Today is National Shut-in Visitation Day, a great time to stop in for a chat with someone who can't stop in for a chat with you.
Whether it's someone in the hospital, in long-term care or just temporarily under the weather, people who are shut in due to disability or illness need others to visit just as much as anyone else does.
So why don't we visit people who are shut in - sequestered away from the rest of us?
Often, it's simply because we don't know what to say. Our lives are filled with activities, going to the store, shopping, going to school and to work. Often we feel we can't talk to shut-ins about these things because we're guilty since they can't engage in the same activities.
But that shouldn't be a case at all.
People who are shut in want to her what we're doing, even if it's living vicariously through our adventures.
So who are shut-ins?
The first people who come to mind might often be those in long-term care. But there are others as well.
There are people in jail, in institutions and disabled veterans who served their country bravely but now find themselves confined to wheelchairs or who are bed-ridden. Wouldn't they like to know what it's like outside? What are the parks like? What does the snow feel like as you're trudging through it? Well stop in and tell them.
People who are shut in can also take a moment to reflect on how they can expand their lives - as limited as they may seem. Reading can create endless new worlds and the Internet can put them in touch with virtually anyone.
Above all, we could all make ourselves a little more aware of the social and psychological needs of those who are unable to get around as well as the rest of us.
So visit a shut-in - and expand your own horizons.