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Giver of Happy Birthdays

Leslie Brown

In a world where it seems we are “uber” connected, in a way we are more isolated than ever.

When is the last time you went to a “dinner party”? When is the last time you went to visit an elderly relative? Visited with a neighbor on the porch, or went to a “block party”?

Many of us push the button of a garage door opener, enter our garage then house, only reappearing the next morning as we do the reverse and then do it all over again.

Jim Ganion, a retired salesman from Toledo Ohio, started a tradition 66 years ago that has more and more special meaning as the years go by; he calls most everyone he has ever met, on their birthday. Friend, family, acquaintances, people he doesn’t even remember meeting-they all get a call.  I’m sure Jim realizes that for some, his call may be the only birthday call they receive.

Jim said,

When I get an older person on the phone, they are “hungry” for someone to talk to.

I don’t think Jim could have said it any better except I think many more than just older people are hungry for conversation. With our “microwave” mentality and our minds shaped by 30 second sound bites and sit-com scenarios which go from start to finish in 30 minutes (including the commercials), we have lost touch with the simple, the presence of words spoken in love.

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