- Short list 21 people you are grateful for and a brief reason why.
- For 21 days, write a letter to each one of them. You can include:
- An incident you are grateful to the person for
- What you can learn from the person
- How he/she has blessed you and others
- Try to give them the letter on the day itself, or at least within a few days if it is not convenient.
- Letters should be handwritten and given personally or mailed!
I almost had a panic attack when the challenge required me to write letters to 21 people! I was worried about what people would think about me if I were to give them a letter out of the blue. However, I wanted to challenge myself and felt that it would be a good way to convey my appreciation to the people that I am thankful for. For my 21 people, I’ve listed my family members, various friends, and even my Literature teacher!
Honestly, the writing part wasn’t a big issue for me — the giving was. I started off quite awkwardly and tried to make up occasions to give them the cards. I made cards for those I felt closer to first (such as my parents and good friends). That made things less awkward. Also, I was happy to see the smiles on their faces at my gesture!
It has gotten less awkward but it is still difficult for me. It was tough to write letters to my grandparents. Like most Chinese families, we express love in terms of food and gifts but hardly through words. I was in a dilemma and only wrote “thank you” in Chinese and tied it to a bouquet of flowers. Although they didn’t comment on the card, I could tell from their faces that they were happy to receive it. Other than this, it has become more natural to give cards to people I am thankful for.
I was pretty busy around this time of the challenge as I was having my exams so I felt that I should study first and use my remaining time for the challenge. Even though I procrastinated writing the letters, thankfully, I managed to catch up in the end. This challenge is helping me learn more about myself and the people around me. I realised that God has put so many wonderful people in my life and I am so grateful! It’s not really a pain anymore to give and write the letters — I have come to enjoy it!
I learnt that we can express gratitude in many ways and it is not limited to writing cards. I was able to reflect on the people in my life and the reasons why I am thankful to have them. Being grateful made me a lot happier! I realised how blessed and fortunate I am. I feel that we should all embark on this challenge someday because we tend to take for granted the things and people God has blessed us with.
The hardest letter to write was the one I had to write to my grandparents as I had difficulty expressing my gratitude in a form of a letter (in Chinese somemore!). The easiest letters were the ones I wrote to my parents and good friends Natasha and Yvette. It was easy to write to them because I am much closer to them and it was definitely more comfortable sharing my feelings with them through written words. After writing each card, I always found myself saying “I’m so blessed.” Recognising and saying that I am blessed was a reminder to me about how good God is to give us such wonderful and lovely people as friends and family.
In the past, on the rare occasions where I was thankful for something or someone, I would usually just think to myself “I’m so lucky today.” However, through this challenge, this mindset has changed! I have come to realise that God is the one who places these special people in our lives to guide and teach us. It is not merely by chance that they are in our lives. Indeed, I have learnt to give thanks to God for every big or small blessing in my life.