Despite those who say it’s dying. That it’s obsolete. That, more and more, machines will take over the tasks we use handwriting for. That schools will teach it less and less. Despite all of the obstacles and the naysayers, writing by hand will live on long after you and I are gone.
How do I know?
Our children. Mine and yours. All of us who write by hand and advocate its importance and advantages. We who have children will write by hand in front of those children. Through such actions they will learn from us that writing by hand is something one does. We will teach them to do the same.
We will show them that a handwritten “thank you” is a simple and meaningful display of gratitude.
We will show them that writing a letter by hand has personality and power an email never can.
We will show them that a memory captured by hand in a notebook is a treasure that will last for generations.
We will show them that the quickest of notes will outlast the longest of memories.
We will tell them about paper lasting hundreds and thousands of years longer than any operating system or word processor ever invented.
We will teach them. We will not only model this behavior we will actively advocate and teach it. We will explain the benefits and reasons. When they are old enough to take those lessons and turn them into appreciation and action, they will write by hand too. They will know the joy of a good pen and fine paper. They will know that, if you want something to last, you choose paper. Then, they will teach their children too.
If you don’t have children of your own, find one you know. A nephew or niece. A little brother or sister. A cousin or the kid of a friend. Give them a few pens and a notebook. Perhaps some Thank You cards, correspondence paper, and envelopes. Tell them why you are giving it to them. Show them your notebooks and letters. Tell them why you use them and why you think it’s important that they do to. They may not get it right away. That’s OK. Gently nudge them with encouragement every now and then. Show them the way.