You are here

Notes #49

Hi, Dan Rosin reaching out to you.

I have received at least 600 new subscribers to my "Notes" blog in the last month. I am not complaining, but puzzled by this sudden interest in the blog. Generally I receive 2-3 new subscribers a month.

If you have recently started to receive the "Notes" blog, would you kindly contact me and let me know if you signed up for my free blog, or is it Simplenews category 8 sending me these new subscribers, and why?


Has there ever been a time in your life like the present-the COVID-19 moment (into its second year) and the oppressive lock up? No parties, no celebrations, no sports play, no theatre, no breakfasts/lunches/or suppers with friends or family (no swapping stories or recollecting nostalgic moments), and no 'end of life' celebrations together- all stopped!

We need our friends; we need that contact to be happy and healthy. This COVID lockdown not only sucks, but life is less sweet, necessary but definitely not healthy. So let's make a point of reaching out to those we care about in our family, our friends, and our neighbours through the telephone, zoom, and safe distancing.

                             Contact a friend today! (Let's make this our new mantra.)


Friendship is the wine of life!


The Essence of Friendship

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.        George Eliot


There is a great person who makes every person feel small. But the really great person is the person who makes every person feel great. G K Chesterton


I found this piece when cleaning up an old file. I still can't get through it without a tear. It reminds me that there are people whom we need and who need us at particular moments in our/their lives-be ready.

The Importance of Friendship

One day, when I was in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.   His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.' I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him...   He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.' They really should get lives. He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!'   There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. 
He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.   I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.   

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.   I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!' He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.  

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.   

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!' He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled...'Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.

"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends....I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story." I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.   


 The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.  Victor Hugo


Reader Response (to #48)

I am a 52-year-old Catholic woman and I have been happily married for many years.  I am not a visible minority. I think that consumers should start asking more questions about the owners or manager of the businesses they purchase from.  In this case, before the guy had a chance to refuse me a cake, I would have already decided to take my business elsewhere!  There are loads of good people running good businesses and anyone who would not agree with this person's personal beliefs can and should find another bakery.  As a Catholic I can also tell you that in my opinion faith should not lead to or promote hate or discrimination.  Love your neighbour as yourself - all your neighbours!  However, this person has a right to their beliefs, and I have a right not to buy a cake or anything else from his bakery! ?