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28 MIN READ TIME

Pushing the envelope

Does anyone write letters anymore? Have they not been superseded by the speed and ease of the email and text? If so, then we have overlooked the essential characteristics of the letter. All things have their place. A text or an email are perfectly adequate for a quick ‘thank you’ – some minor favour, or an impromptu meal suggestion. And thank goodness for them – it means you can send a few cheery words of gratitude even before you get home, or, at least, the next day. Three cheers for instant messaging!

But, the letter is a different matter. It is a physical artefact and it has taken consideration and effort to write it. The very tasks of finding an envelope, looking up a postal address, placing a sheet of paper on a table, and taking up a pen that suits your handwriting, establish a different time frame from an email. You are ready to consider your thoughts and emotions in a very deliberate way. So much so, that you would do well to create a rough draft before setting out on the final adventure across the white page. But, as a result of your attentions, the receiver will benefit tenfold. The letter demonstrates a personal association. It’s not time sensitive – it can be read and re-read, even shared – and it is portable, cannot be deleted in a flash and requires no electronic technology to access it.

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Be Kind
July 2019
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