Friday, July 3, 2009

Giving Credit and A Tribute to My Own Ones

In writing you have to give credit to others.

In life, you should give credit.

As I prepare to return home to Thailand in three days, I would like to share one of my favorite (I have many) songs that seems to summarize my emotions and thoughts so well regarding this trip back to the USA. Although I am not Irish, the words and thoughts of this song are meaningful and applicable to me and I believe to everyone. I got the lyrics from http://www.lyrics.astraweb.com/.

Artist: Van Morrison
Album: Irish Heartbeat
Title: Irish Heartbeat

Oh won't you stay
Stay a while with your own ones
Don't ever stray
Stray so far from your own ones
'cause the world is so cold
Dont care nothing for your soul
That you share with your own ones

Don't rush away
Rush away from your own ones
Just one more day
One more day with your own ones
'cause the world is so cold
Don't care nothing bout your soul
That you share with your own ones

There's a stranger
And he's standing at your door
Might be your best friend, might be your brother
You may never know

I'm going back
Going back to my own ones
Come back to talk
Talk a while with my own ones
'cause the world is so cold
Don't care nothing 'bout your soul
You share with your own ones

Oh won't you stay
One more day with your own ones
Don't rush away
Rush away from your own ones
This old world is so cold,
Don't care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones

I came back this time to be with my own ones - my family and some of my friends.

Highlights of this trip were visiting and spending time with my parents, my son, three of my aunts, and a few of my friends - friends that I see every year on my visits back and some friends that I had not seen in 38 years.

Of course, it was a given that Mom and Dad would care - about my soul, about my happiness, about my life - they always have and I know that they always will. They have always been there for me throughout my trials, tribulations and travels. Although at times it seems slightly awkward that at 60 years old - it is still very comforting and satisfying that they still consider me to be their little boy.

The surprise and joy for me was the caring and camaraderie I shared with some of my old friends. Some friends I had last seen and spoke with during my last year of college back in Rhode Island in 1971.

Despite the lengthy physical separation, the bonds of our shared experiences during the four years at the university survived the years and tribulations of our individual lives. Although we physically changed a great deal, spiritually it was as if we reunited after only a semester break. Going back last week with them to our own home of 4 years at the LXA fraternity house was an experience that I cherish. Knowing that some of them will assist the current brothers in rehabilitating the house is a comfort as well as tribute to the ideals and opportunities that we experienced and shared during our time there so long ago.

Some people say that it is difficult to make friends in New England and that the people are not all that friendly. The same people say that when you make a friend in New England, you have a friend for life. I am not so sure that it true that New Englanders are not friendly - it just might be that they are suspicious! I am joking. However I know it to be true that a New England friend is a friend for life. There is no need to call, write, or visit often. The friendship is kept and maintained in the heart as well as in the soul.

Yesterday, I shared some time with a former boss and a former co-worker - a pleasant afternoon on the shores of San Francisco. We manage to reunite just about every time I am in the San Francisco Bay Area. I always look forward to our gatherings. One of the friendships is somewhat surprising.

My former coworker and I did not always get along - well or any other way. We came from completely different backgrounds and experiences. For some reason we rubbed each other wrong from the start. One weekend, the company for other reasons than our lack of a good relationship sponsored a "Team Building" retreat for the company managers. Part of the retreat other than to get all of us together outside of the work environment, was to get us to participate in exercises and workshops that revealed our personalities. The results were reviewed and discussed with the participants. WARNING: THE EXERCISES AND DISCUSSIONS WERE CONDUCTED BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS AND SHOULD NEVER BE ATTEMPTED BY ANYONE AT HOME OR ANYWHERE WITHOUT PROPER SUPERVISION. Sorry, I couldn't help making a little joke about psychologists and other mental health professionals. Often they are objects of jest and we don't even know "how they feel about that .." In this example their work and guidance was invaluable. For me, their efforts has enriched my life.

At the conclusion of the exercises that revealed personalities and identified what motivated us, it turned out that my co-worker and I had exactly the same personality as well as motivating factors. We had the same personality and motivating factors to the extent that every single answer in the pamphlet of questions was EXACTLY the same! I was shocked and I am sure that he was just as shocked (He must have been because we are the same!). I quipped that when he shaved in the morning from that point on he would be looking at me in the mirror!

We ended up doing a project together and developed a trust, respect, and camaraderie that continues to this day.

"...There's a stranger
And he's standing at your door
Might be your best friend, might be your brother
You may never know ..."

He was the stranger. I now know that he was a "Best Friend". Life is surprising and can always be explained. Often it is best to accept and enjoy its richness for what it is.

"Oh won't you stay
One more day with your own ones
Don't rush away
Rush away from your own ones ..."

I must go. I need to go. I want to go ... go back to my home, back home to my own one - my own wife.

However, it is through this blog and the Internet that I can continue to talk to my own ones.

I leave proud and happy to have seen and talked with my own ones. Although the world in America has grown old and is experiencing serious economic hardships, their friendship as well as camaraderie survives and prevails. I am a richer man for the friendship, affection, and love of my own ones. I give them credit and I pay them tribute.

I am sure that you too share the wealth of your "own ones" It is one of the treasures of life.

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