Kindness Challenge Day 9: Write a Letter to Someone Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life

This is Day 9 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can still do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! :D Welcome to Day 9 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! ;)

5 Days Left Before Kindness Challenge Ends

There are now only 5 days left before the 14-Day Kindness Challenge ends. If you haven’t been sharing your results in the daily threads, now is the time to do so. Discussions are bustling right at this moment!

For the late birds, you can still sign up. Here’s how to do so:

We have 791 official registrants right now. Let’s see if we can hit the 800 mark before the challenge closes!! :D

My Day 8 Review: Pick Up Litter

Day 8′s task was to Pick Up Litter.

And boy, was I quite the garbage collector yesterday!

Walking along the pavement

Was out for an event yesterday night. Began to scour the pavement for improperly disposed garbage as I walked to the bus stop. Have to say that I get bonus points as I was wearing a dress and four-inch heels while doing the whole task!

Litter: Cigarette box

Litter detected! Improperly disposed cigarette box.

Litter: Cotton bud

I thought, “Well, if I’m picking litter, might as well go all the way, right?” I was picking up little items like cotton buds and plastic wraps too.

Needless to say, people who walked past me were looking at me as if I was crazy as I was very well-dressed with a classy bag in my right hand and bits and pieces of trash in my left hand.

Litter bin

Finally discarded the loose trash in the bin. I also took some time to pick up the badly discarded garbage around the bin and dump them into the bin itself.

It didn’t end there though. After I took my bus and reached my destination, I continued to pick up litter I came across while walking home.

Litter: Flyer in void deck

The usual casually discarded flyer at the void decks of Singapore HDB flats. (HDB = Housing Development Board, the statutory board in Singapore responsible for public housing. Probably a good 50% of Singaporeans live in HDBs.) I promptly picked it up after seeing it.

Litter: Flyers

More improperly discarded flyers around the mailbox area. I went forward to pick them up, even though this wasn’t even my block!

I eventually came across so much trash that I gave up trying to take pictures of them and focused on picking up the trash instead. I was walking around in sparkly dress, sparkly clutch and my four-inch heels, picking up trash everywhere in the void deck, including trash that was improperly discarded around the trash bin. People walking by were looking at me as if I was crazy. I don’t blame them!!

In case you are curious about my attire, this was what I was wearing yesterday:

Dermalogica Product Launch

Was at a Dermalogica launch party. Yes, this was the attire I was wearing while picking litter the whole night. Sorry for the spottiness of the picture; not sure why the quality is so bad! The picture was taken with my friend’s iPhone 4S too. I would have imagined the quality to be better!

I finally made my way back to my block, where I continued to clear the trash that I saw, from trash on the pavement, to trash on the grass, to trash at the void deck.

Litter: Flyers

All ready to throw the trash into the bin

So that was my exciting evening of trash collection for yesterday! :D

Doing the activity really made me feel responsible for the cleanliness in the society. Previously, I would always defer the trash collection to cleaners.

However, I can literally feel that I, all of us, have a role to play in making the society clean. Like I said in Day 8′s post write-up, our country is our home too. If we take such care in keeping our homes clean and tidy, then shouldn’t we extend this attitude to the country, the city, we live in?

Let’s do our part in keeping our environments clean. The next time you see any improperly discarded trash, pick it up! If everyone does just that, we will truly live in a speck and span country.

(And if you feel that there is no trash where you live, look harder. Singapore is world famous for being the cleanest city in the world, yet I was able to pick up so much trash yesterday. It’s a matter of looking out for it!)

Day 9: Someone Who Has Made a Difference

Making a difference in someone's life

Have you ever been positively impacted by someone in your life before?

I’m sure you have. All of us have. Perhaps it was a mentor in our previous company. Perhaps it was an ex-colleague. Perhaps it was a particular teacher or professor from our alma mater. Perhaps it was our mom, our dad, our sibling, or our grandparent. Perhaps it was a dear friend. Or it could well be a distant acquaintance who said something that shook up our world and made us see life with a different lens ever since.

