The Decline of Handwriting
The Makeshift Gift
A Lesson for Me and Others
Do you write letters? I mean, hand write letters? I confess I do not, though I am a great acard sender, and those I hand write my message. However, I have come to the conclusion that something must be done to revive the dying art of handwriting. Once upon a time we wrote letters frequently - and in the days before computers the way we did it was with paper and pen.
I remember as a teenager that I had several pen pals - one in the Phillipines, one in the UK, and one in country Australia and I wrote to them frequently and received letters from them. As I left home during my late teens to do my nursing training, I wrote frequent letters to my parents and I think i have many of them - especially those letters that came to me in the latter part of my life.
I have also been a very frequent card writer - I make my own cards, often cards with photos these days as I am an avid photographer. I love writing words of encouragement or inspiration - and often send them anonymously. These cards I write by hand - my own hand writing often using a special coloured pen - often purple which is my special colour.
When I receive a gift, or have a meal with a friend, I love to send a few lines of thanks - of course written by my own hand. However, I notice that I seldom if ever receive one myself. People just don't do that any more.
I have four grand children - aged from 12 to 7 years - and I am getting a little miffed that despite my good example, I do not receive thank you's from my immediate family including the grandchildren. I get disappointed that their parents do not encourage them to write a note of thanks.
I did ask my children and grand children to write to my mother - who celebrated her 97th birthday in October. Sadly I don't think anyone did.
It came to me when trying to work out what to get the grandchildren (3 girls and a boy) for Christmas this year. I think like many folks trying to buy gifts, it has become a major challenge as children seem to (a) have everything and (b) be very fussy. I had decided to send money - but that is rather 'boring', so I set out to do something different.
Ah Ha! I would buy nice note paper and envelope sets - and put my name and address on one envelope (HINT! HINT!) - and include some money with each set. Now to buy a note paper and envelope set.............
Do you know I have walked in and out of countless newsagents, paper shops etc and found nothing suitable? Most do not have such products. No one writes any more I was told. One young girl 'bragged' that she'd never written a letter!!!
I came away shocked and disappointed. I have learned that if I want such products I have to buy them online, which I will do - but meanwhile Christmas is less than a week away, and I must send my gifts today!
However, I did work out what my compromise would be - I bought some simple lined note paper, some envelopes, some fancy butterfly stickers (pink for the girls and blue for the boy), and have typed a letter (, yes, typed I confess, but I would have had to do four identical explaining how handwriting was created thousands of years BC (I wonder if they understand those initials!) and how it is a gift to have the ability to write letters and notes by hand. I do wonder if they will think their grandmother has lost the plot, but within the package I have created is a huge paper clip with the cash attached.
For my part, and my plan to encourage others to maintain their writing skills, I have also written in my To Do List for 2013, which includes a promise to myself that I will hand write a note to each of my grandchildren on a monthly basis, and that I will encourage others to write - by hand.
If you are reading this, and like me, lament the decline of hand writing, could you decide to write a note to someone by hand? Maybe one note a month. Write a thank you note, words of wisdom, words of encouragement or a letter to someone you know. Older people especially that do not use computers, and now seldom receive a letter or card because so many younger people only use computes or mobile phones to communicate - leaving older people 'outside the loop.)
This is something that is low cost (paper, envelope - and they don't have to be fancy) and a postage stamp if you cannot deliver yourself. Set an example. Show how receiving a letter has far more value than an email.
Go on. Do it.
(There's more information at this website)