I am a writer. I can best express myself through words on paper, rather than in conversation. Yet I am somewhat of a dinosaur. Few people care to write to one another, preferring instead the ubiquitous cell phone for chatting or texting, using shortcut terminology and coded phrases. (C U later. I M here 4 U – 24/7.)
Saddened by the loss of beautiful and colorful exposition, I refuse to succumb to that way of communicating. You will not hear me say that someone is busy 24/7; you won’t see me texting a friend on a handheld device. I prefer words, lengthy, beautiful, expressive words, to share my feelings. I send cards, I write letters, and yes, I e-mail. I love words and what they can do. I can send cheer, or sympathy, or concern, or congratulations, all with words on a piece of paper. I can celebrate with you, or cry with you, hopefully make you laugh, all with a pen or pencil.
You’re too busy. I know. I hear this all the time. It’s easier to call. Yup. Yet have you ever received a correspondence that you read over and over, just for the joy of it? Have you smiled to know that someone thought of you enough to take the time to write, or choose a card just for you?
I like, too, the permanence of the written word. Years later, someone can pull out a letter, reread it, and relive the joy or sorrow or pleasure it presented the first time. Birthday cards with a handwritten note inside, letters from a child at camp, love letters from a sixteen year old boy, a note from a long gone grandparent – all of these are items to be cherished! Even sympathy cards, arriving at a time of great sorrow, bring a smile to the face of the recipient, knowing they are thought of, and cared for.
So next time you pick up the phone to call a friend, maybe you should think about writing a letter instead. Share what’s on your mind and in your heart in a more permanent way. Give the recipient a gift that they can hold on to.
Don’t let the art of correspondence disappear.