Calligraphy and Handwriting

Calligraphy and Handwriting

In the modern technological age, people seem to get out of the habit of handwriting. Since their school years, students have got accustomed to typing on their cell phones, iPods, laptops, and computers. Typing seems to be easier than the handwriting. Anytime one wants to rewrite a sentence on a keyboard, it is enough just to delete it. An identical action is impossible in handwriting. Though typing is now more popular than the handwriting, people often underestimate the benefits of the latter. In the meantime, calligraphy and handwriting are very useful because they improve people’s physical and mental health, behavior, and their business performance.

To start with, calligraphy and handwriting improve people’s physical and mental health. The study by Baikie and Wilhelm has proven that expressive writing has many long-term health benefits. Benefits for physical health include improved immune system functioning, reduced blood pressure, and elevated lung and liver functions. Meanwhile, benefits for psychological health include better mood, feeling of greater psychological well-being, decreased stress levels, and reduced depressive symptoms (Baikie and Wilhelm 339). Handwriting is beneficial because it helps one exercise one’s brain and contributes to higher quality learning. As it appears, cursive is important for a cognitive development of a person. An act of writing engages one’s motor skills and memory. According to William Klemm, when people write by hand, “the brain develops functional specialization that integrates both sensation, movement control, and thinking. Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of brain become co-activated during the learning of cursive writing of pseudo-letters, as opposed to typing …” (Klemm). It is not sufficient to relax and put a hand on a paper expecting it would write something to express your thoughts on paper. Thus, handwriting definitely demands certain mental efforts. It also requires more complex brain power. The benefits of handwriting are even more noticeable when compared to typing. On the one hand, those who write have to pay attention and think about the way they are writing something. It activates one’s memory and ability to understand facts and concepts. Therefore, handwriting people have to actively engage in what they do. On the other hand, those who type are always under the risk of “mindless processing.” They do not have to worry about better strategies for storing and internalizing ideas, as the computer does it for them. Thus, typing does not only require less mental efforts, it can impair the learning process as such.

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Next, calligraphy and handwriting are useful because they improve people’s behavior. First, people with good handwriting usually have a better personality. They are more objective in judging others, are more ambitious, likely to have a positive attitude and win people’s approval. Probably, the relation between good handwriting and good personality originates from diligence required for developing a calligraphy skill. After all, good handwriting demands putting additional efforts into it. In view of that, putting efforts into one’s handwriting can progress into putting more efforts into one’s work and real life. As a matter of fact, good handwriting pushes one forward in one’s studying and work. It can be explained by the fact that good handwriting displays an energetic and unprejudiced person who is ready to take some extra endeavor in whatever he or she does.

Second, writing can make people happier. For example, a study from Southern Methodist University has revealed that writing about life goals improved people’s wellbeing (Morrow). The research group had to write about their goals regularly during four days. The results became a revelation to the authors, as the research group reported the decrease of illnesses. Additionally, the research has showed that writing a gratitude journal contributes to the feeling of happiness and health by making good things memorable. If keeping diaries makes people happy, it leads one to conclude that handwriting can indeed function as a therapy. In turn, if handwriting contributes to a greater mental and physical development and brings positive changes in one’s life, it is a good predictor of sufficient self-confidence. Hence, good handwriting leads to a better self-confidence.

Next, calligraphy and handwriting improve one’s business performance and contributes to one’s career advancement. In particular, keeping journals for recording one’s experiences and observations at work can be of a great value to their owners. In fact, writing about work matters has highly positive results. According to career expert, Jenna Arak, keeping a journal is a number one tool in assisting one’s work through issues, analyzing the current position in a work market, and advancing in one’s career (Arak). Journals can contribute to recording ideas, realizing which professional skills require improvement, receiving good advice from mentors, and noticing opportunities for growth.

Apart from that, good handwriting helps one to stand out as a job candidate. It is especially true when one manages to send an immediate email after his or her interview. According to the writing experts, a longhand letter is more effective than an email because today, “when sadly we’re getting fewer and fewer letters in the mail, a handwritten thank you note, well-crafted on good stationery, will make a candidate stand out from others who chose not to take that extra, personal step” (Kleiman and Cooper 127). Additionally, good handwriting helps to get better jobs. Many companies have special handwriting analysts in order to predict the character of a job candidate by examining their handwriting. Good handwriting can surely give a candidate a better score as compared to his rival that has worse handwriting. Thus, the chances to get a better job increase.

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Finally, handwriting trains one’s skills which are crucial for good work performance, namely, good organization skills. First, comparing to typing on the laptops, writing on the paper is deprived of interactive distractions, such as flashing commercials and shocking news about celebrities. Human brain is not used to multitasking, thus, typing is rather harmful. Meanwhile, writing teaches one to concentrate at one task at a time. Second, creating to-do lists is extremely beneficial to those who strive for more at their workplace. Comparing to the computer screen, a paper to-do list is easier to edit despite its owner’s location. Besides, it is harder psychologically to leave something undone, especially if other items are all crossed off.

To conclude, handwriting has not lost its value for people living during the era of digital devices. Handwriting and calligraphy have benefits that are unthinkable for typing. First, calligraphy and handwriting improve people’s physical and mental health. Due to it, people experience better immune system functioning, lung and liver functions, increased mood, and feeling of psychological well-being. They escape depression and stress. Handwriting is beneficial because it helps one exercise one’s brain and contributes to higher quality learning. Second, calligraphy and handwriting are very useful because they improve people’s behavior. As a rule, people with good handwriting have better personality. Besides, handwriting makes people happier. Third, calligraphy and handwriting improves one’s business performance. In particular, keeping working journals and paper to-do lists keeps one organized and goal-seeking. Meanwhile, writing letters by hand helps to create a good impression of an employee and assists them in getting a better job. Given all beforementioned, people should be grateful for handwriting and should not neglect its value in the modern world.

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