The Moak Law Firm September 2019

Concrete Over Convenience The Power of the Written Word

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480-755-8000 www.TheMoakLawFirm.com

E ven for those of us who don’t for back-to-school sales aren’t going to let us forget it! As the new school year starts, I’ve been thinking about the things we learn in life that they don’t teach you in school. Math, history, and English courses turn us into well- rounded people, but no classroom syllabus includes how to recover from a bad break up or how credit really works. These are lessons that come with life experience. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is to write more letters and not rely on my phone so much. In today’s work, it has become awfully convenient for people to make a phone call instead of sitting down to write a letter. I’m not talking about writing thank-you notes or sending letters to loved ones, though we should do these things, too. When I say we should write letters more often, I have a more practical motivation: I use letters to document events. This is something I talk about a lot with my clients, especially my bankruptcy clients. If they’re having a problem and I ask, “Did you notify the creditor that this was happening,” the response I often get is, “Yeah, I called them!” Calling a creditor about your situation may seem like the fastest way to fix the problem, but there are actually a lot of drawbacks. have kids at home, fall is back-to- school season. All the ads on TV First, how can you prove you called? Today, you can pull up your phone records with relative ease, but that brings us to the second problem: How do you prove what was said during that conversation? This is where taking the time to write a letter trumps the convenience of a phone call. This holds true for any situation. From the standpoint of trying to document what actually happened, it’s so important for a person to write a letter because then you

“One of the most

important lessons I’ve learned in life is to write more letters and not rely on my phone so much.”

have a clear record of events. There’s no back and forth between you and the caller, claiming they said one thing while you said another. Everyone has different versions of the same event, but a letter can help get your facts straight. It also helps to prove that, yes, you did share this information when you said you did. Not to say that letters are gospel truth. Anyone can tweak the facts to suit their narrative, but if you want to keep the facts straight for yourself, writing a letter can really help. There’s an old saying: “One dull pencil is worth two sharp minds.” Basically, don’t trust your memory. The human mind forgets details so quickly, no matter how smart you are, so taking the time to record things ensures you remember them in the long run. I’ve been using examples of business and bankruptcy, but the written word is becoming a lost art. Kids use social media instead of journals, and few couples still write love letters. Without the written word, cherished moments easily become lost to time. As convenient as a phone might be, taking the time to write something down tends to pay off more in the long run.

–Walter E. “Pete” Moak

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September 2019

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