8/23/07

Alienated?

I’m wondering what my town would be like if everyone really knew one another.

I’m wondering how we would be affected if we would receive a note in the mail once a week from someone whose life we touched.

I’m wondering what my neighbors would think if my kids were in the habit of offering to empty their trash, or rake their leaves, or help bring their groceries in.

I’m wondering how I could impact another life by inviting someone new over for dinner, maybe even once a month?

Or, when is the last time that you were invited over to dinner with friends?

Our world is so large; it’s becoming more and more impersonal. Everyone is rushing around and crazily living their lives.

I’ve heard from several moms, of late, who are new to their city, feeling it’s hard to “connect.” Everyone seems to have their inner-circle locked in, as if there is not room for more.

Our neighborhoods are packed with families, yet we are lonely and so uninvolved in each other’s lives. Many seem to be hurrying around and not connecting at all.

As Americans it’s hard to admit that we are becoming alienated and are losing touch with one another. Why are we so resistant to forging new relationships?

Food is one of the best tools for helping us connect with others. By inviting folks into your home, or even taking food to them, we’re sharing in the common life.

Yes, food is an essential ingredient for helping to fix this problem of alienation in America!

We can’t wait for conditions to be perfect. It takes risk to engage in the lives of others.

I’m wondering if I start by reaching out to someone new, would you join me?

15 comments:

Momma Roar said...

Thanks for stopping by again! And, yes, I do hear it a lot that my two youngest look like me - I think its the dimples!!

This Sunday evening we are having some neighbors over for homemade ice cream. Two new families have moved in this past year, so it'll be fun to get to know them better!

Tammy said...

I am actually struggling a bit with this...there is a deep longing in my heart to forge new and close friendships with those in my area...I think there is potential in the new church we are going to...yet, because my husband and I aren't naturally outgoing, it never feels completely easy for us. But sometimes I forget that there are others around me, just as lonely perhaps...and step outside of myself just a bit and take those risks.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, dear Sandy. You always bless me!

Barb said...

We moved into a new country neighborhood almost 5 years ago and I sort of thought that others would invite us over--including relatives who live close--and....nothing. So we started having people over ourselves. I think we've received only 2 return invitations since, and tho we've also developed a group of about 3 other couples to go out to eat with occasionally, altho they all profess to enjoy it, I always have to do the work to arrange that too. But I do believe it's better to reach out and try than to wait for everyone else to do it, to work to build relationships, however simple our attempts. And we're quieter cave-dwellers too, Tammy! There's no better place to get to know people than in a home, plus it seems that we have a very positive reputation here now, because people have seen that we're willing to invite others in, sharing ourselves and doing a little work to try to give them a nice dinner (or lunch). Sometimes I hafta remind myself to try again--we have a list of people to have over again this fall--and it can be frustrating when no one reciprocates. But it's always worth the time and effort when we do it!

Abbey said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple of months, thinking about hospitality and what it means to me. My husband just took a new job and we will be relocating 1500 miles away. When we were visiting the area, looking for houses, a couple at the church we attended invited us over for Sunday dinner. She was nine months pregnant, there house was a bit messy from a birthday party the night before, they had nothing planned to feed company, and yet they invited and welcomed us without a second thought. I am so grateful for the invitation and grateful that I accepted it. I kept thinking of this blog the entire time -"THIS is what Sandy is talking about!" We feel great knowing we will be living near these kind people, and hope to follow their example by opening up ourselves to others more often.

Suzanne said...

Yes, I agree that we should always be reaching out....but so often we allow the circumstances of a busy life to make it seem much more complicated than it actually is. I love your blog and I so agree that lonesome people just need a friend!

Andrea said...

What a powerful post! Definitely gets you thinking.

Heidijayhawk said...

love that first picture. you have such a wonderful insight!

GiBee said...

Absolutely. Linking hands with you across the country to start reaching out to new people.

My husband and I have been toying around with an idea to reach out once a month...

GiBee said...

By the way ... where did you get those adorable napkins?

Nadine said...

I'm trying to catch up on some blog reading.Great post about reaching out to new people and making room in our lives.

Love the idea of a picnic on a boat. It looked very yummy. Love artichoke dip - I can't wait to try it.

Sandy said...

Gibee, napkins came from Harry & David, clearance isle! Aren't they fun?
Sandy

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

As usual Sandy, another great and thought provoking post. Brad and I have pushed ourselves outside of our comfort zone and signed up to host a community group on a monthly or bi-weekly basis through our church. It will just be a social gathering to share a meal and get to know others attending our church. I know I'll find further inspiration from your blog! Thanks! Blessings, Diane

Martha A. said...

I think one of the reasons is because there is too much to do, but also, people are scared. I know I am! It seems like I have been around some ultra-critical people maybe so it makes me really nervous.

millermoments said...

We've been working really hard at being "intentional" in our small group lately...it's amazing to realize that even in the group of people we "thought" we knew - stuff went on that floored us! So our group has now gone to a deeper level of transparency and intimacy - which has been great, until our kickoff meeting this past week that included some new comers. They were great - but our dynamic changed...Your blog today gets me to thinking that we need to be intentional in investing ourselves into their lives - no matter how difficult it may be. I miss the old days of Sunday dinners with company over...my goal is to eventually be able to create that ritual in our home to have guests at least once a week. What a ministry!

Kerry said...

Ever since stumbling upon your blog I have found myself looking for opportunities such as these to get to know those we do not know well. More specifically my neighbors. I've been praying about it and just this week God opened up a door for a new relationship, one that ended up encouraging me!