If we think about it, if we think about emails, we often can be heard saying, he did not return my email? Why? It was quid pro quo ...
How do we react to the overwhelming number of emails sent today? Sometimes with contempt. Often we think our friend cannot type or does not know how to write a sensible text message. And too often, we get angry.
But we need to make allowances and have empathy. Just because we are good on computers or have a smart phone, that does not obligate our friends to buy one. Respect is a two-way street, full of potholes, with many ways of stepping on other people’s pride. Communication is not quid pro quo; we are not all the same.
Consider how effective businesses operate: They strive to keep all forms of communication open and not be contemptuous of their customers. They adapt themselves to each customer’s need. We should be more like these businesses.
We need to think: This friend is an email friend, this other friend prefers Facebook, and yet another friend likes text messages, but my grandmother only responds to telephone calls. And if we have respect for our very old friends living in nursing homes, we need understand that we need to get our butts over there to visit them before they die. We should avoid regret that could last the rest of our lives.
Ignoring our friends could be considered a contemptuous act, and if and when we ever need their help – not just want, but truly need them – they will give back what we gave them. It is a truth that we make many friendly deals in life, and sometimes we receive less than what we gave, but we always get more than what we need.
Here is an idea: Ask yourself today, how many people in your life will loan you $100? And try to not to lie; we do not need to lie to our best friend, ourselves.
We need to be cautious in life with friends, family and partners and in business relationships. The number of enemies we make grows daily. Often, we believe a person to be our friend, but in reality he or she sabotages our every move. Why? They do this because we accidentally stepped on their pride. It was not a big act: We did not reply to the one email they sent in two years because we were too busy, we thought.
We often believe making thousands of friends is a grand idea, yet we soon discover there are also thousands of ways of making enemies. It takes a lot of time to be friends with a 1,000 people. We often have trouble just maintaining our relationship with our moms and dads. There is nothing left over to give, and we have too many friends – or at least, that’s what we tell ourselves. …
Ignoring a friend’s email can be considered an act of contempt. Ignore three emails, and the person is quite sure we just do not care or respect them.
Personally, we need to have a 3-5 email limit. After you write three personal emails to a friend, we need to assume that Facebook is their new best friend and write them on Facebook. Just laugh it off to new technology! Or ignore your ego and just call them – what the heck! We should do our best and go the extra mile in life to keep a friend.
As world travelers, we need to think, ah, this person does even speak one word of English, his or her French is weak, and the only thing this small child understands is the local language, Kabye.
We can put a big smile on our face when dealing with small children, and we can smile when we reply to emails.
We are on the other side of the world. A person made a bid to be our friend; this is a good thing, not a bad thing. When a person takes the time to write a warm and personal “How are you?” email, it is how best friends are made … or lost.
Kara, Togo West Africa - April 2013