Recently I asked my parents to scavenge up old cards I had written them – an easy task for any member of my family. As I sifted through the stack of cards, many thoughts came to my mind. I noticed patterns in my writing, how I signed off, the message of the card itself, and the length of my personal message.
Interestingly, while reading the cards one of two things occurred: I either remembered how I felt when I initially wrote them, or I remember details of what I was referring to in my message. Before this mini-reminiscent session I never fully appreciated the importance of cards to my family. And I definitely did not considered how this simple, generous act might not be the norm.
Writing letters used to be the norm. As time has passed and technological capabilities have increased, humans have become lazier. We, yes all of us, are lazy. Maybe some more so than others, but on average we are lazy human beings. It is an unfortunate, but honest truth.
Every birthday I save the cards I receive because the words mean something to me. I do not think my birthday would be as special if the cards did not come in the mail. It is the one day a year when I actually receive letters in the mail … besides the other “special event” holidays, of course.
Special events, like birthdays or Father’s Day, provide people with an opportunity to express their gratitude. Often people assume their loved ones know they are loved. But it doesn’t hurt to ensure this assumption because it may not be true.
My mother knows I love her dearly. Yet, I do not say it nearly as many times as I should. The cards are where I, and you, have the chance to express emotions. We give our words life by putting the on paper. They no longer live in our minds; they now live on a tangible object that can be cherished for hundreds of years. Literally.
On birthdays and holidays my father displays all the cards on the dining room table. It is refreshing to be reading a hand-written card, and not a typed up article online. Writing cards makes it real.
Please never send an E-card. They are so impersonal, and a little tacky if we are continuing with the honesty trend. Forget technology for ten minutes, take a piece of paper and pen, and write.
It is 2014, but the ink has not run out. Start now.