I was recently cleaning out a box of old photos and papers and ran across a handwritten note from one of my high school BFFs – back before we called it that. I immediately sat down and read the two-page soliloquy that was carefully scribed in calligraphy onto wide-ruled paper.
Then I read it again.
I thought to myself, “When was the last time I received a handwritten letter? Or better yet, when was the last time I wrote one?”
I can vividly recall the circumstances that prompted this touching letter from my girlfriend, and in those immediate moments of reflection, it made me sad for my daughter who is in high school and communicates with her BFFs through fleeting texts and snapchats. She won’t have the experience of uncovering a 30-year old handwritten letter that spins her into an evening of reminiscing.
As soon as I could form legible words with a crayon, my mother began instilling in me the importance of handwritten thank you notes. In fact, on Christmas, those thank you notes had to be written before I could enjoy my gifts. To this day I do my best to get handwritten thank you notes out in a timely manner, whether for personal gifts or business transactions because I know it’s important to take the time to express my gratitude.
There have been a handful of occasions when I’ve been the recipient of handwritten notes in business, and it always sticks with me that someone took the extra time to take a pen to paper versus firing off an email from their mobile device while in line at the grocery store. Handwritten notes just feel more meaningful, intentional and thoughtful.
You don’t even have to be a good writer. You just have to pick up a pen, find a piece of paper, and start writing what you’re thinking. There are no backspace or delete buttons; just a blank canvas waiting to capture your thoughts. Thoughts that will create a lasting impression and just might get stuck in a drawer to be rediscovered years later.
–Jane Olvera Quebe, President