We Promote “Hanky Panky”! Life has continually presented me with these ongoing episodes of what I call “hanky-panky”: an elusive love affair or romance that is both intriguing and unpredictable. These interactions with my community have left me with one very vivid memory; a deep sense of connectedness to every individual that I interact with. Giving back to any community that I live in has always been important to me and in my childhood and teenage years, I spent a significant amount of time doing community service. I was an avid member of social clubs and church groups that promoted service to people from all walks of life, including the elderly, children with special needs, and “prostitutes”. I visited homes for the elderly to assist with every-day tasks that they were not able to do for themselves, like combing their hair. I took them outside for walks, read books to them or simply provided a listening ear. This became a very viable outlet for me. Every time, I heard one of them speak, it was absolutely fascinating. One blind woman once told me that she recognized my presence by the distinctive sound of my footsteps. As soon as I was approaching her room, she would call out to me eagerly through the hallway. She liked it when I read stories to her from the Bible. She impressed me. I never realized that some people were able to tune in so acutely to their senses if one or two weren’t functioning adequately. What made my trips to these places all the more exciting was that these people were never in a hurry to go anywhere and had all the time in the world to answer every curiously demanding question that I had. When most of my friends were busy avoiding older people, I was secretly wishing for more time to be around them…in them I found a restful, knowledge haven. Voracious reader that I was, I couldn’t wait to get around these walking history books. Most of their stories were folksy tales that were quite relatable for me. They made some of the books that I discussed with them come all the more alive. Hanging out with the elderly was a thrill! Who knew “old folk” could be this much fun! Stay tuned in to my next post, for more hanky-panky!
Published on Oct 15, 2009