Remember when people used to send notes in the mail just to say “Hi!”? I think we should start doing that again. I don’t know about you, but I love getting cards in the mail. Whether it’s my birthday or anniversary, or for no reason at all, if there is an envelope in the mail addressed to me, it always makes my day a little brighter. (Ok, not the junkmail, but you know what I mean, LOL.)
Now, I realize that email, texting, and DM’s have become the norm for communicating between not only coworkers and businesses, but even close friends and loved ones. It’s quick, and easy, and extremely informal. You can send a message and receive an answer in .02 seconds if the other person is online at the same time. Which is extremely convenient, but has probably caused us as a human race to become quite impatient with each other, and dare I say, more anxious. I know for myself that if my husband hasn’t answered my text within a few minutes, I usually start to get either annoyed or worried, depending on the circumstances. Technology has provided such speed to communication, but there is a cost.
We live in such a fast paced world now that I think we often forget to take a step back a notice a lot of things going on around us and the people that help to make those things possible. There are many amazing opportunities that are the result of technology for sure – we have the ability to virtually tour museums and historical sites that are thousands of miles away, we can have meetings online with hundreds of people from the comfort of our couch, and we have access to so many educational resources at the touch of a few buttons! It is absolutely incredible the advances that have been made in just my lifetime. But one thing I think that is difficult, maybe even impossible to replace with technology is kindness. And that is something that I think is a little lack lustre in our modern communication. Our focus on speed of delivering a message has detracted from the words and actual meaning of the messages that we send.
I remember as a child being encouraged to find a pen pal – someone from across the country or across the globe to write letters to. We wrote letters and sent them as a class and then received a bunch of them back to read as a class. I’m guessing it was because our teachers wanted us to be practicing our writing skills, but I remember how exciting it was to receive a letter from somewhere far, far away. To learn about another part of the world – what different kids were eating and learning in school, what they did for fun, and what kinds of clothes they wore. I realize today this could easily, and quickly, be done over email, but having to wait for them to be sent through the actual mail was part of the fun; the anticipation made it more exciting!
I also remember my grandmother, Evelyn, writing to me, even into adulthood. She is the “Eve” of ALPHA & Eve. She would talk all about whatever had been going on in her life lately – what events she had been to, and what friends she had seen lately. I usually didn’t know any of the people she was talking about, and I remember every time I read her letters I would think “why is she telling me all of this? I don’t know any of these people?” But now that she is gone, I wish I had kept some of them so I could see her handwriting again. And anything that was ever in her house smelled just like her. I’m pretty sure that if I had kept a card from her it would still smell like her. Why didn’t I keep any of those letters?
Sending “Snail Mail”, as it is now affectionately called, is one way that we can slow down and really take time to appreciate the people in our lives. Hand-writing a card takes intention, and a the words that we write can be savored and even saved by the recipient to be enjoyed over and over. Think of how many romantic movies include love letters that sweethearts sent to remind each other of their affections, or how uplifting it is to receive a word of thanks for something you have done. They are gifts that continue to bring joy each time they are read, and especially kind or thoughtful letters are often saved for just that – to be reread over and over again. I currently have at least 3 cards on or around my desk that were sent to me over the past few years, that I love seeing on a regular basis because they always bring a smile to my face.
So, this is why I decided to put together an ALPHA & Eve Kindness Challenge. What a better way to spread kindness around like confetti, than literally sending out cards with the purpose of brightening people’s days? The Challenge is a 5 part letter writing venture, one card every 4 days, for a total of 20 days of kindness. When you sign up to join us, you will be sent an email with the details of this challenge, and then your first Challenge Goal will be sent. I’d love it if you would share the cards that you send and a general description of who you send it to on IG or FB using the tag #AEKindnessChallenge so that we can all share in the kindness we are spreading! If you are participating during the Month of April 2022, there will also be a few small prizes up for grabs for those participating, so make sure to look for those details in your emails!