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All The Lonely People....Marco...Polo...Can Anybody Hear Me?

Updated on October 3, 2013


"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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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Wow Bill your writing reflects just how much soul searching you have done in your life. I think you said it best with "...to be heard is synonymous with being loved". I completely agree that loving someone means you hear them and often that is felt through validation alone. Thanks for reminding me to be conscious of those I love today by giving them a voice! Voted up, awesome, and shared! Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, thank you! I felt strongly about this hub and I'm glad the message wa clear. I really do appreciate you; I hope you know that. I've never met you but feel that you are a genuine, loving human being and I'm proud to be your online friend.

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      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Loud and clear billybuc, this was a great inspirational read! Everyone needs their safe harbor, voted up and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pete! I appreciate you stopping by as you always do.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      A message that needs to be heard across all boundaries!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, it would please me greatly if that were to happen. Thank you my friend.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      MARCO!!.....I may have my eyes closed, but my mind and heart are always w i d e o p e n! I can sense where all the POLO(s) are running to and hiding.......and when I tag them, I somehow can assure them I am not the enemy by any means...but a safe harbor.

      I can even show them my "Safe Harbor" certification. In order to be certified....you have to have sought out, earned and depended upon other safe harbors for at least 30 years.

      It's a tough course.....but well worth it! From one Marco Polo to another. UP++++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I have no doubt that you understand this hub and have lived it. May I propose a toast to all the safe harbors out there. May they all live long and prosper!

      Thank you buddy; you are greatly appreciated. You never fail to bring a smile to my weary old face. :)

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      A truly wonderful Hub. I lost my 27 year old niece to suicide two weeks ago.You thoughts are truly comforting. "Marco….Polo…..is there anyone out there who can hear me?" This is now part of my thinking. Voted up and awesome. Great Job Bill.

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      Maria-Arg 5 years ago from New York City

      You are so right. How many times did I turn someone down when they tried to tell me their problems. Everyone wants to be heard and deserves it. I'm a reserved person, but whenever I feel like being heard it seems to go in one ear and out the other. This hub is poignant, and I think everyone has been on both sides of the equation. Your hubs are so honest. Thank you for opening up about your personal life, it's really admirable.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rfmoran, I am deeply sorry for your loss. There are no words of mine that can take away the pain. I appreciate you sharing your loss with us so that we might learn from it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I really appreciate your kind words. You are oh so right, we all have been on both sides of this issue and it is one that hopefully we have learned from. Nobody deserves to be alone and unheard. Thank you!

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      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      I see you Bill! I know you are there! You have compassion for us all! Thank you!!!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You are quite right that with so many people in the world it is ironic that we can still feel so alone at times. Your hub really does have me thinking - stop that hehe :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, I know you are there too. You will always have a support system as long as I'm still walking around. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, I'm sorry. :) I'll stop that right now. LOL Thank you young lady!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Life is filled with a lot of insecurities and governed by may rules that we all have to comply to. The gift of life is wonderful and comes with responsibilities not only to ourselves, but to others in need. In reaching out, we not only help ourselves, but others, in the long run. Perhaps one of the greatest saving graces of humanity, that of compassion for all life , and our fellow human kind.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill is this hub brand new? It was very inspiring and touching, and very enticing title, you sure do have a passion for writing and sharing emotion, it is clear in your hubs! Yes we were created to love, and should never forget that! People are hurting out there, and it, is very selfish for us to keep to ourselves and not lend a helping hand.

      Bill I can hear you, your voice is booming! :)

      Love your Nephew,

      Josh

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonunuwho, your words are profound and right on! In helping others we actually help ourselves...and...here's the bonus...it makes us feel good too. Thank you for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Nephew, good morning! Yep, this is new, hot off the press. I took the weekend off so this is my first effort this week. Thank you for a great comment Josh; you are wise beyond your years. Keep being the person you are, Josh; the world needs more of people like you.

