A postage-paid postcard was delivered recently into the mailboxes of 13.5 million households across Canada.
The free postcard campaign is a move by Canada Post to help us stay connected by the heartstrings across the miles.
Here’s how their marketing types put it: “A short note can go a long way.”
Oh boy, can it.
“Please use this free postage-paid postcard to reach out to a friend or family member, whether they’re in town or anywhere in Canada, courtesy of Canada Post. It’s always the right time to share special moments with the people you love. Make their day by sending this card, from you to them.”
A tad cheesy but essentially sweet, right? Not saccharine sweet, true-blue, local-honey from a bee-mama sweet. That is what I immediately thought. And I can’t remember the last time I actually put anything in the mail.
So I snapped a pic of my postcard’s smiley-face, and promptly shared it on social media just to trumpet the reach-out-and-touch-someone idea for my peeps. Some folks told me they had to dig it back out of the recycling. Others heard it was coming and had been on the lookout. One person I know spilled something on it and ruefully said they ruined it.
But I was blithely unaware of the world of pain I was in for when I asked what people thought of the postcards. As a seasoned community reporter with a fairly thick skin, I am of course used to the negative nellies who feel compelled to hijack a thread to unload some hate.
But the vitriol! The bile! The misplaced aggression they had.
It was some of the knee-jerkiest, nay-saying imaginable in the face of something so harmless like this, just encouraging folks to reach out. And to add insult to injury, this poison-pen chittering was on the Facebook page Good Life in the Wack. I thought that page with its pretty pictures was the only vestige of niceness left in the Wack.
But alas, no.
I have no idea why anyone would use their postcard to scribble down nastiness and send it to the PM just to pooh-pooh the whole postcard idea, and politicize this obviously non-partisan gesture.
Hey — it’s up to you what you do with your gifts.
For me, as I await the fragrant smell of vernal awakening in Chilliwack, I find I am looking for precisely that kind of gesture. I need something that feels like a resplendent heart-opening ray of sunshine on that first spring day. A gesture just like this one.
So here I am singing a paean of positivity about this.
I am typing this ode to hand-written notes on my keyboard but the irony is not lost on me. This is not email we’re talking about, but snail mail in all its glory. It reminded me that I feel a touch of melancholy realizing that cursive handwriting is going the way of the dodo.
But seriously, I can hardly wait to fill the postcard out. Although I do wish the postcards might have incorporated some actual artistic inspiration on them, maybe something that paid artists, but despite this I am nonetheless savouring this simple idea.
Mine says: “I miss you!” with a smiley face on it. And there are so many people I deeply miss who could use a boost.
The postcard is using the hashtag: #writeherewritenow which was first launched in 2020 to encourage Canadians to use letter-writing in a heartfelt way. You can snap a selfie while dropping off your postcard in a mailbox, or receiving one, using the hashtag.
Take a minute now to dash off your free postcard.
I plan to zip mine off into the mailbox covered with hearts, stars, and lipstick kisses. I’ll send it post haste to one of my buddies in St. John’s. Or Dartmouth. Or family in Montreal. Or my cousin in Quesnel? Or to old friends in Winnipeg, Bella Coola or Guelph. Or how about my homie in Hope?
OK full disclosure, I haven’t decided yet who will be my lucky postcard recipient, but I can assure you it will be someone who will appreciate the kindness of the gesture.
Not only that, chances are they sent a postcard to someone, too, to make their day.
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