Do you ever wonder about people connecting and communicating? I mean, touching base and keeping in touch…filling in the blanks…staying connected. Do you ever wish you’d taken the time to do that, when it might have mattered to the person or to you?
If you’re like me, you find those times cropping up on a daily basis. Thank you notes you meant to send, that are still on your To Do List. Email replies…just so the person knows you got the message. Phone conversations you thought you’d have, but didn’t get around to it.
A recent Sunday was one of those days. Here’s the scenario. I’m trying to communicate with a very important person in my life. Yet, somehow he seems to be able to remain detached and, if he did get my messages, all I can do is assume he got them, and let it go.
As I was stewing about that, I took particular notice when our Sunday paper arrived. Our carrier Pat had left a note on top. The comic section had been shorted at the plant, and she went back to get them. Later, we found a phone message telling us that all was well, that the comics would be arriving, so we wouldn’t miss them.
Extraordinary, I thought. Knowing how important the comic section is to most folks, she has gone out of her way to be sure we got the message. I need to reply so she knows we got it, and how much we appreciate her thinking of us and nurturing this carrier/consumer connection. I really need to let her know that.
Now, the immediate question was: Will I sit down and do that right away? Or at least write it on my list? And, if I do write it on my list, will I find/take the time to do it? Alas, that is the life question I’ve been dealing with more and more often, as time seems to keep speeding up, and I seem to be gathering more folks to communicate with, and not wanting to leave the ones I used to know left in the dust of memories only.
All of this brings up one of my main contentions about our fast-paced world. How do we keep from slipping off each other’s radar? How do we (to put it in Pandorian terms as in the movie Avatar) SEE…truly SEE…each other. And not just a comment on FACEBOOK or @ you in Twitter. But even that, is better than nothing.
Because of my conundrum and dilemma over my communication skills and outcomes of late, the Sunday messages from our news carrier kindled my heart, to use a favorite expression of mine, and lit me up to write this blog.
Perhaps there’s hope, after all. Perhaps, if I follow her example, and make a point of leaving a message to those I care about, about important matters…or even not-so-important matters…our efforts will ripple out into the vast sea of “I SEE YOU” and created its own butterfly effect.
“At least someone communicates,” I thought to myself as I received both her messages. Now, it’s my turn to communicate back, so she knows that I SEE her, and her efforts.
Not only did she put a note on the paper at the top that she had to go back and get the comics, but she phoned and left a message. At least she communicated…twice.
My next thought was to follow through on my intention to put a thank you note in the paper box…as soon as I finished this blog. No, wait, I decided, I’d better write the note first, get it ready to mail, and then finish my blog.
And then, I figured, I’d zoom in on my correspondence list and see who on that list needs a message from me. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I may be a Gemini, supposed master of communication arts, but often both the comic…and the cosmic…connection eludes me. Sometimes I just can’t figure people out.
So that leaves it up to me, I guess, to just be me… and be the best communicator I can be. Meanwhile, I’ll look in the mirror and SEE that I am the one I need to please about me. And let everyone else, just be.
Thank you, Pat, for being a wonderful caretaker of your newspaper community. Rain, sleet, snow, or hail -- in good times or comic-less times -- we know you care and that you SEE.
Who needs to know that I SEE?
Well, I did write the note. And I did put it in the paper box…late Sunday night. And in the box was the missing comic section. I was pleased that I actually followed through on my intention. And the pleasure was doubled when I received a little note on the top of my paper the next morning.
I’m only saying all this, because -- in being aware of my intention to write the note, because I was focusing on my thoughts and actions for this blog -- I discovered that, even then, I got distracted from that intention. Little things kept happening all day, to pull my attention elsewhere.
So, what is the answer? Why, with all the myriad ways of connecting with people, do we still have trouble communicating? Why can’t we learn how to truly be present, and engage with others? If even for a brief moment of our time. Without appreciation for each other, life seems just surface skimming.
The whole concept of communication and caring, nurturing and engagement has been on my mind for quite some time. It’s an issue we all have to face in our own way. But, that small gesture of consideration on the part of our paper carrier has gotten me up on my soapbox.
And, it’s also gotten me motivated to keep looking for ways to fine tune my networking and communication habits, and become more intuitive about leaving my own messages for others.
You never know when something you communicate could turn someone else’s day into a bright, sunshiny day… like Pat’s comic connection did for me.