      Have a great day Josh, and thank you.

      love to you too

      bill

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Aww thanks Bill, it was my pleasure, least I could do for such a wonderful message you shared with us all! You have a great day too :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh...by the way...again I wanted you to know how beautiful I think your new hub is...great personal message of family love and values learned.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      billy, i have a friend who is drunk every night... i've tried so hard to help her but she just gets angry. she feels alone, but is stuck... i love her but i can't stand by and watch her do this anymore. wonderful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shea, I understand completely. Dealing with an addict of any type drains us physically, emotionally and spiritually. All anyone can do is be there is they honestly want help; after that the work and willingness is up to them. Thank you for taking the time to share you experience.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks Bill again, appreciate it! :)

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      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, you write with such passion on this subject. At the end of the day, all that really matters in life are those who we love and care about, who care about us and love us back. Nothing else is important. Good message, and I hope more people start looking at their own lives and realizing this - we never know what tomorrow may hold. Great article! :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelChi, thank you very much! I am passionate about life; time is too precious to be anything but passionate. I really appreciate your kind words.

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      We are our brother's keeper, and if that means prying open the lines of communication, maybe that's what our brother really needs. Great hub, Bill. Good message. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sis!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Anything for you, Big Bro! :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT...:)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      TT! Billy! hehe :)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Now that is a lot to think about! Yes - I heard you.

      Suicide is so sad...I just wish people would realize we all have sorrow's and they heal..they pass and life gets good again. Sometimes you just need to hold your breath a little bit and shift your focus.

      Great writing and thinking!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Yes Billy, we heard you, we heard you loud and clear. When you can write with so much passion and conviction when you care so much, you will never go unheard you can never be invisible.

      You are right we all need to reach out, we need to see every difference as an opportunity to understand and to be embraced.

      With love

      JO

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, what a faithful follower you are; I hope you realize how much I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JO, you are very kind. I just want to speak, if possible, for those who have no voice. We all have value...thank you my friend! You are a kind and caring person.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Another great successful hub uncle Bill! You are such an inspiration for me to keep on writing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, you have infinitely more talent than I had at your age. Just keep writing and improving; you have great things ahead of you, nephew!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Aww, thanks Bill! You are gifted at making people smile! You are an awesome encourager uncle!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Josh!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome Bill! I just read your new article, great job!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh....:)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes? hehe :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Marco Polo.. we play that in the pool.. LOl.. Bill you make me smile.. great hub my friend..

      debbie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie; the same back at you!

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      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      Everybody needs to be heard, too many fear reaching out and unfortunately compassion, empathy and love just don't stretch far enough in this world. I think there is far too much emphasis on achieving and on being stoic and particularly for younger people, on being cool, and reaching out can be frightening. Your words need to go far and wide. More people need to know that it is okay to reach out and even more people need to hear that a smile, a warm heart and an open ear can make all the difference to someone in their lives.

      Another excellent hub Bill, I hear you loud and clear. My votes and best wishes to you and sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, I know you understand the importance of this message. You are compassionate and caring and if we could only clone you about a million times we might be in better shape as a race! :)

      Thank you my dear friend; wishing you peace and happiness.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I hear you, Bill, and anyone else who needs an ear. This hub holds such an important message. We tend to get caught up in our own struggles that we don't see the real debilatating anxst many others feel. We all need reminders from time to time that there are people in this world who are crying for help, even if not audibly. We need to learn to listen with our hearts and souls. Maybe, just maybe, if we listen for the unspoken word, we can help a fellow human regain strength, pride and the willingness to carry on.

      Voted way up, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I have no doubt that you understand this message. You are a caring, loving human being. We need more people like you.

      Thank you my dear; sending hugs across the country!

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I feel your hug! I'm surprised you're not telling me it's my bedtime, which it is! Sweet dreams my friend. Love ya!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good night Sha! Sleep well!

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      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Take charge of your nephew for the rest of the night. He's wearing his fairy godmother out! tee hee!!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I hear you loud and clear and i want to be like you. I have the desire to help anyone, but it's difficult for me to initiate the first move. I think it's a fear of rejection. Your words inspire me to be more aware. Suicide has occurred in my family. Thank you for sharing..Great Hub....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, believe it or not I was like you at one time; I would never initiate a conversation or reach out unless asked. I don't know what happened...actually, I do know exactly what happened.

      Thank you my dear friend; you are a good person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'll try to get him under control. LOL

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I hear you Bill.

      Well expressed on an extremely important topic.

