My little boy was at Eastern Market a month or so ago and tried a cheese that made his knees knock. Yes, he’s only 7, but he came home carrying the business card of the cheesemaker and said, “I have to email him and tell him how much I love his cheese!”
I thought it was cute. My son sat down at the computer and took quite a long time to send a little email that basically said, “I love your cheese.”
The guy never responded.
No one did. No response at all. Ok, maybe it went to spam or the guy forgot or something else benefit-of-the-doubt-ish. But still…
You can imagine that my little guy doesn’t receive much email. His world is rather self-contained among those who live in this house and a few scant others, most of whom don’t have email at the ready.
He checked his email day after day, hoping for a reply, but never got one.
I was furious.
How hard is it to send a quick reply? I know well that my days pile up with uncounted emails to respond to. God Forbid I take a day off, and the numbers multiply rapidly, with barely a chance to sit down and weed through the reeds to see whom I need to communicate with.
But really, it’s not that hard.
Not being heard has been my lifelong thorn; nothing bothers me more than a person not responding to my words. That’s just my thing – sorry – we all have our hang-ups.
It bothers me on so many levels, not the least of which is that it’s so easy to send a quick reply. Especially in a work setting – there is no harm – and no risk – in sending a quick, “Got your message. Really swamped. Will reply later.”
It’s the courtesy of acknowledging the other person and their effort to reach out, to engage.
In the work world, lack of response aggravates me even more. If I’m supposed to do a job for you, don’t you think it’s important to communicate easily? And if there are problems with communication within the organization, well, couldn’t a communications professional help with that?
Organizing and focusing, providing outside counsel and a fresh set of eyes to a long-held situation is my specialty. That’s why people bring me in – to see what they can and should do to ease their burden and make their business grow. Plain and simple.
Years ago, I heard a psychologist say that people continue their dysfunctional behaviors because they gain some benefit from continuing to do so.
I’m not sure I agree. Recently, I sat with a friend over cups of tea and we talked about how both of us used to live in the discomfort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, waking up in the morning feeling an ominous foreboding.
Neither of us live like that anymore – largely because we meditate daily and focus on what really matters, rather than what doesn’t.
When I reflect on the shifts and changes I’ve made in my life over the last couple of years, I sometimes can’t believe how unremarkably easy it was to shift from a constant sense of insecurity and nervous waiting to abundance, gratitude and calm.
Even when the worst happens, or something worse, it doesn’t take me long to get to a point of it’s all good. Here’s hoping that everybody else gets there sooner than later.