#95 Be Personal

You know that feeling when you can’t speak to a real person? Machines greet you, automated voices tell you, ‘Sorry, that ____ is not valid, please try again’, and dealing with big companies feels like trying to hack your way through an overgrown forest of paperwork and red tape with a blunt pencil. Our huge, technologically connected world can sometimes be very lonely. We’re cut off from our food and how it ends up in pretty packages at the supermarket, sectioned away from nature into identical apartments, and even our friends give the little blip sounds on their phone priority over us. Today, more than ever, it matters to be personal. Find ways to show others that you’re human, you realise they’re human, and you care. Christmas is a fantastic time to practice this. Instead of buying plastic-wrapped rubbish from China for your family, make them something. Make it mean something. Put love into each detail, wrap it in recycled paper with affirmations scrawled all over it. Say no to the standard bottle of wine and box of Cadbury chocolates for your clients. Write personal messages to each one, rather than delegating the ‘We hope you have happy holidays!’ Hallmark greetings to Judy in the admin department. We’ve been having fun putting this into practice … last Christmas we made candles in recycled jars and tea-cups. This year we’ve made our clients soaps, with lavender cut fresh from our garden and sand collected at the beach. Each one has a plantable gift tag that will grow delicious basil or rocket. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes effort. But...