Sunday, August 24, 2014

“People who need people…”

“Are the luckiest people in the world”.

I will definitely give away my age when I say that this song, sung by Barbra Streisand in her movie “Funny Girl”, is one of my favourites.

I had just returned from my first year in Europe, together with a friend I went to see the new movie “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium” which was headlining with “Funny Girl”.
We then proceeded to go every day that week – I have never since enjoyed a double feature as much as that one and only time of overdosing on two movies five days in a row (in fact I have never since seen a movie more than twice and double movies have long gone the way of profit).

“If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium” so resumed my experiences that first year in Europe: we took an old, refurbished Italian WWII boat that had been turned into a “student ship” from New York to Le Havre (all ten days of it – what a party – and my love of all things Italian probably date back that far – the rolls I definitely remember). Upon arrival we had a two-week bus tour of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland before arriving at our school in France.  The main actor in the movie is, of course, a very good-looking Italian (never mind that he is actually a British actor, Ian Mcshane) who proceeds to fall in love with one of the female (Suzanne Pleshette) tourists. Ah the dreams of love, Italian style. I had, also “of course” left my Swiss boyfriend behind. Romantic love is very popular and prevalent when one is 20!

“Funny Girl” led to a lifelong love of Barbra Streisand and her music.
Last night I watched her 1993/1994 concert (The New Year’s concert) and what a well of memories surged forth (never mind how weird it was to see 20-year-younger Michael Jackson; Steven Spielberg; Michael Douglas - different wife; Jay Leno - kind of the same, he has aged well; and so many other prominent persons).

One song in particular takes on even more meaning all these years later: “People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world”. Why ? It’s very simple: those amongst us who actually need to interact with others, find not only intelligence, not only empathy, not only different subjects and topics, not only shared likes and dislikes, but most of all a connection to the human race.  The loneliest person is one who can’t connect to another human being; one who can’t understand another’s point of view; one who is not willing to risk rejection or misunderstanding by interacting.

Does this mean that I always want people around: of course not! (Those who know me, know that after a few days of “being on”, if I don’t get some solitary “me time” I’ll turn bitchy, uncommunicative and down right surely).  It does mean though that I don’t feel lonely – there is always someone who has walked the same path, someone who has felt the same, someone who has overcome the same obstacle.

Yes, “People who need people” are truly the luckiest in this world. I am blessed.