Today I am thankful for those who still embrace the concept of snail mail once in a while. Though twitter and email and other electronic methods are of course uber-efficient and help us stay more connected than ever before, it’s hard to argue against the power of tangible words on a page. And the occasional letter or card by mail, in my opinion, is the greatest expression of thoughtfulness, creativity and gratitude.
Handwritten letters and thank you notes are something my mother ingrained in me early on. And I recently found boxes in her basement where it would seem that she saved almost every letter I ever wrote her.
I have always been thankful that my mother taught me the value of the written word. My kids probably aren’t so thrilled about it at this point, as my son has a list of thank you notes to complete. But they will be later.
The transfer of hand written documents by an intermediary dates almost as far back as the invention of writing itself. The development of formal postal systems occurred much later, with the first organized service for transferring written documents in Egypt, where Pharaohs used couriers to disperse their decrees in the territory of the State in 2400 BC.
Now as the internet transforms the way people communicate, mail volumes worldwide are on the decline.
Yet even as email is often used for thanking potential employers after job interviews, discussions with top executives have shown that those who use handwritten notes are more noticed by potential employers compared to the hundreds of emails received and quickly read and deleted. And those skills transfer over to success in many careers where the handwritten word has been proven to help executives lead others and form deeper relationships with customers and prospects.
I will be using snail mail as a complementary method for communication for as long as I am lucky enough to have a dependable postal service at my disposal. And I treasure each handwritten note I receive, knowing the thought and effort required by the sender.
Today, though I terribly miss my Mother’s regular letters which I received for the last twenty-five years, I am grateful that she taught me the power of the hand written word. And thankful to receive as much personal snail mail as I do.
Do you remember how excited you were to receive mail as a child? And do you still get a little excited when you receive a package? I’m guessing so, if you’re anything like me. When was the last time you sent or received a handwritten note?