Friday, September 11, 2015

Practice Mindful Emailing: Day 9: Mindfulness Challenge

Day 9: Practice Mindful Emailing

The glory days of letter writing were in the pre-Internet era. 

Few people write letters any more, at least in urban areas.

Few people write in longhand anymore.

I know many that use their pens mostly for signing their names on official documents.

Email is an undeniable convenience. It helps us communicate quickly and efficiently. 

Most of us, at least those who are online, have more than one email id to their name.

We send and receive multiple emails through the day. 

But rarely does the receipt of an email evoke the kind of intense feelings that written letters routinely evoked a few decades ago.

Why don't emails hold the kind of magic that letters held within them?

A magic that made the recipient read it again and again, until the very paper was torn along the folds, and the message within was committed to memory.

Perhaps it is time to bring mindfulness to bear upon our emails too.

To strip emails of the air of casualness that they carry, and imbue them with understanding and true communication.

Do we pay attention to the content of the  mail?

Do we ensure that what we are writing is necessary, true and kind, the three pillars of good communication?

Do we care about the kind of impact it may have on the recipient?

Do we imagine them reading it, and does that influence the tone and tenor of the mail?

Do we even read the email once before hitting SEND?

Let's make a beginning. Let's ensure that our emails are written with sincerity and purpose.

Let's pay attention to our state of mind when we are writing an email.

Let's give the words we write our full attention.

And let's ensure that our anger never seeps into our emails. 

Because Send takes an instant but regret can last forever. A thing to remember even if your email provider lets you recall mails.
The medium has changed. The message should not.

The message should continue to reinforce feelings of value and worth.

The ancients who communicated via smoke signals would consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to send a message directly into someone's backyard. Which is what our inboxes are.

Let's not abuse that privilege.


  1. I just finished reading the book 'The Wright Brothers'. It was incredible in that this family saved all of their letters. All of their hopes and dreams and accomplishments were forever saved to share with the world, eventually, in this intriguing book. I used to write letters, but I have not saved a one that I ever received. I regret that.

  2. That's true, Denise. Letters can be an important source of history and information. The great grandmother of a friend of mine wrote letters to her mother about what life was like when she got married. The letters offer a great peek into life in the late 1880s, not only on her own domestic front, but also the largest issues that were happening around the country and in a more distant way, whenever she happened to read a paper, the world.



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