Letters to Strangers

A note to my audience

An important aspect of this blog to me is stressing that one of the most important things that our world has to learn is we need to show understanding to each other. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, it’s hard not to get angry at the silly things that people say and do to us. It is hard to not start yelling, its hard not to complain, and it’s especially hard when people make the effort to fight with us instead of trying to see into us. Some people argue that leaving letters to strangers, even ones that say “I see you, and I want to understand you just like I want you to understand me”, is reckless, unsafe, and immature.

I think that it’s what we need to see more of in this world.

Here, I won’t leave specific names, descriptions of specific events that led to these letters, but I will leave my words- I will leave as much understanding as I can possibly give. Here I invite anyone, everyone, who is reading, to take a minute to understand how important it is to understand those around us.

08/31/2017

If I’ve learned anything of significance in the past few days in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it is that there is never a surplus of kindness, even during the moments when it is most needed. You (we) have to keep supplying for it. It is the only way we can keep moving forward and keep becoming better people

08/16/2017

Earlier this summer, I promised myself I’d become stronger. I promise I wouldn’t let hateful words get to me, and I would definitely never let them make me a hateful person. I wouldn’t let the criticisms that I received get to my heart; they, after all, don’t define me, certainly not the ways in which I’m flawed. The only things that criticism provide me is the ways that I can continue to become a better, stronger person. And so even though you seem to not know how to communicate well with others, if and when you read this little note I want you to know that hearing your harsh words taught me to be softer, but all the same they also taught me to be stronger.

-A.

08/13/17

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This note is not to a stranger. Its to a friend. Hi, I love you, and I love that you love me and that you always go out of your way to show that to me. I know that although there are times we argue and fight and I yell at you and you yell at me, in the end we only yell because we care and there is no volume at which either one of us would stop to show concern for each other. Thank you for being there for me.

– Your fellow yeller

08/12/2017

My first two notes

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Both of these are letters to people I met on the road.

The woman

I want you to know that I understand what it is like to be upset without being able to explain why. It’s hard sometimes to explain discomfort, especially when the people around us choose not to see it. People love to think of themselves are entitled, or even the most rational of all rational thinkers, when in reality none of us even really know what rationality is. But I also want you to know that it is okay to say how you feel, even to complete strangers, as long as you do it with understanding. I want you to know that it’s okay to be honest, and it’s okay to expect other people to be considerate of how you feel, especially when you know that they would expect the same treatment from you.

The man

I got very angry at you today, and I thought you were being a hypocrite. I felt that you weren’t taking enough time to step into shoes of other people- to consider why, perhaps, they acted towards you the way that they did. It took me a couple minutes and a few deep breaths to understand that the only reason you were so angry is because you probably felt the exact same way. You wanted that same understanding from other people, too. And I want you to know that I see this. Though its unlikely, I hope you see this small letter from me to you, and I hope you know that I think you deserve understanding too.