      I had a 13 year old living mith us who had tried to take her life 4 times because of abuse from her stepfather, her mother wouldn't believe her, refused to listen. Everybody needs a safe harbor Thank you for bringing this to the fore

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, those are the truest words for any human being. It is amazing how many people feel alone....so we do our best, one person at a time, and maybe we can help some people along the way. Thank you my friend!

    • profile image

      oceansider 5 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      Your article was very good and I agree that we do need to be able to just listen sometimes to what someone has to say, to let them get things out, that they may be fretting about....to let them know they are not alone and that someone does care!.....I do this for my friends, and they do the same for me.....and I know I am truly blessed with the friendships God has given to me....by the people He has brought into my life, and that is very precious!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ocean, it is, indeed, very precious! Hold onto those gifts for they are special. Thank you for a great comment and for taking the time to visit.

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      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I can very much empathise with this well written piece (I had never heard of the game Marco Polo, so was glad you explained that).

      Being listened to without judgement is validating, if only more people had that skill.

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      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub, reaching out, lending a hand, listening to cries of help, are the most important things in life to do as a human. This will help others who badly need help. The thought of being alone with no one to hear me cry out is way too scary. Yes this is Marco Polo in life.

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      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Bill, the greatest skill , as I constantly emphasise to my trainee Doctors, a clinician should posess is 'listening' - sheer, open, unbiased, empathetic , humane listening. You have brought home the importance of connections and conversations in this elegant hub. I love the use of Marco- Polo to illustrate your point. You are a gentle soul with a great deal of wisdom. We'll all be better served by listening to you. Awesome.

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      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      So true. Thanks for sharing another beautiful hub such as this Bill. U always click on the right button that relates to me so much...am glad somehow I've had a few good people who does acknowledge my worth and existence, and that includes u and the few others who reads and feel the woes of my heart.

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      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I also hear you. Communication is the key to all good relationships and I am that safe harbor for my children also. Listening with an open heart is love.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nettlemere, thank you for your comment; it's nice having you visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, it might be the worst feeling for a human, to feel alone. Thank you for your great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, to teach new doctors this skill is a great thing. I admire your wisdom and I thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Angela my dear friend, it is so nice to have you drop by. I know your sorrow and pain; I am glad to reach out to you. Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you! You are a kind and gentle human being and I'm proud to call you my friend.

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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your hubs just keep getting better and better with each post! I am so inspired by this touching reflection on life. I love that you consider your son your safe harbor. What a great relationship you must have! I hope people read this and remember to listen to others when they cry out for help.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I would certainly hope I'm getting better. I don't have time for going backwards. LOL Thank you for your loyal following.

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      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Sir Bill, your writing reflects the intricate parts of your soul you have talked to in your life.... and reached the ultimate conclusions about the right form of living and staying like we ought to

      Another brilliant hub

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. You are so right. Contact and acknowledgement of one another is so important. Even by computer I still like it commenting and knowing there is someone on the other side of the screen commenting back. We live in the suburbs and some days are so quiet I wonder if there is anyone else in this world. Wonderful that you can consider your son your safe harbor and great that you have each other. Another great video. Passing this on. Marco .......

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rahul, thank you my friend! This is what I do; I draw from my experiences and try to find the lessons in each. I am happy that you appreciate them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy.....Polo! Thank you my friend! It is so important that we humans start interacting with we humans. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment so well, as you always do.

    • profile image

      BakingBread-101 5 years ago

      I am by no means South African; however, they have a philosophy of life called Ubuntu. This means simply, "I am because we are." When greeting someone, they say, "Sawa bona", which means "I see you." The reply, with a big smile, is, "Sikhona." And that means "I am here."

      Too bad all too often we don't practice this. Great hub, Billybuc.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Baking, I love your comment....I see you! Wow! That is beautiful! Thank you!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Really good hub Billybuc. I agree; everyone wants to know they matter and that someone wants to hear what they have to say. So touching.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pickles! It's always nice to see you drop by.

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      This is very very mature writing billybuc! So inspiring, The way you have connected with something so simple as marco polo and turned it into something like this... I love the way your mind works!

      An absolute pleasure to read :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shruti, thank you my new friend! It is a pleasure to have you visit and I am so happy that you enjoyed this.

