Lynne M. Kolze
I have been writing letters for over five decades to all kinds of people, for all kinds of reasons. Spending all these years writing letters, I learned that it is the small things we do for one another that make the most difference. I discovered that letters are one of the most powerful, creative, joyful gifts that one person can give to another. No other gift that is as precious costs so little and has such a lasting impact. In fact, a letter’s power is often in the rich legacy it leaves behind for future generations. In a world of quick, cookie-cutter, and one-dimensional communications, letters offer a respite from the cyber world we experience every day.
I never imagined myself as someone who would become an author, but my research into the art of letter writing sparked an interest in sharing what I learned with others. Over time, I gathered stories from others about the ways in which letters changed or enriched their lives. Their stories, as well as my own experiences, inspired this book.
I began my life in suburban Chicago, then followed my dream of becoming involved in environmental protection. I received bachelor’s degrees in water resources and natural resources management from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University. I then spent over 30 years in public service, mostly working on water protection efforts in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Minnesota. During these years, I advocated for better citizen engagement in water planning efforts. I enjoyed working with citizens most, finding joy in their knowledge and ideas as well as the comradery and connections I made.
In many ways, letter writing, and public service are similar pursuits: each involves sharing, storytelling, listening, connecting, and building community through reciprocal giving. Both have given me great satisfaction and contributed to my growth as a person.
I currently live in the “Twin Cities” in Minnesota, not far from the Mississippi River with my husband. I enjoy spending time with him in nature, visiting with my two adult children, and gardening, reading, and dabbling in amateur photography.
My new mantra is: “Kindness is underrated. Be a letter writer. Change a life!”
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