Reviving the Art of Letter Writing

I came across an interesting article that discussed the relationship between how rich a person is and the number of friends they have. A 2004 Gallup pole indeed shows that people with a higher income have more friends, which speaks to the symbiotic relationship between money and friends. What has this got to do with the writing of thank you letters? Well, as the article progresses we are told that in order to increase financial fortune, it is worth the effort to increase friendships. It then goes onto say that one of the first and easiest ways to nurture a friendship is by writing thank you letters.

As an advocate of personal thank you letter writing, this is really music to my ears. If writing letters is a dying art, writing thank you letters can feel like enforced drudgery. Yet a clever person can use thank you letters to her advantage.

Princess Diana was the People's Princess in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world. She had the talent to reach out to people from diverse backgrounds and make meaningful connections with them. How did she do this? She wrote thank you letters to everyone: from waiters and servers to security guards and drivers; to CEOs; to presidents. Everyone, no matter what their rank, received a thank you note from the princess – and then, in turn, became her personal supporter. What Princess Diana did was capitalize on the pleasure of receiving a personal thank you letter. Her letter writing practice, which paid tribute to the services of others, won her loyalty and extended her reputation as a humanitarian. The effort needed to create thought and personal letters was well rewarded.

What is needed to revive the art of letter writing, specifically thank you letters? I think we need to pay attention to Princess Diana and appreciate that a well-written thank you letter can express our fondest feelings and emotions. And the letter writer can benefit from the goodwill generated by the expression of simple yet honest sentiments.

Yes … they are well worth the effort to create! We may also need a little help in creating them in a way that is meaningful and personal. Help that allows us to share in the joy of sending thank you letters with little of the pain associated with writing them.