HeartNote, September 25, 2019: Your Signature

A friend of mine owns a coffee shop. He got a delivery and signed the slip accepting the package.

His signature was a straight line with a little hook at the end. I couldn't read his name.

Although I understand that we have computers that do our writing, and that typing had overtaken longhand and script decades ago, our signature is aligned with our identity It is the last bastion of written identification that belongs solely to us.

It is applied when we're signing important things: letters to our children, deeds, loans, receipts and deliveries. We don't use longhand for much anymore. Taking notes is a lost art, I don't think anyone uses shorthand, and six year olds use tablets on which to write.

But we still need to write our names. At some point in our lives we have to develop our signature. That will be our identification, the "sign" of our "nature." So I have a few requests of you to make this your mark of distinction, a uniqueness that represents and is assigned only to you. Here's how you can reclaim it.

First, write your name slowly, with just a little more deliberation. Your signature should be a symbol from your heart, not just something that is quickly struck onto the bottom of a page. It need not be deliberate; rather, allow the flow to form at the end of your fingers. Easy does it. At first, draw it, don't write. It is an expression, and should always be so.

Say your name as you're placing it on paper. It helps put some connection to the words. You don't need to say this outloud, just try putting this in your head as you create each letter.

Put life into these letters. Add a little flair to it. Make it yours. You'll be surprised how much this style remains a consistent, artistic expression of your name.

Find reason for this task. I see those who actually know how to write their name fluidly just thrown down to letters and a squiggle. At the risk of being unkind, those signatures seem a little pretentious. We want to be genuine with our ownership of this gesture. Nothing phony. Bring your inner character-no pun intended-to the page.

I ask that you give it a little time. Practice it. Your name is your own. Make your signature reflect the goodness, the depth, the style, and the expression that is unique to you.

Here's an example. This is mine. It hasn't changed in forty years. Have fun with this.


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