There’s an old song by the late Jimmy Durante that concludes with the lines, “Make someone happy. Make just one someone happy. And you will be happy too.”
I have always been accused of excess sentimentality when it comes to remembering old acquaintances, and the lengths to which I am willing to go to track some of them down and stay in touch. My wife calls me “Sweet Sap.” Sometimes it has worked out, and other times not so much. But I’ve always been willing to try.
This past week, however, the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak. Two—count ’em—two people reached out and got in touch with me! One was an old, old friend, *Harry, with whom I had lost touch when I moved from New Jersey to North Carolina. Early in the week, I had noticed that his wife had posted several things on Facebook. Then, I received a Facebook message from her asking for my phone number, because *Harry wanted to call me. *Harry and I hooked up later that day and talked for nearly an hour. We are planning a get together in the near future. It just so happens that *Harry is the person who introduced me to fly fishing over 40 years ago!
On Wednesday, just as I was pulling into a parking space to get a long overdue haircut, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number—normally I never answer a call when I don’t know who is calling— but for some reason I answered it. “Joe, this is Steve,” said the voice on the other end. My initial reaction was, “Steve who?” But the old brain was running at warp speed, and I immediately followed up with, “Wait, wait, I know who this is. It’s Steve *Smith (not his real name).” The caller laughed and said, “Yeah, but how did you know?” I responded with the truth, “Because I recognized your voice.” It turned out that he had been in nearby Asheville just one week earlier. Needless to say, we plan a “reunion.” Steve, too, is a fellow fly fisher.
In each case, I experienced the extreme sense of joy at having been sought out and contacted by someone who I had often thought about, but had been unable to reach. It was exhilarating, to say the least. Where these two relationships go from here is unimportant. What mattered to me was that someone else, besides me, had taken the initiative and the time to find me, and had reached out and called me.
Is there someone you’ve been thinking about lately, but for some reason have been unable (or unwilling) to reach out to? Why not take a minute, or an hour, or a week, and make the effort? You might be surprised at the reward it yields, not just for them, but for you, as well. Go ahead. As the song says, “Make someone one happy. Make just one someone happy. And you will be happy too.” I guarantee it!
*Not their real name