My first introduction to the importance of writing notes of appreciation was given me at about age five by my mother when she gently guided my little hand to write a note to an elderly family cousin who had given me a little gift of money for my birthday. The writing of this note and the effort it involved told me that it was important to write such notes.
The writing and sending of personal notes in our times is often sparse. The Post Offices can tell us that for many years the business mail has continued to increase while the personal letters have continued to decrease and this was true even before the introduction of E-mail. We could cite many reasons that note writing is neglected the more impersonal and rushed way of life in our world; the lack of focus on the needs that others have; neglect of teaching manners that would require written expression for favors and gifts; unawareness of the joy and encouragement that can be brought to others with a note, etc.
Proverbs 25:11 reminds us that "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." This we find to be true whether the words are spoken or written, but, frequently, the written words linger longer in the memories of those who receive them. Think about the encouragement we can bring to others in writing for a variety of reasons: to cheer the ill, to praise a job well done, to compliment one's appearance, to express appreciation even for little deeds, to praise faithfulness, to cheer the elderly and comfort the sad, to give hope to those struggling with problems. The possibilities are endless. Even if there is someone appointed to send notes to each visitor at church, consider asking for the names and writing additional notes. When a member who frequently does not attend comes, seize the opportunity to write an encouraging note immediately. We need to look for reasons to give joy and helpfulness through writing. Proverbs 15:26 "The words of the pure are pleasant."
Not only can each of us probably increase our helpfulness through notes, but also we need to help our children, grandchildren, and other young people with whom we have influence to realize the importance of writing, to look for reasons to write, and to put it into practice. When children write notes of appreciation, they are helped to have more gratitude for what is given them, often by some sacrifice and effort of the givers. Saying "Thank you" in person, of course, needs to be an automatic response; but the additional writing helps develop more fully the vital character trait of gratitude. We can help children develop their concern and appreciation for others, including the elderly, by connecting them through writing.
When we give of ourselves to others by taking time to write, we ourselves are blessed by the feeling of joy and satisfaction that comes in doing meaningful deeds.
Proverbs 15:23 "A word spoken in due season how good it is." -2660 Layman Road, Vincent, OH 45784.
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