Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Examination.

It was very interesting to read your comments yesterday. I do so enjoy reading the comments people make on blogs. It is a kind and caring community the blogging world. Susan made comment yesterday that I have been fortunate in life to have met a great many people. I am sure she has also.

I meet many people because I go out of my way to get into conversations with people. My wife Irene continually makes comment about this. It was only last Friday evening we went out for an ale with my son and daughter-in-law. At one point she asked me if there was anybody in the place I did not know as one after another fellow customers came over to speak to us.

I was not always like this. My mother frequently gave me a ticking off for walking with my head bowed. I was extremely shy, and to some extent still am, but life has taught me how to compensate by being extrovert. Does that make any sense?

Another turning point for me was the examination. We had a lecturer at university who came in as an extra to assist us to become both pastors and preachers. She helped us with how to deliver sermons and the correct use of the voice. How I wished I had listened more to her on that topic. She also offered advice in reading body language and how to be a caring pastor.

One day she set us an examination, about the third day I met her I think. The examination was mostly on general knowledge. This did not concern me, I was always interested in what was happening. Throughout the paper there were what seemed, very odd questions. What is the first name of the curator? What is the name of the lady who each days vacuums the carpets in the students lounge?

At the end of the examination I asked her if those four questions were to be taken as part of the grade mark. "Absolutely," she said. "In your chosen profession, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'." "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy, and later I learned the names of all the cleaners and curators.

What a lesson indeed. Before you ask, I do know the names of all the people who follow my blog although one or two names are harder than others to remember. Nothing really I used to know the first names of every member of my congregations. One of whom, Ena, now aged 94 called me yesterday just for a chat.

This blog is linked to my other. And So It Was


  1. I know exactly what you mean, Ralph. I've always been withdrawn a bit, an introvert for sure. And yet as I've gotten older I also find I can talk to just about anybody if I make the effort. My husband often comments on this as well. So do my kids in fact. It is about, bottom line, caring. I care about everything really.

  2. Oh Ralph, you light up my heart...

  3. My husband and I travel constantly. We rarely know anyone where we are. We will take up a conversation with anyone that will humor us! After all, how would we meet anyone? Most people are very inwardly focused. They don't consider a stranger as a potential new best friend. However, that is how I have met all my friends over the last 9 years!

  4. It is fascinating to connect to strangers even with just a smile.. it really costs nothing to spread around love. I always try to connect to others, some times I do get a cold reaction but it does not bother, at least I tried and it is a small test to let go of my ego to put the first step forward ! Nice post as always Ralph!