ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness»
  • Personal Development

Realizing Our Potential As Humans: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on March 18, 2014

One Idea Born from Two

This article was hatched from two separate and random occurrences that happened yesterday, two triggers that when pulled shot this article from the barrel.

The first was an article about actress Shailene Woodley, the star of the soon-to-be-released movie “Divergent.” In the article Ms. Woodley, wise at the tender age of twenty-two, mentions that she not only does not own a Smart phone but she does not own a cell phone either. She goes on to say that she is worried that people are not truly communicating anymore, that most forms of communication are depersonalized….forms like cell phones, texting, Twitter, Facebook and others. She said that she wanted to improve her interpersonal skills and by doing that she hoped to increase a sense of community in her immediate circle of life.

The other catalyst for this article came from a video I was watching of Leo Buscaglia giving a speech about being human. In it he explained that he came from an Italian family where hugging and kissing and touching were forms of communication. He called it “communicating by Braille” and that it may not be socially acceptable but it is a vital part of truly knowing another human being….that touch is vital for all human beings.

And those two seemingly random items produced the idea for this article.

Not much eye contact happening here
Not much eye contact happening here | Source

Have You Ever?

Try this social experiment the next time you are out and about. Walk down a busy street and count the number of people who make eye contact with you. This first came to my attention on a visit to Washington D.C. back in 1997. I was blown away by the number of people who did not SEE me as I walked past them on the street. Their eyes were straight ahead or they were looking down at the sidewalk, but rarely did anyone actually look at me. I found it so strange. I had not experienced that in my hometown of Olympia up to that point, but I can say today that it is also the norm here in Olympia in the year 2014. It is as though we are invisible to others and I find it quite disconcerting.

These people understood the importance of touch
These people understood the importance of touch | Source

A Flash to the Past

I am a toucher. I am a hugger. I say that proudly. These traits were passed down to me by my family. My relatives were always touching each other while talking; a touch on the arm while making a point; an arm around your shoulder; a full-wattage hug; these are things I knew as a child and they are things I do today. If we were to meet in the future I would smile at you and give you a hug, because to me that shows how happy I am to finally meet you. I want you to know that you are important to me, and I want you to know that I care about you as a human being.

I remember our neighborhoods having picnics during the summer where everyone was invited. I remember neighbors watching out for each other, and talking to each other while doing outside chores. I remember walking to our local shopping district and shopkeepers shouting hello to me as I passed by their stores. I remember complete strangers looking me in the eye and saying “hello, how ya doing?”

And all of those acts were acts of one human being reaching out to another and truly communicating.

How Does Dehumanization Happen?

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.

Leo Buscaglia

I suspect, and believe me I do not have some scientific study to back my beliefs, that this dehumanization is happening because fear is on the increase in our society. These are scary times for sure. All we have to do is pick up the newspaper or turn on the news and we are inundated with horrific examples of man’s inhumanity towards man. Those acts are followed by more acts, and we absorb them all, and we internalize them, and slowly, ever so slowly, we take actions that will protect us…and those actions all too often include emotional fortresses that yes, keep out the danger, but also keep us from truly communicating with others and knowing others on more than a surface level.

If not fear then we are too busy as a society to reach out and truly know someone else. We are racing about willy-nilly, texting on the run, chatting on cell phones while we drive, faxing this and emailing that, and there are jobs to do and errands to run and chores to finish and my God, where does the time go, and there certainly is not time to stop…..take a deep breath…..and really get to know another human being.

What This All Leads To, of Course, Is…..

Well, what this all leads to is a dissolution of community. Every man for himself as we go about our days in our little cocoons, then drive home to our fortified neighborhoods with the security warning signs in our windows, and we eat a quick meal and then catch up on the latest insanity on Facebook….but we never really reach out and touch someone, literally or figuratively.

I have said before and chances are good that I will say again….probably a thousand more times….the solutions to our problems in society will not come from our politicians passing meaningful, or meaningless, legislation. No, the solutions to our problems must come and will come from within our family and our immediate community. If we are to right the wrongs in society then it must happen at a community level, people coming together and working with each other for the common good.

And that can only happen if we lower the drawbridge, walk out among the masses, look them in the eye and become human with them.

Call me...I dare you!
Call me...I dare you! | Source

How many people do you think will actually call me?

