Friday, November 30, 2012

Letters of Thanks

Today's the last day of November and, for much of the month, people have been giving thanks publically for a variety of things in their lives. I think that's a fine idea, but I've been pondering a variation of the theme.

Like many of the November thanksgivers, I'd like to focus on the people I'm thankful for. Naturally, this includes my parents, siblings, wife, friends and extended family, but there are also others who've touched, shaped and improved my life in a variety of less personal, though still very important, ways. I'd like to thank those people who, despite not (or just barely) knowing me personally, have made my life what it is today.

I'm slowly putting together a list that at the moment consists primarily of authors and founders of organizations I've benefited from. There are undoubtably other categories and persons I should consider and I welcome suggestions.

Many of these people are quite advanced in age, so I'm going to prioritize such that I first address those whom I worry are nearest death. The oldest member of the list so far is former Mississippi governor William F. Winter who established Mississippi Governor's School -- a revolutionary influence on my life -- in 1981.

My wife's card project has shown just how meaningful a single letter or card can be, particularly today when phones and the internet are the preferred media for casual conversation. So, for now, the preferred tool of expression will be a written (well, typed, my handwriting is atrocious) letter. In Winter's case, that leads to the question of how to send him a letter as I haven't found a mailing address for him. I appreciate any suggestions.

I think a regular pacing, perhaps a letter every one or two weeks, makes a good practice.

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