Thursday, August 18, 2011

CJ’s 3 Ps – Present, Personal, and Personable

I love the advances in technology. I love the gadgets and all the conveniences, efficiency, and connectivity that they have to offer. As I saw a woman and her friend at an intersection around the corner from work this morning, I had a thought that maybe all of this technology also serves to pull us further apart. I was in the left turn lane and a woman pulled up to the intersection on the corner to my left. Just as she was about to make a right turn, her car died. My very first thought was I need to see if I can go over there and assist. It would have taken me some time to get back to her. I was trapped by the traffic light though and as I looked over, I realized that she wasn’t panicking. Also what was interesting is that all of the vehicles behind her were simply going around. Then I thought you know, she probably has a cell phone – who doesn’t – so she’ll be fine.

No one stopped to assist, asked her if she was ok, and a couple of dudes even looked annoyed that they had to inconvenience themselves by going around her. I remember a time not too long ago when people would stop and offer to help someone who was in need. These days I think we just assume that everyone has a cell phone, AAA, or something along those lines.

No matter how advanced we get, we should never forget the power of personal contact. Even in our relationships we seem to choose the convenience and speed of sending a text message over talking, most of the time. I mean I can’t even tell you the last time I actually took the time to write a letter, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on that bad boy, and mail it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to hand over my smartphones or my laptops just yet. But I will make an effort to be more present, personal and personable in my interactions with people.

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