Thursday, January 24, 2013
Epistolary Debt...Oh, what should one do?
"A reply should promptly follow the receipt of a letter, it cannot be civilly delayed for any great length of time. " Youth's Educator For Home and Society --1896
"Politeness is as much concerned in answering letters within a reasonable time, as it is in returning a bow, immediately."~Lord Chesterfield
To acknowledge the receipt of letters is always proper, to remove doubts of their miscarriage." ~George Washington
"Then there's the joy of getting your desk clean, and knowing that all your letters are answered, and you can see the wood on it again."~Lady Bird Johnson
I keep a small wicker basket for all incoming letters that need a reply on my desk. That little basket has recently been crammed, pitifully, with correspondence which languishes without a response. Day after day, I survey this dear little desk and I see the basket...THAT basket! Oh, what to do?? Oh yes, I have plenty of excuses...the holidays were so busy....my entire household was sick (including me!) for nearly a month...But these excuses just seem to ring hollow. I suppose that most avid letter-writers find themselves in this predicament at one time or another so maybe you can relate. But back to the question of what can one do when they find themselves in this unfortunate situation? I am reminded of Elisabeth Elliot's old radio broadcast and she would often quote "...just do the next thing!" She applied this to many situations. I think this ultra simple but yet profound advice could be helpful here. Let's just do the next thing...sit down and write! We might not be able to knock it all out in one sitting, but like eating an elephant, we can do it one bite at a time.