Thank You for the Light

Dear @john
Wow, thank you! ❤ Timing is everything! – thank you for this beautiful message and selecting the “right words.”   After eight years in service, I finally found the courage to write again. It would take almost another five years to trust that it would make a difference. And today, thanks to you, my education has come full circle.  My condolences on our loss – your words send the message that David led an exciting life with vocations designed to address the needs of us with endless wants. (smile). I believe when we write, we open a portal to let other voices come through.  I would not be surprised if David found a way to help you with your quest while helping me with mine.  So, thank you for also tending my flame – it is your words that remind me to keep on shining too. 

Story Time: Don’t Talk Just Look, Listen

Dug made it clear he wasn’t going to let me get any work done this morning.  First, he came over and sat close to me while I was sitting at my desk. Then he moved toward the center of the room and started growling and barking.

I thought he wanted a pick-up, but when I reached for him, he ran.
After a few minutes of this back and forth,  Dug sat by the closet.

Maybe he wanted his toys, I wondered. After opening the door, Dug sniffed around before sitting down again.

I pulled out the toy bag. Dug sniffed it and seemed to give up. He decided to lie down on the stairs.

That’s when it hit me. Did Dug think his “blankie” was in the closet?

Sure enough, when I brought out his blanket – he perked up and cuddled it.

I said, “Nah, that was too easy.”

So I replayed the encounter in my mind and came to the point when he first sat by me.

A-HA!

I go to the storeroom, get his bed, put it near me, and Dug walks over with the blanket and settles in for his morning nap.

The Non-Verbal Adventures of Dug-a-lee reminded me,
no words are Neccessary to effectively communicate your message.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips up the state of the union speech
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (10548376j)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds up a copy of President Donald Trump’s speech after tearing it up after he spoke at the 2020 State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill.
State of the Union address, Washington DC, USA – 04 Feb 2020

Let Your Fingers Do the “Talking”

Above is a play on words of the famous 60s slogan “Let Your Fingers do the Walking” for the Yellow Pages commercial business phone book.

Even today, with internet search engines, we still let our fingers do the walking to find information. But while communication technology may be more efficient for business transactions, according to my mom, it comes at a high cost to our interpersonal communication and human interaction.

“Even with all these devices and numerous communication channels, we talk less, and phone etiquette is a lost art”  ~A former 1960’s PBX555 switchboard operator. (my mom).

front view of a phone switchboard
Bell System by Western Electric Switchboard PBX 555: Photo credit Live Auctioneer

Less interaction leaves us with fewer opportunities to practice humanity. And if you’ve spent time on social media, it’s evident the internet can sometimes be hostile territory, the antithesis of social networking.

So, if your livelihood depends on putting the network back in networking, like the switchboard operator, make sure the friendly voice on the line is yours.

I learned this lesson the hard way after trading in my Blackberry Storm for an iPhone in 2013. My Blackberry was a perfect digital assistant, but it wasn’t social, so I focused on maintaining my connections.

Once I got the iPhone, I spent so much time on social networks and iMessages – I didn’t want to take any phone calls.

My motto, “if I wasn’t in you, you in me, or had something on me -we didn’t need to speak on the phone.”

If someone left a voicemail, I would reply with text.

Unfortunately, my no-voice rule resulted in my virtual network growing in direct proportion to my real network’s shrinkage. When I deleted my Facebook account in 2014, I left behind hundreds of virtual friends -and very few traverse digital to join me in the real world. 5 years later, I’ve slowly built up my professional and personal network. Today, I spend hours on the phone, either interviewing subjects for features, brainstorming with prospects, or just to shoot the breeze with friends.

And the best part is it’s so satisfying. It feels like an actual in-person visit. No, carefully thought out responses, no lolls. It’s spontaneous, and there’s a lot of real belly laughs. A gift I’ve given to myself because I used my fingers to press accept or punched in a number, and they answered.

In Architecture, there’s a saying, “less is more.” When it comes to communication technology, this minimalist approach works with phones too.

As Bell’s 1965 ad promotes:

“Long Distance, It’s the next best thing to being there.” [1]

I do have one question about personal phone calls.

If someone phones you, is it to check up on you – or are they calling to talk about themselves.