5 Reasons Handwritten Letters Are Underrated

5 Reasons Handwritten Letters Are Underrated

While sending quick emails and text messages is convenient, we all need to slow down. There is so much value and beauty in an original, handwritten letter. They show the person you send them to, “Hey, I am thinking about you, and I think you are important enough for the effort that goes into sending a letter.” It is a genuine way to show someone just how much they mean to you. So, here are the reasons I think we should fill up our mailboxes with something better than bills and advertisements.

1. Handwritten letters are one of a kind.

Receiving a letter is very underrated. Handwritten letters are all originals! The handwriting of someone we love is priceless. Letters can contain powerful words that can be read over and over, but only by the one who it is given to. Every single one of us has our own, unique handwriting. The letters that are individually written can be saved far beyond the lifetimes of whoever sent them. Emails and texts are stored on multiple computers and devices, whereas with a note in letter form, there is only ever going to be one original that the receiver has the privilege of keeping. Looking back and reading old letters that were sent between people in generations before us serves as a looking glass into the past. Letters can describe feelings of love and gratitude and feel like a time capsule of what was happening at that moment in time.

2. They give us a break from screens.

Nowadays, we are all so attached and dependent on our phones and screens. Writing a letter requires us to log off. Being unplugged means there is no way to switch tabs to Facebook or get into other texting conversations and become sidetracked. It pulls us deeper into our thoughts and we have the opportunity to only focus on the words that are going to be sent on to our loved ones.

3. It’s actually good for you!

Telling other people how much they mean to you, can make you realize how much love you are surrounded by and makes you feel more satisfied. Knowing that you are going to make someone else happy makes you happy too! Studies show that the giver, who expresses their appreciation, benefits through better sleep and health, has less anxiety and, overall, more life satisfaction. This creates a lasting and positive connection between the two people in the relationship.

4. Letters can serve as international connectors.

People have been communicating through snail mail as pen pals for ages. It can connect people from all over the world and help them to understand and experiencing different cultures, just through a pen and paper. Letters make us feel like we are citizens of the world, and can give us knowledge of what other cultures practice. It reminds us that although each country is unique and individual, we still have some things in common.

5. They are a tradition that has lasted for thousands of years.

Letters have stayed the same for thousands of years. The first stamped letter, just like what we have today, was sent during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1840. It was the original way to communicate, no matter how far apart two people were. It is also a great way to connect with relatives or grandparents in a way that they appreciate and are used to. My grandparents are very appreciative of all of the ways that I communicate with them, but I know that they really enjoy reading handwritten letters and getting to look back on some that I have sent them in the past. I think that this is a tradition that will eventually come to an end because of how technologically advanced we are, so we should enjoy it while we can.

Handwritten letters prove to the recipient that they are worth the time and effort that is put into buying the supplies, writing something sentimental, looking up their home address and sending it off to them. Letters confirm the importance of a relationship by showing praise, expressing gratitude and kindness in a deeper form of appreciation than a quick email. All in all, writing letters to the ones we love is so much more important than we realize, and it’s also a perfect excuse to buy some pretty stationary and pens.

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Sports Teach Learn Life Lessons That May Not Be Learned Anywhere Else

You have to practice to become better and that you must push yourself to get better every day.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have always loved sports. I was drawn to them and couldn't get enough—whether it was playing or watching. I always wanted to try and play every sport possible; even when I had no time for anything else, I always begged my mom to let me play. This continued throughout my childhood, but baseball was always my favorite to play.

I have played baseball ever since I was 4-years-old, and I continue playing it today at the University of Wisconsin on their club baseball team. Baseball (and sports in general) have taught me many different lessons and have shaped who I am as a person today.

Sports have impacted my life greatly and showed me the way I should live. It has always made me want to become the best that I can be, whether on the field or off. Many sports are a team game and you have other people relying on you to be the best you can be.

You have to practice to become better and that you must push yourself to get better every day.

This mindset has correlated with my life outside of sports. I have tried to push myself in every aspect of life to be the best that I can be, and I have learned that from sports and I am grateful. I strive to get better every day of my life and that is all due to the values sports have taught me.

