Whitesburg KY
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy

Got something important to say? So write a letter!

Seems that more and more advice columnists and self-proclaimed self-help “doctors” are telling us that our “problem” is we need more spontaneity in our lives. That we need to break out of our regimented “9- to-5-drive-home-6-to-10” existence. Throw away the Blackberry and abandon the calendar and its monotonous mantra: “Take the kids to a movie.” Live in the moment! Be real!

Well, that’s all well and good. But when it comes to communication, we think that spontaneity is highly overrated. Take phone calls. When was the last time you had a meaningful, substantive phone conversation? About more than the weather? Or the traffic? Or the “Nothing. How about you?” that you did today? Now multiply that by all the cell phones around you.

It’s a different story when you write a letter. With a phone call, most of us start chattering away. With a letter, we instinctively think first . . . about what we want or need to convey, before we put pen to paper.

“Dear Mom, I thought about you today. About those wonderful cookies you used to bake, and the way the smell carried all the way down the block. I’m sure I didn’t say ‘Thanks Mom for the cookies!’ very often, as I ran back out the door with my hands full. Or when I did, I’m sure I said it with my mouth full! Well, thanks Mom, for the cookies, and for so much more. . .”

“Sweetheart, each morning when I leave for work, I tell you I love you. Each night when we go to bed, I say it again. Truth be told, sometimes I say ‘I love you’ out of habit, distracted, thinking about work or the kids or who knows what. I am taking this moment of total concentration and appreciation to let you know that my life would be empty without you . . .”

“Dad, the last time we talked, I said some things that I know hurt your feelings. I wish I could dismiss them as coming ‘in the heat of the moment,’ but they have been percolating for some time now. I love you, and respect your accomplishments, your experience and your opinions on many matters. But we have to agree to disagree on this . . .”

With a letter, your message automatically grows in power and importance. You actually stop and think about what you want to convey! And what you communicate isn’t measured in peak minutes and dropped calls. Letters deliver. Letters last.

You’ve got something important to say to someone. Say it – in a letter.

Leave a Reply