It only takes a moment….
Week one, month one and 2017 is already looking good– yesterday I received a thank you letter from my 17 year old nephew, my first! I cannot tell you how happy that made me.
We all have petty niggles, things that really bug us…for some, it’s folk leaving the loo seat up, for others it’s not picking up your dog poo, or even worse leaving those little black parcels “to be collected later”…for me, it’s not saying ‘thank-you’.
It seems that I’m not alone. Every year on the run up to Christmas, this becomes a regular shop topic particularly with our older customers, the generation that grew up learning the art of letter writing and ‘minding their P’s and Q’s’.
It’s not that we are forgetting our manners, from the earliest stages of a child’s development ‘ta’ is one of the first words we teach our kids, so why as they grow do we dispense with such basic pleasantries?
I don’t think we’re looking for grateful words of appreciation; it’s so much simpler than that…most of us are just looking to connect.
It’s crazy really, as a society we have never been more connected…we have every conceivable communication gadget, as do the kids, yet we’re told that more and more people live alone, as we live longer and marriages dissolve, levels of loneliness, isolation and depression just keep rising. I see in the shop how older people in particular find it difficult to relate to the kids yet they put so much thought into buying the perfect gift hoping to make that connection. It makes it all worthwhile when they receive that simple gesture of thanks…for some it can lift those long, dark days of January.
I shouldn’t be too surprised that my nephew finally got round to saying ‘thanks’, his grandparents are visiting him just now, my parents, who always ensured my Christmas stocking included a pack of ‘notelets’ and made sure that all ‘thanks’ be written before returning to school…I knew the person who most looked forward to our letters was my great aunt, she lived alone and insisted on sending us a crisp £10 note long after we had grown up, she knew it guaranteed that connection. Some call it cupboard love, but I know it helped us keep that dialogue going long after other family ties were lost…she became my best of friends.
We all lead busy lives, hours squandered on social media and computer games, however, it only takes a moment to send a text, make a phone call, knock on a door, write a postcard, draw a picture…it can make someone’s day, it can make a connection.
I wish you a 2017 full of friendship and fellowship, whilst I look forward to that connection with my other 7 glorious, handsome, intelligent nephews ( I love them all, but next Christmas they’re each getting a pack of stationery). Xx