Recently, the mother of a friend of mine turned 90. My friend called everyone she knew to ask them to send her mother a card so that she would receive 90 cards in her mail box for her birthday. And this weekend, another friend sent an app telling me that she was sitting at her table with a box of cards, stickers, poems and quotes from Flow. She wanted to send people she knew a personal message as thanks for the support they had given her in recent months or simply because she wanted to give them something nice. What touched me about these two initiatives was the fact that “attention” has become so valuable. That someone takes the time to send a card, or even to write one, is a special thing indeed. There was a time when I would write really long letters to my cousin and my pen pal every week, when I would send postcards to all kinds of holiday friends and when I would exchange cards in the post with other friends. And I thought it was all completely normal to do. Nowadays, a card or note is seen as a great gesture.
My friend’s mother received 105 cards. I felt so proud. Because it means that something so simple is still possible; that people still make the effort.
Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.