During a writer’s group I attended recently we went around the room sharing ways we organize as we write. There were many good ideas shared but what I noticed from most of the ideas was how much we rely on technology. Word processing programs to writer’s software. What happened to a college ruled spiral notebook and a No. 2 pencil? I can’t remember the last thing I have actually taken the time to write out in longhand. Can you? The closest I have come lately to practicing my penmanship, which Mrs. Jones taught me so carefully and with such love, was making out the grocery list.
I was taking quick notes during a business meeting last month and when I returned to my desk and reviewed my notes I couldn’t read my own handwriting. How lazy have we become? In one of my company’s newsletters under employee notes it told you how to give a compliment with class: If you have something nice to say about people, put it in writing. Handwriting, that is. It shows that you took extra time and care to recognize what they did. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? Something so simple but would bring so much joy when you received it in the mail. You couldn’t wait to rip it open and read the contents over and over. I still cherish one of the last handwritten letters from my Father.
I remember in school how I would throw away notes and start all over if I thought my handwriting looked sloppy or if I didn’t dot my i’s correctly or cross my t’s. It was always a contest between girlfriends to have the cutest signature. Additions of hearts, curly cues or anything that would set you apart from the group and make your name instantly recognized in the slam books that were passed around school.
Think what our children are missing out on. They won’t receive that first cherished handwritten love note or valentine. Remember running your fingers over the signature because you could feel the love? Now our children will receive a text message, instant message or email. Instead of filing it away in an old shoe box for safe storage under their bed now they will make a directory and save it under some filename that will help them remember what it contains.
I will be the first to admit emails and word processing programs are fantastic when you work or live with people who can’t spell or write legible. What I don’t know is how much of our spunky personality or fantastic sense of humor can we show in an email or attached file using Times New Roman font versus handwriting with i’s dotted with hearts and t’s crossed with curly cues.
Go home and make you grade school teacher proud or make someone’s day by sending them a handwritten note. Practice your cursive writing. Attach all your letters and make them all slant the same direction. Give it a try. You will be surprised. It’s not as easy as it used to be. Just make sure and include the love……