I am someone who personally loves writing hand written letters; most people close to me know that. I even get letter requests from people sometimes.
I take joy in thinking about what I should write. This does not mean that I will write an outline, a rough draft, and then a final draft. It means I will sit down and just write what comes to mind. Of course, if I mess up or don’t like it, it would just end up being one of the many paper balls in my trash can.
I write letters to people on their birthdays saying thank you for being born. I write letters to my parents on my birthday saying thank you for giving birth to me. I write letters to my family and teachers during Christmas season.
However, there are occasions I cannot feel joy in writing letters. An apology letter is one of them. I struggle with apologizing sometimes so sitting down and actually writing about how I am sorry and why I am sorry is a great way to humble myself and also apologize at the same time. There are also I’m-so-sorry-for-your-loss letters and those aren’t too fun to write. But these are necessary occasions to write in.
Naomi Shihab Nye writes a letter “To Any Would-Be Terrorists”. There, she tells them that if “they [wanted to wound] a huge community of people in the Middle East, in the United States and all over the world, [then] the mission was a terrible success” and told them they “can stop now.”
Did this letter ever get sent to an actual would-be terrorist? Probably not, no. So did that letter serve no purpose? The answer to that question is also a no.
Yes, her letter is directed towards a specific group of people. But other people can read her letter and still take something away from her. Through the stories she tells about her grandmother and people of her nation, people with the stereotype of brown people are all terrorists etched into their minds can relook where they are standing and why.
People have tendencies to victimize themselves and this letter shows that they are not the only victims of the situation; they are are also creating more victims themselves.
Letters can be a way to communicate how we feel. But it can also teach lessons because it is something from the bottom of our hearts.
Word of the Day: scintilla