Upakāro ca yo mitto,
sukhe dukkhe ca yo sakhā,
atthakkhāyī ca yo mitto,
yo ca mittānukampako —
etepi mitte cattāro iti viññāya paṇḍito
mātā puttaṃ va orasaṃ.
The friend who is a helpmate, the friend in happiness and woe, the friend who gives good counsel, the friend who sympathises too — these four as friends the wise behold and cherish them devotedly as does a mother her own child.
Dīgha Nikāya 3.265
Everyman’s Ethics: Four Discourses by the Buddha (WH 14),
translated by Narada Thera
What is it about the written word that makes a letter so special? For one thing, nobody writes anymore; it truly is a lost art. In this day and age of emailing and texting, people don’t spend the time and effort necessary to generate a handwritten note. It’s a rare occurrence to find one in the mailbox.
But taking the time to pen a handwritten letter to someone communicates so much more than just the words on the page. It shows that we value them and, because of this, we took time out of our busy, over-scheduled lives to put pen to page and tell them truly how we feel (not what Hallmark says we should feel — anyone else think greeting cards never say the right thing?).
Who in our own lives could use a personal note from us?Let’s think about whom we could connect to in this way and then make the time to write to them this week.