The Power of Hand Written Words

There was a woman in my class taking the reflection and quiet time given to write herself a letter. She told me later she would mail it to herself to remind her of what she was thinking, what she had learned, and what she wanted to do with her newly learned content. I was proud of her for taking the time to write things down while they were fresh in her mind.

There is something that happens in our brain when we write things by hand. A portion of our brain is activated and stays more engaged, remembers more, and the ideas and more fully embraced when we write. Sure a keyboard is faster for some of us and it doesn’t take up as much space. The challenge is that the keyboard doesn’t engage us the way hand written words do.

For years schools cut handwriting out of the curriculum and replaced it with keyboarding. An unintended consequence was that generations grew up without any sort of signature. Since they never learned to write their name in cursive, they could only print which is not a legal signature for most life documents. I was told recently that more schools are bringing back handwriting and cursive in order to engage the mind more and ensure students know how to write in a style other than basic printing.

There is power in a hand written word. A note, a card, a signature, a post it note all possess the ability to engage us in a way typing does not. To see how someone writes, or underlines, where they use an exclamation point and where they choose to place the words on the page – these can tell us so much about what they are working to communicate. More than any typewriter or keyboard can express. When was the last time you received a handwritten note? Or sent one? It may have been a thank you note or get well card and probably meant the world to the recipient. There is a thrill we feel when we see that someone has written our name in their hand writing to tell us something important, important enough to write it themselves. It adds meaning and life and a connection that typed words do not posses. So you know what’s coming…send someone you know a hand written note for no other reason than to make them smile. It will make you feel amazing to know that they will open their mail and their spirits will be lifted simply because you cared enough to write them a note by hand.

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