Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Six-year-old 'Kindness Ninja' spreads joy with letters

A 6-year-old boy from Pittsboro, Indiana, calls himself the "Kindness Ninja" and practices that kindness by sending letters of encouragement to everyone from classmates to college basketball players.

"“I just wanted to lift other people’s hearts to make them feel very good," Brad Ades told WLFI TV station in Lafayette, Indiana.

You can read or watch the story, as distributed by the CBS News Wire at WREG-Newschannel 3.

What a great story! (Thanks to my husband, Tony, for spotting it on the news and sharing it with me!)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Reach out to someone today



The area where I live has suffered several unrelated tragedies lately, tragedies that have involved the loss of several young lives. Seeing friends, acquaintances and fellow citizens grieving for their loved ones has been heartbreaking, and it reminds us all that life is too precious to be taken for granted. We do not know what will happen next week, tomorrow or even later today.

Don’t put off telling someone that you love them. Don’t delay in making that apology you know you need to make. Contact a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Reconnect with a distant relative.

This blog is all about letter writing, but if you’re putting off contacting someone because you don’t think you have time to sit down and write a proper letter, then communicate some other way. Call, email, text, video chat.  Send a Snap, a Tweet or a personal message on any medium. If you really want to write your message, consider a postcard or notecard for a shorter letter that you can get in the mail today.

The point is to reach out to those you care about. Let them know you care.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Writing a Letter to Yourself



Yesterday, I shared a link to Lily Collins’ letter to herself that’s featured in her new book
“Unfiltered.” She writes about her insecurities and self-doubts, but then she focuses on her strengths and capabilities. She writes to herself about the good things she does for herself and what she needs to do to keep reminding herself of her own self-worth. In the end, she commits to being the best person she can be and to give her the respect she deserves.

Writing a letter to yourself can be a little awkward at first. If you’re used to writing standard letters that start with “Hi, How are you? I’m doing fine,” you might not know how to begin. Here are a few tips for writing a letter to yourself:

 ·       * Have a reason for writing. Is there something momentous going on in your life right now that you want to make sure Future You remembers? Are you making plans, setting goals? Are you going through a rough patch in life? Maybe your life is fairly routine and you’d just like to record what’s going on at this time. A letter to yourself is a rather like a journal entry.
·         * You already know who you are, so there’s no need for introductions. However, if you plan on saving the letter for 10 or 20 or more years, you might want to put something in the letter that reminds Future You about why you’re writing the letter, just in case Future You has forgotten what the project is about.

·        *  Put a date on the letter, so there’s no doubt exactly when you wrote it.

·         * If you write about specific things in your life, such as your job or your best friend, etc., consider adding a few more details so that Future You knows exactly which job or friend you’re referring to.

·        *  If you’re going through some personal struggles, try not to be too negative. Take a cue from Lily Collins and look for your own strengths and detail out your goals for improvement.

·        *  Additionally, if you’re on top of the world right now, take an objective look at your situation and see who has helped you out along the way and what types of things you need to do to stay on the right track.

·        *  Take a moment to write about your hopes and dreams, all the things you want to accomplish. Make a commitment to achieving what’s really important to you.

·        *  Find that balance between being too hard on yourself and letting yourself get away with complacency. You want to be encouraging while holding yourself accountable.

·        *  When you’ve finished writing, seal the letter up in an envelope that you properly label. If you have a plan for when you’d like to open the letter, write that on the front. Then, store it somewhere where you’ll be sure to find it one day, a personal safe, a scrapbook, a safe deposit box, etc.

Now, get busy making all those plans and dreams come true!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Publisher Shares Lily Collins' 'Note to Self'

I haven't had a chance to read actress Lily Collins' book "Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me," but from what I've read at least part of it is written in letter style. 

According to news stories I've read, one chapter is titled "A Letter to All Dads," and it focuses on her relationship with her father, musician Phil Collins. In the letter, she forgives him for being away from her so much. 

When I looked up the book online, I came across the Penguin Random House publishing company website that offers an excerpt from the book. The piece is titled "Note to Self" and includes the following passage:

"Forgiving myself is just as important as forgiving others. But now I know. Now I know I deserve to be the happiest, most fulfilled version of myself that I can possibly be. And I promise to use my experiences to continue to grow, heal, and expand my life. It starts with me. In order to accept the love I deserve from someone else, I must truly believe that I am worthy of it. And I am. And I’ll never let anyone tell me differently."

The publisher suggests that readers print out "Note to Self" and keep it handy to read any time. You can find it by clicking here. 

It sounds like it might be a good book to read!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Even in 21st Century, Letters Bring Joy

In Lowestoft, England, 10-year-old Ashton Pilkington wrote to British broadcaster David Attenborough to tell him how much he enjoyed a wildlife documentary the naturalist had done. To Ashton's delight, Attenborough promptly responded with a handwritten letter.

You can read the entire, uplifting story on the Eastern Daily Press' website.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Honoring Dorothy Height

As we enjoy the second day of Spring north of the equator, one way to brighten up your envelopes is to use the Dorothy Height stamps, which were issued by the U.S. Postal Service last month. The stamps feature Ms. Height in a purple – her favorite color – and wearing her signature hat, a great look for Spring.

Ms. Height, who died in 2010 at the age of 98, was a renowned civil rights activist for most of her life. The stamp is the 40th in the Black Heritage series.

According to an article by on the Women’s Media Center website, “Little kids knew Height as the hat lady. Grown folks knew not to let the hats fool them. For under those hats was a woman of intellect with a mind that stayed sharp until the day she died at age 98 in 2010.”

The stamps are available in a variety of formats, including a framed art piece, first day covers, etc. To buy Dorothy Height stamps, visit your local post office or www.usps.com. For more information about Ms. Height’s life, read what the USPS had to say, the complete article on WMC, her obituary in the New York Times or her own books, “Open Wide the Freedom Gates” and “Living with Purpose.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring is Here!



Happy Spring to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere! And, Happy Autumn to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

Around here, last week was Spring Break for many students, although it's feeling more like summer. Today's high is expected to be 94 degrees without a drop of rain in the forecast!

This past weekend, my family and I traveled across the state to see my mom and my brother and his family. After a shopping trip with my mom, she wanted to take the back roads home and stop at the little country post office not far from her house. She mailed a couple of cards, and I snapped some photos of the Knickerbocker, Texas, Post Office. There’s not much else in Knickerbocker, but the post office serves the residents in southwestern Tom Green County. It’s located in a red brick building that was constructed in 1926 as a school. The space is shared with the community center.

I like to buy stamps online at usps.com because there are so many stamps available, but I also try to make time to stop by the local post office to give them some business. Online shopping is fun, but we do still need brick-and-mortar post offices! Visit one in your town today! Buy some stamps! Mail some letters!

Happy letterwriting!
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