I have met some of my best friends through sports. There are some of my close friends that I met by playing flag football or t-ball with them. Also, when I was going into high school I didn't know a whole lot of people because I went to private school from K-4 through 8th grade, and a lot of my friends were going to different high schools.

So, being the big sports fan I was, I decided to join the football team as a freshman because I had played before. That is probably the best decision I could have made my freshman year because through practice and summer lifting, I met friends that I've had before the first day of high school up until this day.

Sports make people become really close because of a common goal: winning. If you want to win, you must have good team chemistry. Bonding with your teammates through wins and losses really creates amazing friendships that can last a lifetime.

Sports have taught me that no matter the outcome of the game, as long as you leave everything out on the field and give the game everything you have, then there is no need to get down on yourself.

There is nothing more you could have done, and if you want the outcome to change the next time, then you must get better.

Only you know if you truly gave your all and that you tried to better yourself for every game, so you must hold yourself accountable... no one else will. This applies to everyday life, too, because if you know you tried and truly did your best with anything, then you know that is the best result that could have occurred from it.

Sports have changed my life for all good, positive reasons and have taught me many important lessons that I carry with me throughout my life. I highly encourage everyone to at try and go out for a sport, because it teaches many lessons that can't be taught in a classroom or through studying.

The only way to truly learn important life lessons like these is to get out there, get involved and challenge yourself. If you do that, then I promise you it will change your life for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Moneyball: Can It Find Its Legs In Cleveland?

With the major changes taking place in the Browns front office, is there room for Moneyball?

"Moneyball" is probably one of my favorite sports movies of all time. It's right up there with "Remember the Titans" and "Glory Road." The nice thing about "Moneyball" is it brought me and countless other sports fans into a brand new way to think about sports...with math. The whole concept of the movie was that a successful baseball team could be created using unappreciated players. By unappreciated, the idea was that teams were utilizing statistics that were overblown. They were ultimately not very helpful in determining a player's actual value to a team. In order to fix this, all new, more accurate statistics had to be created to better gauge the value of a player.

Baseball has been a very statistical game for as long as anyone can remember, so you might think that finding these new and improved stats might not be that difficult. And you might be right. But what about football?

Paul DePodesta was credited with revamping of the Oakland A's that came as a result of Moneyball. A few years ago, Paul was hired as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Cleveland Browns, ideally bringing with him a new way of thinking about the game of football. Previously, a good football player was only determined via their game film and often today that is still the case.

Football is so very different than baseball, with so many different schemes and options. I'm left only to wonder what DePodesta is dreaming up in the Browns front offices. Needless to say, his tenure with the Browns has gotten off to a slow start. The Browns have won only a single game since his hiring and Sashi Brown, the de facto general manager during Pauls first year and a half with the team, has been fired along with other personnel. Still, core members of his coworkers remain among him. With the hiring of John Dorsey as GM, Eliot Wolfe as assistant GM, and Alonzo Highsmith as VP of Player Personnel, people are tentatively saying the Browns front office is now one of the top three in all of professional football.

My hope is that DePodesta remains. At the time of Sashi Brown's firing, Paul and his staff's futures were uncertain. Given that when a new GM comes into a situation with former members of another GMs staff, the old team goes and the new GM brings in his own team. While it is difficult for me to look at the results on the field and point to why Paul should remain employed by the Browns, my belief is that he is intelligent enough to figure out this game and how to beat it. I believe that if he doesn't do it in Cleveland, he will do it somewhere else. I don't know how most of you feel, but I'm tired of former Browns players and staffers finding success elsewhere. I want the talent we have to hit their stride in Cleveland.

One day I'd like to talk to Paul and some of his staff about what they are doing to change the sport of football. It could be something so simple that the rest of us haven't thought to consider it. Maybe there are better drills for players to run at the combine that can better determine their talent. For all I know now, they might not have any idea what underutilized stat or exercise they can exploit to their advantage. This overhaul of the game might not even exist in the same state as it did with baseball. But what I do know is that when the guys in our front office figure out the secret, I want them to do it as members of the Cleveland Browns.

Cover Image Credit: Skitterphoto

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