Stimulates an interest in other people and their lives
Writing to people around the world or indeed anywhere that is different to where you live stimulates both a curiosity and an awareness of other environments. Its very easy to become parochial and live in our own surroundings and never question that there is another life out beyond ours and one which can be as interesting, if not more. When you receive a letter from someone who lives in an area totally different to yours. Who maybe has a different religion or belief it stimulates interest. Interest is one of the most important things for our mind and wellbeing. So this interest in learning about new friends also plays a huge part in our mental attitude and its importance should not be overlooked, ever. The more you enquire about your pen pals, then the more you will become engaged with them. This will then trigger some of those endorphins which make you feel good and feeds your brain. Doctors have said endorphins play a huge role in alleviating depression, however minor
Improve your social skills
Writing to someone initially that you do not know a lot about takes great care and diplomacy. You have to know how to strike the right balance. Not too nosy about their life but show enough interest and ask a few general questions about their home; work; family. Nothing too specific. Likewise, do not make the first letter all about YOU! They want to feel that by writing to you it will be a two way street and they will not only learn something about you personally, but also learn about where you live and how you think and act. Communicating correctly with people, without causing any harm or mal content is an important skill to learn and this can be done very easily by writing letters to people, so joining any sort of Club or Society will have far reaching benefits, than just receiving a letter in the post
Helps alleviate loneliness
Yes, even if you can not meet people personally, it has been shown in many studies that just by writing a letter to someone and certainly by receiving a reply back, it can make you feel part of society and included more. Many people who have spoken of their loneliness find that by writing letters it can help them. Even if you know you will never meet these people, the fact that you can ” have a chat” over writing paper has enormous positive rewards for anyone who engages like this. The fact that you will have considered what to write. Written your letter with care and then posted it ticks boxes such as ” target driven” and ” feeling you have accomplished some”. As we said before, the fact that you will be receiving a response to your hard work, makes it all the more worthwhile and no long do you feel that you are on the outside of the world, looking in. Now you are making your own world – and what a good one it can be!
Knowledge is king
Again by engaging with someone by letter you feel less inhibited about subjects and topics and so will they. People who may find it difficult to speak about something face to face will find it easier in a letter. By writing letters you can become engaged ( that word again!) in their community and maybe offer help where you did not know it was needed. We know of one Pen Pal Member who was writing to another and found out that funds were needed to keep a much needed local community mini bus on the road. Without this mini bus many people would be isolated at home and not go somewhere as simple as the local supermarket without difficulty. This lady heard of their plight and because she belonged to a Cycling Club, asked the Members to do a sponsored ride and raise funds. Even though the cyclists did not know the original lady so dependent on the mini bus they gladly did a sponsored cycle race because they felt it was for a very good cause. In return they felt needed; worthy and certainly had a lot of those endorphins flooding around their brain afterwards. So keeping communication open is so important for bettering everyone’s life.
Shows compassion and empathy
We heard of one lady who was writing to two people in central Africa. It took a long time for the letters to get to each other but they persevered. The lady in America would write to these other two ladies and ask them about their day. For them it was a pleasure to be able to write to someone who was interested in the fact that they had to walk to get water; milk goats for breakfast and ensure that their children has done all their chores before walking five miles to school. In return, these ladies found out that their Pen Pal in America was lucky enough to drive a car to work and had hot water inside her house. Imagine that! The lady in America was careful not to brag or show off her elevated status and made sure that she asked them lots of questions about their daily life. This meant that the African ladies felt heard and valued and readily wrote to her. She in turn began to realise just how lucky she was and made it her mission to find out more about the region her Pen Pals lived in and what she could do to help them. This relationship culminated in the American woman taking the long journey to visit her new friends and was able to take special gifts and treats. Not once after that, did she take her life for granted and still writes to them 12 years after their first letter.
We don’t think everyone can save the world by writing a letter, although plainly, some have, but if you would like to spread some warmth and happiness in another person’s life, then get engaged and sign up to the Pen Pal Club NOW>