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That Personal Touch

We’re all so busy these days, aren’t we?

The snowstorm that hit New England this past Friday caused me, and many others, to slow down. I had the chance to reflect on what was important (safety first, Chanukah party second) and what really matters (family… always).

I was talking with my Pilates Instructor today about the culture of Facebook and how we seem to get a zillion messages on our birthday wishing us a quick “Happy Birthday.” After talking for a few minutes, we both concluded that a Facebook-Happy-Birthday is sufficient for those one one’s limited profile, but it’s not adequate for those long-time friends who are dear to us. (And neither is a text message.) Picking up a phone and dialing their digits to wish them well is the next-best-thing to being there, which is often hard when distance comes between you and your dearest friends.

I nearly forgot that I mailed a birthday card to one of my former colleagues last week (not an e-mail or an e-card — a handmade birthday card) wishing him well. I received a note of sincere appreciation back today. Even though the card only took me a few minutes to make, it was clear that the gesture was appreciated. After all, we all want to be remembered on our birthday and on other special days in our lives.

When I arrived home this evening, our mailbox contained four anniversary cards from three of our family members and one my best friend. I smiled immediately since they warmed my heart with their well-wishes for our first wedding anniversary, which we’ll be celebrating tomorrow. How good it felt to receive these cards!

Tomorrow, my students will exchange kind words with their classmates. They began working on them today with a small suggestion from me. I told them to try starting their words with with “I see…,” “I notice…,” or “I appreciate the way you…” Nearly every child did that and wrote some incredibly powerful, anonymous, notes to their peers, which are wrapped up in beautiful, colored boxes.

SO WHAT? (Do you hear Ruth asking this of me?) The bottom line is that we have to take the time to show the people who matter to us most that they’re important. That means picking up the phone for a conversation when sending a text message is easier. That means going to the card store and sending a card when sending off an e-mail is faster. That means doing things that show we care, rather than leaving a message on someone’s Facebook Wall. We’re all busy, but we should never get too busy to show our dearest friends and loved ones how much we care.

My challenge: Who are two people you weren’t going to personally call this holiday season? Try to find 15 minutes in your day to call each of them this week.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

One thought on “That Personal Touch Leave a comment

  1. What a great challenge you make to all of us — there are definitely some people that come to mind for me. Thanks for a post that makes me think about my life, and how I can best live it!

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