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      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Wonderful and profound comes to mind when I read this. Your journey is inspiring. I firmly believe in what I call "Divine Positioning" meaning that we are all in the place where we are supposed to be at this very moment. People may come into our lives for a season to teach us or to learn from us and vice versa. How long that season may be is always different. How very important it is that we learn to call out as well as listen, not only with our hearts and minds, but with our souls. Very well done my friend. I am definitely sharing this one as a wonderful reminder to us all! Thumbs up. Lisa

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lisa, thank you very much! There are some hubs that, when I'm done with them, are just special to me. This was one of them, and I so appreciate you seeing the importance of it. Just what this aging writer needed, late at nigh, alone with his thoughts.....the gratification of knowing my writing meant something special to someone.

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Just listening is one of the most important skills we need to have. And as you stated, listening without judgment being made. In a world with iPhones,iPads notebooks, laptops, the greatest tecnoigy for communicating-we have few who just listen. Thanks for a thought provoking article. Well done and well said. Marco?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I am glad I just found this hub. I have known several people who have taken their lives. When life has no joy ....Very often these people have exellent lives, no money problems or even health issues. What makes them do it????? And they are often people with many caring people around them. Hard to know what goes on in the heads of others.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette....POLO! I agree with you my dear...who will listen to the cries?

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it will always be a sad mystery. I have known suicides and I will never understand it....and I will always be saddened that I did not hear their cries.

      Thank you Carol!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, listening is the most difficult of all and maybe this is the reason good listeners are hard to find. You have underlined the need for not only reaching out to those needing help but the importance of hearing them out patiently so they can get IT out of their system and get on with their life with a load lightened.

      Great hub. Voted up and beautiful, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I believe there are a great many lonely people in the world who need to know that someone hears them and cares. Bev gave me the idea for this hub and I am very happy that you liked it.

      Peace and happiness to you my friend, today and always

      bill

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      That feeling of loneliness is so frightening at times. We all feel lonely at one point or another. Strangely, it can be our own fault too....we tend to be so caught up in daily life that we are oblivious to others and so it can be a sort of karma when we feel lonely. I guess I see it that way!! Thanks for the great write!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I agree with your comment....people can shut themselves off from others and not even realize they are doing it. Thank you my dear!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Another great thought-provoking hub focusing on the truly important things in life.

      I particularly loved this sentence about yourself: "What I do give are the most precious gifts I own…..compassion, empathy and love."

      Yes, those are the most prescious gifts of all, and truly listening to others is a great way to express love.

      Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

      BTW: I loved that photo of Bev stretching her arms out on top of the mountain!

      Hey, Billy, Just noticed you have 1000 followers!!!! Wow, that's awesome.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, I am glad this was shared once more...Thank you for keeping your heart on the pulse of many. Great video...

      Take care my friend,

      Sunnie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail that just happened today so thank you! As for that picture of Bev, it's my favorite of her....and it so speaks to her spirit. Thank you my friend; this was one of those hubs I felt good about from the very beginning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sunnie, thank you very much! I'm just speaking from my heart and there are quite a few out there who evidently feel the same way.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      As a mother of four, each of my children check in to be heard. They just want someone with a kind ear to listen for awhile. Parents really can't do that to their kids. We all need someone. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Tammy! I can't imagine living life without being heard, can you?

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      My family and friends are my safe harbors. From time to time, although we're busy with our own lives, we see to it that we'll have family gathering during special holidays, like Holy Week or Christmas season.

      But with this game, Marco Polo will surely be missed. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      travel, it sounds to me like you have some wonderful safe harbors. Thank you so much for your visit.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very deep and profound.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sandy!

    • goego profile image

      goego 4 years ago from Loserland

      Isle of wight... Alright!!! Sounds like a safe harbor to me, who the is you're favorite band???(looking for something to write about and new music to absorb any suggestions)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Goego, you crack me up! My favorite all-time band....The Beatles!

      Thanks for the laugh my friend!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Hi Billy, I like the title of this hub already. It is very catchy. going to read it now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I hope you like it! Thanks for stopping by my friend.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Excellent hub. You raised very good points in this video with regards to communication. You seem to have a healthy adult relationship with your son. My parents raised me with tough love. I was not allowed to express emotions. I think this is why I am such a strong person inside. As an adult, I've never felt heard, validated nor understood by my parents. They just didn't care about my feelings nor what I had to say.It was only about what they thought was the right thing. Never lonely, but alone I have felt many times before. By the way, that is a huge figure as far as world population. thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing, Doc! That's a tough way to grow up...tough as an adult. I can see how that would make you a strong person inside......I hope you are now able to show emotions. I tried to deaden mine for years; now I embrace them. :)

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub this late at night. Sleep well.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Bill,

      This is so full of many truths we all should be mindful of to put into practice each day. I did not see this one the first time around, but I am glad I have now.

