Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On Serious Correspondence

Writing a long, involved personal letter to someone is a risky proposition. Yes, it signals that you care, that you have questions about her life, and that you want to know all of the details. But they also go unresponded to more often than short and pithy correspondence. Why? Because a long, involved letter demands a long, involved reply, and as we rarely have the time to compose one at the time of receipt, those long, beautiful, personal letters tend to sit in our Inboxes, perhaps marked for follow-up and perhaps not. As things put-off tend to not get done, that beautiful letter, rather than being a welcome token of friendship, often morphs into a reoccurring source of guilt, stabbing your friend every time it is noticed and the continuing lack of response rued. This is not an argument for the death of serious correspondence (it is dying fine on its own), just an opportunity for another practical application of The Golden Rule: I shall forgive those who do not respond promptly to me as I hope to be forgiven by those I have similarly neglected.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I don't think letter writing is extinct quite yet.