Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Put a Little Joy in Someone's Mailbox

Fill Your Heart With Joy—
By Filling the Hearts of Others

Love It and/or Hate It, Snail Mail Can Spread the Joy

Snail mail—we hate it. Junk, bills, credit card offers, mattress sale flyers, coupons for bad pizza, and home security system ads that scare you enough to run as quickly as you can from the mailbox to the door and lock it—deadbolt, alarm, heavy furniture pushed against the door—as quickly as you can. Keep the recycling bin at the door next to the baseball bats and whatever else you have to protect yourself because almost everything you fetch from said mailbox will go into that bin.

Snail mail surprises
Snail mail—on rare days, I love it! Few people like to send snail mail—it’s too slow, stamps are a pain, bill payments don’t arrive on time—but almost everyone loves to receive real mail. I was surprised and blessed, yes blessed, with two pieces of real mail yesterday. It filled my heart with joy—really, it did. One letter was from a friend, and just the act of someone sending you a letter reminds you that you are thought of, that someone cares enough to put something in an envelope for you, address it, stamp it, and put it in the mail. My other real mail was an unexpected gift from another friend. Receiving a gift—an unexpected one at that—for no particular reason except that someone loves you and wants to let you know is one of life’s treasures, a gift in countless ways.
I’m focusing on joy in my life. Finding that joy can be a singular experience—a lone experience—although being aware of life’s joys in turn causes me to put on a happier, more grateful face for the world. However, I realized that it isn’t enough simply to be aware of joy; I want to share it.

Today, to share the joy, I turned to love-it/hate-it snail mail. I gained so much joy from yesterday's mail that I decided to send some snail mail myself. Yes, it’s a pain. You have to find paper, an envelope, something to write with, take the time to write, and then there’s the stamp. Who has stamps? Most of us have stamps. And if we don’t, it’s easy enough to get them.
I set my timer for 15 minutes. In that time, I wrote two short notes, stamped them, walked to the mailbox, put them in, and lifted the red flag. Now it's your turn to write a note, only one note. Think of someone you want to contact, to reconnect with, to send some love, to share a bit of joy. Set aside 15 minutes—you probably spend at least that much time several times a day on Facebook and e-mail—write a note or a letter, stamp it, and mail it. Imagine the surprise and the smile on the face of the person who, in a few days, will get snail mail that they love. Imagine that they experience a moment of joy.

Did you write a note today? Please add a comment and let me know how you felt about writing and sending a note. How do you feel when you receive real mail? Can you find some joy in the mailbox?

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