Have You Tried?

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

Don’t you hate it when all you want when you are feeling under the weather is sympathy but instead you get, “Have you tried ginger, onion and lemon tea?” I must admit that this special tea is a wonderfully soothing antidote. My old babysitter made it for me when I was a toddler suffering my first cold. I can even one-up my doctor when it comes to figuring out what remedies are great for coughing and congestion and the like. And I am old enough to have stashed away a myriad of remedies in my memory bank.

Another suggestion is always, “Do you drink enough water? “ My own offspring are always reminding me to put a glass of water within arm’s reach of my computer during a particularly long writing session. And I tell them that I always remember.

Yes, what goes around comes around when it comes to advice. We hover over our offspring when they are little, reminding them to put on their coats and gloves in the cold of winter. Then comes a time when our children begin turning the tables and start acting as parents in our lives. And they mean well. What would we do if we didn’t have people that cared about us?

I have had a few friends who didn’t have anyone to remind them to take care of themselves. How sad that is. I know that I would really miss the daily call from my daughter who lives nearby, the goodnight phone call from my special fellow, and emails and phone calls from my other children. When I wrote my New Years List of things I enjoy in my life, loving family and friends were high on the list.

Recently I got an email from a special friend who carries on a conversation with me daily.

She was mentioning what a learned guru says about maintaining a life of contentment. It seems that doing something good for someone every day and thinking positive thoughts is replenishing. I began to think of what I learned in my psychology classes about the human condition. One therapist saw the big picture covering all walks of life. He said that the upper class is looking for problems to solve. The middle class is trying to solve problems, many not of their own making. And the lower classes are trying to avoid problems. Try and tell a person who doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from to meditate and do a good turn for a neighbor when that poor person is struggling just to survive.

Even though our country is now the big melting pot there are still people who want to gravitate to what is comfortable. But instead of having real people to turn to during illness, the TV and internet often are the only avenue to replenishment and improvement. The fact is, no matter how many Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz authorities come into our lives, there is not one who can replace a friend or family member who cares enough to give loving personal attention. People without such personal attention end up on court programs and “write-in with your problems” shows airing their dysfunctional family for viewers to ogle on their TV.

West Seattle is a special place where neighbors can often substitute for extended family.

Neighborhoods that have summer picnics together are comfortable in knowing that everyone on the block is “there” for them. . They begin to look out for one another. If someone asks, ‘Why don’t you try this sure cure remedy for your cold?” you know that it comes from a real live person who cares about you. And that’s a good thing.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at gnkunkel@comcast.net or 206-935-8663.

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