Last week, the passing of Steve Jobs had everyone talking. And writing. Or should I say “tweeting?” Apparently, Twitter accounts all over the world were busier than usual as the news spread. Jobs didn’t invent computers or cell phones. But he made them exciting in a way no one else had. He took the world of information and put it in the palms of our hands, directing his company to concentrate on ease of use – as well as a cool, “wow” factor.
I like the Internet and social networks. I like email. I like texting and messaging. We read and hear news as it happens, wherever we are. We stay in touch with friends and family. We see photos of loved ones, just seconds after someone aimed his phone and took the picture.
But there is something especially personal about a letter.
Knowing that a family member or a friend sat down and wrote out a message just for us. That that person took the time to do so, because putting pen to paper takes time and deliberate thought. Today it’s something we reserve for the people who mean the most to us. The post office may not be doing the business it once did, but they’re still busy at holiday time. And we still want to find that perfect card for a birthday or anniversary. We like the individual attention of a thank you card for a gift. We know that children will be especially excited to receive a card or letter addressed just to them. We want the warmth of a handwritten letter from one who loves us. A letter we can hold in the palms of our hands.
Letters are not as common as they used to be. But the delivery of mail has played an important part in our history and in many of our movies and TV shows. In these movies, letters might help a relationship grow. They might bring comfort to someone going through a bad time. They might even bring sad news. They might express a love beyond measure. And sometimes a single letter might change someone’s life.
These are a few of my favorite movies in which letters played a part. In the case of M*A*S*H, some of the best episodes centered on letters to loved ones. Are there other movies or TV series you would have included?