Our life is a culmination of different experiences and interactions with other people. Our ethos is essentially a result of the interactions we have with other people and the world (as I’ve shared in my childhood stories article). As such, it’s not surprising that people in our lives can have such a big impact in the way we think, the things we do, and the words we say.

As part of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge, I think it is important to celebrate the people who have ushered in positive messages in our lives.

Sometimes, these people may well not be aware of the impact they are making to others, and letting them know about the difference they have made in your life as well as your appreciation for it is a great way to pay it forward to them. It tells them that they are doing something right and they should continue to do what they have been doing. It tells them that the things they did to you and/or said to you really did make a difference. It tells them that they matter to someone and they have a more important part to play in this world than they might have thought.

So let’s get moving now, shall we? :D

Your Task: Write a Letter to Someone Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life

Step 1: Identify the person you want to write the letter to

Who is someone who has made a difference in your life before?

Step 2: Write the letter

Write a letter to him/her. This can be a physical or an electronic letter. In the letter, include:

  1. Why you are writing this letter to him/her.
  2. Specific things which he/she did that really made a difference in your life.
  3. Your appreciation for him/her.
  4. If you guys haven’t been in touch for a while, perhaps give an update on how you are doing at the moment. I’m sure the person would want to know how you are doing!

If you want, you can start off the letter by telling him/her that you are participating in this 14-Day Kindness Challenge initiative (share the link too he/she can learn more about it—it’s at http://personalexcellence.co/blog/kindness-challenge/), and Day 9 is about writing a letter to someone who made a difference in your life. This may make it easier to set the tone of the letter and “break the ice”, so to speak.

Step 3: Send the letter!

After you are done, send the letter to him/her, be it electronically or by snail mail!

For some of you, the person who made a difference in your life might be someone who has fallen out of your social circle. I say, write the letter anyway, and find a way to get the letter to him/her.

For example, the person I’m planning to write the letter to is my ex-mentor in my previous company, and we are not in touch anymore. (He is literally in China now for a work assignment.) However, I recall being connected with him on Linkedin, so I’ll probably send the letter to him via Linkedin.

If it’s a teacher from your alma mater, you can always get in touch with your school to ask them about the teacher, and check how you can contact him/her. Even if he/she is retired, you can ask the staff how you can get in touch—there will always be breadcrumbs to follow.

Share Your Results!

Who did you choose to write a letter to? What did you include in your letter? How did you send the letter to him/her?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done, proceed to Day 10: Send Flowers to Someone. :)

Image: mikecogh

  • http://moxillafirefox KELLEY

    Hi ,my name is Kelley and my letter was to a woman named Mary. My mother passed at the age of 54,I was 39,to me it was a devastating experience,especially as at the time I was not given any of my Mums belongings. This woman ,more of an aquantice, knew my despair as she had been through similiar circumstances. She is a bit older than I but one day,a few months aftter my Mums passing Mary brought me a teapot that had belonged to her Mother,now gone as well. The act of kindness that she showed me helped heal me in my grief that nothing else could.I keep the lovely pot in a special spot and when I see it I am reminded of my own validation. I know she was aware of how much her act of generosity played a part for me but it felt really good to put it down and mail a letter. Thankl youfor so many good ideas to help one ,ALSO THIS WHOLE KINDNESS EXPIERMENT HAS HELPED ME GET work through a bit of depression that had begun .It was nice to focus on others and what I have recieved and how maybe I could help someone have a good day.Got me out of a selfish pot of despair. I will remember these tools the next time depression tries to take over as it is somethging I struggle with. Thank you for all the lovely ideas .I will remember. This has been a good ,loving excercise for me.
    Many thanks, Kelley

More in Challenges
Kindness Challenge Day 8: Pick Up Litter

This is Day 8 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get...

Close