10 March 2010

Lesson #24: Handwrite letters once in a while.

We've hit some heavy topics recently: communication, love and trust, secrets... so now, we're going to talk about penmanship.  Yeah.  Handwriting.  I'm not even sure they teach it any more.  Remember the fat pencils and the hugely wide lines?  Remember tracing letters, then repeating them for rows and rows?  Soooo many Gs.  And damn that cursive Q.  Handwriting was annoying.

And it obviously didn't stick, if you've ever seen me write a note.


There's always a however.

I say this, typing across my laptop, into the intertubes: hand-writing is very important.  Specifically, handwriting a note or letter.  Yes.  A legible one.  And I mean, more than signing my name above a hallmark logo.

Why do this, you ask, when email might suffice?  Or a phone call?  An IM?  A gChat?  Simple, dear Watson.  I resort to this 'lost art' because...

...it takes time to handwrite a note.  For me, much more time than it does to type out the same.  It requires me to organize my thoughts ahead of time, since there's no hand cut/paste/delete function.  I have to think about spelling, because no squiggly red lines will appear to tell me when I've messed up.  Though, now that I think about it, the absence of auto-correct for a handwritten note is nice (stupid Word), but I digress.

Handwriting a note or letter takes time.  And planning.  And, while I write that note, I'm thinking, the whole time, of the person to which I'm writing, and what I want to say to them.  This is pretty powerful.  How often do we give that much attention to what we're doing?  It's a very mindful process.

So every so often, when I'm putting together a gift or trying to let someone know how much they mean to me, I write it out.  I use nice crisp stationary.  I usually do two drafts, the first to get out what I want to say, the second to make sure it's legible.  And then I fold it, oh so neatly, put their name on the front, and hand it over.  Hopefully, it's just one more way I can show the recipient how special he or she is.

1 comment:

  1. We still teach it :) using the same large pencils and extra wide lined paper.

    But cursive. I'm not sure anyone teaches cursive anymore.