Winning Words

Who is on your Have Not Called list?


A special thanks to one of our community families, Mr., and Mrs. Arthur Emerson, for inspiring this week’s column, your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Who is on your Do Not Call list? I don’t mean the businesses you have asked to stop calling you, or the Do Not Call lists that you have registered your telephone number with to stop telemarketers from trying to reach you. No, I am referring to the people in your life who have made your Do Not Call list.

Well, maybe we don’t refer to it as a Do Not Call list, but for too many of us, somehow along the way we have intentionally or inadvertently created our own Have Not Called list. Life gets in the way, we grow apart, work is too demanding, our calendars are already jam packed, we have been on video calls and conference calls all day and just can’t make time for one more call. Our ears are sore, our voice is crackling, and we just need to hit the pause button.

Let’s back up eight months to when this pandemic became more real than many people had predicted. As we were going through restrictions and quarantines, many families took advantage of the time to schedule family video conferences, bringing in aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and friends together as a way to stay in touch during a crisis. It was more than we had ever done before the pandemic came around. And it was awesome, tiring maybe, but awesome all the same.

It seems that the longer this virus hangs around, the more serious it has become; the more our calls and video conferences may have slowed down as well. For those of us who were all working remotely, and in some cases, going to an office or other place for that human touch, we had some of our needs met through interactions or engagement with others. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many other folks. And they are not “just other folks,” they are our folks, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and friends who have been shuttered in place for a very long time.

Who is on your Have Not Called list? That question was in no way intended to make you feel guilty, if you have read this column before, you will know that is true. Instead, consider it encouragement to make calls, send texts, write letters or quick notes, send cards, drive by their home, wave through a window, or anything that will let anyone close to you know that they are loved, not forgotten, appreciated, and important to you.

There is that saying about being lonely, even when we are not alone. And when I think about that, I think about the nurses, doctors, first responders, military personnel, teachers, and others who have been on the front lines from day one. They are usually never alone, but many have shared that they have never felt lonelier. I’ll bet that each one of us knows someone who serves our community who would love to receive a call, a text, a card or anything letting them know that they are not alone, and that they are in our thoughts.

The list of excuses we can use to convince ourselves that we don’t have the time will only provide us with a temporary sense of absolution. The day will come when we will think to ourselves that we could have tried harder, we should have called, written that letter, or drove by their home so they can see us through the window. We will wish that we would have let those on the front lines know how much we appreciate, respect, and love them.

One of my very favorite motivational speakers and influencers on my life was a man by the name of Jim Rohn. His quote here may just sum up my encouragement to you this week, “Don’t say, If I could, I would. Instead say, If I can, I will.” You can make that call, you can reach out, and you can make the difference in the life of someone who really needs to not feel lonely or alone today.

So how about you? Is there someone on your Have Not Called list? I can’t wait to hear what happened when you contacted them or let them know how much you care when you email me at And trust me, when you make that call, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton


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