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Doing a World of Good: Time to Phone a Friend?

–LET'S CLOSE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING GAP

One note does not make a symphony; one artist does not make an orchestra, but one phone call can make a world of difference.

My wife and I have been delivering Meals on Wheels to the homebound and seniors across Tampa Bay for over a decade. And like many, we learned very early on that it’s not simply about the food. It’s about social contact. It’s about putting the food aside to listen. Because so many of our recipients have little or no other contact with the outside world. So we provide nutrition to their bodies with a balanced meal and nutrition to their souls with the priceless gift of genuine connection.

During chaotic times like this, so many people across the globe —homebound, seniors and others less fortunate feel isolated, scared and more alone than ever. And let’s not forget friends and family we just never seem to have time for —even in good times.

So let’s rise above the chaos, emails, and texting to stop the music with the kindness of an actual phone call. Not a planned one. An unexpected/surprise one. And before you hang up, and no matter what you discuss,  please take the opportunity to close with two simple but ever so powerful words: YOU MATTER.

So, stop what you’re doing, take a break, and make that call now – you’ll be glad you did. And who knows, maybe it will be habit-forming?

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Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitoccohttps://www.bizcatalyst360.com/
DENNIS is the Founder & Chief ReImaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —the award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via blockbuster global events, and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Collaborating with his Chief Inspiration Officer (and wife), Ali, everything they do is "for-good" vs. "for-profit". Their mission over the past decade-plus has been to rediscover humanity at its best, influencing and showcasing it every step of the way. Together, they do their very best to figure out what the world is trying to be —then using all their resources to help it to be better every day in every way. They understand and embrace the notion that it’s not about me or you; it’s about caring for the people we serve and more responsibly stewarding the precious resources in our care. And they believe it’s about showing up, being present, and intentionally giving our invaluable gifts of time, talent, and treasure "for good". Dennis is a contributing author to the Best-Selling Books ♦ Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational ChangeJourney Well, You Are More Than EnoughThe Four-Fold Formula For All Things Wellness: True Stories of the Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Body.

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21 CONVERSATIONS

  1. I have a friend in another city who called the local ER and asked if they would like pizza delivered for the staff, and would it be okay? Affirmative, so she did – 11 pizzas. In our apartment building, people are leaving notes and calling to check in, and I just hosted a video chat with a bunch of scattered friends from around the country. Let’s embed the new reality of connection and community. This planet will never “be the same” again (Thomas Wolfe: “You can’t go home again.”)
    If we shape our own habits, they may well stick as the dust at least partially clears, and let’s fight to keep them.
    Fare well.
    Mac

  2. Just an important message, Dennis! We will all find ourselves on a rollercoaster of emotions during these uncertain times. It’s so important to remember that we all have the power to make a difference — each of us can do some little thing that creates a positive ripple in the world. I accept your challenge and will start making those surprise calls today!

    • Thanks for (always) stepping up, Melissa. I’ve got a list of people mounted on the wall next to my desk and am calling a minimum of two per day. The reaction has simply been awesome… A great habit to form and continue beyond the current chaotic times…

  3. Thank you for the compassion and generosity you and Ali model for anyone who knows you. We have only to visit the Bizcatalyst360 site to learn of unlimited ways that we can help others. I have to stay home due to my compromised immune system but I am writing letters to people, making a few phone calls, and babysitting. When this is over I will have made new or closer friendships.

  4. I’ve been reaching out to people on LinkedIn and it’s been amazing the response I’ve received. neighbors are now shouting at each other across the street at times when before they wouldn’t even acknowledge one another. In my own neighborhood it’s been fun to see people reaching out. It’s a human need. Thank you for keeping this conversation going, Dennis. It is always great to be reminded of the little, simple things that bring great value to someone.

  5. I always loved the idea of visiting the elderly and shut ins and I had a small group of elderly people I used to visit when I was in the states. Here, where I am now, families are still in tact and in touch more. But I have a few friends I need to contact.
    A wonderful and needed thing you and your wife are doing.
    Great share.

  6. Oh, Dennis, I love the encouragement offered here to actually phone a friend. I’ve been talking on my cell phone with beloved ones every single day for days now. I’m so grateful I continue taking this action because these conversations are food for the soul-mine and my beloved ones including my daughter (in Ohio) and son (in California). The sound of the human voice and human laugh-even our tears or choked voices-doesn’t matter. The content of the conversation feels less important than the delicious experience of hearing the tenor, cadence, silent waiting of that person who now has become the center of the world-a lifeline of love. Thank you so much for this encouragement. I will stop typing and call another cherished friend right now. Shelter in love. Phone a friend. Yes!!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Laura… and more importantly thank you for demonstrating the power of one voice to another. And as we all know, sometimes calling simply to “listen” (particularly when it comes to homebound/seniors) is all that it takes to change lives “for good”…

  7. Already there, Dennis, great piece to remind all! These last few days I have reached out to many isolated and concerned with families. Although I have had no contact from my son or daughter, I pray they too are well..One of the workers at Martha’s kitchen where Danny and I serve the poorest in the area, had a cardiac arrest and never recovered, and yet, he did so much for others that the tribute to him was amazing by those who didn’t even know him.

    • The goodness from all who help in little ways matter, and you and Ali do so much for others in so many unspoken and little ways. St. Theresa of the Little Child Jesus you both remind me of, she said: “I will do little things with great love”.

  8. Great post Dennis. Just so happens I have an older neighbor who lives alone and we rarely have contact with. The other day I set aside my trepidation to let her know we were there if she needed anything. She was so delighted by the gesture. Never hurts to check on people, even in times of crisis. Stay safe during these challenging times my friend… 🙏

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