See results

Realizing Our Potentail As Humans

Let me be as clear as possible on this point. I understand there will be those who disagree and I respect that….but I know I am right. LOL

We will never fully realize our potential as human beings until we become willing to form meaningful bonds with others. Until we learn to do that we will simply be holographic images of what we could be.

Is it frightening to lower our defenses and allow someone to see inside of us? Most definitely! Are we risking ridicule by doing so? Oh yes indeed we are!

But……

What a waste of life if we do not.

Let’s try an experiment and then I will let you go for today. Here is my phone number….360-878-1757…I invite you to call me today and let’s take the first step towards a real human connection.

Now I know for a fact that most of you will not call me because you don’t want to bother me, even though I have just told you how important this is to me. Some just won’t want to make the effort because, well, he’s just some guy in Olympia and it’s not really important and you don’t have the time to waste and hey, there’s a soap opera on that you really want to see and…..

But for those of you who think this is important, that we begin to form community…that we begin to form strong bonds with others….that we finally come to realize our full human potential…pick up your cell phone and give me a call. I would love to chat and know you better. We may not communicate by Braille, but it will be the next best thing.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Deb, I'm sorry.....I'll be out tonight but give it a try again soon.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I called, Billy, but your mailbox is full.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. Same to you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Lol, no Texan here. However, being my daughter was born there, she has Texas birthrights. Yes, I grew up in the same state that our dear and sweet friend Maria did. I love the Texans though! Have a great day too!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Faith, you just shattered my belief that I could spot a Texan a mile away. LOL Another illusion ruined. :)

      Have a great day dear friend.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hehe ...I am not from Texas. However, we did live out there for two years when my husband was in the Air Force. I grew up in Georgia, so I am a Georgia peach lol. Now, after my husband had gotten out of the Air Force, we returned to where his family is from here in southern USA, one state over from where I grew up. Glad you like my southern accent though. Now, those Texans really have a good drawl. Have a blessed day and now it is time to read what you have going on this day for us! Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I look forward to that call. Travel safe and I will talk to you when you return. Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, my line is open to you any old time, and a hug is waiting for you if you ever make it to Washington. Just between you and me, Bev even hugs things that don't move. :)

      love,

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I remember the days when neighbors leaned on the backyard fence and talked about the day's events. It was a time when children played just a few feet away while the grownups talked, dad read the paper on the front porch while waving at everyone who passsed by the house. I try to keep this alive in our neighborhood. What a wonderful encouragement your article is to me today. I am getting ready to travel so my time is limited, but upon return I will surprise you with a quick phone call. Say hello to Bev for me.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Glad to know you are extending the challenge Bill. You know me well enough to know that I will call. Funny, I've been thinking of calling you anyhow just to hear the voice behind the man :) The thing I loved most while living in Hawaii is the way a hug is a constant way of greeting. True aloha! I hug anything that won't move :) Fantastic hub, dear Bill. And here's a big, warm one from me!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It was indeed, Faith. Loved your Texas accent. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, it was all my pleasure dear heart. I hope the rest of your day was lovely.

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad you liked it vkwok, and thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, it was a blast talking to people who before were just names....and for you we'll extend the challenge for as long as you want. Three hours difference for sure, and I look forward to the surprise.

      50% Italian...my goodness, a guy could get smothered being around that family. :)

      Thanks Sis!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Great hub, bill, about the facts of life.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      What???!!! Was the challenge for one day only?? We could only call yesterday? OMG...Crazy Ole Bill posted his phone number.......I voted more than 5 would call you. By the looks of the comments, I see it may have been more than 5.

      Are you 3 hours behind EST? What a great idea bro...I'm surprise-calling you when you LEAST expect it!

      About your hub.....I comment about this very thing at least once a day, bill. No more personal one on one.....very little face time between friends....I'm not crazy about this. I long for the good old days every now and then.

      Hugs & kisses and touchy-feely? 50% Italian blood = 100% affectionate, demonstrative people. My other 50% (Dad) Ukranian, was just as lovey-dovey. As a youngster, I remember thinking that families who didn't fall over each other on every occasion, just didn't like each other...LOL!

