This summer, my husband and I have had the opportunity to go through our stored boxes to sort through the long-untouched belongings that have been in his parents’ attic for three years since we moved abroad. Most recently, I went through a bag of letters I have saved over the years from family and friends. I took the time to read almost every one, many from my family and friends when I was studying abroad in Japan, others from friends I had made during summers in Seattle between college semesters. There were letters sent by my Japanese co-workers and friends after I had returned to the U.S., and some other heartfelt thank you notes. I was very moved by reading some of these letters. For example, I was overwhelmed by the love exuded through each family member’s unique handwritten words, reminding me how special I have always been to them. This has also inspired me to reach out to them in love more now, especially as I live so far away from them all. Surely, I appreciated those written letters when I first received them, but I cherish them all the more now, as I am able to recall cobwebbed memories and re-experience the love of family and friends, including those who are no longer in my life . Someone told me that letters will probably become obsolete one day, but I would argue that even e-mail is passé with the rise of texting and social networking sites. However, I think there is so much to lose by always resorting to convenient and speedy electronic communication. Rarely will a friend or family member write their hearts out over the Internet anymore; in fact, most do not bother to write more than a short paragraph most times. Even if they did and we printed out the e-mail to save, Times New Roman hardly conveys an individual’s personality. Having experienced the significance of rereading letters from the past, I advocate for keeping up the letter-writing tradition. Besides, there are few who would not like receiving a sincere letter from a friend amidst those bills and grocery store ads. So, whose day could you brighten with a handwritten letter to let them know you are thinking of them? I challenge you to take the time to write it. The little time and effort you take to do so will surely be multiplied in the love transmitted to the recipient.
Have you had an experience when a handwritten letter was so appreciated?