Over the past couple weeks, I have asked a number of peers and friends, both new and from way back in life, to write character letters on my behalf in an on-going legal dispute with my ex-wife over my daughters.
I did not ask these fine folks to share their letters with me, but several have.
I am humbled by the stories of parental loss, and sometimes, reconciliation, that were shared with me.
At a minimum, I have known those that shared, for about two years; others, much longer. I had no clue that these fine people had had these experiences. Each of them lead lives that suggest they came from the “Cleaver Americana”.
To each of you who shared, thank you. I opened my story up to you – and your sharing was a significant return of openness. My care and appreciation of who each of you are is so much deeper and humbled, as a result.
Some of you, I met through social media. We, together, through these humble acts of personal sharing, are creating deep bonds of village – now, and for the future.
I believe this is something that our society forgot how to do after World War II. I have this theory that WWII and the “greatest generation”, took a path of silence in relationships. “Don’t talk about it.”
Of course, my outlook is shaped by US Western history. One hundred years ago, even sixty years ago, you relied on your neighbors, both professional and friend. The bonds of village were deeper. I think you can trace the destruction of village-making to the ramifications of trauma from WWII – but I’m not a sociologist.
What I do know is this.. some people that I only knew professionally, or casually, have shared very intimate histories, and now when we communicate, I can give them a deeper attention, a more nuanced and solid relationship.