Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Affirm or Evaluate

I have been re-reading a small book (69 pages) entitled BALCONY PEOPLE by Joyce Landorf Heatherley, who has a variety of inspirational books. One other book, SILENT SEPTEMBER, deals with constant pain.

This book was recommended by a cancer support group sponsored by CARTI, the area Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute. This group holds luncheons in a nearby town, Mountain Home, for all cancer survivors, and caregivers, regardless of treatments. I only had surgery, the only treatment for kidney cancer, yet I am still welcome to take advantage of their luncheons and activities.

BALCONY PEOPLE is written to describe how to encourage and show your love and concern to others and affirmation of your love and respect for one another.

When you tell a person how you appreciate how well they clean your house, better than you ever could, that is affirming that person, but it is more than that, it is showing a certain kind of love for that person.

Conversely, there is the evaluator, unfortunately in the majority, who sums a person up and spits them out in rejection. There are evaluators whose job is to determine talent or qualifications for positions, but they can be affirmative.

The book I am re-reading is a second copy. I passed my first copy on to a person I felt needed it more than I did. But I wanted to refresh my memory of how to be an affirming person.

Although cancer survivors have need of affirming care, the survivor can also become an affirming person to others, especially other cancer survivors.

Of course, this philosophy is applicable in many life situations, not just cancer. How about a waiter/waitress who really serves you day after day in a friendly but attentive decorum; he/she really cares if your food is exactly what you expected, or the phlebotomist who has a special talent to hit that tiny vein (a most gifted person in my mind).

In the blogging world, we offer prayers and words of concern and encouragement.

It is wonderful to know there is a great and diverse group interested in each other .

However, this little book, written with references to organized religion, can help each of us be affirmers to those close to us everyday, our family, our friends, our business associates, our neighbors, the postal or newspaper delivery persons, the babysitter--the list can go on and on.

An Anonymous reading in the front to set the tone of the book is below; [not to be misunderstood, this booklet is written in the mode of our physical interaction with those persons in our everyday life---not the blogosphere. I am offering it simply because its message is imprinted in my mind.--NitWit1]

I WAS...

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger.

Thank you.

I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release.


I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

What good did that do?

I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.

But I needed you.

I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God.

I wish you'd taken me home.

I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.

Why didn't you stay?

You seemed so holy, so close to God, but I'm still very hungry, lonely, cold and still in pain.

Does it matter?



Arkansas Patti said...

I will check out that book and let my womens support group know about it also.
Our town just started a support group for men which I think is wonderful and much needed.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

CA, that is a beautiful, thought provoking post! :)

Sandi McBride said...

This is one of those, what do you say, moments. Thanks for sharing this, I think it will probably stay with me teaching me for a long long time.

Patty said...

I'm assuming both of these books(booklets) will not be in the library? I was just wondering.

Hope all is going well with you.

Lorna said...

thought-provoking. It reminds me of a book I read a few years ago about finding what is important to people and using that as a way to show you love them. win-win

Teacher's Pet said...

So very well said.
We need more people who 'do'...and not just talk about what they could do or would do or should do.
We also need encouragers....those who lift us up...pray for us...and put feet to prayers. Thank you so much for this reminder. I will take it to my we all have room for improvement. Much love to you...

lakeviewer said...

This is too true. Affirm or Evaluate? Darn it, this is good stuff.

NitWit1 said...

Thank you all for you kind thoughts. I know people who are affirmers almost inately, like a gift. I have to work at it.

AR Patti: this little book was 6.95on Even being a cancer survivor myself, I find this hard personally hard to be an affirmer. BUt I felt the isolating loneliness of others who did not know what to say so they withdraw--all the wrong things. I am determined to not be an evaluator in another person's most desperate hour.
I'll share this copy, too, if you do not find it. I ordered enough other books to get free shipping.

The one about constant pain is also very good and appropriate for cancer persons, although I believe the author and trigeminal pain==another pain that makes a person want to commit suicide.

Patty: the book is small in size and price 6.95 on I ordered enough to get free shipping.

To all my bloggie friends: We affirm each other each time we write a comment. I have a rule, if I cannot post positively, I lurk.

My greatest surprise since I began: how many women are football aficinados. And most have more than one team! At least I can discuss or use football terminology and you know what I am talking about. I love it and if your team beats my 'Boys or TX Longhorns, I can take it, as long as we are respectful. By the way Patti, those 'Fins did it up good the other night.

In fact I'm muttering tonight as my TV cable selection has no football games on the sports channels on my menu.

Kat said...

Thanks for the gentle reminder to always look for ways to help others by thought word or deed. I'm going to try to find a copy of the book. Where you able to find it at a regular bookstore like Barnes and Noble? Christian bookstore?


Dimple said...

The quote at the end-Ow!

thanks for your visit. I'm sorry you had such a hard time getting comments on your photos.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Very powerful!!! Thank you!!! I, too, love Joyce Landorf Heatherley's writing...this is a terrific reminder of how we should relate to others, my dear friend...I'm so glad you posted this!! Love you! Janine XO