Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Write Way

What do you think is the most popular form of communication today? I read somewhere that an overwhelming majority of Americans (90%) prefer to use email as their primary form of communication. I must admit I did not, and really do not, believe the percentage is that high. However, there is no doubt email and text messaging are growing in popularity. Don’t believe me? Take a look at those around you. Don’t have a smart phone? You are definitely in the minority.

But what does this mean about the new generation? What is the world coming to when a text message or email can replace a simple phone call, or better yet, a face-to-face conversation? As much as I would like to take the high road, I cannot. I’m not completely innocent. I was just as excited as the next guy when I got a smart phone. My wife says I will get up in the middle of the night to read an email! If you can’t beat them, join them! So, instead of changing I decided to get her a Blackberry! Now I’m the one telling her to put down the phone!

To be honest, I look at this modern day form of communication as a good thing, if you choose to be different. The best way to rise above those around you is to just be different. That’s what Peyton Manning has decided to do. Last week I was watching an Outside the Lines special on ESPN about Manning. Since his entry to the NFL, Manning has hand wrote letters of appreciation to players he respected that are retiring from the league. During the show, a number of them commented on how much they appreciated the hand written note. The “hand written note.” There’s a concept; a lost art if you will.

Like I said, I’m not above reproach here. However, I’m smart enough to know that if you truly want to show someone you care and that you are different than every other emailing, text messaging, techno freak out there, you have to put it on paper! I probably have the worst handwriting in the world. Man my penmanship is horrific. It’s so bad I actually have to print. However, it’s the thought that counts! Right? I hope. None-the-less, I try every chance I get to show my appreciation for those I’m involved with, both personally and professionally, with a handwritten note. I guess I learned from the best. Every time I returned to school after a visit I would open my bag to find a note or two from my mother. The trend still continues through my wife. Every time I go on a mission trip she leaves me notes to let me know she is praying for me and that she is proud of me.

Peyton Manning is one of those guys, like Kurt Warner that I talked about last week. In this world of media scrutiny I honestly cannot remember ever hearing a negative story about Manning. He’s another example we should all try to follow. So the next time you want to show someone they mean something to you, don’t take it from me, take it from Manning and drop them a note, on paper! Aspire to new heights.

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