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Positive words that ring true down the years

THE longevity of the written word can be seen in the 1897 letter by American journalist Francis P Church in The New York Sun.

In response to a child's query - "Is there really a Santa Claus?" - he replied: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist."

Many newspapers have printed it in full every Christmas for more than 100 years. More than 30 years before he penned that editorial, Church reported on the American Civil War.

His experiences had not hardened him and his warm-hearted letter stands the test of time.

There was an event recently to promote wellness for people. At the event, a similarly nice letter from the actor Stephen Fry to a fan, Crystal Nunn, was read.

"Dear Crystal," it began. "I'm so sorry to hear that life is getting you down. I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather: it might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row, but it will be sunny one day."

MARY SULLIVAN

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