Today I got an unexpected call from someone I had not heard from in 9 years. Russell Wilkie is someone I worked with on a project involving personality driven relationship advice. He is a Marriage and Family Therapist and an all around good guy. All those years ago we also worked together on an article for his web site. He was recently making some changes and wanted to make sure he had the spelling of my last name correct. We spoke for about 30 minutes and it was a great pleasure to reconnect. This made my day. Russell even gave me the contact information for another old friend we have in common.
It seems to me that hearing from people after time has passed must feel good for a reason. I think that knowing that there are people out in the world who remember us and still turn to us, either for aid or to just say hello, keeps us connected to our personal history. Certainly social networks facilitate such moments of re-aquantance. The feeling is similar. We are reminded that our part in the world is bigger than we thought. We remember another person who (no matter how big or small a part played) is a character in the story of our life.
It also occurs to me that this is a great way to make another person’s day. I conducted a brief survey of a few friends. Everyone (introverted and extroverted) admitted being excited silly when contacted unexpectedly by a friend from the past. Given how restorative this can be, there is something to be said for the other side of the coin.
By contacting a friend you have not interacted with in a while, you could make their day (or at least brighten it.) And in my experience the act of checking up on a friend or family member feels pretty good also. This is a simple way to give back per the Jar The Ground tenets.
So, my request to you is that you think of someone you can contact today; someone who has not heard from you in a while and who would be excited, consoled, comforted to hear your voice or see your name in their email box. Then contact them. Don’t put it off. Make time to do this today.