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All the Lonely People....marco...polo...can Anybody Hear Me?

Updated on August 20, 2021


"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."
Mother Teresa

As I write this the world’s population is 7,047,777,034…and counting. In fact, in the time that it took to write that first sentence an additional twenty-two people were born.

So many differences among us, differences of culture, language, religious beliefs and political affiliations. So many differences in background, the way we were raised, the lessons we were taught, the trials and tribulations we have endured. There are those who would look at those differences and see them as reasons to be weary, distrustful and yes, frightened.

And yet……there are so many similarities that we all share! Seven billion and counting and all with common bonds that point to our humanity and our basic needs.

Marco….Polo….is there anyone out there who can hear me?


We all need a safe harbor
We all need a safe harbor | Source

A Cry in the Wilderness

How many times have we felt alone? Seven billion people and yet each one of us has had those moments when we felt like we were isolated from our fellow man, cast off on an island with no contact.

I was lucky enough to be with Bev yesterday when she received a phone call from one of her sons. He was reaching out to his mother. He simply had some things weighing on his mind and he needed to have someone listen to him. He knew his mother provided a safe place for him to unload that which was bothering him and he was greatly relieved at the end of the conversation.

I thought back to the many times my own son has called me or sat down with me and talked about issues that brought him angst and worry. Of course that reminded me of those times when I had similar talks with my dad, when I just needed someone to hear me.

A voice in the wilderness, crying out in loneliness, desperately hoping that someone would listen.

I have been lucky enough to have formed friendships with some amazing people, people who trust me and know they are safe with me. Online and in person, they have reached out to me to share their inner thoughts, their inner concerns, and they knew there would be no judgments but only a peaceful harbor where they could find companionship and understanding.

Marco…..Polo! Is there anyone out there who can hear me?



Bev is my safe harbor!
Bev is my safe harbor! | Source

Some Never Reach Out

"We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness."

Albert Schweitzer

And then we have those who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to let down their castle walls and reach out. In my lifetime I have known five people who committed suicide. One day they were there, seemingly without a care, the next they were gone, unable to stretch out their hand and ask for help. Feelings of heartache and loneliness weighing down so heavily upon them that they had, in their minds, no recourse but to end this gift of life. I am still affected by their deaths. Who among us wouldn’t be? How can we make contacts with people, form friendships, and not be deeply moved by the futility and helplessness that is inherent in such an act of self-destruction?

Nearly 40,000 people take their own lives in the United States each year; suicide now ranks as the tenth leading cause of death and it is estimated that for every suicide there are eleven unsuccessful suicide attempts.

Marco…..Polo…..is there anyone out there who can hear me?


Marco Polo, a Child’s Game

Many of you are familiar with the child’s game of Marco Polo. Usually played in a swimming pool, it is a form of “tag” where the person who is “it” closes their eyes and shouts out Marco. The others answer with Polo and the person who is it tries to tag the others by locating them acoustically. I can’t help but think of what a metaphor that game is, a testament to the human need to be heard.

How many times, while in the throes of my addiction, did I feel painfully alone, just wishing someone would hear my cries for help? How many times did I put on the brave face, the mask of happiness, so that others would not know that my heart was breaking and my soul dissolving? An interesting conflict, yes? Wanting to be heard and yet covering up the fact and mustering the bravado necessary to move through the day unseen.

Seven billion people on this planet! How many need to be heard right now? How many need to know that they have value? How many need to know that someone cares?

Marco….Polo….is there anyone out there who can hear me?


My son, another safe harbor for me
My son, another safe harbor for me | Source

How Many Can We Help Today? Can We Help Ourselves?

"Who knows what true loneliness is - not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion."

Joseph Conrad

I don’t care what your job is! I don’t care what extraneous activities you might think are important. Nothing is more important than our relationship with our fellow inhabitants on this planet. Nothing! We were born with the ability to love! We were born with the ability to listen, to be compassionate and to reach out when others need us.

I know people who are seemingly incapable of just listening to someone else. They have this need to give advice or to relate their own similar experiences and feelings when someone tells them they are hurting. Is it so hard to just listen?

The people I value most in my life are those who do not pass judgment on me nor do they try to fix me. They simply listen when I need to be heard. They provide a safe harbor for me where I can steer my boat into a protected shelter and know that someone cares about my thoughts and feelings. In turn I provide a similar safe harbor for those who reach out to me. I do not give advice unless it is asked for. What I do give are the most precious gifts I own…..compassion, empathy and love.


Join our movement
Join our movement | Source

Final Thoughts

It seems to me that to be heard is synonymous with being loved. It is one of our most basic needs as we go about this business of living. We shout, we whisper, we cry out in pain and we shyly smile, all in hopes that someone will hear us and by hearing us give validation to our existence.

What is my greatest fear? It certainly is not death. I have faced death and it did not frighten me. What does terrify me, however, is the thought of living without being recognized, to go through life invisible to others, silently screaming to be noticed and not being heard by a single human being. That, to me, is the epitome of sadness and helplessness. In a sea of humanity to feel alone! Seven billion brothers and sisters surrounding me and not be seen…..not be heard!

Marco….Polo…..is there anyone out there who can hear me?

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

H.o.w.

Humanity One World (H.O.W.) organized to bring people together with a single goal: to make a difference in this world one person at a time. Will you join our movement? You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/294777667307474/....we would love to have you with us.

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