Well-Intentioned

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Ending an email or a letter with Sincerely always seemed formal and stuffy to me. It never really felt genuine anyway. I choose to use Take care instead. The person’s welfare is important to me. I wonder if they ever really hear that?

Recently I’ve begun to say Be well instead. It still implies that a person’s well-being is important to me; it just shifts the message slightly. Take care says “please watch out for yourself because you never know what could come your way” while Be well says “farewell and feel well.” The tone is a positive directive to just do everything in your power to being or feeling good. I really like that.

It seems so minor, I know. But Take care feels hesitant and Be well is bold and forceful almost. It’s the intention behind the latter ending which makes me want to use it more now. We could all use a little more support, I think.

Coincidentally, I recently learned of the philosophy of eudaimonia. Aristotle states in his Nicomachean Ethics that it means to be doing and living well. What I understand about it is that one can achieve this state of well-being through the pursuit of knowledge, honesty, kindness, and courage. Using a rational approach to life such as gaining scientific knowledge was also considered valuable.

It’s true that when we apply rational and critical thinking to situations, they tend to go a lot smoother. The outcome, even if a disastrous one, will likely lead to an easier adjustment to that situation. Seems like a formula for success.

What I also find interesting is that it helps me to understand my desire to use Be well instead of Take care. The former implies taking charge, doing with intention, achieving goals – proactive (rational); whereas the other is waiting to see what happens to you and then respond – reactive (irrational).

I really prefer to offer words saying I’m interested in their well-being rather than one of only hoping they can make it through in life.

And for that, I think I’ll Be well.

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12 thoughts on “Well-Intentioned

  1. I suspect your birthday is either mid-February, late June or early July. Wild guesses. Am I close?

    I also think you see some kind of aura in those words that others might not notice. I get that “Sincerely” is conventional, possibly over-used these days, after years of being taught it was formally polite and recommended. It surpassed “Yours truly” from my youth. I don’t read much into it other than it’s simple and polite. And, provided I am speaking from the heart–speaking the truth as I know it–I really AM sincere, aren’t I? So, for me, “Sincerely” is the truth.

    When you say “Take care,” I immediately think of a Seinfeld episode in which he joked about that phrase being heartless. He says “Take care” is like saying “Take off. Get out of here.” So, when you switch to “Be well,” yes, that sounds much nicer and has a sort of solar harmony to it, the warmth of a sunrise to start your day.

    In short, I think words carry a certain arrangement of notes which affect our brains, much like wind chimes. A wind chime might appeal to one person and annoy or sadden another.

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    1. Nope, not any of those months. I don’t think I would use the word “aura” but certainly “intention” comes to mind. That is what I rely on understanding in order to respond. When you say words carry a certain arrangement of notes, you could be right. We all interpret differently. That’s what makes writing and reading so fascinating! 🙂

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      1. So, Capricorn, Scorpio or Sagittarius?

        I might have leapt to a conclusion. You DID use the word intention. So, for you, maybe you see the words as torpedoes loaded into tubes. You send things on their way with desired intent. But, what convinces you certain words are limited to one tone or message? Cannot a phrase understood one way in your mind be taken another by someone else?

        Hence, so much misunderstanding in reading text; yet the tech world keeps prodding people to use text. And, yet, even speaking in person, people can misunderstand each other and not explain themselves adequately.

        Fascinating or overwhelming? If I think about it too long, I tend to shut down.

        To quote Red Dwarf, “Where do all the calculators go?”

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      2. Nope 🙂 Words have meanings, specific to me, but more precisely what a dictionary tells us they mean. If I use them, I mean them. And absolutely they can be understood differently! This is where conflict and/or misunderstanding arises. For me, it is generally fascinating. To answer – I honestly don’t know! LOL

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  2. Written communication is often misunderstood and can never replace body language and the genuine feeling you described here. It is hardest to scfribble our intentions since they reside deep in one’s heart. Words+actions do achieve the bare minimum communication between two individuals.

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