      This is a really great hub, bill....sounds like you had some fun!! UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, that is definitely an eye-opener. How very sad that a phone conversation was that important to her. Thanks for that "right on" comment.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 3 years ago

      I can only think when reading this about a news report of a woman on her smartphone and how she falls off the platform and on to the train tracks. I imagine someone could have said something to her or more she could have watched herself and taken part in a conversation. Great piece billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it was a wonderful surprise and I am so thankful that you took the time to talk to little old me. Thank you my dear....you are a jewel.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      So lovely to speak with you dear Bill aka "The proprietor of Yardbird Nirvana". It made my lunch so much nicer! Hugs and much love, Faith Reaper!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ten calls so far and I missed two last night...so twelve total....let's add to that total today, my friends.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I think if you came back to Seattle you would find a little less of that neighborly reception. Still, we are much better here than in some major cities.

      It was so nice to speak with you this morning. Thank you for taking me up on my offer and calling. I love making the connection.

      blessings and thanks

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Friend Bill, great talking to you. I’m glad you posted your phone number. Warm hugs to you!

      You are so lucky to have such a childhood. I wasn’t around my mother’s family much growing up, but as an adult I realize what a cold unaffectionate family they are. I can’t remember the last time my late mother spontaneously hugged me. Apparently she stopped after my brother and sister were born. The women in my Dad’s family were huggers, though, even if the men weren’t. I don’t know why men were taught that showing affection wasn’t manly, but I think that was why. It was the 1960s and after that men were allowed to hug and cry.

      I miss the wonderful friendly neighborhoods of yesteryear. Our neighborhood is cold and unfriendly, and even attempts to form a neighborhood watch and get acquainted with each other failed. This is our 20th year to live there.

      On another note, I visited Seattle seven or eight years ago and found the folks to be very friendly people who looked me in the eye and helloed. I hope the city is still that friendly. Five years ago I visited Philadelphia and was warned by the natives not to look anyone in the eye while walking down the street. Being a southerner, my friend and I didn’t heed their warning the first day. We found out why. Every time we looked someone in the eye and spoke, we were accosted by that person begging for money. After that we followed the natives’ advice. That was a pity and certainly out of context for a couple of southern belles. The times they are a changin’. As you mention, these are scary times, and some of it we are bringing on ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, that is the perfect example of what this hub is about....just reaching out and making contact with a stranger. Sometimes we receive huge gifts in return.

      Blessings to you and I hope your back feels better soon.

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I wish I had the answer to that question. I do not understand cruelty and never will.

      Glad to know you are a hugger...I suspected that already.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, you made a wonderful last comment....and showing care and love is so easy. :) Hopefully more will discover that soon.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, a hug from you to start my day...I am a lucky man. Thank you my fellow hugger!

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I will be interested in the results of your little street test.

      Thank you for the visit and I hope you are having a splendid week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, the opportunity to talk to you would be worth a three a.m. wake up. I love that you don't have cell phone service....in the year 2014....LOL Thank you my friend and my best to Kathy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I am very sorry I missed your call. I had to re-charge my phone and then forgot all about it till this morning. I hope you will try again. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, that is a very good irony. I'm sorry I missed the chance to talk to you over lunch. :) Living in a small town is what I dream about...two more years and it will happen.

      Until then, I have all my friends on HP to keep me company.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jennifer, I'm so sorry I missed your call. I had to re-charge my phone last night and then forgot all about it. My bad! I hope you try again.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Hi Billy and as always a great hub ;I voted for more than 5 calls but do not have enough credit on my cell phone to ring you today I am afraid ; but what a great idea it would be to for another day in the very near future. I am a very chatty and open person and not a day goes by when I don't stop to chat with someone or hug and kiss those I love. I am a day late reading this because yesterday I had to visit the doctor's having had many sleepless nights due to my bad back. They were very slow in the doctor's and I was nearly tow hours late going in .A very tedious and weary time many would say. However I got talking to another lady whose appointment was just before mine and we found out that we both work with youngsters with special needs and we only lived four miles apart.We exchanged phone numbers so need I say more...........Thank you for another gem and here's another to vote up. Here's wishing you a wonderful day and lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I meant every word, Lea!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I missed this yesterday....I really related to how people do not make eye contact anymore.. too busy texting, cellphone talking etc. I almost always give a friend a hug upon seeing them--both male and female. There are a few you don't. I only use my cellphone for specifics and get off. Of course I am not a telephone person and find it wasteful for chitter chatter..However I love getting together with friends and sharing and talking. Interesting Hub and makes you realize what has happened to our society and YOU are right when you say laws made by politicians are hardly worth the paper.

