ROSTRUM: Don’t Read This Letter


By KufreAbasi Essien

Dear reader,


If you’ve read this letter up to this point, then it is obvious that you intentionally ignored the caption which told you not to read the letter. But you are still reading the letter anyway and there is nothing surprising about that. You are only demonstrating the basic truth that people love to read letters. You love to read letters; and this particular letter has a lot of good things in stock for you. All you have to do is read it carefully to the end.

Even when we know that people love to read letters, it is sad that very few people write those lovely notes and personal informal letters to their friends and others. The forms of letter that tend to flood the space are those boring formal and business letters. Queries, petitions, summons and the others also bring their pains and poison to pollute the milk of human kindness which can only lactate in large enough quantity through the glands of personal warm letters, thank you notes, promotions, messages of congratulations and those long lost love notes that built communities, started families and ended wars and strife. The vacuum created by lack of letter writing is not a modern day thing. It has been here for a long time. It was this loud silence generated by lack of warm communication through letters that prompted some anonymous person(s) to institute a fun day to be observed as Letter Writing Day

Today, December 7 is observed as the Letter Writing Day; and that’s the reason I write to you, in the hope that you will find it useful and necessary to dip into the culture of letter writing for the purpose of reaching out to the world with words of love, healing and consolation.

The Letter Writing Day, an unofficial holiday, was created to review the art and tradition of letter writing and for people to show off their penmanship. It is therefore celebrated by writing and sending letters to friends and associates using the old fashioned way of pen on paper and sending by mail or post. Do you have someone that you’ve not reached out to for a long time? Today, seize the opportunity, step out get some sheets of paper and pen, and pen those words that you’ve warehoused in your mind for a very long time.

Beyond writing to your friends, you can also write to your leaders suggesting to them what they could do to make things work better in your community. Nothing is bad if you also write to praise them for jobs well done, if they deserve such. Possibly, if we write enough of those letters, things could actually change for a new and better Nigeria to emerge.

December 7 is not only marked as the Letter Writing Day; it is also marked as the International Civil Aviation Day. The theme selected to cover 2015-2018 is, “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left behind.” Maybe, as we write letters to our leaders, we may begin to examine how safe our airspace is. We should be courageous enough to write to request a broadsheet of how our airports and aircrafts are faring. This may go a long way to avert the embarrassment of alighting from aircrafts in the country using wooden ladders. Is Nigeria not left behind in the aviation business?

In East Timor, today shall also be observed as the National Heroes Day. They shall roll out the drums to celebrate men and women of courage who stood on the side of truth for the development and liberation of their country. If we were to institute a national heroes day in Nigeria, who would we celebrate as our national heroes? If anyone has come to your mind as a possible candidate, pick up your pen and write to that person, celebrate that person by writing to him or her. Your hero or heroine will appreciate a note acknowledging how you feel about him or her.

Also today, while the Armenians celebrate Spitak Remembrance Day, the Western province Day is celebrated in Solomon Islands. Now, I am not going to give you details on these celebrations. I want you to find out and send me a letter on your findings. I shall appreciate that.

Two more holidays are held today; one in Columbia , and another in Italy.

In Columbia, today is the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Until December 8, 1854, many theologians, including St. Thomas Aquinas, questioned the Immaculate Conception. It remained open for debate for many years until Pope Pius IX proclaimed it to be an essential dogma in the Catholic Church on December 8, 1854. The Pope issued a written document on this called Ineffabilis Deus. Since the issuance of this document, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief that Mary was born without sin, and that God chose her to be Jesus’ mother.

The Feast of St. Ambrose is also celebrated in Milan, Italy, in honour of their patron saint, St. Ambrose, with a special church service at one of the city’s oldest churches, the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. Born in Treve (Trier), Gaul, Aurelius Abrosius (340 CE- 397CE) trained as a lawyer and became governor of Milan before he was appointed as the city’s bishop in 374 CE. He became deeply involved in theology, wrote about the scriptures, composed many hymns and gave his possessions to the poor.

Probably, the most outstanding thing for which St. Ambrose was known for was denying church entrance to Emperor Theodosius I for his massacre of about 7000 people in Thessalonica in 390CE. Now, that was a man of God who resisted corrupt and blood-stained political leaders. Do we have such spiritual leaders in our country today, when some of them are physically courting the attention of influential politicians to the detriment of the purity of the body of Christ?

Send your response to this letter as letters to me at the address above. I wish you a happy Letter Writing Day.