“Mom, how come I don’t get letters in the mail?”

“Do you write letters, Danny?”

“Well, no.”

“If you want letters to come to you–try sending letters. Start with Grandpa.”

Solid advice. A couple of things to think about:

  1. Writing a letter in order to get a letter isn’t the greatest motivation. Just as giving a gift in order to receive a gift sort of misses the point. Beware a quid pro quo mindset, or you’ll become miserable.
  2. But this isn’t Mom’s point–her point (to a young child) is that it’s silly to expect a letter if you don’t write them. It’s silly to hope for your phone to ring if you don’t make calls. Relationships entail reciprocity.
  3. Finally, don’t give up. Send more letters, make more calls, invite more people than can return your invitations. It’s better to give than receive.

“Love is the true price of love.”

George Herbert, The Complete English Works, 273.