My telephone alerted me to an incoming call. I looked down to see who it was and felt a warm rush through my chest as soon as the name flashed on the screen. Because of my relationship with the caller, I expected to have a pleasant conversation. But it didn’t start out that way.
“I feel completely overwhelmed!” echoed the voice channeling through my phone’s speaker.
While those were not the words I expected to hear when I answered the call, I was struck by their timing. I had been struggling with similar feelings earlier in the week. Happily, when I had made a similar call to a friend, he stepped up and answered the call!
I reached out for help when a maintenance issue had reached its breaking point. I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do. So, I picked up my phone and sent a text message to friend asking for help.
Help came almost immediately, even though my friend has a thriving business and is very busy. He dropped everything and called me back. We talked briefly. He called another friend and then got back to me saying, “Can you spend time with me this afternoon so I can help you?”
He helped me find a solution and spent three hours working with me that day! It was late in the evening before I was able to fill his truck with fuel as a small gesture of thanks.
Now I was making another small gesture of thanks by focusing back on the voice speaking with me on the current call. I was listening and offering an empathetic ear. In this case that was all I could do. And, surprisingly, it was enough. I was glad I answered the call.
Answering the call is more than just touching a screen. It’s making yourself available to make a difference in the lives of friends and neighbors. It’s the difference between simply living somewhere and being part of a community. Each one of us has a unique and critical place to fill in our community.
Perhaps you’re reading this and feeling small. You may be thinking, “I don’t having anything to give.”
Answering the call doesn’t mean you need to give money or even have extraordinary talent. It means being genuine, kind and caring to everyone. It means becoming a conduit for civility and goodness. It means accepting the opportunity to feel a warm rush in your chest and passing it on to another, the person whose call you answered.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.