On my flight out to Arkansas this morning I listened to one of my favorite songs, Handle With Care, by the Traveling Wilburys. The refrain goes as follows:

“I’m so tired of being lonely

I still have some love to give

Won’t you show me that you really care?”

Today, for some reason, this song hit me on on two levels:

  • Roy Orbison was near obscurity when the Traveling Wilburys broke. At the time the others in the band (Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and George Harrison) were still somewhat relevant in the rock scene but Orbison had not had a hit on his hands in 40 years. Soon after the Wilburys, people fell in love with Roy Orbison again and from the interviews I have read, he greatly appreciated his re-found fame.  Think of being someone who was famous for a while and whom everyone forgot about. Would you ever think to yourself, “Won’t you show me that you really care?” I know I would! Roy Orbison died shortly after his re-found success, but he died knowing that people were in love with his art again. Not a bad note to end on!

Regardless of whether or not we are famous (and I would argue no matter who we are, we are all famous to someone) we all need encouragement. I needed the encouragement of my family, friends and clients in order to start my business. My children need my encouragement in order to take risks and find independence, and artists need encouragement to grow with their art.  This leads me to the second level that this song speaks to me on.

  • We all have people in our lives that scream, “Won’t you show me that you really care?”  We are all called to be mindful of our neighbors but sometimes we are so caught up in our own perceived struggles that we are either blind of deaf to the needs of others. A close friend of mine has been struggling with addiction for a few years. Recently this person admitted that they relapsed and will need to go back into “treatment.” I can’t help but ask myself, “Was I as encouraging as I could be?” Have I missed a cue; a sign that this person was in trouble? I don’t know the answer to these questions but it does make me realize that one of the greatest gifts we can give others is the gift of encouragement. Simply taking a moment out of our day to let someone else know that we love and support them could make all the difference in the world.

This reminds me to always be mindful to handle each other with care.  We live in a society which values and rewards strength yet we must be mindful that all of us are fragile. Many of us treat our smartphones more carefully than we treat other people – “what’s up with that?”