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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