The ‘Write’ Stuff: Letter Writing Has a Fighting Chance

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From the beloved author, Morris Gleitzman to a passionate teen from Sydney, an enthusiastic community of Aussies still delight in snail mail’s timeless pleasure.

Jack Berne was tidying up his family’s decaying storage shed when a bundle of letters from his mother in her youth suddenly appeared. To Jack’s surprise, this correspondence between her and her friends was delivered through the mail! “It caught me off guard to read about their form of communication,” he reflects.

He discovered handwritten letters adorned with vibrant drawings, and the bubbly font had a far more intimate vibe than the texts he sent his buddies.

Over the past two years, the 9th-grader from Sydney’s northern beaches has dedicated time to penning heartfelt letters for his primary schoolmate who relocated and sending friends cards on their birthdays.

While a few choose to stay old-fashioned, most letters are from organisations and agencies in Australia. Michelle Rowland, Minister for Communications, states that such entities send 97% of correspondence.

This week, the government released a document outlining potential changes for Australia Post that could mean an end to its daily letter delivery requirement.

The organisation revealed a loss of $190 million in its letter business over half a year, with the unstoppable diminishing expected to render letters an insignificant form of communication by 2030.

Jennifer King, an avid correspondent who sends around ten letters per week, is grief-stricken by the news.

“It’s a reflection of our current society, where everyone is in an immense hurry for no apparent reason,” she remarks.

Sending handwritten letters allowed King to relax, be mindful and take her time. Email inboxes can become overwhelming; however, what motivates King to send mail is the joy she knows it brings those receiving them.

Through her thoughtful gesture of sympathy and compassion, she explains that it’s the ultimate way to express “I’m thinking of you”. Taking a few moments out of your day can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated and loved, not just by words but with action. People need to know that there is always somebody who truly cares about them, which is why this meaningful act holds so much value.

The fact is that letter writing has been around for centuries and is far from obsolete. If anything, this pandemic has caused us to appreciate its beauty even more. So why not get creative and express yourself – who knows, you can even make someone’s day.

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