Reviving lost art of note writing could change someone's life


When was the last time you opened your snail-mail box and there was a handwritten note from a loved-one, long-time friend - or anyone else, for that matter?

Junk mail seems to be all we find in our box these days. So, I have a rather crazy, mind-blowing idea: Craft a handwritten note, maybe even in "cursive, and snail-mail it to someone.

One of my fondest memories as a young boy of about 12 was receiving a handwritten note from my grandfather almost once a week. I was in Little League sports (1968) and he wanted to know if I had hit any home runs or scored any touchdowns.

Yes, there was a financial reward - $1 for each (which today has a market value of $7.27 - I checked). The money was for ice cream, double-decker chocolate!

Today's communication technology provides so many outlets and opportunities to stay connected. I mean, who doesn't like FaceTime on their smart phone? (Well, except when your appearance is "pig-in-trough-like" and could scare someone.)

But, there's something about the written word, especially if it's handwritten and personal. We see it so infrequently these days. I heard recently (though I'm not sure this is true) that cursive writing is no longer being taught in schools. Aren't we defined by the uniqueness of our handwriting?

What about our daily communication? So often you see couples sitting in a restaurant, both on their cell phones, scrolling up and down, not saying a word. Children also stare at their phones, not paying attention when addressed.

I guess my point is that while communication technology provides certain benefits, it also appears to be diminishing the one-on-one interactions that allow people to truly understand why others think and feel the way they do, completely unfiltered.

I think it's time we create a new Pen Pal campaign, but not with a stranger. The Pen Pal would be someone with whom you already have a relationship - a family member or long-time or recent friend you want to share your world with.

But, no email, no FaceTime, no text message, no Facebook - your handwritten method of communication will speak the loudest, and there's an excellent chance you'll receive a handwritten letter in return.

By the way, the money my grandfather sent me was quickly spent, but 50 years later, I still have all his letters!

You might just change someone's life if you put your thoughts in writing.

Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head.

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