I know that you are wondering what the final journaling block in each notebook is for (click here for more info on the ENT notebooks). I love personalizing things. From the time that I was a teacher, I have always believed that there is power in a name. Everyone loves something more when their name or initial is on it. Why do you think we have a collection of the letter “H” in our entryway? Or various “K”s in my office? I love monograms and from my experience, so does everyone else. People have an affection for things that are theirs – including their name or initial. Adding a name or initial is the easiest way to personalize something and take a “mass produced” project into the realm of individualized.
We are using this principle for our notebooks but taking it a step further. Here is what we are doing. The other leaders of our neighborhood Relief Society are helping me to write a personal note to each woman in our group. We have divided up the list and will have the notes to hand out at our first activity where the women are putting together their notebooks. I love this part of the project – it takes time to write personal notes but I can’t think of a more meaningful way to let each individual know of their personal worth. It’s empowering to read something positive about yourself and to know that someone values who you are. Then, to have that message in a permanent home inside your notebook so that it can be read and reread? I can’t think of any better gift we could give each other.
One of my favorite books is Alexandra Stoddard’s, Gift of a Letter. I read it for the first time years ago and it’s 123 pages have tremendously influenced my views on the power of a handwritten note or letter. In this day of emailing and texting, facebook and myspace, handwritten notes are hard to come by. That’s what makes them such a treasure.
Writing and mailing a generous letter is so life-enhancing, so rewarding to the writer and the person receiving it. Is it better to give than receive? I like both. I want it all. – Alexandra Stoddard
I like both, too. Therefore, each woman in our group will get a handwritten, personalized note that is meant just for them. The “generous letter” she mentions in the quote certainly can mean the length of the correspondence. But to me, I think she was talking about being generous with yourself and your thoughts and your true feelings. I think she meant generosity in praise and compliments and kindness to the receiver.
It goes back to the download I offered from November (click here). “Never suppress a generous thought.” – Camilla Kimball.
Here’s to generous letters – taking the time to thank and strengthen and encourage, one by one.