I have heard that handwriting is the window to the soul. In today’s world of emails, text messages, social media, and the telephone, the act of writing a letter has become extremely outdated. The joys of opening your mailbox to see an envelope with a handwritten address is something I have cherished throughout my life…and no I am not talking about those phony inkjet attempts to make me think that I received a card or letter from a loved one. Nice try, Capital One.
As a Marine’s wife, I have a special admiration for the old-fashioned letter. Ink soaking into a small piece of stationary. It’s the next best thing to being there personally with your letter recipient. Sharing your truest thoughts, deepest gratitude, or sincerest sympathies across thousands of miles just isn’t the same when sending them over radio waves.
I can’t say I have saved a single email message in hopes of looking back on it years from now to reminisce about that special note from a friend or family member. However, I treasure the dozens of letters my husband and I exchanged throughout the numerous months we spent apart…the handwritten notes serving as our only means of communication. Now they serve as historical records that open a window to our past. Anyone having come across the letters exchanged between grandparents and suddenly felt transported back in time knows the power of letters. How will we share with our grandchildren? Sharing our email login and password?
The cherished act of opening one’s mailbox in anticipation of receiving a handwritten note from a loved one has become obsolete. Instant gratification has taken over our lives. At the tap of our smartphone, we can communicate our thoughts in as few of words, or even letters, as possible.
Handwritten notes in the business world
The art of letter writing is even more lost in today’s business world. By 10 AM your inbox is full of emails and if you’re lucky, you have one, maybe two, handwritten notes laying on your desk. Which do you think leaves a stand-out impression?
Snail mail has a way of stamping our hearts. Whether it’s a note from your manager telling you what an awesome job you’re doing or a thank you message from a sales rep you so graciously gave fifteen minutes of your time, those handwritten words say “I appreciate you” in a way that an email or voicemail can never do. I firmly believe that ink flowing on to a piece of paper is mightier than the click of a mouse and keyboard. It’s contagious and it conveys your message in an authentic way.
Will you take the challenge?
In the spirit of National Card and Letter Writing Month, I would like to challenge all of you, dear readers. Whether you send a letter a day, one a week, or just have the time to send out a single note, lets celebrate the beautiful art of letter writing at least once this month. Show sincere gratitude to that prospect who took the time to meet with you. Make a co-worker feel extra special by letting them know you’ve noticed how hard they’ve been working. Leave a sweet nothing for your significant other or let your kids know how proud you are of their accomplishments (they’ll treasure it forever, I promise).
What do you say? Do you accept the challenge?