After reading this, you will have one new action item on your holiday list. You will need to pick up the phone and make a call.
Every one of us have people in our lives who will find this next week to be extra difficult. A family member who has just lost a job and will find the financial burden a little trying this week, a fellow employee who is in the middle of cancer treatment, our next-door neighbor who is suffering from a debilitating heart ailment, our new friend across the road who just lost her mother.
There’s nothing more important in life than the people around us. Throughout the year and especially at this time we need to think of everyone in our lives and make an effort to stay in touch and take an ongoing interest. Networking and connecting are important and always worthwhile but staying connected and taking an interest is the real secret.
You might know from a previous blog post that I have a birthday list – 70+ people in my life who I want to be sure that I speak to at least once a year. I have used their birthdays to be ensure that that call is made. Of course, many of these calls are to people who I am in touch with on a regular basis but it is the annual-only connections that are so important to me.
Through a once a year phone call or a weekly connection, one of our most important roles in the lives of our friends, family, neighbours, co-workers and more is to be available, if required, to support and comfort in the tough times.
My wife Karen is one of the most empathetic people I know. If you are struggling and you are in her circle, you will hear from her. In fact, she has a soup she loves to make that will be delivered to anyone in our lives who is sick or mourning and lives close by. I can’t cook. But I can talk and listen. We all do what we can.
Our ‘people’ want us to stay connected and we want them to do so as well – if only once a year. More than just a happy birthday – we need to listen for, if offered up, the bad news, the difficulties, the struggles and the worries.
But this week is different. Some of our ‘people’ will be hurting a little bit more than usual or worrying to a little greater extent than normal. This is the week that they need a phone call. This is the week they need a friend to touch base if simply to say “I’m thinking of you”.
The key to all of this is simple: pick up the phone and make a call. Someone out there will smile when he or she hears your voice. This is what this season is all about.
To all my friends, family and readers, best wishes for a Merry Christmas if you celebrate Christmas, a late happy Hanukkah, or any other traditional or belief you follow. May your 2016 be happy and healthy.
And may this coming year for that person you are about to call be extra special as well.