In 2010 Letters to Juliet came to our screens and quickly became a hit, grossing over £53,000,000, But what makes this story so powerful? Is it because it encompasses an age-old love story in a modern setting? Or the cheesy ending we all saw coming, yet still adored? Perhaps it is because, even in today’s digital world, a handwritten letter is still an extremely powerful thing.
Based on a real-life tradition, the film introduces us to the Secretaries of Juliet; volunteers who offer their time to answer letters to Juliet seeking advice on love and relationships. Many letters have even been mailed to Juliet’s wall, allowing the Secretaries to help people who perhaps can’t afford to travel all the way to Italy for answers.
Every year the 5th and 6th of September are celebrated days throughout Verona in homage to Juliet’s birthday.
The Psychological Effect of Handwritten Letters
A study was carried out at London Metropolitan University, measuring the emotional reaction to both e-mail and handwritten letters. The results showed that recipients of the handwritten letter felt more engaged and impacted, believing that letters feel more honest to us than e-mails. Other findings from the study showed that people find e-mails less trustworthy or believable.
It seems that knowing that someone has taken the time to handwrite a letter in today’s digital world has a much greater effect on us than we might think.
Changing Lives One Letter At a Time
There are many ways to feel the powerful effect handwritten letters can have. Here are our top three ways that you can get involved:
‘Open When’ Letters
What you will need:Paper and Pen, Brown Envelopes, String, Stamp (optional)
Choose one of your friends and write letters that they can open when they are in different moods. As a starting point you could write letters to be opened when: they have had a bad day, need cheering up, are sick etc. Alternatively you could write one week’s worth of letters that they can open every morning to get their day started. Decorate them to make them even more special.
The World Needs More Love Letters
What you will need:Pen and Paper, Envelope, Printer
Keep your eye on the ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ website, where people request a letter to help take their mind off things such as physical and mental illness and loneliness. Write a letter by the designated deadline and send it off to the address specified in each request, to help a total stranger have a good day.
You Are Beautiful
What you will need:
Pen and Paper, Card Blank, Envelope, Ribbon, Stamp
This is the quickest and most simple way to get involved in using the power of handwritten letters. All you have to do is write the words ‘you are beautiful’, put it in an envelope and label it ‘read me.’ On your daily travels, simply drop it on the ground or leave it on the bus or train for someone to find. Then sit back and bask in the knowledge that your small act will have a tremendous effect on someone.
At The Pen Warehouse, they have everything you need to get you going on this letter writing, life-altering journey, and they would love to have a part in helping you to change the world; one letter at a time.