In today’s virtual world, considering regular mail can feel rather absurd. Why would you send a postcard when you can instantly send an email or an e-card conveying your thoughts and good wishes, right?
But what happened to the charms of opening your mailbox and wondering what lies within? Hasn’t the walk back from the postbox become rather boring with only bills and flyers to expect?
Though the digital age has done a marvelous job at getting the world closer, it hasn’t been able to incorporate the personal touch that the physical world offers.
The tummy just doesn’t tingle on an electronic signature saying, “Miss you,” and the joys of hearing from someone are short lived, extending only to the length of the email message itself.
I myself had forgotten the charms of the snail mail until recently, when I met a young gentleman during my travels across the globe. As we exchanged contact details and said our goodbyes, he managed to startle me as he said, “I’ll write to you.”
Now being from the twenty-first century and deeply sunken into the virtual world, I found this statement to be rather preposterous.
“You mean email me,” I said sarcastically.
I failed to understand why someone would want to write to me through regular mail, since it may take weeks to arrive, when I could possibly be reading the message almost instantaneously.
Though something in me suddenly cherished the idea of getting physical mail. The simple yet thoughtful words “Hold tight, you should be getting something in the mail soon” made me feel like a child again, impatient and excited about what lies ahead.
The excitement of figuring out the postman’s timings and running to the mailbox as you see the mail van cross is priceless. The actual present at this moment is irrelevant; it’s the thought that makes all the difference.
Could an email ever make you feel this way? Is it even possible for the virtual world to transport the thought with the letter as elegantly as the physical world does?
The extra effort of writing a letter by hand and going through the trouble to post it somehow makes all the difference. This simple act converts a static email message to a thoughtful and tangible piece of work that you can cherish forever.
This makes me wonder, is faster always better? Is the new always superior to the old?
What is rather interesting is that, though we might have the desire to know everything instantaneously, the moments that we look back on and cherish are often the ones that were the least expected.
They are the ones that came out of nowhere, the ones that we took a moment to experience and indulge in, the ones where we created memories slowly, one step at a time.
As we grow older and indulge ourselves in the fast-paced world, we sometimes forget the joys of the unexpected.
Patience and curiosity have no space in our lives, as we desire to know everything, right now.
Uncertainty makes us uneasy and cautious to such a great extent that we strive harder and harder to make this very uncertain world…certain.
So get out there and write a line or two to a loved one or surprise someone by mailing a thoughtful present. Make an extra effort to tell someone how you feel and rediscover the charms of the traditional way of things.
The postman may not come by on a bicycle anymore, but the joys of awaiting a postcard or a letter from a dear one hasn’t changed a bit.
Though it might feel like the slowest process on the planet, and it quite arguably could be, somehow the time lapsed only adds more depth to your thought, and the anticipation makes your message even more charming.
This experience tempted me to venture into to unknown and send out a postcard myself. Though it took my postcard an exceptionally long time to get to its destination, the excitement of it finally making it was simply indescribable.
It’s the simplest things in life that are the most magical. Start the cycle, send a smile the traditional way and see the ripple effect it creates.
About the Author
Vibha Dhawan is an engineer during the day, a writer by night and a non-conformist by nature. She enjoys travelling, yoga and writing about life on her blog Curious Lounge. Connect with her via Twitter @curiouslounge.