THE PERSONAL TOUCH
by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC
A friend of mine said just the other day how much she missed getting handwritten notes in the mail. There is something about a handwritten note that says, 'I care enough about you to sit down and express myself personally on paper.'
When your small children come home from daycare or school with a special picture or note they have made just for you, do you throw it away? Not likely.! At least, not for a while! It sticks to the fridge for weeks! When your grown daughter or son writes something very personal to express their appreciation in a birthday, Mother's or Father's Day card, do you trash them? Oh, no!
Slowly but surely we are losing the art of that personal touch. We can rattle off an email, tweet or face book message, but nothing makes one feel more valued than the effort taken to make something or say something special for, or to the ones who mean most in our lives.
We can even send caring messages to those we don’t know. Many a card or encouraging note has been sent to soldiers in foreign lands. We have Soles for Souls (the donation of unwanted shoes to those in third world countries who have none) along with the Christmas Shoe Boxes full of gifts sent overseas to underprivileged children. We have two sponsored children in the Philippines and we financially support them and write to them regularly. They write back to us about their lives. The receipt of such notes and gifts is vividly displayed on the faces of those dear children, and it’s priceless.
You can send a card with a personal note to welcome someone new into your street. You can send a note expressing care when you know someone is going through a difficult time. They don’t have to be a personal friend, but it will mean the world to them.
Writing special messages of love or care is something we can and should encourage our children to do. It teaches them to be observant of others’ needs and act in a practical way to make those people feel cared for. Of course, kids need guidelines on note writing. They need to know it is inappropriate to write secret notes to anyone you would not approve of. Many times kids have been caught up in Internet communication with people who turn out to be predators.
Let's keep the handwritten personal sentiments of love alive and encourage our kids to write little notes of love to parents, grandparents and others as well. It doesn’t take long, but it means the world to the recipient. Get them to write a page to grandparents, favorite cousins and others they care about on a regular basis. It is a great time to report the great things that are going on in our lives and to take an interest in theirs. Hopefully this will encourage the recipients to write back.
Until next week, I am writing notes. Perhaps you and your kids would like to do the same if you aren't doing so already.
If you have any comments or stories on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our website www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blog site at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com