      Another issue are some of the scary kids out there hurting others and often not paying for their acts. WHat causes them to be so cruel????

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      Lack of communication is the root cause for many misunderstanding you have with others. billy, you are right when you say people just float through their lives as if others were non existent. They are ready to demonstrate their anger and frustration, but sadly not their care and love.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      Just started a class with 18 nurses and last evening there was a general agreement that the single thing patients wanted more than any procedure, information, treatment was the nurse's time and human contact/ touch -- holding a hand, giving a backrub, our simple presence...

      I am not at all surprised you are a hugger.... me too! Look, here's one now...HUGS and Love, Maria

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Again as always a terrific post. That is why i smile at strangers in the street. Just to say, have a good day. I'm not at my pc and have been away from the office where i type my hubs from, so i will see if it's true that people do not see me in the street after i have shared this post around.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub Bill. You have touched on a big problem with society today.... Personal communication, or lack thereof. I voted for +5 and glad I was right. I think my family and old friends see Kathy and I as having become hermits since we moved "bush", and are a 40 minute drive from the nearest town. We have a son in Kingaroy the closest large town and see him and his family about once per fortnight, and we have a few friends out here about 10 kilometres away. Rarely do we get visits from past friends or extended family however, unless they have to pass this way for some other reason. We don't even have cell phone reception here, so it is only when we go to town that we can use them. My last cell phone bill I think I had made $2 worth if calls. Luckily we enjoy each other's company and have the computers for interaction through Facebook, Hub Pages etc. thanks for writing this hub, and if you get a phone call at around 3am it may be me...lol...just joking... I wouldn't do that to you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bill. I just phoned you but got a message that your mailbox is full. Hopefully that means that lots of people are calling you! Thanks for the offer to connect. You've made some very important points about personal communication in this hub.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Gosh, Dear Bill, the day you go and conduct a human experiment, ironically, I was out connecting face-to-face humanly. LOL I usually try to read a couple of hubs on my lunch hour, but today, I met my son for lunch, who happens to work in the city in which I work too. We meet for lunch at least once a week. Then I had to leave work early for a dentist appointment : ( ... I am not too fond of those type human connections, but they are necessary lol. It is now 11:11 p.m. here, and I am just now checking in on HP! So, I had a full day of human contact, but if your experiment has not concluded, I will try to call you on my lunch hour tomorrow, as my husband may look at me funny if I call another man at this late hour lol. However, I know it may not be as late there.

      I just love living in this small town, as there is nothing but connections being made. Even when one goes to the post office, the person behind the desk will ask all how their family member is doing, and she knows them by name and they will chat a bit, and all are just fine waiting in line for the chats to end. You do not see that in happening in the big cities of course, but they do not personally know everyone in the city either.

      I try to make eye contact and smile at all with whom I come into contact, whether in the elevator or the homeless person on the corner.

      I will share by tweeting and pinning as usual, but I do hope you do not receive strange calls by me doing so!

      Have a lovely evening, and I am sorry to be so late in getting on the computer this day, although I was making real human connections! Hooray!

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • JenniferLBlack profile image

      Jennifer L. Black 3 years ago from Normal, Il

      I bet you got more of a response than you expected... I did call you, but could not leave a message since your mailbox was full..

      Interesting concept. I have a smart phone and I use it often, but I try not to use it during interactions with others unless I am expecting an important call or a family member is ill...

      The thing that really struck me over the last few years is not so much that people use smart phones all of the time, but rather that they will actually answer a call with their Bluetooth without even letting the person they are with know they are answering a call and not still talking to you.. I can not tell you how many times I was in a conversation with someone when they suddenly started talking about something else and it would take me a minute to realize they were no longer talking to me.. I have to say I find it to be a very rude habit..

      It used to be if you saw someone walking down the street talking to themselves you assumed they had a mental disorder.. Now we are more likely to assume they have a Bluetooth and are on their phone..

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      I promise we will meet you and Bev some day. God bless and thank you so much for your very, very kind words, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, if there is a nicer person on HP than you I don't know who it would be. You are a blessing to anyone who knows you and I want you to know how important you are to me.

      Three hour difference in Washington, just like California.