      Voted Way up and tweeting, etc.

      Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

      I am so I have been remiss in commenting. My mother is still very sick, but is on the mend!

      In His Love Always, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, thank you, and I am sending prayers to your mother. Bless you and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Today, I read this for the second time. I am hear if you need someone to listen :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, you are a doll. I will remember that if I ever need to seriously unload. I'm more worried about those who have no family or friends. :) Thank you dear lady!

    • rosika profile image

      rosika 4 years ago

      Honestly speaking if I haven't felt lonely many times I may not have read this hub. I am lucky having brothers and sisters and parents, but loneliness still surround me. I try to reach out for hands to hold and those to say you are not alone, I am here for you....However, again, also because of some kind of blessing from god I do transcend the feeling of loneliness and be able to stretch out my hand to hold and listen to the fears and feelings of some of others, especially when I see someone as lonely or more lonely than me. Oh I feel better that I could help! What a meaningful and heart touching hub! Thx for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosika, bless you for reaching out that hand of help. We all need someone like you who is willing to give of themselves. Thank you so much for being who you are.

    • bizarrett81 profile image

      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Billybuc, this is a great read in a time of my life when I can relate. I gave birth to my first child almost two years ago, and it has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. I had to overcome major post partum depression and feeling incredibly lonely was a huge factor. I learned to make my son my "safe harbor" and rather then being depressed that my life was so different and I had no time for me (I went from working full time to being at home with a baby 24/7), I have tried to instead, make my life as good as possible for him, instead of dwelling on "me". I think that was making me more lonely then anything, was I was solely focusing on me and how everything was effecting me. I thank you for sharing this!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bizarrett, what a great comment. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am so happy you found a way to turn the negative to a positive. Blessings to you and continued happiness.

    • bizarrett81 profile image

      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Thank you! I look forward to reading more of your work, especially ones that help me on my search for the positive.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you bizarrett.....I hope you find something that will help!

    • MzChaos profile image

      MzChaos 4 years ago from Indianapolis

      I think it is becoming harder and harder to find things worth living, and dying for...the fast pace makes it next to impossible to slow down and really enjoy a moment, let alone a person. I know for me, personally, even when I am connected...I don't feel understood, I still feel that no one really knows me...to a degree, I think everyone feels this. We always have choices on whether we lean our energy toward the isolation and loneliness or our human connectedness and sensibilities...when in the isolation, sometimes the attempt to reach out is even too much and seems hardly worth it.

      As always, you present a thought invoking platform. Since you are doing 365 in 365...I am trying to read at least 10%! (That is my humble goal) :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MzChaos, reaching out and making connections are not easy things to do. I used to be a hermit of sorts, mainly because I was tired of being hurt. However, for my own sanity and happiness I had to finally take a chance and reach out. No, it is not easy. As for slowing down, I had to do that out of necessity or die. Pretty easy choice. :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Beautifully written line: "it seems to me that to be heard is synonymous with being loved." I love that billy and you are so right about it. Even if you look at the HubPage community, you can see that in addition to loving to write, we want to be heard, we want to connect with each other. My father use to recite the old saying, "no man is an island." I didn't really get it until I got older, but it's so true. We are nothing without love and connection. I hit every button except funny, voted up, and sharing this beautiful article. It's one of your best works here and touched me deeply.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, thank you my friend. Truthfully, this is one of my favorite hubs from the ones I have written. We all need a human connection, and anyone who says they don't is blowing smoke as far as I'm concerned. That's why I love HP so much....the connection with other writers.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Re: HubPages-Same here Billy-I have to say I count on the support here now. HubPages has been very healing for me for so many reasons. I plan to write about it soon because I've been here for a few years now. Lots of changes have taken place for me because of you and my other hub friends. Some of these changes have been life-changing and I give credit to all of you that have read my work and become my friends. I love you guys :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, you are very welcome, and thank you for being such a supportive member of this community. I have said many times that I would have quit after a month here if it were not for some very caring members of HP who gave me support and encouragement.

