This Thursday’s MAD post is very personal. It is one from the heart. Not my heart. From your heart. It is cheap, as well. What could be better than cheap and heartfelt? Let’s look at a special way to Make A Difference.
What is there about pen and paper? Or for that matter, pencil? In order to get something written with pen or pencil, someone has to take the time to sit down and write by hand. No email. No typing. No texting. Just writing.
When was the last time you wrote something? Not sat in front of your screen or with your smart phone in your palms…really truly wrote something? When was the last time you wrote that something to someone? Can you recall the last thank you note you wrote?
Every week, the average person is inundated with messages.
- 1.5 personal letters
- 11 pieces of junk mail
- 22 texts
- 680+ emails
The number of texts seems a bit low (I know of one daughter who sends more than 10,000 per month.), but the rest of the numbers are right in line. Of those two personal letters, not many are handwritten.
You would be hard pressed to present a person who does not like to have their efforts noticed and appreciated. Every single person wants to get acknowledgement and gratitude. Wouldn’t you like for one of your 1.5 letters to be something proving someone knew you had done something to make a difference?
What’s in the box?
My sister is the queen of writing notes and cards (and making post cards). She does it because she (rightly) believes there should be something in the mail box which does not contain a response envelope or a demand for money.
Opening the letter box and finding something hand addressed instantly warms the heart and makes it flutter. Someone took the time to write something specifically for you. Whatever is in the envelope is intimately yours.
Tied With a Bow
Seventy years ago, it would not be uncommon to find in a hat box in any random closet a bundle of envelopes wrapped with a ribbon. They would have been filled with love letters or merely familial updates or birthday and holiday wishes. The treasured letters would be read and reread as the writers passed the recipients memories…fodder for nostalgia.
In the age of the four-dollar Hallmuck card, handwritten notes are rare. At the same store, a pack of stationery or a package of thank you cards are less expensive than a single card. Have you seen the blank card stock cards with their lovely images and crisp inside, begging for you to pen?
1. Choose one person.
Whether it is a family member, a colleague, a friend, someone who you have not spoken to in a while (or a really long time), choose someone you want to thank for what s/he brings to your life.
2. Choose a medium.
Postcard: Small writing space.
Blank inside greeting card/Thank you note: Little more space
Stationery: As many pages as you would like to write
Ballpoint/gel writer/paint pen, pencil, crayon, calligraphy pen, charcoals, etc.
Put into words how this person makes your world a better place. Is it his philosophy of life? Is it her compassionate way? Is it his attention to detail? Is it the way she remembers to call you? Make your note as personal as possible. Show your appreciation with warmth and sincere gratitude. Say, Thank you. This person makes a difference in your life.
You can personalize your note with special touches which mean something to you or your recipient. Add things like:
- Newspaper or magazine clipping
- Drawings (in or on the envelope)
- A fortune (as in fortune cookie)
- A bookmark
5. Send it.
As soon as you have sealed the envelope, put a stamp on it, put it in the mailbox and raise the flag. It does no good to be sitting on the kitchen cabinet waiting. No stamps in the house? Go to the post office. Pick up a book whilst you are there. It will save money on gas the next time you write a note.
Make A Difference
How many text messages have you sent this week? Too many to count? How many emails? The number makes you dizzy. Chances are pretty good you have not written a note by hand to anyone this week. Start today.
When you are choosing your person, make a list of the people who make a difference in your life. You may even think of someone who you have not seen in ages, but who you think about every time you __________.
When you get lost, which directionally-challenged friend comes to mind? When you take up your favorite sport, about which teammate or opponent do you think? When you make your favorite recipe, which chef comes to mind?
Can you make this a habit? You can increase someone’s personal letter rate each week. It costs less than a dollar to write and mail a note to someone special. Time for you to MAD.
When was the last time you got a handwritten note? When was the last time you wrote one? Did you have a pen pal when you were a child?
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