Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. You need to prepare. But just yesterday, in an important and related circumstance, our world was jiggled.
The news is that the State of Washington is considering a bill to re-install cursive writing as a mandatory subject in elementary school.
These things creep up on you.
It’s not that we missed cursive writing so much as we just didn’t notice that our children no longer write.
This is because the key pads of every digital device in the world host simple characters, void of any “joined up” writing.
In schools today, writing is no longer a strength. QWERTYUIOP is. This is the real impact of an analog world that went digital.
On closer inspection we find a more destructive force at work.
When our kids were divested of their writing skills, they likewise lost their will to communicate on paper. And what follows that is the total lack of understanding about commitment, letters, and the mail.
In just over two weeks’ time it will be Valentines Day. February 14th is the penultimate delivery day for personal mail.
Miss this date, and you are sunk, pretty much for the year.
The magic of Valentine’s Day is all about writing and receiving cards, and letters, which are totally tricked up and enhanced for impact.
Cursive writing plays a big role.
Since the invention of papyrus we have lived in a world where written communication was executed using mail delivery.
A note arrived, not at the speed of light, but at the speed of foot. Replies were expected within weeks, not seconds.
There is an argument that speed is of the essence. Why wait two weeks to learn that a love is requited when you can know thumbs up or down in nano seconds?
Answer: the wait is part of the experience.
Not knowing for sure can extract days of wistful, sometimes excruciating, wrenching anticipation of an answer.
Why spoil that with a text reply that will fit on a license plate?
The effort of putting it on paper, combined with the plodding slowness of mail have been the guard rails of civility for centuries.
Writing gives time for the distillation of emotions.
Committing thoughts on paper gives solemnity and gravity to an otherwise flippant, momentary impulse. By contrast, the most powerful, and potentially destructive word in the lexicon today is “Send”.
So we need cursive. It takes practice and time to perfect. It also looks nice, even when young hands, and older ones too, have difficulty forming the words.
There are two weeks remaining before a trip down to the mail box reveals your true feelings to a certain someone.
Make the most of your time.