this occasion? Pesek chose it simply because it was his own birthday.

Cheer Up the Lonely Day is a great opportunity to bring a smile to someone’s face, someone who may not feel they have much reason to smile. I believe any time we can bring a smile and maybe even cause someone to forget their troubles for a while, then we will actually feel better ourselves in the process.

So many times, lonely people have few friends and loved ones. They may have lost a loved one recently, they may be elderly or ill, and some may have gotten caught at some point in the pain of life, where they may see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Spending time bringing joy and maybe even laughter to another human being is really not all that hard to do. Just spend time with them. When we pay a visit, we need to keep the conversation light and lively by talking only about light-hearted topics.This is not the time to talk politics, the condition of our economy, or about those in the world suffering from starvation. Keep it upbeat. Depending on the circumstances, maybe even giving a hug when leaving and letting them know how much we enjoyed the visit ourselves is possible as well. After all, one thing lonely people really need, is face to face time with others.

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” —Mother Teresa

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