This week’s random act of kindness was not so random. I had previously bought a $10 coffee card with the intent of obviously doing something with it. I was already grocery shopping at Fred Meyers so Starbucks was right at my finger tips. Easy peasy.
I bounced around ideas on what to do with it all week. It sat in my purse in the meantime, waiting to be used.
Then I decided I would send it to an old friend. It’s so easy to get consumed with our lives and lose contact with people. We move away, or they do. We start our families and have jobs and hobbies that keep us occupied. Days so easily turn into weeks and months and soon you put off calling because you think that a ten minute phone call won’t do justice because you have so much to catch up on. Something that is always appreciated though? A letter. It’s easy. It can be long, short, detailed, or simply to the point. But it shows you care. Your still around. You took the five minutes out of your day to sit down and think about that person you care about. Plus, you can find the cutest little cards just about anywhere.
What I’m about to tell you is so lame, I know this. It’s hung onto me for some reason though. My brother in law and I once had a discussion about communication. Or lack there of, due to social media. We have texting, email, Facebook, Instagram. Even phone calls can sometimes be a thing of the past. But he had a read an article that was an interview with Keanu Reeves. Don’t worry, I’m laughing too. Why I remember something this guy said I’m not sure, he’s sort of a goon. He gets mad props for Point Break though.
Alright, off topic here. He once said in an interview he only communicates via handwritten letters. No phones, no computers. A handwritten letter is personal. It takes real thought and motivation. Actual physical movement, at least to your mailbox anyway.
For some strange reason it always stuck with me. How often do you shorten your sentences when you send an email? Half the time texts don’t even have real words. I swear there is an Emoji for everything. An abbreviation too. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an abbreviation for “What do you want for dinner? I’m really craving stroganoff.” How often do you pick up the phone to call someone and you have a text to respond to or your dog is making the most outrageous face and you totally need to Instagram that shiz. #mydogishilarious
Don’t get me wrong. I do all those things. Ok, not all of them, but you get the point. As much as I can, I try to send mail. We get so much garbage in the mail, it’s refreshing to get a letter. I don’t get to see my niece all that often but we write back and forth and it’s my FAVORITE! She is such a good writer and her personality shines in her writing. It forces you to really stop and think about what you want to say because you might only have room for a few sentences, so you want to make it count.
My request to all of you out there is this. Take a few minutes out of your day and write to someone. A post card, a letter, a short essay if you feel moved to. Write to your mom, your brother, your friend from college, your elementary school teacher. Whoever. I guarantee you will make their day and chances are, it will make yours too.