I love letters.
I enjoy writing down my thoughts and sharing them with my friends. I like encouraging people through Bible verses and explaining it to them. It is as if my pen never stops inking as long as there are empty spaces left on a piece of paper I could write on.
It was my hobby to jot down notes and scribble out words. Like any other kid, I started making doodles of my family and writing a short note saying how I love and appreciate them. In fact, my mother still treasures some of my sketches and cards.
This interested me to pursue my letter-writing hobby. During my younger years, I spent my leisure exchanging notes with my friends. One time, it also happened to be a way for me to get to know my ultimate high school crush.
What is more exciting with this hobby is when, after some time, you get the chance to read the letters of your friends and loved ones once more. Carefully hidden in a box or posted in a notebook, you then realize that it has been years since those mails were written. It is amazing how letters add emotions to one’s face when read. It also brings back lifetime memories, like happy events, sweet nothings, bitter moments, undeniable truths and even unforgettable heartaches.
This scenario is not new with the rampant use of text messages, electronic mails, social networks and blog sites. With their fast and convenient sphere, many people tend to value the irresistible modern craze than the old school penpal.
I may hide it or not but my attention soon shifted to these web-based programs and 24/7 text messaging as I grew up. Yet, there are major differences between these trends.
Obviously, there is much more sincerity in writing letters. Through the strokes of the pen and the time spent on writing, instant text messages are, indeed, second best. Meanwhile, people tend to be easily outspoken through group messages, tweets and comments. Many shed their emotions online despite the knowledge that the whole world reads it.
Like letter-writing, there was one time that I had greatly appreciated text messaging. It happened one evening when I felt tired composing letters and be motivated sending mails to people.
I was catching my drowse when I thought of grabbing my phone to read some text messages. To my surprise, I found myself in tears and grin.
Not thinking of what my friends’ reactions would be, I sent all of my saved items to the same person who had sent it to me days, weeks, months and even years ago.
Still thinking of the messages, a person replied to me that dawn. I was surprised to read her reply. I never knew how a short message would lead to her honesty and explain. My heart burst out as I continued reading. I never thought that someone will react with my childishness and somehow reflect to herself the reasons of my returning some messages to her. I replied brief replies. It was not in my intention to disturb her or to make her feel that way. I was just overjoyed with the messages I have read and thought of sending their views back on their phones. But who would think the same way I did? I am actually fortunate to receive a positive response that daybreak. To some, it will look as if I am seeking for sympathy or comfort. To others, they will simply ignore the messages I sent.
Sentiments do not remain on decorated papers or scented stationeries. As long as there are stories that touch hearts and awaken minds, whether it is written, texted, tweeted or shared, these thoughts become part of who we are and what we believe in at present.
It is like taking pictures. With every after shutter comes another great moment to save, to reminisce in the future. With these treasures, history is recorded; friendships are developed; families are reconciled; faith is tested; and love is revealed.
Words indeed bring a lot of meaning to us. Though action speaks louder than words, it is very evident that Filipinos love affirmations. We cannot escape from the reality that we somehow seek for appreciation with our yields. We tend to ask for reactions and responses. We then keep what we believe are pleasing to our ears and develop those we think we have mishaps.
Amid the world’s advances, only an individual can conclude which remains sincere and convenient to him. We cannot just judge those who remain traditional with their letters from those who are candid with their social networks.
In fact, we cannot avoid using any of them. In today’s generation, both appear to be essential not only in building relationships but also in simple discussions. As long as words remain true and not just to impress, whether in print or on-line, they are for keepsakes. Pens and sites will only remain instruments but the heart will always reflect what it has to speak of, demand and express.
We can go with the innovation and be updated but there will be moments when simple things utter more words to soothe the mind and overwhelm the soul.
Let us be reminded that it is not in any of these modes that stir the dilemma. We are. We have the control in our hands. We have the dominion over things. We just have to weigh what we need from them and what we just want.
Nevertheless, I will never abandon my passion to letters. This is why I pursued writing. I still consider it as my first love, the others remain second best.