We Never Know…



Without realizing it, we fill
important places in each others’ lives.
It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage,
the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,”
who can be relied upon in small,
important ways. People who teach us,
bless us, encourage us, support us,
uplift us in the dailiness of life.

We never tell them.
I don’t know why, but we don’t.

And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend on us,
watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.

You may never have proof of your importance,
but you are more important than you think.
There are always those who couldn’t do without you.
The rub is that you don’t always know who.
~Robert Fulghum


7 thoughts on “We Never Know…

  1. Thanks. So true. We are all walking uphill sometimes and freewheeling at others – good to look around and see if another pilgrim needs a hand or can give one to us. Regards Thom.


  2. I love this. My children and I talk often about the “familiar stranger” of metta meditation and who those people are for us. And how they probably don’t know that they are important to us. I have honestly never considered that the reverse is likely true, too.


  3. I am a long-time reader, but first time commenter. I absolutely love this passage and so much of it resonates. It is always in retrospect that we learn the importance of a place or person. What we offer (even though we may not know it) is also equally relevant. Thanks for sharing this wisdom.


  4. Robert Fulghum expresses half of the conundrum. It expresses my feeling last week when I read your piece on life after leaving Rainier Valley, in that you have meant so very much to me and yet no words came that were not too feeble to let you know how much that piece meant. Hence I knew you would never know. The other half of the conundrum, mine, was in not knowing how to let you know, in not knowing if you’d care to know.


  5. Oh Norma, there is no question that every person (or at least THIS person!) wants and needs to know the difference we may have made for another, even if for a minute of their life. That is when we just might try again the next day… 😉


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