A thoughtful moment..

We received a comment this morning that caused us to step back a bit and reflect on a month of handwritten correspondence and think about what it might mean.

Taking  a thoughtful moment is often a rare and special gift of time and consideration in the world we live in. Most certainly it’s our belief that it doesn’t happen nearly enough.

We aren’t alone in recognising that handwritten correspondence is a thoughtful activity at it’s heart. The fact that for the month of February it’s directed outwards to both friends and strangers is pretty unique. Given the impersonal and rote responses we give to a sizeable chunk of our social interactions throughout the year, this makes it rather exceptional.

There was a time when much of life was conversational in tone. We’re not talking distant past, but easily within many of our lifetimes. Families, friends, neighbours, our local community where we bought, sold and traded things.  Festivities, reunions, ceremonies, and celebrations; much of it consisted of sharing personal stories in a conversational tone with people we knew and maybe didn’t know so well.

 

conversation-06

 

The recent advance of many technical achievements have encroached and eroded this process to a serious degree. Although we click, tweet, paste, post, respond, tap, swipe, and call this sharing; it’s a far cry from sitting down over a cup of coffee or tea to catch up in detail what may be occupying our thoughts and daily lives. Even when it’s hunches, feelings, musings, stories reshaped and unfolded, a personal, handwritten letter or conversation has a lasting presence in our day that’s difficult to capture or share any other way.

When we look at the larger picture, if only two thirds of the people who signed up only met half their objective of writing a letter every day — a minimum of fourteen-thousand people will have the opportunity to walk home from their mailbox this spring with an unopened letter in hand waiting to sit down and take some time to read it. We aren’t aware of many people who consider this a burdensome and sorry task. In fact, most people we know feel kind of special.

The fact that your contribution has a direct hand in making at least fourteen-thousand people around the planet feel special is no small matter. Making someone feel special is not as easy as it seems. Mostly because it requires a little consideration, time and actual effort combined with a little bit of  unselfish intent. All of which seem to be in very short supply.

In all likelihood more than fourteen-thousand letters will be written. Add to that the hundreds of people who found each other through this project who will continue writing throughout the year. This makes it all the more rewarding.

Maybe you haven’t received your letter yet, or maybe not enough letters, but we can assure you as you continue writing that the world is a better place for your contribution, and given time, your value will certainly be acknowledged.

Cheers

9 Comments

  1. mimitabby says:

    It really is a pleasure to have a correspondence with someone who shares with you. It is a journey with another soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. hertryk says:

    I take pleasure in accepting the INCOWRIMO challenge using a beautiful writing instrument I have the privilege to own, and deciding on the ink, and selecting a name and address from the address book. Or perhaps just catching up with a correspondent from previous years! If I receive a reply or am chosen myself from the address list it is exciting!
    Long lines, late deliveries, nor ever increasing postal rates will deter me from my mission of continuing the glorious cultural tradition of letter writing! 👏🎶👏🎶

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bridget says:

    What a wonderful post. I’ve been thrilled to receive three letters to date from new snail mail friends. Even though someone is a complete staranger, I’m always amazed at what we find in common – the ties that bind us to someone new.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Renard DellaFave says:

    “technical achievements have encroached and eroded this process to a serious degree. Although we click, tweet, paste, post, respond, tap, swipe, and call this sharing; it’s a far cry from sitting down over a cup of coffee”

    Like

  5. Renard DellaFave says:

    I’d have to disagree. While there is a lot of interaction that is what you’re thinking of, there’s also a lot of very letter-writing-like slow interactions with people in my life that, with 80s tech, I would probably not be able to stay in touch with at all. An email, or FB message isn’t “sitting down over a cup of coffee”, but it’s a lot better than nothing, and in some ways can be better than a letter when the friend isn’t someone who enjoys writing.

    Like

    • Interesting point and you’re right, sometimes a quick note is better than nothing. What we’re referring to is the level of personal investment, and in particular the experiential and social impact of the neurological and physical investment in both time as well as 3D space. Although our ’80s experience of having someone on the other side of the planet talk directly into our ear is as close to telepathy as we will probably get but that’s a whole other ball of wax.

      Like

  6. JCairns says:

    I’m glad that I participated in InCoWriMo and a few other letter-writing sites. I’ve met some new friends and hope to keep corresponding with some well into the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hertryk says:

    I am 70 years old and use technology only when I have to! I work full time in the automobile industry! I leave emails at work and don’t use “apps”. To write a letter, card, thank you note with a beautiful writing instrument using a lovely rich ink is heartwarming to ones soul!

    Like

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