This I Believe

Tony - Dallas, Texas
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe

I believe in staying in touch with people. Maintaining contact, however difficult it may be, brings meaning to a life worth living. And it may afford you a home when you don’t have one.

The world is such that it’s hard not to stay in touch with people. Finding long-lost friends, a forgotten love or your 3rd grade teacher is easier than ever. I work in a large Dallas office where we are required to religiously refresh our email. I now take that practice home. Websites like Facebook, MySpace, Skype, Friendster.com and instant messaging make no excuses for the “It’s been so long” statement to flow from lips. That’s a good thing.

A few years ago I studied overseas in Santander, Spain. I became friends with Enrique, a local there. When time came for me to return State-side, we promised to stay in touch. Of course we didn’t.

But one day I received a request to be “Chapulin’s” friend online. It was Enrique, still living in Santander. I happened to be back in Spain later that year and needed a place to stay. Enrique set me up with some friends of his in the city I was in and soon enough I found myself back in Santander, sharing paella and his spare bed during my visit. He gave me running water and a roof over my head when I needed it most. It’s because we maintained contact.

I hate when, as I’m leaving a person’s presence and mention I’m going to be seeing so and so soon, the person shouts out, “Send my best,” or “Tell her I say hi.” People who say that are lazy; they don’t really care if you say hi or else they would do it themselves. Well now they can, and should. The information age is here, and there are no excuses.

Maintaining connection with people does not always sprout free room and board. You may find out your youth love got pregnant and had a baby with the high school loser. She smokes, he drinks and who knows where the baby is while you hear their tale of woe in a bar back in your hometown Thanksgiving Eve.

You learn an old coworker–you find him by Googling his name and calling–went from vice president of logistics to welfare recipient in less than two years. You feel awful but what can you do? Well, you did it. You made contact–the connection, and for that he is most grateful. A forgotten pal knows he is not forgotten.

The reason to make the call or send the e-mail can come from any motivation. For me it stems from the fear of growing old and not being remembered. But when years go by and out of the blue someone in Spain asks to be your e-friend, you know your life has been worthwhile. I believe in staying in touch with people.

Who will you contact?