Friday, May 23, 2008

A Side Benefit of the Postal Service

Stop me if I told you this one already:

I was in a doctor's waiting room when this Australian guy and I started talking. I asked him what brought him to this country, and he told me:


He'd been living with an American sponsor family while he was doing an internship here. The family had a bunch of children, including a young girl who seemed like a really nice kid.

He went back to Australia and found a card in the mailbox from the really nice kid. He wrote back to her. She wrote to him. He wrote back. She got older. Suddenly, she was no longer a really nice kid but a really nice woman.

A romance blossomed. He said that it meant a great deal to him that this person on the other side of the planet would take time out of her life to put a pen to paper, and then put a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox.

Real mail is so much more meaningful than email, he said.

He decided to come back to the US to see if his feelings for this woman were real. They were. Now they're married and have a son.

"My wife is the most geniune person I've ever met," he said.

There's a lesson here: Expanding one's social circle is the way to make new friendships and fortify existing ones. Sending a card or letter to a new is one way to do that. Friendships have a ripple effect. They lead to more friendships and opportunities.

I don't suggest (no, no, no!) that you ever send mail to stay on some guy's radar.

That backfires, big time (although the 'really nice kid' is definitely an exception). But do be the woman who sends thank-you notes. Drop a card in the mail to the sick lady you used to run into in the elevator at the office. Remember to send a birthday card to your ex-boss. Successful salespeople do this; they know that remembering people tends to pay off in the long run in unexpected ways.

If you show other people love and attention, that love and attention will come back to you a thousandfold.

If you want love, be its source.

Photo credit: Richard H. Stone, from his and Viveca Stone-Berry's line of Dog Captions greeting card line. Proceeds go to benefit animal charities.

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