Last week we had my father-in-law’s funeral. It was heartening to my wife and I how many people made it out on a Friday evening to pay their respects and express their condolences.
For most of the pre-funeral receiving time I stood at the head of the receiving line next to my wife. The line of people snaked around the church and out the door. Some folks commented to us that it took upwards of 45 minutes for them to make it through the line.
We had people who knew Dad in all sorts of ways there.
“I worked with your father at the plant.” – He worked there 30 years but had been retired 7 or 8 years.
“Your father bought half a side of beef from me every year.” – He hadn’t done that in about 20 years.
“We lived next door to your father on the farm.” – He moved off the farm over 40 years ago.
Where Were They Before?
It made me wonder. Where were all these folks the last 7 years when Dad had been basically anchored to the house taking care of Mom?
I’m guessing of the church full of folks at his funeral fewer than 20 or so visited him more that a couple times a year towards the end.
Now I’m certainly not knocking attending funerals of folks we know. I’m just saying why wait?
Why are we so prone to wait for a tragic event like a funeral to let people know we care?
I know I’m just as guilty of this as the next guy.
Blog Like Life
Take my blogging as just one example. There was a time when I was all over visiting all sorts of blogs.
My MyBlogLog image showed up in widgets far and wide. I was an active commenter.
Lately I’ve let myself get distracted – “busy”.
When I do read other blogs I mostly stick to my feed reader. And I rarely make the effort comment.
Granted I do have a lot on my plate. But don’t we all?
I have a saying
When you are looking for an excuse, any excuse will do.
We try to polish our excuses so that they seem entirely reasonable. In fact we might even call them “reasons”. If we are really good at our excuse making, other folks will probably accept them as valid.
But, in those moments when we are really honest with ourselves, instead of pointing out how busy we are we could say something like, “The moon is orange tonight.”
It might even be true. (With the smoke haze from the fires in the Okefenokee it happens to be true here in Savannah these days.)
But just because it is true doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the subject at hand.
Let’s Be Honest
Instead of pointing to how busy we are as the reason we aren’t active in visiting other blogs and participating in the discussion, let’s admit that we have taken on other priorities.
We see other uses of our time as more important.
That’s why I suspect there is so much interest in using some of these social media web sites to boost web traffic.
Many of us are looking for some quick fix to build traffic so we can skip the effort of visiting other blogs, reading what they have to say, and participating in conversations with them.
We want the benefits without the effort.
Do we want to be like those funeral goers? Good people, every one. But too distracted to show we care until tragedy happens.
Or would we rather build lasting friendships with fellow bloggers and be there through the good times and the bad? And have those friends be there for us too?
The choice is out there. It is ours to make.
Me, I’m taking a look at my priorities over the next few weeks. I don’t want to become known as a funeral friend.
How about you?