When I was a little girl, my grandmother would sit me down at the kitchen table with a pen and a sheet of paper. She’d give me a person – my mom, my dad, my aunt, a cousin – and tell me to write them a letter. She’d task me with telling them what I was up to, what new adventures I had gone on, and to recount all of the places we had gone in the last week.
I was maybe 7 or 8, and as I got older, I continued to write letters. Mostly, it was because grandma had taught me that’s how you show someone that you really care about what is going on in their lives. It shows you took the time to sit down, organize your thoughts, and then carefully place them on the page.
It was a time before computers consumed our lives. Before we used auto correct for everything. When I could type out a letter on the typewriter or in an ancient version of Microsoft Word, but chose not to. Why? Because it meant more.
When I was in college, my grandmother would write me letters occasionally and I’d try to set aside the time to respond. When I studied abroad in France for a semester, I returned those letters more frequently. But as I got older, left college, took on the real world, I forgot about handwriting letters.
I forgot to take the time to show people I cared.
Why not send them an email? Because it’s impersonal. It would take me 2 minutes to write an email. It might get lost in their Junk Mail. It might never be opened.
However, when someone opens their mailbox and they get a letter, they know the person took the time. They took the time to pick out the card or paper to write the letter on. The time to write an address on the envelope. The time to get a stamp. The time to physically drop the letter at a mail box.
So that’s why I’m writing. I’ve hand written eight letters in 2016 so far. Some thank you cards, some just because, and a few just to tell a few people that I miss having them in my life.
We can change how people communicate. We can put down the phones, stop texting so much, and get out from behind the computer screens. Get a piece of paper and an envelope and tell someone you care. Try it, at least once.
And if you need some inspiration, there’s plenty of pretty cards out there to choose from:
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