Steve Harvey's article (Oct. 8) on time capsules was of particular interest to me since I've buried far more than my share in a long career in public relations. Time capsules have become almost as obligatory to clients as the three-handled shovel at ground-breakings and the silk ribbons to be cut at "grand" openings.
I think time capsules serve a useful purpose, though, beyond providing rent-free space for front pages of newspapers, Sears catalogues and Guinness Books of World Records.
Just as those gathered at a funeral look at the past to take bearing on the occasion, so the "birth" of a new facility forces us to look with ritual to the future. In looking to the future and filling our time capsules with what we deem relevant, we are forced to take stock of who we are, how we live, our own mortality and our expectations. Just as a funeral is therapy for the observers, not the central character, the time capsule ritual is far more valuable for those who participate in its sealing than its intended recipients for whom it is supposedly being prepared.
NAT B. READ