I have been thinking lately about the stories we all have to tell. Mainly, this is spurred by my experience at Yale Divinity School orientation last week. I would have liked to have spent so much time with each person hearing more about their experience. But then the meal/session would end and we’d go our separate ways and I’d remember there were 150 or so others to meet as well.
(Now that classes have started, the number of people to meet has tripled. Egads! And there’s actual reading and work to do, which means I can’t sit around talking to people all the time.)
But what has really been staying with me is this article from Monday’s New York Times, about elderly immigrants
Together, they fend off the well of loneliness and isolation that so often accompany the move to this country late in life from distant places, some culturally light years away.
“If I don’t come here, I have sealed lips, nobody to talk to,” said Devendra Singh, a 79-year-old widower. Meeting beside the parking lot, the men were oblivious to their fellow mall rats, backpack-carrying teenagers swigging energy drinks.
This part really stayed with me:
A recent health survey by Dr. Carl Stempel, a sociology professor at California State University, East Bay, found that most Afghan women here suffer from post-traumatic stress.
“I thought they would be so happy in this country — all the houses, the food, the cars,” said Najia Hamid, who founded the Afghan Elderly Association of the Bay Area, an outreach group for widows, with seed money from Fremont. “But I was met with crying.”
We all have stories to tell – but who takes the time to listen to them?