Of course, we are incredibly thankful for hospitals in our own backyard, especially those people who’ve lived a long time or don’t get around very well. The care is often exceptional but those who know the hospital experience must write about it — go public about the good, the bad and the in-between care they received. For sure, an advocate is definitely needed there to speak for those with any serious illness — to get the help they need. My recent hospital stays (plural, alas) did find a shortage of care providers to get basic questions and fears addressed — and, on occasion, needs too.
“The squeaky wheel does get the grease.” And the biggest squeakers are usually extroverts. So introverts really need advocates. Introvert voices must be heard in general – because extroverts too often take over, says social scientist Susan Cain. And they often don’t see the big picture as clearly as introverts do. They don’t reflect all that much, says Harvard trained lawyer Cain’s book “Quiet, the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”
Time Magazine did a related cover story called “The Power of Shyness,” subtitled “The Upside of Being an Introvert and Why Extroverts are Overrated.” If ever a book should be required reading for all ages and backgrounds, this is it.
Surely a balance is needed if an inclusive society where no one is left out to take shape. Indeed, advocacy needs to be widely taught along with caring, sharing and communication skills. Yes, they do exist, Virginia, and could very well save the world, not to mention family and other basic relationships. So much violence would be prevented.
And back to the Thanksgiving table. Let the talk be shared and remain fun, but also thoughtful. Cultivate lots of smiles. Ideally, every shared meal or gathering should begin with something comparable to this biblical prayer which preceded the late and greatly missed Dr. David Read’s sermons: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee, our strength and our Redeemer.”
Of course, change “my” to “our,” and when preferred, change the religious reference — to “something to be thankful for” or at this holiday, “in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.”
And consider how holidays that bring people together must not be just one day of remembering in a year of forgetting – a great truth, from a former senior columnist at this paper. And also New York, psychologist Theodore Rubin’s long ago Ladies Home Journal message “Do Holidays Give You the Blues?” which in essence said, “often it’s because we’re not in touch throughout out the year.”
And too many loud mental health voices nowadays even say “stay clear of these family gatherings altogether.” All we hear about are recipes for what’s served on top of the plate, but none for what’s said over the plate. If ever there was a flawed priority.
Ah, yes, and remember how many (even extroverts) are alone on these special days of too much migration, and who need inclusion, or meaningfully remembrance. Attention must be paid.
About the election, for which so many are exceedingly unthankful — one redeeming action the president-elect must take is move out of Trump Towers to a residential area. If a New York address must be had, let it not be one which ties up the city’s world renown downtown shopping area — especially, but not only at Christmas and Hanukkah time.
Above all, do know how thankful I am for this newspaper and for its readers and advertisers. And of course, for columnist Arlene Kayatt, who long ago persuaded her then husband and publisher, Ed Kayatt, to grant a column to air this introvert’s heartfelt views, boos and blues. Too many seemingly lost causes, but doggone it, they can be overcome if enough of us try – if enough of us try. And hey, let’s smile a lot more — a whole lot more. Again, I surely do thank you. Thank you.