My business phone rang one Saturday afternoon while I was at my desk. I quickly checked the number and, while it was local, it wasn’t one I recognized. I made the choice most of us do these days – I didn’t answer. When I eventually listened to the voicemail message left by the caller, I was startled, delighted and overcome.
What message did the unknown caller leave? Why is it a perfect reminder of the power of phone conversations?
The voice was that of an elderly woman, raspy from a long relationship with cigarettes. “Sorry,” she said in her message, “I dialled the wrong number, dear.” Then there was a pause … and she added, “Call me if you like. Bye.”
In the few seconds, it took me to listen to this message, I smiled, then cried, then shook my head in wonder at the power of the telephone, the gift it delivers of our tone of voice, of human connection, of intimacy.
Many of you will undoubtedly have guessed that I did call her back. And I reached her voicemail. I thanked her for taking the time to leave me a message, that it was lovely to connect, and welcoming her to call again … if she’d like.
As we draw closer to the holidays, consider setting aside time to phone family, friends and colleagues. Speaking in real time allows us to share the spirit of the season – love, hope, connection – and, in this busy world we live in, it’s a gift that will truly be cherished.
Who will you call this holiday season?