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The Power of the Handwritten Note

In the time of text messaging and e-mail, snail mail is an unexpected gift. If you care about someone enough to find a card, sit down, put pen to paper, buy a stamp, walk it to the mailbox and not hear back for at least a week, it implies you are willing to make the extra effort.

Words written by hand put your personality on display; it’s like peaking into a person’s soul. And since every person’s handwriting is unique like a fingerprint , each note is unique as well. Letters written while in a rush look different than those that took weeks to prepare. And love letters always seem more meticulous. A perfect example is the illustrious love letters Robert Browning exchanged with Elizabeth Barrett beginning in 1845 (all available in digitized form on the Baylor University website). The passion between them can be sensed not only the words they sent back and forth, but in the way the words were written with beautiful flourishes and delicate script.

I’ve heard the argument from many of my friends and family that they would rather type letters on the computer. “My handwriting is lousy so I just type it up so it’s uniform” is a common response when I have conversations about handwritten letters. But, what I often say in response is that doesn’t matter! You don’t have to write like Elizabeth Barrett to create a meaningful love note. What matters most is intention, and the effort you put into displaying affection for someone you care about that just can’t come through digitally. So, I encourage you all to write letters. Write a lot of letters. People who you love will love them and you even more.