January 13 2016 – Laura Wright
OBLIGATIONS: NOTES THAT YOU OWE
When someone dies, when you have hurt someone, or when you have been given a gift, a handwritten note is the only way to communicate your feelings of sympathy, apology or gratitude. You don't have to do more than send your words on paper, but you must not do less. When a note you owe is written, stamped, and mailed, you will rightly feel that you are in a state of grace.
OCCASIONS: NOTES THAT KEEP RELATIONSHIPS ON TRACK
There are many other times when a handwritten note is the best way to be in touch. You can use notes to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or an achievement; to congratulate on a triumph; or to commiserate on a setback. Once you start to send notes on special occasions, you will discover ordinary occasions that can be elevated into special occasions with a note. Although you can always reach for the phone or e-mail, the note means so much more. And the habit of sending notes on occasions will make it easier for you to be ready to send the ones you owe.
OPPORTUNITIES: NOTES THAT OPEN NEW WAYS TO CONNECT
The handwritten note opens up an extra way to stay in touch, when you might not have thought of sending or saying anything. If you begin to use handwritten notes routinely, you can then start to use them creatively when inspiration strikes. A handwritten note opens channels of communication when you write to a small child, stay in touch with the elderly, thank people for kindness, add your own words to a gift, and comment on clippings. A note gives you the opportunity to stay connected with people you care about in way you might not have thought about.
Shepherd, Margaret. The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.