Respectfully Yours

Here we are.  Already almost two weeks into a brand new year.  So why do I not feel any different.  No sense of elation at the prospects that a new year may bring.  No satisfaction that the old year is behind me.  Instead, all I feel is a sameness and that is not a good thing.  Normally, being a certified optimist, I would look on this whole thing as an opportunity for renewal.  A chance that things to come will be better then what they are or were.  But no.  I cannot conjure up any warm feelings for the new year.  It is like putting a fresh coat of paint on an old car.  It may look better, but it still runs the same and all the things that didn’t work before, still don’t.

You may think I am talking about major issues surrounding us but I’m not. Politics are what they are and I didn’t expect that the ticking of a clock would have any effect on the advent of another year.  No, I’m talking about us, you and me, and how much has changed around us over time.  I’m talking about the impact social media has had on our ability to address each other with even a modicum of respect.  I see it, read it, hear it, and experience it every day.  This is the “gotcha” generation.  It has become more important to destroy the person that doesn’t agree with us then to seek a solution.  Our opinions rein supreme and don’t even let me hear yours.  

We have become a nation of isolationists.  Not internationally, but personally.  Social introverts if you would.  We seek our news only from the sources that agree with us.  We avoid interaction with anyone that is not in lock step with our views and we are much more comfortable staring at a screen then at each other.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have to consciously suppress  these tendencies every day while also enjoying all the perks that technology has and will continue to provide.    But I also mourn the loss of simpler things like receiving a hand written note expressing a genuine feeling.  I miss friendly banter between real people, sitting across from each other.  And I hate the tendency to label each other.  Everyone has to be defined, cataloged, and processed based on the mores of those around them.

I know, my age is showing.  Those things aren’t important anymore.  They aren’t necessary, so they are dispensable.  And besides, they just slow things down.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it, or even participate.  At this point in life, I am more interested in comfort then I am in speed.  I still hang on to the things that have worked for me over several decades as they have held me in good stead.  I still receive pleasure from paying someone a compliment and watching them try to digest it.  I like smiling at people and watching their reaction.  And a well placed word or action is still a powerful thing.  It ‘s like placing a drop of oil in a large machine.  It’s just a little thing and to many it will go unnoticed, but who knows, perhaps something will run a little better.   And I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only one that feels this way.  If I were, no one would ever watch old movies.

Respectfully Yours


About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
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7 Responses to Respectfully Yours

  1. Sonya Kassam says:

    Wise words, Bob. Just yesterday I received a comment from someone saying “Wow, people like you still exist! ” All I did was offer to do something small that wasn’t in my line of work. Made me think how self obsessed we have become until even a tiny gesture of care evokes so much surprise.


  2. quiall says:

    I still watch the old movies. Comfortable in their simplicity.


  3. I agree with what you said. Unfortunately, many of today’s problems are so enormous that the split between people cannot be bridged by conversation, politeness, or by anything else. There is no middle ground. But I do believe in what you said. We have taken sides because not to do so, is to be part of everything one doesn’t believe in, like the KKK, the death of the environment, etc. As I said, no middle ground. You’re either racist or you’re trying to stop it…no middle ground. The issues are too big for partial answers. People are suffering, being killed because of the problems. So, in today’s world, no conversations that I know of, will bring people together. It’s one side or the other.


    • oldmainer says:

      I never thought I would say this Gigi, but I agree with you. No middle ground pretty much sums it up. But I can’t abandon my feelings that civility is not dead. It is just in intensive care.


  4. exquisite expression of so many things in my heart – thank you


  5. Paul Hardesty says:

    Excellent articulately expressed, as usual.


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