This is not a letter but my arms about you for a brief moment. Katherine Mansfield

Holidays are over. Decorations stored away. Resolutions made. We find ourselves at the start of the New Year returning to a predictable routine. Take a moment and reflect on the holidays that recently passed. Did you make any memories? Did someone present you with an especially thoughtful gift?

As I think back over the years, the best gifts I ever received were the notes or letters sent from my family members, friends, students and other acquaintances. In fact, some of them so moved me, I have framed and displayed them throughout our home. These treasures warm my heart and make me feel appreciated.

As you consider your current life circumstances, the parts of your life that have generated the greatest satisfaction, pleasure, or pride, examine how you arrived at where you are. Or, more specifically, WHO played a central role in your arrival at your rewarding career or loving relationship? Think deeply, and a long-forgotten, potential receiver of a message from you may come to mind.

Why not take a moment to compose a note to a deserving person who served as an affable catalyst or supportive encourager either recently or long ago. It is never too late, and it might even be enlightening for that person to know how much you appreciate their kindness.

Why not make 2017 the year of appreciation? I encourage you to plumb your memory to determine who deserves a heartfelt “thank you” note.. Simply think back over the years and consider who deserves that thanks. You probably expressed it in some way before, but not recently, and not in the fullness of the context of your current happiness or success. Which mentor shaped or encouraged you in the past, but might not even know of your success today? What friend had the courage to confront you about your addiction? Perhaps you rebuffed their words at the time, but their earlier message led to your recovery later in your life. Perhaps someone close to you encouraged you to return to school or to overcome your fears by applying for a different job.

The examples of past influences are as myriad as there are lives. Now act. Make a list. Check it twice. Who was particularly kind or provided support when it was most needed? Why not write to that benefactor? How much more wonderful for this note to be delivered while the person is alive and can savor the compliment and feel good about the fact that he/she actually made a difference. It is so much better than having it appear in an obituary. Behrand Beran sadly reflected, “Nothing hurts more than a friendly letter that never got written.”

No texts allowed; they are 2 banal 4 U. Take the time to send a note. It lasts longer, and the recipient will likely save it. Who knows, it might actually get framed?

What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human handclasp. Ranjan Bakshi?