Bring peace to the old,
have trust in your friends,
and cherish the young.
~ Confucius

Nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small.
We haven’t time — and to see a flower takes time,
like to have a friend takes time.
~ Georgia O’Keefe

Cultivating Friends – Mutual Support Can Save our Old Age

Research demonstrates over and over again that loneliness kills.  Social isolation limits our physical and mental health, leaves us vulnerable to crises, and leads to earlier death.

Social participation – the give and take of social life is the web that can save us and our loved ones later in life.

Quotations to ponder:

To live all the days of our lives means to keep our hearts alive,
to deepen compassion,
add to our friendships…

Rabbi Bernard Baskin

[Gratitude] can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.   ~Melody Beattie

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.
~ Helen Keller

Count your age by friends, not years.
Count your life by smiles, not tears.
~ John Lennon

Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.   ~ Francis Bacon

Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you. m  ~ Henri Nouwen

A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.  ~  John O’Donohue

The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.  ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.  ~ William Butler Yeats

A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight.  ~ David Whyte

The only way to have a friend is to be one.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.     ~ Albert Camus

To fall down, you manage alone, but it takes friendly hands to get up.  ~ Carolee Dunagan

We are all just walking each other home. ~ Ram Dass

Friendship: Another Benefit of Optimism in Aging

The Sacred Art of Conversation

Civic Engagement

The holidays are a special time for connecting with family and friends. It is also a time when those who are socially isolated feel especially alone.

We can foster friendship with older individuals without family support by visiting and offering rides as the wintry weather begins.  Those of us who are writers offer help to write holiday letters or cards. We might help an older person select a few old photos and then write out their story about each as part of a holiday card.

Writing Exercise

For the holidays write a Christmas or New Year’s memory and link it with the lives of younger members of your family – perhaps adding a photo or two.  You might even give different members different photo/stories and read them aloud together over brunch or hot cocoa by the fire.

Aging and Writing

Why You Should Write a Memoir Even if Nobody will Read it

Aging and Optimal Health

Hitting the Headlines – Healthy Aging, the Bottom Line

Aging in Community –  Housing Alternatives

Visit to Possibility Alliance – Sustainable Living  

Innovative Solutions to Overheated Housing Market

Options for Homes 

With this shadow photo,

I bid you adieu,

Ellen