Those Who Answer

The unanswered note can be such a painful thing.

I think we’ve all sent emails, texts, letters that got no response.

Maybe we were asking someone for a meeting, insights, volunteers; contributions to a campaign or organization. Maybe we were inviting someone to a coffee or a dinner, an opening or a conference.

Whatever the content, the note we sent out into the world goes unanswered. And it can leave us feeling dismissed, unseen, or unheard. Too many of us know the sad ache of applying for a position and never hearing a word back.

There are 79 reasons under the sun why some notes don’t get answered. Many of those reasons have nothing to do with the person who sent the note and everything to do with the life and circumstances of the person who received it.

But, today, I want to offer a blessing on those who answer. Because an answer says, I see you. You are worth responding to. It recognizes the humanity of the sender.

An answer could be, “Heck yeah! Sign me up.” Or, “I’m not sure.” Or it could be, “No, sorry, not a good time.”

In fact, double blessings on the people who take the time to respond when the answer is no. Because a no - though it may be hard to give and tough to get - is so much more dignifying to the receiver than no answer.

In essence, a response is an acknowledgment. And we are so accustomed to being unacknowledged, to speaking up and getting nothing but a chorus of silence, aren’t we?

An answer, be it three words or three paragraphs, can help restore a person’s dignity, remind them they exist and their gestures are noticed.

So a blessing for those who answer. Blessings for us when we answer. And blessings for any gesture that acknowledges another human being sending something out into the world.

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