      I will be a thrill to talk to you one day, and perhaps the day will come when Bev and I manage to make it east and see you in person.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi billybuc...just getting online, not home all day. I sent you a note earlier from Barnes & Noble on your great 'artistry' site...Voted up and awesome ....LOVE what you share here, especially about the lack of eye contact and the cell phone obsession running rampant in the universe.

      I was home from B & N at least 5 - 6 hours with my cell in my purse, forgot all about it...what is tragic is the obsession kids from WAY young into the teens have about their cell phones.

      Hurrah for Shailene Woodley, kudos to her! I am reading the book Divergent and plan to see the movie. I wrote down your phone number!

      What is the time difference between Olympia Washington and New York State. For example when it is noon here, it is 9 a.m. in California a 3 hour time difference...

      I have no idea what time it is now where you live. It is late and I'm off to bed shortly, but I WILL call you at some point...I will be out of town all day tomorrow, but I love your asking people to call. YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT to me and many, many others!

      This is a most wonderful hub, and I So wish I lived close by so I could attend your upcoming class! I am losing out! God bless, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What really bothers me about your story, Deb, is that it doesn't surprise me at all. :) Cell phones are at every event....it's an obsession of mammoth proportions in this country...probably around the world....and I do find it shameful and such a waste. :)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      I was looking at some photos posted on Facebook of a fun event I attended recently, an annual "bar to bar" 5k race before St. Patrick's Day. Thousands participated. What struck me in all of these candid photos from the event was seeing at least one person (and usually more) staring at their phones in every single one of those photos. Shameful, really.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      theBAT, I am laughing at your statement. My wife and I had a discussion about this recently. She stopped our conversation one day to text someone else....needless to say I felt compelled to point out the problem in that...but I did it diplomatically. LOL Thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I love that story. Such simplicity and yet it says so much. Yes, a bond, a connection, and one that will be with you forever...and maybe help to tear down other obstructions. Bravo my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, as a matter of fact it is supposed to be sunny this weekend. Crossing my fingers. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Availiasvision, powerful indeed and I think it is a beautiful line. Now that you know you can do it I hope to see more of it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I would be honored if you called one day. Bev and I are just regular people who enjoy other people...nothing fancy and we are pretty down-to-earth. I promise it will be a lovely conversation. :)

      Thank you dear friend. Blessings always.

      bill

    • theBAT profile image

      theBAT 3 years ago

      Hi. Indeed, one drawback with today's " communication revolution" is that it has become "depersonalized" and "dehumanized". If we are in a group, we can be communicating with someone else somewhere around the world and not paying attention to the one who is with us. Great hub. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Living out here in the country has been different than living in the city. Out here, people connect in the most precious ways. I remember being in the fabric softener isle recently and a lady, along with two other ladies were pondering which scent they liked best. As I stood there waiting for them to get out of my way, the one lady held up the pink fabric softener box to my nose and asked if I liked it. I said yes, it smells really nice. Then, she held up the purple fabric softener box and asked for my opinion about that, too. I told her I liked the pink one better. Then she turned to the other ladies who were all nodding in agreement. It was a moment at the grocery store that I will remember forever and after that little exchange, whenever we passed each other in the isles we smiled at each other. It was like we had some kind of bond, each of us with our pink fabric softener boxes. I liked that.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I'm excited too! Can't wait to see how many calls you get! Have a super evening. Make sure the sun comes out this weekend :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And we are now up to nine calls today. Very cool!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Liz. I love modern technology but I have often thought the very same thing you just mentioned...something that has simplified our lives has also led to compartmentalization and a lack of true, personal communication. Sad for sure!

      Thank you as always my friend.

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      I was thinking about what you wrote, this morning, about taking risks in our writing. You offered the suggestion of daring to use similes and metaphors in our writing. I took the risk, and wrote this line into my Hub: "The snow was softly falling, and the Sierras stood all around me like giant fortresses, waiting to be conquered. "

