January 23 is National Handwriting Day. It was created in 1977 to emphasize “the importance and elegance of the handwritten word” at a time when typing was taking over. I find it interesting that over three decades ago people were already concerned that technology was making handwriting obsolete.
It’s also interesting to note that every year it is celebrated on John Hancock’s birthday. The first signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock’s big, bold signature is the first thing you see when you look at that celebrated document. And, as someone once said, Hancock’s famous signature would mean a lot less if it had been typed.
According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA), “The purpose of National Handwriting Day is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting, and is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.”
“Handwriting is one of the few ways we can uniquely express ourselves,” says WIMA in a very eloquent post. “There’s something poetic about grasping a writing instrument and feeling it hit the paper as your thoughts flow through your fingers and pour into words. Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and e-mail to communicate. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”
“Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word,” said David H. Baker, WIMA’s Executive Director.
WIMA suggests you take advantage of National Handwriting Day on January 23 and use a pen or a pencil to rekindle that creative feeling through a handwritten note, poem, letter or journal entry.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate National Handwriting Day, pick up a pen (you’ll love the comfort and relaxation that my UGLee Pen offers!) and handwrite a note of thanks to a serviceman, or of encouragement to a sick child in a hospital. You’ll make their day.
(Photo credit – wima.org)