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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

Shine A Light- One Simple Step Can Brighten a Day

Make the Call. Take the Call. It matters. #fearlessfabulousyou

Remember the song “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” It was the debut song for Diana Ross when she left The Supremes and struck out on her own. And it was a huge hit. Remember when  AT&T had a campaign called “Reach out and touch someone” in 1979?

Now how many of us actually reach out and call anyone these days? Most people send text messages, post comments on social media or send emails. The days of picking up the phone or sending a handwritten note have gone the way of the typewriter. My phone, which used to hum all day, remains silent, save for the occasional beep of a text message. It’s ironic how social media brings us all together, and yet can leave us feeling isolated hidden behind our screens.

I want to share a story or two about why a simple phone call matters. In fact, it can brighten someone’s day more than you will ever know.

Recently I received a call out of the blue from a public relations specialist who had been exchanging emails with me for a few weeks. Previously, our communications were purely through email. The person introduced herself on the phone and said, “I called because I read your story and blog and wanted to tell you how much you have inspired me.” I was deeply touched. We shared a few things about the demands of business and trying to stay balanced. We also discovered that we both had worked for the same public relations agency many years ago. Small world! That conversation brought up things that would never have been discussed via email or text.

Now, until that call, it was a pretty routine day. Nothing special; just getting the work done. That’s it. The call made my day. And it reminded me that all the long hours I put into what I am doing actually do matter.

Recently a longtime colleague in the wine business lost his wife of many years. I read the obituary which a mutual colleague had posted on Facebook. Now, I had the choice to post something on Facebook or send an email, but I decided to call him instead. We had not spoken in over a year. His voice quivered with emotion as he spoke and thanked me for the call. He said he hadn’t really received many calls and he was having a hard time dealing with his wife’s passing. We spoke for awhile, and I suggested we have lunch in the city. During the call, I learned he had been hit by a car just about a year ago and had not been out much. And then he lost his wife.

I think about the choice I made to pick up the phone and say, “I am thinking of you.” I try and do this once a day with someone I have not spoken with in awhile. Sometimes I get the voicemail and I leave a message. But, I make one call every day to a different person. Almost every time the person is appreciative and never too busy to chat.

It is such a simple thing to do. And yet, so many of us are caught up in our day-to-day lives that we barely have time to answer all our emails, much less texts and posts. Last Thursday, I posted  on Facebook that I have just past the nine-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis and raise a glass to toast all survivors. I received more than 200 comments which I am still answering personally one-by-one. It matters.

Somehow, “Reach out and text someone” doesn’t resonate with the same compassion. And while my landline lays idle most days save for a few telemarketers, it’s always open for chat from a friend or colleague, old or new, to share a story, listen with empathy and offer advice.

So, think about that next time you read a post on social media.  That friend may be celebrating or suffering. She may be have a great day or a gray day. She may be feeling on top of the world or buried with stress and worry.  Either way, that call you make, that conversation you have, and that simple human connection, may make all the difference.




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