Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Lost Art of Correspondence

Personal correspondance is
a way to touch those we love.

In the modern world of email, SMS, Twitter and Instant Messaging, who really cares about correspondence in the form of a letter or card? You should. Not any form of electronic message can replace a heartfelt letter of card. It is more than a form of communication. It is a gift.

Lost is the ability to open, hold, the psychological joy and contentment of touching, and holding a card. Sending e-cards may be more convenient than traditional cards, however we lost the ability to cherish those cards which can be placed and displayed on tables, workstations, cupboards etc. Many physical letters and cards are kept for remembrance for that loving moment that prompted the sending of the card. History is lost as electronic love letters are being deleted after being read.

Photo: James Cridland

Do not misunderstand me. I am technophile from the ground up. As reflected by this article, I blog, use email, I have a Blackberry and a Smartphone , use IM, am on Twitter. These are all useful tools in my personal and work life, because they provide an instant (or near instant) response, they are convenient, and they are the means of communication for so many people. These should not be the only tools. Cards and letters not to be forgotten or labeled as old fashioned.

I spent many years in the military separated from my family during numerous deployments. My wife and I always kept in touch with each other through greeting cards. It was a joy to receive cards a several times a week. It strengthened the bond that my wife still share to this day after twenty years of marriage. My son goes to college in New Mexico, quite a distance from our home in Washington State. I make it a point to send him a card at least twice week. I talk about his inspirations, current events and goings on here at home. During our weekly phone calls, it is hard to tell someone how much we feel for them. A card or letter allows us the intimacy to do this. This sense of intimacy of a physical form of correspondence instead of an email or phone call brings us closer together as father and son. Sending a letter or a card does show more effort and a deeper level of personal commitment.

Military receiving mail during the holidays,

World War II

Let’s restart the art of correspondence. I have a couple ideas that can help you get back into practice:

  • Send a thank you not to a coworker, employee or supervisor. Write a card that tells them what they mean to you and the organization.

  • Write cards to your significant other, spouse, children, and parents expressing your thoughts on an important event or milestone. Tell them how much you care about them. Thank them for being a part of your life. Encourage your children to write cards to you and other family members from time to time.

  • Use personalized cards that mean something to you and the recipient. Use a system that allows you to import photos and your own handwriting.
Send out cards. Whether it is a card for expressing your love for someone or a just staying in touch note, people will realize you care and do things a bit differently from the average person.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a writer of greeting card verses and I applaud YOU for sending cards! IF people on this Earth were concerned about "what really matters" in this life, there would be a shortage of cards in the stores!

Father Time