Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The other day I heard the sad news that a friend's father had passed away after an up and down battle with a serious illness. Today I decided to send my friend a rather lengthy note of sympathy. In my note, I talked about the things I remembered most about his father and I described my observations about, and respect for, the relationship that the two of them so obviously shared. They really did appear to have a very special bond.
I know from experience that heartfelt and sincere hand-written notes can mean so much to people. I'll sometimes hear a story years later of the impact a note had and how it was saved and cherished by the recipient. My wife is particularly good at doing these notes and it is quite meaningful for people.
In contrast, one of my biggest pet peeves is the standard card that's so often sent with no note and sometimes not even a signature. This habit is on display at its worst during the December holidays. I'm amazed at the number of cards we get with no note or signature. It makes me feel like the sender merely crossed off "send out cards" from their "to do" list, almost as if it were an automated process with minimal human intervention. Many times this takes the form of a family photo, especially of the kids. To be sure, I'm not against seeing the family. I just want to know that they actually thought about me personally for a moment or two. Nothing shows this more than a thoughtful, hand-written note.