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Giving Thanks

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

You may recall a recent cleaning expedition that resulted in my cherished memories being whittled down from eleven boxes to five.

Yes, much of it made it into the recylcing bin (where appropriate) or the dumpster. Some was carefully repacked into storage boxes. And some of it has made the journey to my study at shul. Like a set of shtetl dolls that my grandmother gave to me. And the little Torah I received at Consecration. I also found a lengthy reply from Senator Alan Cranston z”l (CA-D) responding to a letter that I must have sent to him during the first Lebanon War.

I have always written letters to people I have never met. Sometimes it is for a major cause. Like the letters I used to write to President Carter on behalf of Soviet refusniks. More recently, I write a letter to the author of a book or essay that I have enjoyed. That has given me something new to consider. Or to rethink a position to which I stubbornly cling.

I do it all the time. And you know what? The recipient always replies with a grateful response.

I can’t thank you enough for your kind words about my essay… You’ve reminded me to do the same when I read something that speaks to me.


Thank you so much for letting me know that my research was useful in this effort. You were so kind to take the time to let me know…Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

It is easy to criticize. But does it really take any more time to praise?

Look what is happening over at Juggling Frogs. A monthly opportunity to show appreciation to others. (Thanks to Nad-Ned Nad-Ned for spreading the good word!)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 29 July 2008 9:02 pm

    I remember Senator Cranston fondly. He was “our” senator when I was growing up. I think I may have written him once too, about the changes to the California drunk driving laws in the Eighties.

    I agree, letter-writing is great. Somehow it’s not quite the same since the advent of email… I miss writing on paper, and getting a reply that you can file away, to pull out on a rainy day. There’s nothing like getting a Senator’s letter on official letterhead to make a kid (or adult) feel special.

    That said, the good feelings you give people when you write are still there, so keep writing!


  2. Wednesday, 30 July 2008 12:30 pm

    One small thank-you can change a person’s attitude, which in turn can change his life in untold ways.

    Simple comments are like that butterfly whose wings-flapping is credited for significant weather changes.

    Thus, thanks, compliments and kind words can transform the world. (Hmm. You’re effecting Global Climate Change in a good way, FrumeSarah!)

    Thanks for spreading the word about the carnival, FrumeSarah!

  3. Frume Sarah permalink
    Thursday, 31 July 2008 4:21 pm

    ALN — I agree. My favourite time of day is the arrival of the postal carrier (or mailman, back in the day). Who knows what letter might arrive. And on what type of paper. There is a tactile experience lost in the email. Thanks!!

    Juggler — I am all about chaos theory given that my life is so chaotic 🙂 Can’t wait for the first carnival 🙂

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