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 4 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      I can see the similarities, we are the ones who allow people to see only what we want, at the same time wanting them to see everything we feel.

      Great write!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      wildove, you make wonderful points. Thank you for the visit.

    • Kristinmcr profile image

      Kristinmcr 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      That was an amazing piece of writing. Lonliness can be an easy secret to keep. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple acknowledgement from another human being that you are important, and that your life has meaning.

      Very nice!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Krinstin, thank you! Truthfully this is one of my favorite pieces, and it feels good to hear from someone else that they appreciated it. I think there are a great many lonely people in society, screaming silently to be noticed, and that is a shame.

      Thank you so much and have a great weekend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill

      I do not know how I missed this.

      Knowing how to listen and being available to listen are gifts we can give each other. You know that I so agree that our reason for being is to be of help to others on the planet. And it is so easy to do.

      The sorrow of knowing someone has committed suicide is heart wrenching. I wished I had been able to do something to stop it.

      Thank you for sharing this. It is so important for us to love and listen to each other. What a tribute---your son as your safe harbor...we all need to know someone who can be there for us.

      Angels are on the way to Olympia this evening.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you my friend. This is one of my favorites; I hope that doesn't sound egotistical, but I think we all have some pieces that we like better than others. I have seen so many lonely people who just look like they are silently screaming to be heard and noticed. I find it terribly sad and that is what this piece was about.

      Thank you for caring. Thank you for being so compassionate and loving. I think you are great!

      blessings and hugs and thanks as always for those angels.

      bill

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I just read this..Think I missed it. Daunting. I missed your last hub as I was gone yesterday and cannot seem to find it..You know I try never to miss.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Carol, I'm glad you were gone and I hope it was enjoyable wherever you went. That's for finding this one. This is one of my favorite pieces, and I'm always happy when someone reads it.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

      You are just an amazing human being. I hear you, I seen those tears. (your poem) I am so honored to be a member and feel the blessings with your *baby* the H.O.W. organization.

      I wish you nothing but strength and blessings, always! :)

      Semper Fi.

      voted up +++ tweeted & shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you are a dear....thank you! We have to keep up the good fight and never back down from adversity.

      blessings,

      bill

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      I hear you loud and clear, my friend and that is what these pages are for...to share, to give of ourselves and to be recognized as the people we are..human beings who love one another. Thank you for sharing this well received work and you are always a friend. whonu

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      whonu, what a great comment. Thank you for your kind words.....have a great week.

      bill

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 3 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Your hub touched me very much - we can all relate to what you are saying from a personal point of view- each of us having feelings of being cut-off and alone at different times through-out our lives. I am truly impressed by your style and the way you use video to help tell your story giving us readers a closer more personal connection to you. I see you as being a mentor for me and look forward to reading more of your work- thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you very much. This is one of my favorite pieces of writing that I have done and I am grateful that others liked it.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      Congrats on winning a Hubbie! It's a good rmeinder. Sometimes elements of modern culture encourage us to keep our thoughts hidden. Voted up and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jtrader, thank you for the kind words. I appreciate your congratulations.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      It took me awhile, but I read and empathized. Nice thoughts and a great challenge to take some of our 110% and give more of it to others in meaningful ways. Amen

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perspycacious, amen indeed. Thanks for going back in the archives for this one. I appreciate it.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 2 years ago

      Polo! I hear you. We are more reliant on each other, than many of us would like to think. Even if our circle is very small, in the absence of someone we can reach out to in difficult or lonely times, it becomes difficult to enjoy a happy existence.

      The need for humans to know they are heard and validate their existence reminds me of two things:

      1. The popular question "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?", seems simple and silly, but also questions existence and the need for validation.

      2. Movies, were a person dies and doesn't realize it until they try to interact with others around them, only to find themselves completely ignored, (look at me, speak to me, I exist) then look around and discover their human body from which they had just departed, confirming that they no longer exist.

