Vignettes in Aging – Fellowship

We spend more social time with friends and family around the holidays. Lots of us have been known to worry that these interactions won’t be fun, considering the differing social and political points of view around the dinner table. Often it’s not easy to avoid these engagements.

Sometimes, if we want to, we’re able to avoid the whole holiday season by traveling, staying home alone, or just laying out our boundaries (“Let’s don’t talk about politics!”) without allowing for a moment’s response from those we want/need to avoid.

Fellowship is more than just time with others during the holidays. It can be defined as an interaction with anyone we come into contact with, whether we know or find out we have lots in common or not.

Fellowship can happen in a flash and last a nanosecond or a lifetime.

Fellowship is a daily event if you’re around others at work, or interact with the clerk at the convenience store, or if you go to the library and check out a book, or even buzz the drive-up window at the fast-food joint. Fellowship appears at church, in school, and in our own homes, with family.

When we’re interacting with others, we’re engaging in fellowship. When we’re cranky or royally pissed or bummed about life, we’re still engaged in fellowship … just not the most uplifting and positively memorable variety.

We are remembered by how we made others feel while in our company.

The actions required to provide the best fellowship experience include letting go of expectations, foregoing the sharing of your point of view or the right answer as you see it, letting others take the lead, not getting sucked into the negative, and postponing or canceling any judgments.

At the very least, it’s too late in life for us to get ahead by putting others down and by not putting forth the effort of a positive interaction. It’s too late to exclude others from the best interactions through fellowship we can muster.

We need each other.

What is the quality of fellowship you bring forth?