Connection Through Handwriting

Jan 23, 2015

  By Stacey Holst
  Director, Human Resources

 Take my money, take my jewels, but leave my grandmother’s
 handwritten recipes. Those little 3x5 cards are far too valuable for me
to relinquish. Okay, they aren’t worth millions (to my knowledge), but 
 they carry a sentimental value that is immeasurable. Why is that?

 Some say there is a direct correlation between one’s handwriting and character traits. Regardless of science, handwritten notes are intimate and radiate with the personality of their writer. Perhaps that is why a 1971 handwritten letter from John Lennon reportedly sold for $28,000 last fall – the fluctuating size of the words, the changing pressure of his pen, and occasional shifts to all caps, a scribble, and a smear – I can almost sense his emotion.  A similar liveliness exists in the handwritten notes I receive from family, friends, and colleagues.  Whereas beauty is in the eye of the beholder…so is the value.

Brain imaging studies by Virginia Berninger, PhD, show that handwriting engages the thinking area of a mind. Personally, handwriting allows me to better capture emotions, ideas, and thought processes; sharing or recalling them later - like that charming story I wrote in second grade. Perhaps we also have an internal receiver to find new meaning in the messages of others.  That may be why I feel a connection to that homemade card from my son; comments on the backs of photographs; encouraging notes from my family; and those recipes from my grandmother.

When I look at those aging 3x5 cards and the thin swirls of black ink, I can easily see my grandmother’s delicate hands writing with love and affection. I can hear her sweet laugh, and I can imagine her satisfaction in finding just the right combination to brighten smiles at a family gathering.   

On this Nation Handwriting Day, January 23,2015, find time to share a glimpse of your personality and put pen to paper!