Did you know that January 23rd is National Handwriting Day? I know there is a random holiday basically every day of the year, but I particularly appreciate this one. In this age of social media and technology, handwriting often gets overlooked and forgotten. This is so unfortunate, because there is a special kind of beauty to be found in a handwritten note.
The holiday was established in 1977 to bring to light the purity and power of writing by hand; conveniently, January 23rd happens to be John Hancock’s birthday, owner of the most famous signature in history. It used to be that kids in school took penmanship classes every year; nowadays, few schools offer this type of instruction at all. I think when I was in first or second grade we took a few days to learn the basic cursive forms, but other than that, handwriting was entirely absent from my education. In some ways, I get this. We’ve got computers to type on, phones to text on, and a lot of other important things to learn – penmanship is simply not as necessary in our society today as it used to be. Nevertheless, there is nothing – nothing – that compares to getting a handwritten letter in the mail.
Living so far away from family and friends, I’ve come to realize how hard it is to keep in touch with people, even with the ease of modern technology. I think because sending a text is so easy, I oftentimes just forget about it or tell myself I’ll do it later, and consequently don’t talk to loved ones for weeks or even months at a time. To remedy this sad situation, I’ve decided to take up letter writing again. So much personality can be contained in the curvature of a letter, the scribble of a line. A letter is intentional and thoughtful – a quick text or some words on a Facebook wall just do not compare.
So write a letter today in honor of National Handwriting Day. Someone will greatly appreciate it. 🙂