The first thing we do when we wake up is to check our emails. The last we do before going to bed is to check our emails. In the middle of the night we check our emails. Yes, sleep checking is the 21st century's sleep walking. Funny how you don't remember responding to that particular call to action. Sorry, but it's too late now. T
I'm 59, the eldest of four siblings, but have no partner and no children. A sense of inadequacy grows: what can I leave my nephews and nieces, and their children? I don't mean memories; I mean, what that is tangible and lasting, that I can equitably share among them? It's like feeling a phantom limb, a shadowy disconnect with future generations that I so ache to put right.
Firstly, congratulations on making it this far, what with your little sister hurling a metal bin at your head when you mocked her dolls and your even littler brother spending most of his time crawling about at the bottom of stairs, meaning that you've tripped over him and smashed your head on the marble floor more often than advisable.
In the aftermath of the Second World War Tom had to return to his family after spending the duration in Polly's tiny rural village. Circumstances and parents didn't allow the young couple to meet for a year. It was their daily love letters on cheap lined paper torn from exercise books that kept their love alive.
In today's world everything is recorded. Every little thing is captured, monitored, kept and stored, but none of it is special, none of it is treasured and kept for a reason. So instead of traipsing through conversation and email histories to find those moments that matter just write a letter, and you will say more and it will mean more to the person that you are saying it to.
I put aside one Sunday every month to write letters to loved ones. Yup you read that right. I pick up a pen (usually a fountain pen or a very nice biro) and put said pen to paper and write full English sentences on said paper with the aforementioned pen. There isn't a piece of technology in sight. Well ok, when I Instagram what I'm doing to show off the fact that I still write letters to people.
In what has been labelled as a step to encourage those from poorer backgrounds to attempt to attain places at highly ranked universities; it seems to me that the Conservative Government are effectively saying congratulations for achieving something that has been made considerably easier for the wealthy.
The tenacity and forthrightness of Amnesty's founding members is truly remarkable and admirable. These were ordinary people with ordinary jobs, who appointed themselves as moonlighting human rights defenders. They picked up their pens and wrote to heads of state, demanding that they release prisoners.
It is striking just how similar Descartes' theory on 'reflex' is to Pavlov's theory of 'conditioning'. Just as in Pavlov's conditioning experiment, performed two hundred and seventy one years after Descartes' letter outlines his theory of 'reflex', the two stimuli necessary for conditioning, the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, are paired causing the 'planned conditional response'.
One thing is for sure - saying thank you is a nice thing to do. It makes you feel good, and makes the receiver feel valued. We may not subscribe to the hand written parchments of old, with ruler straight lines and wafty words of gratitude penned from inky quills, but we do still subscribe to basics of liking to give and liking to be thanked.
When I imagine my own kids one day going through my "box" of memories I realise that there is no box. Even my inbox they won't have access to. Emails have replaced letters, pictures on facebook have replaced photographs, iTunes downloads have replaced CDs which in turn have replaced tapes and records - and then there's the Kindle.
An alarming majority of people now eschew sending written thanks to their nearest and dearest who have spent their hard earned money on presents. Some will half-heartedly try to express their thanks by sending a thank you text or email. I can't imagine doing such a thing. I am coming out in hives as I write. That said, I suppose they are better than nothing.