      Thank you for your challenge, it made my writing powerful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I got the call, Steph, and we are all set and I'm excited. :) Thank you!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Wow.. everything you've written here is true, and a sad reflection on life in the 21st century. You and Bev are incredible human beings, you are both generous and so very accommodating. I should have known you would pull something like this. :) Some challenge!!...Now that I have your number I'll just need some time to work up a little courage, I have to agree with Ann, although we've come a long way, the folks on the other side of the pond tends to be somewhat reserved. However; I will call, probably when your line isn't so busy, (yes.. my nose is growing longer by the minute). Seriously; there are some very special people here on HP that I would love to get to know better, you and Bev are top of the list. Take care and my best to you.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Bill - very interesting hub, as always. It definitely made me stop and think. Even though I love its convenience, I think technology has assisted in the dehumanization process as well. (I am also guilty as I find that I am always texting and rarely pick up the phone to actually talk). It is sad to watch people become...and stay strangers. I think everyone is also so busy these days- and social media sites have become the new norm, while old-fashioned networking is a thing of the past, sadly!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      OK!! I am driving up on Saturday. What time works best for you both on Sunday? Guess what.... I will call you now! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are up to seven calls. Thanks to all who took the time to visit with me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I miss those days as well my friend. Simpler times for sure; safer times most definitely. I have grave concerns about the future. Bev has great hope for the future. See why I married her? :) Thank you dear friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I can remember sitting on my front porch with my mother and the whole neighborhood would come over and just talk about the day, now if my doorbell rings it startles me. What a shame that is. I live about forty miles from Evansville, In., there is a murder everyday there, plus robbery. I remember as a child going to Evansville was a treat, no fear whatsoever. My sister Mary lives there and she keeps her doors locked and bolted . I live in a small town, very little crime, mostly kids vandalizing. I guess you can see that i long for the good ole days when we never locked our doors. Great hub Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, it was lovely speaking to you my friend. It is so nice to make connections like that. Here's to many more years of friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sounds great Steph...it will have to be Sunday cuz Bev works weekdays. If we can make it happen then fantastic!

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      It was really cool and comforting to speak with you on the phone.

      I really appreciate you, your writings. And I hope for more sunny than rainy days. Blessings & hugs~ :-)

      Up, shared & first tweet in about a week. :-)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Another great hub, and I love this follow-up from one of your recent blog posts! I love the fact that I got to meet you and Bev in person a few years ago and guess what..... I will be in Olympia this coming Sunday through Tuesday to help with my parents' yard work. Coffee date?! I will call you to arrange!

      I would call right now, but I do have to hop in the car to take kids to sports practices. I am going to hold myself to my promise, however!! Talk soon! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, it is always a pleasure having you stop by. I love reading your recollections and the truth that is tucked away in them. Small is good...we are going to move to the country in two years; that is about as small as we can get in these parts...but I suspect we will pay visits to the city often because we are both people persons...we need interaction of some sort.

      The longer I live the more I learn. I could be a genius if I make it to 100. :)

      Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, if I get that phone call I will be delighted. If I don't I will understand. I am quite shy myself, but years of working retail gave me the ability to at least fake it until I managed to make it. :) I would love to face the other way in an elevator, but I can't remember the last time I was in one. LOL Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lisa! If you managed to see my point then I accomplished what I wanted to.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Hello, here I am again doing the Charles Atlas thing, propping up all the early birds...

      I started off living in a small town near the Dorman Long steel works at Grangetown near Middlesbrough (the fastest-growing town in Europe), where most people knew one another. My Grandad was well-known and didn't hide from people, having been a country lad. He had a broad customer base for his chickens and vegetables that he sold from his two allotments (two, mate, most men could just about keep one going);

      we moved to a slightly bigger town, Eston, a mile and a half to the south in the lee of the escarpment that grew from a small village with ironstone mining - most there on our estate and further knew one another as well;

      I went to Scarborough Art School at fifteen. Scarborough extends further, although without high-rise, and you could walk around without being acknowledged. That was the beginnings of 'anonymity', although at college I knew and was known by many;

      after that I spent a few years in Vienna. I didn't exist there but for those I worked with;

      on to Nottingham, bigger than Vienna? I'd say as big, and same as Vienna with respect to social niceties, and don't look at the girls or you'll get a 'bunch of fives' dealt out;

      now I'm in London. I know a fair number of people, have known more with working and union involvement 'in the Print' in Fleet Street, and at Royal Mail over the years and know more from working at Lord's Cricket Ground over a few seasons. But you could shrivel up if you weren't 'outward'. I'd say starting small is better, but it doesn't have to progress to bigger. The wife being London born and-bred doesn't really appreciate the jump in social change from small (and I mean SMALL) town to big city. She doesn't mind going to smaller communities, but wouldn't like to live there. Me, I hanker after small town life again, or even village life.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I've seen the things you mentioned and you're correct - it seems to be getting worse because people have become very distrustful. For me, I love the interaction among people I know. The problem is that I'm very shy at first so it takes me a little longer to buck up the courage to talk to someone for the first time. I ask myself, "Should I call him or not? What would I say?" That's shyness, not a total lack of trust.

