Opinion: Ditch the email and put pen to paper
PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 September 2019
So many of our communications are conveyed electronically these days; I get thousands of emails and texts which all look the same and so it was a very special treat, when it was my birthday recently, to pick up the post and to find, hidden between the catalogues and circulars, some real handwritten messages!
In my work as a priest, people have sometimes taken the time to write by hand a letter to me to say thank you for baptising their baby or conducting their loved-one's funeral service.
Those letters are so precious and I save them, often in the pages of a book so that, when I go to look up something, I find a letter and it delights me all over again.
But perhaps the best letter that I've ever received was the one written by my father to my sister and me and put in with his will so that we found it, together with a letter to his beloved grandchildren, after he'd died.
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Beautifully written in his best copperplate handwriting, our dad said how much he'd enjoyed being our father, watching our growth and development and how we'd always have his blessing.
And, every so often, I read that letter again, just to remind myself how fortunate I am to have had such a loving and thoughtful father.
A letter like that, especially if it's written by hand, is a real demonstration of love and care because, apart from anything else, it takes time; we have to find some writing paper, or a suitable card, then sort out a pen and maybe a refill or even ink.
Then we have to think carefully what to write - can't cross out too many times - before committing our thoughts, hopes and love to paper.
I know it's quicker to send an email but it means so much more to write it by hand!
Worth a try?
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