May 2010

"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention." - Jim Rohn

I had started my column early last week and had planned to finish it and send this newsletter on Monday, but something happened. The 25-year-old son of a good friend of mine was killed in a tragic and sudden accident. I went to Houston to be with her, to offer what comfort I could, knowing that nothing I did would really help, but hoping that being there might give her a bit more strength to get through this.

When I returned home, I realized that I had to acknowledge what had happened. He was an amazing young man, full of life and with so much ahead of him. It's so sad when an older person dies, but often you can comfort yourself with the thought that the person lived a long life or had accomplished much, or in the case of a long illness, is finally at rest. But with a young person, there is no comfort, except some belief that he has gone on to a "better" place.

He and I were friends on Facebook and I find myself returning to his page often as if I would read one more status post from him. Instead what I find are wall posts from his friends and family, expressing their sadness at this overwhelming loss.

I know that many in my demographic group think that Facebook is a poor substitute for actual contact or a reckless way of sharing private information. I have to tell you that it has been a lifeline for me.

If it were not for Facebook, this young man and I would have had very little contact. I would have only talked to him when I visited his mother. I would not have had the chance to get to know him as well. But I was able to see his posts and have a chance to post a message and carry on an occasional "conversation."

If it were not for Facebook, I would not be able to see the outpouring of love and support from his friends. Knowing that I was not the only person outside the family grieving the loss continues to be a comfort. He touched so many lives and had a huge number of friends. I saw most of these young people at the memorial service, but there were so many more. I feel a sort of attachment to them as well.

My social-media-avoiding friends are right. Facebook is a poor substitute for face-to-face contact, and at times there is way too much personal information shared. However, in an age when we are reminded daily of the differences between us, I believe communication, any type of communication, is positive.

Knowing that friends are paying attention to you truly is a wonderful gift. No matter how it happens, the act of connecting means that we have not given up on each other. That helps all of us continue, especially during tragic times.

Communication Coaching
I am excited to announce that I am now offering one-on-one, individualized Communication Coaching. If you have problems with grammar or sentence structure and need help, call me. If you need help putting together and rehearsing a presentation, and getting over your nerves, contact me. If you need to learn how to deal with difficult people at work or at home, schedule a time. No matter what the communication problem, if you need to make real progress, call 210-863-2250 or email crystal@crystaldarby.com for a free initial consultation and assessment.

I've started posting articles at Associated Content.

I hope you'll take a few minutes and visit.

If you have articles,  company bios, newsletters, or website text that you need written, call for a free consultation and estimate. Call 210-863-2250 or email crystal@crystaldarby.com.

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San Antonio, Texas 78238

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Last month, I asked

what the words "COOKBOOK", "DECIDED", AND "EXCEEDED" have in common? I had a number of guesses, but the first correct entry came from Janet Feith who explained that these words all have horizontal symmetry. If you place a mirror over the top or bottom half, the letters will look the same.
Congratulations, Janet!

This month, find a number less than 100 that is increased by one-fifth of its value when its digits are reversed.

The first correct entry will win a $25 gift certificate from
Nicavid's Bakery and Cafe.

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