American economist James M. Buchanan won a Nobel Memorial Prize in 1986 for his work on pubic choice theory. Two questions he reportedly asked job candidates were:
“What are you writing that will be read 10 years from now? What about 100 years from now?”
Has anyone ever asked you that? How did you respond?
Now that some holiday dust has settled, let me ask you something: Did you send fewer Christmas cards this year than last? Did you receive fewer?
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I’m one of what appears to be a rare-and-vanishing-breed of old-fashioned souls who starts banging out a family Christmas letter each year just after Thanksgiving. Sometimes before. December without an annual family newsletter is like peanut butter without jelly, Aspen slopes without snow, Lucy without Ethel… Well. You get the idea.
Do you write letters anymore, even around the holidays? How many people read your letters? While I’m clunking merrily away on the keyboard, I’m fully aware that my year-end wrap-up of family news, vacation photos, sports events and special occasions will most likely be speed-read by a select few and ignored by most. How come? Here are a few possibilities: