We have a great gift past generations lived without. When I want to talk to my mom, I can call her, and assume that she will answer or call back. Immediate satisfaction. I can have an entire conversation via text message telling all my girlfriends, in a group message, how a date went. They can immediately ask questions, and likewise, I respond immediately with all the juicy details. I use my cell phone all the time to talk to friends and family; to quickly tell them I love them, or relay bad news.
But letters. What happened to letters?
When I pass the computer table, I always peek in hopes of seeing my name printed in pen on an envelope. When I do see my name, I get super excited. My shoulders shoot straight up to my ears, I make silent, happy claps, and I hop from foot to foot. I don’t think I’m the only person that likes letters or cards. Everyone gets a little excited! It takes no real effort to send a text message. It’s become part of our lives. You can do it standing up, sitting down, on a bus, on the toilet, under your desk in class… and we’re so good at it now. I’ve come to expect that a person respond to my text within the next five minutes. But there’s nothing special about that.
Letters are different. You have to sit down with something to write with, and something to write on. You have to correct your own spelling and grammar mistakes. And since you’re there, you feel compelled to say more thoughtful things. In order to fill up that space, you come up with more to talk about. And you don’t just relay those things that happen to you, do you? You talk about the way they made you feel. Sometimes I write a letter and I learn things about myself that I hadn’t taken the time to notice. I don’t believe I can say the same for texting.
And when you start writing, back and forth, back and forth… you start to get excited about your next letter! You’re waiting and you start to anticipate that response. And when it comes you feel somehow relieved that they still care, and that they can still find you. And that response! In that time you’ve thought of so much to tell them! You’ve done so many cool things, and met some strange people…
What about letters? What happened to them?
Just because we have the option of immediate satisfaction, doesn’t mean we can’t still practice patience. It doesn’t mean we can’t stop to make an effort to tell someone how much they mean to us. It doesn’t mean we can’t feel a sense of satisfaction when we read our name on the envelope.
|Amanda sent us post cards.|
Write me a letter, friends. I promise I’ll write you back.