Today I turned on my computer and read my e-mail. There were several messages of interest. I could reply quickly to the questions or comments received. It was much easier than composing a letter for my secretary to transcribe and send it “snail mail.” I also received several faxes today. The provided information I was seeking, presented some questions to me and brought me some fairly good news.
My regular mail had a lot of formal communications, all of interest, but surprisingly enough two handwritten notes! It was the latter that pleased me the most.
Written communications are extremely important in both business and personal life. New technology has offered another dimension in speedy communications, particularly when messages are concrete and simple. Other regular mail can be written or dictated, transcribed, sent overnight mail or by federal express for prompt guaranteed delivery. Conventional mail still plays a major role in keeping everyone in touch. However, there is nothing quite like the personal note. A handwritten note is seen only by the person to whom it is sent and thus there is no need to be constrained by fears of misinterpretation by others. It is always thoroughly personalized. A handwritten note can be read, saved, re-read, contemplated, answered or ignored. It is a personal communication of the highest order. The handwriting even reveals the personality of the sender.
It is by communication that we advance as a society and a culture. It is the key to business success. Most important, it allows us to keep in touch with friends and loved ones at a personal level which can never be duplicated by the high technology that is available to us today.
Thomas Petty, MD