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by Carolyn L. Primm
If you have ever received one of these, chances are you still have it. Perhaps, in your underwear drawer. Maybe, rubbed thin in a wallet. But, if you received one, you kept it. What am I talking about? I am talking about a heartfelt note. This week I received such a note in my mailbox. Reading that note, made me realize just how easy it is to make someone’s day. So, why don’t people write more of them?
Perhaps, because we believe that correspondence needs to be written neatly with correct spelling, and proper punctuation. Throw in a few fancy phrases, and you have really done well. Let me share a note I received that was so heartwarming and precious that I framed the note, and placed it on my desk.
Dear Mrs. Prim# (# means that letter is scribbled out). You helped me so much. you are a cool ## councaler. ### When I see or hear you’r name I think of a life ##### changing person. Thank you for your help.
So, the child didn’t spell my name correctly. So, he scribbled out several unfortunate attempts at spelling a word, then, proceeded to spell the word incorrectly. So, his name was where the date might go, and he added an apostrophe where it wasn’t needed. Do you really think I cared? I could not have been more touched by a perfectly penned note full of flowery language. The boy spoke from his heart, and he didn’t let a few missteps keep him from marching right through to his destination of expressing appreciation. Part of the joy of that note was that this was not a child that I would have guessed I had touched. The same was true of the note I received last week. Totally, out of the blue, I learned that I had made someone’s life better. Is there any better feeling than to know that you have made a positive difference in the life of another person? Not in my closet, not in my wallet, not in my heart.
So, consider who you could bless with a note of appreciation. Don’t let fear of imperfection hinder you. Anyone who would critique a note of appreciation won’t be the person receiving one anyway. If, however, you are still hesitant, here are a few helpful hints.
Write the note in your own handwriting. If this is a deal breaker, then, okay, type or text. But, there is something very personal and precious about a hand-written note. If your writing is nearly illegible, don’t worry, the recipient will take the time to decipher and savor your message.
Speak from the heart. Don’t use fancy phrases. Just be honest.
Be specific. What words come to your head when you think of the person or the action that encouraged you? Thoughtful, courageous, selfless, hilarious?
Be personal. You might share a “remember when” story. I once had a girl say, “Remember when you took my brothers and me to the movie? I pulled my tooth in the middle of the show, and you took that bloody tooth, and wrapped it in a tissue so I could have it for the tooth fairy. Not many people would have done that. I felt like I had a mother that night.” The poor child did not have a mother in her home, and knowing that she remembered that simple act of mothering on my part brought tears to my eyes. I cherished her words of appreciation, and relived that precious memory.
So, there is my challenge. If only one person takes my challenge the world will be better from that one note song.