October 10, 2019

Is Handwritten Letter a Thing of The Past?

October 9th is World Post Day! It is the anniversary of the establishment of the first Universal Postal Union in 1874. World Post Day has been celebrated around the world to reacknowledge the importance of the postal services. 

The total First-Class Mail volume has dropped significantly since its peak in 2001 when social networks started to take off.However, as public majorly having shifted to electric delivery which is quicker, easier, and free, is there still benefits of a handwritten letter sent through the mail? There certainly is. The benefit of a handwritten letter is the feeling it conveys. It is intimate and personal in a way that email and text messages cannot fully convey.

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When I was a college student in Japan, I met a retired executive of a large company at a local book club. She had treated me lunch several times over the years before I started to work as a graduate and drifted away from the group.

A few months after I had left the group, I was surprised to find an envelope from her in my mailbox. It was a handwritten note that said how she had enjoyed my company and wished me luck in any future endeavor. It was a gesture that stayed with me and gave me uplifting influences on how I would want to be a compassionate person like her.

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It certainly takes more time and effort to sit down and pull out a pen and paper to write a letter than to send an email or text from your smartphone, but what you would get out of it in return is far larger. We do not print out an electric message and display it on the shelf or pin it on a wall. We rarely keep it in a box in order to cherish it after many years, like we would often do with handwritten letters.

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A student of Sachiko Hanashiro, our Etegami Course supervisor, once described the feeling of receiving a handwritten letter as it would “animate her instantly” not only as soon as she found it in the mail but even after several decades when she encountered it because “the power of handwritten letter lasts permanently.”

How about incorporating old-school communication into your life? You would feel more connected to others and your life will become more fulfilling!  

Click here to learn more about Etegami.

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