Long ago, the only means of communicating with loved ones who did not live nearby was by letter. There were no telephones, let alone cell-phones with texting capability and computers with internet access. Today, with the
advent of social networking sites like Facebook and the aforementioned technology, people rarely send more than a brief sentence. Where have the long, heartfelt missives gone?
Do not fear. I am not rising to my bully-pulpit to decry the use of technology to communicate. I love e-mail. Before e-mail, I had letters scattered about my home waiting to be sent that never made it to the mailbox. Friends and family would go months and years without receiving a written letter from me. They still do. I do not take umbrage with brief memos when the situation calls for it. I am concerned that we, as a culture, have become so impersonal in our dealings with one another; hospitality in general has become nearly extinct. The days of neighborly and familial concern have waned.
When we are small, we leap up and down with glee when we are presented with a letter from Gramma or Papa. "Oh, boy! A letter! For me!" It is a gift filled with love. Time has been spent to talk just to us. Even as one ages, the excitement is still palpable when we receive a thoughtful letter from a friend or family member. It warms our hearts. And letters can be kept whereas telephone conversations cannot. They can be squirreled away to read again when skies are grey.
Mother was used to say: "You do not get letters if you do not send them." It is a wonderful reminder to initiate kith-and-kinship. When was the last time you wrote (and sent) a letter? An e-mail that was thoughtful and not merely a brief dispatch? I, too, will endeavor to practice this.
Will you join me?