Let’s make stamps relevant with the weight of our words

Writing helps organize every thought in my messy mind and writing a letter is just the break it needs. 

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Let’s make stamps relevant with the weight of our words

Mr. Bowne

Mr. Bowne

Mr. Bowne

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Stamps.

Intriguing right? Who would’ve thought that the tiny sticker in the top right corner of a letter is on a high school student’s mind. With AP courses and sports, why am I thinking about stamps? 

   Well I’ll tell you why. Here I am pulling into my driveway after a long day of running from class to class and hearing teachers lecture for 100 minutes with only an hour break in between. I go to my door, ready to take my heavy books off my back and open my mailbox. 

   As I filter through the mail quickly, not thinking anything of it, I see something addressed to myself from a friend in the town over. I can’t wait to rip it open wanting to know the context inside. This friend and I have been sending letters back and forth for about a year. Why write when my phone is there, waiting to be held and scrolled through? 

   Well, it’s different. Everything about it is different. Holding a pencil in hand and a paper on my desk, knowing that it will take three to four days before my friend will read my thoughts in that moment is riveting. There’s no such thing as ‘being left on read’ when sending a letter. 

    So me, my paper, and my pen take the road to thought town sitting there alone in my room, “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant playing on repeat in my ears. 

   “Why do we go to school for eight hours a day yet I feel like I’ve learned nothing when I get home?” I scribe to my letter recipient, turning the question over in my own mind. 

   Using electronics everyday to the point I have to recharge them midway through my travels is exhausting. When I text, my thumbs hurt and brain aches, having to discover the true meaning behind every message, thinking about how the person really feels. “Oh no they said lol instead of HAHAHA. Are they mad at me?”

    Writing letters is like hearing someone’s complete thought, pondering it over yourself, and responding with your own conception. Above all, this causes for better communication. There are no emojis on paper, only drawings created by your hands and your mind. Writing helps organize every thought in my messy mind and writing a letter is just the break it needs. 

    Writing even runs in my family. Infact,my parents met by letter. One lived in tiny New Jersey the other in potatoes based Idaho. My dads best friend married my mom’s sister and he decided to set them up, but there was no texting, not even calling, only letters. They got to know one another through a tangible article they can now keep forever. They got to know one another’s thoughts and handwriting before their physical features.

   So stamps; are they a thing of the past? Will my grandkids learn about the Stamp Act of 1765 and raise their hand questioning what a stamp is? Will we have QR coded envelopes sending the message directly to our phone? Schools eliminated teaching the art of cursive so who’s to say they won’t take out writing altogether? 

   A one inch stamp doesn’t seem like it can have that large of an impact on society, but just imagine what it would be like to never receive a birthday card in the mail. 

   I remember in elementary and middle school we used to receive our teachers by mail. Every August day, I would hear a car door shut and run up from my couch, forgetting to pause “Hannah Montana” in the exciting possibility that my future teacher could be in the mailmans hand. After getting my letter and reading my teacher, I’d sprint to the phone on my wall, dialing my best friends phone number that I knew by heart. When she answered we’d announce out teacher on the count of three, both holding our breath seconds before. 

   Now? We wait for a notification on our phones and when the schedules release I text it to my friend and look at everyones’, since it’s posted all over every social media platform. 

    But to think, without a stamp, the colonists might have never broken away from Great Britain, elementary school me would’ve never received her teacher or even a birthday card, and most importantly, my parents would’ve never met.