      We really do need to reach out to each other more and lend a listening ear, thank you for this thought provoking hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jemjoseph, those are two great examples of what this article is about. I think we need interaction...and validation....and it is a sad existence without it. Thank you.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      It is so true, Billybuc. Lonely people really just need someone who will listen. I've known the feeling of being lonely then being frustrated because the person I confided to would keep comparing her life to mine, or talk or give advice. Listening validates you and gives you assurance that someone understands without judgement. It goes a long way. The Facebook group you posted also sounds very interesting and worth looking into. You, Billybuc, will leave a wonderful legacy behind, particularly to your HP readers like me, because you have generously shared your life with us and pointed us to goals and possibilities.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mona, you said a great deal when you said it validates us when we are listened to. I believe that strongly.

      Thank you for your very kind words, my friend.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Reading this makes me wish I had time to read your over 800 HUBS! As far as I can tell, you have all the talent of Hemmingway and then some more. Probably like you, I was so busy writing, not much time to read others. When I read your profile, we are pretty much in the same boat. Taught special education for three decades, while running a short list of business enterprises that included, a string of retail stores, and most notably anything that related to music. I gave private lessons, released records, lead various bands to the top of the heap ( on a local basis) . Teaching was an endeavor that I loved in every way. Wrote a book called "Lean against the Wind" that summed up my teaching career. If you have books on Amazon, ( or anywhere) give me a title and I'll hunt it up and give it a look.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Reynold Jay. High praise and I am very grateful. We have led similar lives...very interesting to read about yours. The music gig might be just as tough as the writing gig...such a crapshoot in many ways.

      The only book I'm really proud of is Resurrecting Tobias...you can find it on Amazon if interested...and again, thank you!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I took a quick look at the previews at Amazon and see your style as very similar to Henry Miller who appears on all the classic book lists. In that it has little sales going for it shows that the promotion aspects can outweigh a how well it is written. I imagine that there is a ton of great books like this sitting around and forgotten.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reynold Jay, I suspect you are right about a ton of great books sitting unread. Thank you for the comparison to Miller...I am honored.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      You might look into Book Bub if you haven't done so already. Advertising there could get the ball rolling your book into the limelight where it belongs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Reynold Jay...I will do that.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, I was browsing around Hub Pages just now and stumbled upon this hub of yours that I hadn't read before. In fact it was written before I came to know you here at HP. The message really speaks to me, and like yourself it describes one of my greatest fears....I have never been one of those people who stands out in the crowd. "Marco….Polo…..is there anyone out there who can hear me?"

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I suspect there are a lot like us out there. We have become a society that is closed off, and I think it's important that we start reaching out to each other. Thank you...I'm glad you found this one. It's one of my personal favorites.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 23 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Amazing....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you sir!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      Nancy Mitchell 19 months ago from Bend, OR

      I'm reading this after the terrorist attacks in Paris. When a tragedy like that occurs, I think a lot about connecting with others. I just want my family close to me -- huddled together for some kind of imaginary protection. It all really comes down to this world getting so full of people -- so hectic, so competitive -- and all of us wanting to be heard and understood. We're doing some many things these days that keep us from connecting with one another in meaningful ways -- texting, Facebook, Instagram. It's easy to feel isolated and alone. Thanks for the comfort, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Letstalk, you are absolutely correct. There is a disconnect among us now...we need to come together and not allow our differences to tear us apart. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 18 months ago

      You wrote about a very important topic that many are not comfortable discussing or even touching upon. It is a very sad reality that there are so many lonely people on this planet. I too feel that listening with understanding and without being judgmental is a very powerful and meaningful way to show we support one another and that we care. Perhaps in part because we tend to think of listening as a passive activity, we don't attribute to it the importance it deserves. Thank you for writing on this topic.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Germcclym, thank you for following and for your kind words. I've lived among many of these people. I know them well, as they know me...they are human beings and deserve to be seen and heard.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 16 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I don't know how I missed this hub, it is excellent. I thank God I am a good listener. I never give advice unless I am asked. I think we need more listeners and less talk. Great topic.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lady, and I completely agree with you, we need more listeners in this world.

    • ChangingTides2331 profile image

      ChangingTides2331 4 months ago from Danvers, Mass

      Thank you for giving me the words to bridge the gap & finds some answers worth looking for.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      ChangingTides, thank you and you are welcome. I think I wrote this for myself as well; it's nice to have company in that need.

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