Keeping in Touch

George spent time every evening writing letters.  These were handwritten notes to family and friends.  He also wrote to those who did something special for him or others.  Some were remembrances of birthdays, anniversaries, the arrival of a child, or the passing of a loved one.  All were handwritten.  George had been writing letters long before email came about and wanted to continue with the handwritten style he was more accustomed to.

His letters built and continued relationships.  He also wrote letters to personal rivals.  These were gracious and generous.  He also wrote letters to himself.  On the eve of a great personal defeat, he wrote:  Be strong, be kind, be generous of spirit, be understanding, and let people know how grateful you are.

All of us can benefit from having a George in our lives.  But few of us are willing to devote the time to reach out to others unless we feel a need to do so.  We just don’t have time to keep in touch, to say thank you, or to pass on a note of kindness.  George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States found the time, even when he carried the burdens of the United States on his shoulders.

Imagine how those who received these letters from President Bush felt.  Each of us have received personal notes, probably by email, that make our day.  The simple act of keeping in touch helps to define us as caring people.

Reaching out is also a great catalyst.  When others receive notes from us, they may follow up with an idea that can be mutually beneficial.

Keeping up involves discipline and organization.  It’s easy today to put reminders on our phones about birthdays, anniversaries, or other important dates in the lives of others.  We can also record follow up dates for promises we made or others that were made to us.  We also need to keep reminders of checking up on how things are working out.

There is perhaps no better way to build and sustain relationships than personal notes displaying genuine warmth and caring.  There is an art in writing these notes that can only be mastered by continuous activity.  Unfortunately, this seems to be an art that few want to develop.  And perhaps that goes a long way to explain many of the societal issues we face today.

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“We need someone who’s afraid of frogs…  We need a girl.  We had one once – she’d fight and cry and play and make her way just like the rest.  But there was absent a certain softness.  She was patient – her hugs were just a little less wiggly…”  -George H. W. Bush (in a letter he wrote to himself upon the death of his 3-year old daughter)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.