‘Were there many out?’ my father used to ask my mother when she returned from shopping. His mobility much reduced, he lived mostly in his home and relied on mammy for the news of the world. Sometimes she would have something to report. At other times she might say, ‘No, they were all at home watching the racing like you.’ But my father’s question was important. It kept him in touch with the outside world and that is a vital ingredient of life.
Today I was in town, in Boots, to have my hearing tested. The experience opened my eyes! I sometimes go without using my hearing aids, and lately I found I was losing interest in the world around me. Today the audiologist adjusted my devices and we went for a walk around the shop to test my hearing. It was greatly improved.
‘My room’, he said, ‘is not the real world. This large shop is the real world,’ and so we walked about and tested what I could hear. That simple comment from the audiologist came home to me. If I stay in my house too long, and if I do not keep my hearing power strong, then I will lose interest in the world around me, and that is not a good thing.
The real world, the world around us is vital to our wellbeing. To go for a walk, to go into town, to do your shopping, all these everyday things keep us anchored in the real world. If we are not in the real world we will quickly lose our healthy humanity. We actually need one another every day.
7 October 2022