In my last post, I defended cursive writing as a dying art form. One finds few opportunities to use handwriting in the modern world, unless one looks for them. In my opinion, the best reason to practice handwriting currently is to write letters.
Unfortunately, sending written letters by post is another practice that many people condemn as archaic. Fewer and fewer people know what it feels like to receive a letter in the mail containing a personal message from a friend or loved one. I believe the world is the poorer for it. Is there any gift that can be more simply or inexpensively given? Can you imagine not appreciating receipt of a letter from someone you love? It’s a sure way to make someone’s day, and, even in this era of yearly postal rate increases, it’s a bargain!
I find few more pleasant ways to spend my time than writing letters. Sitting quietly, with music playing, a pleasant view from my window, and a hot drink at my elbow, thinking about someone I love is soothing, even blissful. I’ve gone to the time and expense to find quality stationery, and I always write with my favorite fountain pen. Writing with a fine instrument on paper made for the purpose is like creating art. I’d much rather write letters than learn to meditate, but I imagine the effects on my well being are much the same.
Email has supplanted letter writing for most people. I use it heavily myself, but I refuse to let it replace handwritten letters. Each has its own purposes. These may overlap, but do not necessarily cancel each other out. If I need to communicate quickly, I call or email. If I have the time, and want to make a real impression, I write a letter. No email, even the ones I craft with greatest care, can match the power of a handwritten letter.
Hand writing is old fashioned. So is peace of mind, comfort, relaxation, and investing care in and taking pride in one’s abilities, but I’m not ready to give them up, either. Those who do, though they may never realize it, are poorer for the lack of it. Let’s hope for their sakes that technology will always be with us, and that written communication will always be keyboard based from here on out. Personally, I’m not ready to give up any skill that I have learned, or have the opportunity to learn, just yet.