The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

So, I get this form letter via snail mail. Occupational hazard of sorts when you’re asked to write recommendations for students for camps they might be wanting to work for, jobs they want, clubs they choose, colleges they have on their backup lists, etc.

This one was a little different. Turns out a former student was joining a sorority of sorts in which all the members are Christians, and as part of the initiation process, they submitted the names of former influences in their spiritual life that helped them get to this point. The president of the group asked those people who were influences to write a letter…

“to encourage her walk with the Lord. You could mention qualities you admire in her or even recount past memories that are special to you. Her Big Sister will give her this letter the night she is initiated…”

Suffice to say this is a little different than my initiation into Sigma Pi in college, but since I know this former student very well, it was a small and easy thing to do.

So, I write this letter telling her how much I’ve seen her grow since I met her and all the work that Christ has done, is doing, and will do in her life and didn’t think that much about it once I sent it yesterday. Words come pretty easy to me and I’m able to express what I want to express and I did that. No muss. No fuss. Just write an honest letter and send it off, right?

Well, I get this appreciative note in response from that former student in my Facebook inbox this morning about how much my letter meant to her.

And it hit me that the president said something else in her note to ask us to write:

“In the past, these letters have been one of the most valuable treasures the girls have walked away with from their time [in our sorority].”

Turns out, if the response from the former student in my Facebook inbox this morning is any indication, the president of the sorority was right.

So, just as a reminder: Let’s make a concerted effort to encourage each other a little more than we do. You never know who might need it…and we probably shouldn’t wait until somebody asks us to do it.

And, as an added bonus, maybe write them down, too. Lee Iacocca once said his policy was to praise his employees in writing and chew them out verbally…because he discovered that people kept those notes either way, and he only wanted his folks keeping the good stuff. Lot of wisdom in that.

Anyway, it just slips my mind from time to time how important it is to encourage my friends. And I’m kinda bummed it took a special occasion for me to do it…