In today’s talk, Hannah Brechner talks about how she started a global initiative to send love letters to complete strangers.
I grew up writing letters, it’s a by-product of a long-distance parent-child relationship which is so familiar to so many Filipino children of my generation. Letter writing at the time was the one dependable connection with my parents when phone calls were unbelievably expensive and the internet was in its infancy.
I’ve forgotten how tremendously satisfying and sometimes overwhelming writing can be. To a certain a degree, the physical act of thinking about someone and then putting pen to paper to write down our thoughts with great deliberation probably doesn’t happen that often these days. Computers have made it so easy for us to type something up, delete, edit and send snippets of communication out that it makes me wonder whether it has somehow enabled us to be more callous and quick rather than thoughtful and deliberate in our communication.
The last person I wrote a letter too was a good friend from high-school. Recently we met up and talked about how we relished exchanging letters, writing them and then eagerly awaiting the other’s reply. Brechner, in her talk, was correct in that perhaps today, letter-writing has turned into an art form rather than a functional and practical method of communication for people. Regardless of what a letter can or cannot convey, I think there is something quite intriguing in today’s talk. For a letter from a complete stranger to serve as a lifeline to another is something that I doubt an email will ever convey.