I’m away from my hometown for almost two months this summer and my crazy travel schedule got me thinking about the joy that comes from receiving (and sending) a letter in the mail, the traditional way.
In our fast-paced society where it takes nearly no thought to send an e-mail, a long-hand letter seems burdensome. It’s tempting to think there are so many other things I can do with my time, or it would be quicker to type the letter. Afterall a writer letter takes time, thought and some pre-planning. There is no backspace button, no copy, paste or insert. Each paragraph needs to be a complete thought, a well-formed idea.
Despite the added time and thought it takes to actually hand write a letter, it is really worth the effort. The receiver experiences the joy of knowing he/she was thought of in a true and deep way. That allows the receiver to know he/she is valued as a person, deserving of someone else’s full attention for the time it took to pen the letter.
I have a couple friends who made New Year’s resolutions to write more letters. One decided to write one a day, another one a week. Now that it is halfway through the year both friends admit the resolution has been hard but it has taught them a number of life lessons. It has helped strengthen their relationships with others in a true and meaningful way. It has helped them form clear and concrete ideas and communicate them succinctly in paper. Frequent letter writing has taught them discipline, because it is truly an effort some days to sit down and write. It has made them better writers and even improved their penmanship.
With all that said… now I’m off to write a letter.