      For my college sociology course, one exercise was to do the unexpected. Make eye contact with people on the street, get on the elevator and face the back instead of facing the door, etc. I id those things and learned it really freaks people out. You hello to a complete stranger and they think you're up to something. It's all silly. So what does that mean? I should do the unexpected. Maybe you will get that phone call.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Great article. I see your point.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will indeed, Flourish! Thanks for dropping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      What an idea you provide here -- calling another Hubber!?! Please keep us posted on how many calls you get.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr Bill, if we ever make it to Hollister I'll take you up on that hug. Thank you Sir!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Outstanding thoughts worth pondering. The convergence of ideas from disparate sources has incredible impact, quite often, if we but give them a chance.

      Would love to share a big hug, one day! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I did as well. Sooner or later we'll make it to Arizona. Bev wants to see the sights down there, so I'm expecting a barbecue waiting for us when we get there. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I suspect that plays a part in it. I know there are some areas of our town that I no longer feel safe in, and my little experiment of smiling at some people would not be well-received.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      I enjoyed our phone conversation Bill. I hope to meet you in person one day.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill - Perhaps part of the anti-social change came about over time after all the insane asylums were closed. There are now dangerous type people roaming our streets just waiting for someone to look at them in what they perceive as a negative way. I would imagine many of the smaller towns are still user friendly, but that is mostly history in the cities.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For those of you keeping score, the total number of calls is now six.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I'll call you right back. I was on the phone with another writer. Thank you Sir!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill - I just tried to call you but you didn't answer and your mailbox is full. Perhaps you are getting more calls than you thought you would?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rafiq, you said it all perfectly. Thanks for your thoughts my friend.

    • Rafiq23 profile image

      Muhammad Rafiq 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Bill, you are absolutely right that touch plays an important role in knowing a person. Everybody knows about the power of touch whether it is sexual or non-sexual. Both are important in understanding the attitude of a person. When a person shakes hands with you or gives you a hug, it indicates that the person is amiable, intimate and friendly. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carb Diva, an excellent point and one I subscribe to. It started with Vietnam...suddenly the war was in our living rooms while we ate tv dinners...and it has just increased ever since. Way too much sensory input of the negative kind. :)

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 years ago from Washington State, USA

      billybuc - your comment about dehumanization stemming from fear caught my attention. Like you, I don't have any scientific data to back my beliefs. It is my feeling that horrible events have not increased--the only thing that has changed is our access to information which gives the illusion that all of society is going to Hell in a hand basket. Immediate knowledge of everything that is happening in all corners of your city/state/country/world is not necessarily a good thing. It exacerbates our negative feelings, our fears. Once we start to disconnect, maybe we will be able to re-connect.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I just talked to Sha in Florida....number three. It's always nice to talk to you, Sha! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, what a thrill to talk to you....truly. Thank you for taking the time from your busy morning to give me a call. It is so nice to put a voice to the person's words. You were indeed number two and now we'll see if anyone else is brave enough. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure my friend. Thank you again.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Well I was number two and just got off the phone with Bill! Go ahead and call him....as you might guess from reading his Hubs...Bill is a very warm person! Great talking to you Bill and keep on doing your bit to make the world a better place!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      Wonderful!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, I was delighted to finally speak to you....the old-fashioned way, voice to voice.....the perfect start to my morning. Thank you so much for taking me up on the offer and I promise I'll have a follow-up to the experiment.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      I am happy and delighted to say that I just got off the phone with you and it was a thrill. This is a very important piece of writing and I would love to see a follow-up to your experiment. Up, all the way!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      An update at 8:00 a.m. on the 18th....one person has called so far.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. I'm so happy that you found the truth in this. Blessings to you always.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      "If we are to right the wrongs in society then it must happen at a community level." These modern gadgets have us reaching outward, which is not wrong; but they help us neglect those within our immediate circle and we miss out on sharing the love. This is a great article. Thank you.