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Opinion: Phone calls provide personal touch

Caller ID told me I was hearing from one of my golf pals I hadn’t seen in several months. The call was a surprise, and a good one. We had texted and emailed each other occasionally, yet this spontaneous call magnified the impact of our connection.

We talked for ninety minutes. Our conversation included golf, family travels, updates on our mutual friends, athletics and Covid-19’s impact on his family and on people we knew.

A day or so later, I returned a call from another friend. This call lasted thirty minutes. Mostly he updated me on his two recent major surgeries—and described another one that will follow soon.

Those phone calls prompted me to think about my two adult daughters. Both of them have lived several hours drive from here for a long time. Sure, we text and email, but that’s mostly fun stuff. Our strongest connections happen when we talk on the phone at the end of most days. After every call, without exception, I’m grateful that I heard their voices, heard how their day went, got news about their children—and briefly summarized my ongoing activities.

Note, please, that the immense value of personal phone calls can bring encouragement and hope to acquaintances beyond our family circle and our closest friends. Consider the impact of calling those who have lost a job, said goodbye to a loved one, moved into your neighborhood recently, received an award, graduated, taught you in high school or became your indispensable mentor.

Clearly, these are not “cold calls.” They’re warm from the second the conversation starts. Remain digital, of course, for short newsy chats. Yet to reach people at a much deeper level that enriches both of us, let’s go beyond texting to talking.

Bill Lampton


Regional events