The “good morning” text. In modern culture, it’s the emblem of effort. A sign you’re on the mind of another human being in the volatile hours before 7 a.m. A deliberate choice to maintain or build an existing relationship.
Its status as an emblem of effort should alarm us. In my life as a recent college graduate, I’ve meditated often on how I maintain relationships. Without the convenience of my entire social circle within five city blocks per the campus environment, I’ve realized that maintenance will require more effort than before.
For a long while, I considered an occasional text, maybe a Facebook timeline post and a photo of a cute goat in a weird outfit sufficient — hey, the selected goat would be tailored to that friend’s distinct personality!
But I recently realized, “Well, that’s a bunch of mediocre rubbish, no matter how well-costumed the goat,” and this month, I’m working to consciously change it.
This month is Snail Mail March, and every day for the next 31, I’m writing a card or letter to someone I care about. I fill the entire card or letter with writing. I write without the interruption of music (even my girl T. Swift), and I turn off whatever basketball game I’m (probably) watching at the moment.
Deliberately maintaining and building connections requires concentration, and it’s tough to replace the old routine with the new.
Which is what I hope this project accomplishes in the end.
I confess I probably won’t handwrite a card or letter every day after the month of March.
But the next time I type the “good morning” text, I hope I feel compelled to follow up with a surprise batch of muffins or an offer to buy the next cup of coffee.
This #SnailMailMarch, I challenge you to rethink the “good morning” text, write a letter and make the “Forever” stamp mean something.