I heard a great story this past week, and it not only coincides with Valentine’s Day but any special occasion.
During my travels, I talk to a lot of people and hear a lot of stories.
The one that sticks out in my mind from this past week was about a birthday celebration.
I was chatting with a gentleman about the real life personal disconnect people have with each other due to technology and particularly social media.
It has changed how people correspond with each other for holidays, birthdays, and even anniversaries.
Instead of mailing Christmas cards, some people send them in an e-mail or post them on Facebook. Instead of calling someone to wish them happy birthday, they’ll send them a text or post a note on Facebook. Talking on the phone takes too long, and personal visits won’t fit into our busy schedules.
It was one of those conversations in which we were solving world hunger.
As a matter of fact, we talked about how when someone does something like send a hand-written letter by mail, it stands out – because it’s a rarity these days.
He said a childhood neighborhood friend of his had a father who had recently celebrated a milestone birthday. I believe it was an 80th birthday celebration. So, instead of buying him a gift, he decided to write him a letter.
In that letter, he thanked his friend’s father for all of the fond memories of growing up in the neighborhood and playing in his backyard with all of the neighborhood kids. He talked about the bonfires, playing catch, and running through the sprinkler on hot summer days. It was a lengthy letter reminiscing about the memories shared by his friends in that backyard. And, this friend’s father would even help the kids with building things if they needed his help. It was full of details that made for a memorable childhood.
His friend’s father received a lot of gifts, but none were as well-received as the hand-written letter full of memories.
It made me think that I need to get out some pencil and paper, and step away from the computer on which I am writing this commentary.
Whether for Valentine’s Day, or just because, I think a hand-written letter can go a long way.