Handwriting, a Dying Art

I know this topic seems kind of random, but it came up recently and has been lingering in the back of my mind for a few days.

Now, I have to admit, I rarely physically write with a pen and paper anymore.  Aside from checks and the occasional note on our front door telling people not to ring our obnoxiously loud doorbell when Jibreel is napping, I almost always type – notes, letters, forms, lists, etc.  It’s almost always on a keyboard.

Maalik hates to write. He’s only 4, so I guess that’s not too big a deal.  Not big on coloring either.  However, he LOVES the computer.  He likes to type, and spell and play games.  It just comes easily to him.  Holding a marker or crayon, not so much.  The issue isn’t his interest in reading or spelling, he really enjoys that, it’s the physical handwriting.  So I mention this to a friend one time, and she says, as long as he gets the concept, so what, no one really writes anymore.  It really made me  wondering if that was truly the case.  Whether it’s now, or 10 years from now, our dependence on technology only seems to increase, and we really do seem to have less use for physical handwriting.  Even in schools, reports are now typed, and cursive, while still taught, is getting less and less emphasized and dropping by the wayside.   I remember when beautiful handwriting was lauded by teachers.  It was something to be proud of.  Nodaway, most kids (and adults) handwriting more closely resemble chicken scratch.

It’s a little sad.  Handwriting, calligraphy, etc, it’s an art form in and of itself.  Beautiful handwriting in any language is really one of the most aesthetically pleasing modes of communication. The style in which it’s written conveys as much a message as the content written about.  It conveys a little something about the author as well and something to be appreciated.  It’s a bit of a shame that as time progresses, rather than it being a common skill, like it was in the days of our forefathers (look at how beautifully the Constitution or Declaration of Independence are written) to something possessed by a select few.

As happy as I am that Maalik catched on to things quickly on a computer, I think there is something to be said of good old-fashioned handwriting.  He might not be good at it when the time comes, and he might not like it, but I think it’s still important to learn.  Hopefully he’ll gain an appreciation for it as he gets older.


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