When you go to your mailbox today, examine how much of your mail is bills, flyers, and advertisements, then compare that to how much of it is letters or cards from real people trying to be social. I’ll bet the ratio is a sad little one. If you’re like how I was a little over a year ago, probably none of your mail is from friends.
Occasionally, I’d get a card from Lisa or a little package from Francine, but nothing with any regularity to make me feel connected. Our generation relies so heavily on email and social networks that we forget the simple joy of writing letters and cards. It always makes me feel special to get handwritten correspondence, because someone actually took the time to write out a note, just for me, instead of taking the easy route to click a button and type on a few keys.
A little over a year ago, I joined a website called Postcrossing where people from all over the world are connected through postcards. As of yesterday, I’ve received over 100 postcards from every corner of the earth. And I have to say, opening my mailbox to find a postcard sitting there is one of the best feelings ever. It can brighten even the most miserable of days. I’m also proud to say that while I was turned on to this website by Lisa, I have officially converted three other people to postcard-aholics. I feel like I’ve done a little to promote snail mail, and like to think of it as one of my soapboxes.
If more people took the time to write to each other, the world would be a much better place (and just maybe the price of stamps wouldn’t go up ever year). Take the time, write your friends a note, and I can promise you’ll be making them smile. It’s the simplest way to brighten someone’s whole week. I guarantee.
Here is a sampling of my first 100 postcards:
From Great Britain: A recreation of the Battle of Hastings (1066)
From Russia: A blini recipe actually written in English so I can make it.
From Poland: Pictures from their annual folklore festival
From Belgium: The changing of the royal guard.
From the Ukraine: a owl in flight
From China: A picture of a Mongol relic at a museum.
From the Netherlands: A windmill that’s still in use today.
From Poland: A hand-stitched owl. Not a picture of one, but an actual hand-stitched card.
From the USA: Pictures of the majestic falls of Oregon.
From Germany: A medieval festival – these are reenactors. 🙂
From Belgium: Pictures of handwoven, folk fabrics.
From Finland: The alley beside a pretzel bakery.
From the Netherlands – A picture of some medieval text. If you know what this is, please let me know.
From Japan: A picture of an oban festival — but what was neat was I got this only a few weeks after the nuclear meltdown, and the writer described how things were just beginning to get better. It was very heartwarming.
From Greece: Pictures of an old world way of transporting goods that’s still being used.
From the USA: I get a lot of owl cards, which I am very happy about. 🙂
From the Netherlands: An artist rendering of a Punk trend in the Netherlands of putting tape on your shoes to make them unique.
From Great Britain: A picture of Picadilly Circus — but I love this card so hard because of the back. The sender hand drew an owl and it’s the one of the coolest drawings I’ve seen.
From Malaysia: A beautiful sunset picture of Mt. Kinabalu.
From China: This card amuses me! It’s a picture of a United States mailbox, but it was sent to me from China. America is everywhere.
From Germany: Someone picked up on my love of fashion. I can honestly say I’d wear each pair of these shoes. So pretty.
From the Netherlands: This card is special because it was the first one I received, and it’s a picture of a traditional headdress that didn’t stop being warn regularly until the 1950’s.
So, I urge you: write a note, stick a stamp on it, and send it to someone you love. You’ll make them smile, and I’ll bet you’ll get something in return. Let’s start a movement to bring back snail mail, and reconnect with our friends on a different level! Spread the love.