Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Letter Writing/Communication In A Discordant World

Image, Source: color film copy slide

It might be time to write someone a letter.

I’ve been thinking that for myself of late, but I can never get from under the daily need to fill this blog space. Take today for example, I’m writing for the blog instead of writing a letter in the time I have left before I have to go to work.

I’ll just have to make the time.

The poster above is a New Deal poster in support of national Letter Writing Week. Here is a link to a number of New Deal era posters that were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration.

There still is a National Letter Writing Week. It takes place each January. We’ve missed it for 2009, but we can all still write a letter.

A very good book of letters is Letters of the Century–America 1900-1999. I’ve read this book and I can recommend it to you.

I’m behind in responding to a number of people who have e-mailed me in recent weeks. I keep meaning to write a blog post that says nothing but I’m taking the day off from the blog to respond to personal e-mails.

Though if I really meant it, I’d get the address of the people I owe e-mails to and write them a letter. Then they would have a letter to keep that suggested I take my relationships with these folks seriously enough to make a full effort.

Because we are not always in control of our lives, I find myself in frequent communication with people I have no real interest with. This is a source of daily regret in my life. When I go without communicating with my friends for some period of time I feel that I am falling behind and that my relationships are dissolving.

Though the truth is that my friends are just as busy or more busy than I am, and that almost any effort to keep in touch is long-recalled. We should be very slow to give up on or move on from a relationship that at some point had value in our lives.

The very act of communication is an expression of our values. Not just what we are communicating, but the fact that we are communicating at all in a discordant and superficially fragmented world.

Communication is simple enough if you make the time and put some thought into it.

It’s the simplest things done well that often make the most difference in life. Simple things done well are also good in expressing optimism about the value of day-to-day life.

April 1, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Books | , , , , , ,


  1. Amen! Among the things that have come my way over the years are some of the letters my dad wrote to my grandmother when I was a baby. Interesting perspectives on life at that time. And there’s nothing like receiving a personal handwritten note. Letter writing is a good thing and is among our world’s endangered species. Write on!

    Comment by Newton | April 1, 2009

  2. Newton—Very helpful and informed comment. Thank you.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 3, 2009

  3. I agree that letter writing is rapidly becoming a lost art form for most of society. However there is one group that is keeping letter writing alive – Prison inmates and their families! This is due to the fact that the only form of communicating with those behind the walls is via letters or horrendously expensive collect phone calls.

    This comment should by no means be interpreted to mean we should lock more people up in order to preserve our letter writing traditions.

    Comment by DP | April 3, 2009

  4. Interesting insight, DP. We are actually in the middle of National Card and Letter Writing Month. You can check out Giftsin24.com for more info on a contest we are running, too). I also like the idea of taking at least one e-mail a week and replacing an electronic reply with a hand written letter.

    Comment by Giftsin24 | April 6, 2009

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