Prevalence of valedictions

A number of goodbyes have wrapped my mind in considering the nature of them. What goes into a goodbye really? I suppose too often it is false sentiment, particularly in the “I’ll see you again” moment. Out of the hundred or more goodbyes I have been forced to make, I daresay that only 5 or so have actually meted out as true.

And yet every goodbye, save for deaths, has contained an “I’ll see you again”.

I realize through and through that much of this can be attributed to the American culture. We are social cowards. We are afraid to be honest with someone because we don’t want to hurt them. And yet in the process of offering untruths we end up hurting them even more.

But how do we change that? How do we make it okay to say, “Goodbye and farewell for I won’t be seeing you again,”? Sure, we can model that behavior but modeling seems to matter very little to people anymore.

In any case, such goodbyes are the most bitter, more bitter than the goodbye of death. There is a conscious choice, assuming of course the person has not left the area, to not see you again. Even more, in a world as connected by technology as we are, an email or phone call or skype offers no reason that two people cannot stay in touch.

Perhaps that is one of the redeeming qualities of technology in my eyes. It prevents people from wordwashing you. They must confront their own hypocrisy in the vast array of ways they could stay in contact and yet do not.

A few sentences of warning. There will be at least one more poem on goodbyes coming again and perhaps a more philosophical view of goodbyes coming as well. Something that is a little less grumbly and ranty.


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