Do you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter, other than a note in a birthday card (if you even get those anymore)?
For a while, I didn’t, until a friend of mine took the time to send a postcard…from where she lived! How strange it was to find something personal waiting for me in my mailbox.
When I received the first unexpected note, I remembered how powerfully handwritten letters affect me. They touch my soul. I am someone who is all about the little things and the thoughts that count. When I receive a gift, I care more about the type of card that was picked out and the sentiment behind the present than the present itself—does this person truly know me? Was this given out of love or obligation?
A handwritten letter is one of a kind. It is written specifically for you. It is not a Hallmark greeting. It is a “just because” sentiment, and it is meaningful. Someone took time to not only think about you, but to sit down and write to you from his or her heart.
There is something about a mailed letter that just tickles me, and I recently experienced the joyful benefits of sending out a few written postcards to random friends myself. It made my heart smile to know that I made someone’s day, letting them know I was simply thinking of them. It beats a box full of bills any day!
Then the anticipation of waiting for the response—will it come today?—is also a wonderful lesson in patience and timing. I fondly remember when I lived in college and in Spain, I would anxiously await the letters from my family and boyfriend, enjoying the trip to the mailbox every day for that chance to see that special script I loved so much. And then receiving it, eager to open it and find out the mystery of the contents: it’s a buildup that we have all forgotten about.
It is the foreplay of relationship building.
Just like intimacy nowadays is so impulsive and instantly gratifying, so is the electronic message. We have allowed ourselves to shift from this beautiful, natural growth of getting to know people to jumping into a state of “I want to hear from them NOW” a la texting. There is no grace period anymore. Come to think of it, it could very well be why our relationships are coming and going out of our lives in the blink of an eye—friendships and romances, yes, but also our business connections. Have we lost that personal touch?
We are not allowing a courting period. We are choosing quick, quantity communications over meaningful, quality ones, and that has set the basis for our entire ways of being in all aspects of our lives. Sure, we get to “talk” more frequently this way, and the technology can bring people together from literally all over the world, but let’s face it: it is not the same.
Nothing can take the place of how wonderful it is to connect personally with people instead of via zoom, skype or email; the energy and interaction is so much different. The same goes for the written letter. There is more power in a pen than in a typed word.
How sad to have lost this connection.
When did we give up so easily on the beauty of writing and receiving a letter?
Consider bringing this form of communication back into your life. Find someone you would love to write back and forth to—even if you speak to them every day on the phone. It brings an added level to your relationship: a bond and a closeness that I guarantee is sorely lacking because we just don’t take the time anymore to express ourselves in a quiet, reflective way. A way that brings love back to our interactions and meaning back into our relationships.
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