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I often write handwritten letters each week. I try to write elderly people who are not on email. I write elected officials when I am pleased or displeased with a particular bill or policy, and I write friends and family to let them know that even though I am quite busy, they are in my thoughts. There is something about a handwritten note arriving in the mail to remind us that we can slow down our lives just a bit and reconnect to a time when information did not travel faster than the speed of light.

Just recently I was told, “Oftentime, things that are urgent aren’t important and things that are important often aren’t urgent.” I am still trying to process these wise words and am using my time writing letters to say the truly important words I need others to hear. Of course, I often send a text of encouragement or love. I also have plenty of emails where friends and I catch up and keep our connections close.

All of these modes of communication are necessary and helpful in our quest to stay involved and connected. However, I am proposing the slower way to stay connected. When I tell people I write roughly five letters each week, their eyes glaze over and they immediately say, “I just don’t have the time.” So I timed myself and I found that I spend less than five minutes on each letter from start to finish.

Here are a few minor things you will need to get started. Buy stamps. I feel like my grandmother each time I open my wallet and look at my book of stamps. I also keep stamps in my office and in my apartment. There is never a time when lack of a stamp will prevent me from saying what I need to say. Also, there are so many inspiring and memorable Black Heritage stamps these days. I want to support the U.S. Postal Service so they will continue making stamps that celebrate people such as Althea Gibson, Shirley Chisholm, Jimi Hendrix and Paul Robeson.

I then make sure I have a current address, whether a friend or an elected official. When writing a friend, fancy stationary or expensive cards aren’t a necessity. It’s the words that count. When writing an elected official, I always type my letter to make it more official. I also make sure I put it in a business envelope. Once you have the mechanics, just write what you need to say. This permanent record will be something for others to keep for days, months, or even years.

Because I write so many letters, many of my friends have begun to write me back. Even though we speak on the phone several times each week, what we write in our letters is the more substantive essence of our friendships. When I receive written letters, I put them in my books. There is nothing better than opening a favorite book and finding a letter from a dear friend.

So happy writing. Yes, it may take a few days for your letter to arrive, but remember, what’s important isn’t always urgent.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” Follow her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.