In a word…

 

“Words is good.” 

Ha!  I love that saying, always gives me a giggle.  And gets the point across.  Words are important, the correct use of words makes a lovely impression, the wrong use, not so much. 

Of course, a nice presentation helps…says the calligrapher. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of the written word, specifically.

I attended a fantastic marketing seminar a few weeks ago which featured Kendra Scott as its key note speaker.  If you don’t know her, Ms. Scott is equal parts self-made successful entrepeneur, enthusiastic philanthropist, and engaging public speaker.  She also has great taste in shoes and is drop-dead gorgeous, but that’s beside the point.

Ms. Scott imparted to her audience her personal rules for living.  They are all worth noting but one struck me as particularly endearing, as well as inspiring.  She will delete an email as soon as it has been read, but never throws away a hand-written note.  And she sends hand-written notes, knowing what most people have forgotten: a hand-written note or card makes a person feel special.

Ms. Scott’s mention of this put me in mind of a recent Hallmark commercial.  In it a mother says good-bye to her daughter, goes back into her house with a card in her hand, and puts it into a box, giving us a glimpse of all the special objects she keeps there.  And as she re-reads her older cards, some signed with the scribbles of a young child, I cry like a baby. The tag line is ” This Mother’s Day, give her something she can hold onto”.  I dare you not to mist up a little at least.  Take a look at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz-ufxPvESQ

For you parents out there, you know the importance of being able to read your child’s old writings, hold their drawings, see them as little children again in your mind’s eye.  I don’t think I’m overstating this.  Holding these pieces of paper connects us in a way nothing else can, to our past, our memories.  How about old love letters,  the ones that remind you of the person you were before you met your spouse, visiting your first love, your friends of old? 

I lost a close friend a few years ago and am so grateful to have all of her postcards, little notes, and even a few quick drawings she’d just toss in the mail to let me know she was thinking of me.  It says alot about who she was, how thoughtful and considerate to make these gestures of friendship that mean so much to me.  Thank you, Beth, for leaving me so much of you.

I, myself, have recently started the impossible job of cleaning out our garage, and am finding scads of old letters, holiday cards, the records of my forty plus years as seen through others’ eyes.  I sit and read and laugh and cry in my own personal time capsule.  I will neaten them up, show them the respect they deserve, and I will pack them away.   As the years pass and my life changes in so many ways,  it will be comfort to know that those reminders are there, safely tucked away nearby.    

I found out recently that my great-grandfather made his living as a calligrapher.  He was self-taught as well, and we still have a lot of his work.  I am happy to say that we are in possession of a beautiful letter he wrote to my great-great grandparents asking for their daughter’s hand in marriage. 

An email as a family heirloom?  I think not.

And I doubt they’d have said yes.  Would you?

As I compose this blog to send out into the ether, I am well aware of the irony of my situation.  I am trying to impart the importance of a card vs. and email greeting, a personal note vs. a facebook response, etc, all the while typing my little digits off.  I think it important to strike a balance.  Don’t always take the quick and easy road to correspondence.  Tough it out!  Buy some stamps!  Remember someone’s birthday a week in advance and send a card!  Send your loved one a love letter! 

Make someone feel special with a written word.  There’s nothing like it. 

Those who don’t do, teach.  But I’m going to do better starting today.  Join me?

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