Write a Nice Letter to Someone



Technically, the letter that I’m thinking about was actually in the format of an email, but for now, I’ll still count it. Although I wrote the email before I started this blog, it was one of the items on one of my summer bucket lists, so I figured I would add it to Project Light to Life’s “Kind Acts & Volunteering” list.

Freshman year of college, I took an introduction to sociology class that I still consider one of my most demanding college courses. Maybe, as a freshman, it seemed more demanding at the time, but I just remember thinking that it seemed like a lot of work. The professor was fair and an A was attainable as long as you studied hard, but there was A LOT of reading.

I took that course in the fall, but during the spring semester I was assigned research papers for various classes. Each time I went to write a paper, various concepts that we learned concepts from the many articles we were assigned for my sociology class came to mind and wound up being useful sources that helped back up my argument.

I had always wanted to thank this sociology professor for assigning these articles, but never got around to it. Yet, that upcoming summer, as I looked at my bucket list item to “Write a Nice Letter to Someone,” or, in this case, email, I decided that although it was late, it was time to thank him for what I learned in his class. I explained my bucket list project to him, thanked him for what he taught us, and then added a note about how by writing this email in the summer, I guess I deviated from social norms a bit.


Although his response was brief, his “You made my day! Thanks!!”  actually made my day, and, although it was two years ago I still remember his response and thinking about how I should do stuff like that more often. I did not expect to take another sociology class or have him as a professor again, so knowing that I wrote it without expecting anything in return made this project more satisfying.

As Gretchen Rubin writes in her book “The Happiness Project,” doing nice things for others is often the best way to boost our own happiness. I know that in the past, I have written other nice notes or letters to people, but this one resulted specifically from a bucket list item. Even so, I don’t think it’s something that should ever completely be stopped or “crossed off” a list, as I believe writing kind letters are rewarding for both the sender and receiver.

So has anyone ever written someone a kind note, letter, email, etc? Anyone want to add this item to his or her bucket list? I’d love to hear from you guys!


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64 Responses to Write a Nice Letter to Someone

  1. Rare Flower says:

    Reblogged this on Born To Learn and Lead and commented:
    So awesome that she gets it! #lovelearnlead

  2. Ann Koplow says:

    Thank you for this kind message to us, today.

  3. bwcarey says:

    heaven is real, and angels exist, happy days, end of letter,

  4. Frances D says:

    I reblogged this. Writing a couple of letters over the weekend.

  5. I’ve written notes like that in the past, but never specifically for a bucket list item, I may have to do that!

  6. Margo Blue says:

    Another 1 I want to copy! 🙂

  7. helenscribe says:

    Reblogged this on helenscribe and commented:
    A touch of kindness from someone can turn the whole day sunny.

  8. Yes, I did once. Actually it was a writing assignment to write to four people who had supported you in your writing endeavours. I know it made them valued and happy and as for myself, well just plain happy! We have the power to do this simple act of appreciation and you have inspired to write more. I know I have many to thank,.

  9. suzjones says:

    I found one of my old teachers on a school website and emailed him. I thanked him for his patience with me and told him that of all the teachers that I had in my life, his influence on me was the greatest.
    He wrote back that although he didn’t specifically remember me he was grateful for my words. He is still teaching but due to retire soon.
    I was so pleased that I found him and had the opportunity to thank him.

  10. I don’t know if my old professor Mr. Edgar C. Knowlton is still alive, but whenever I think of this I think about him. I think I once wrote him this kind of letter and it seemed so superlative that it was a bit embarrassing. How do you tell a man that he was a genius and what he taught me was the very soul of life itself? And who am I to even say that. He once told me that I shouldn’t get a master’s degree in English literature, instead he said, “If you want to write, then write.” Being in his class was thrilling. The books he made us read, the questions on the Essay tests that we were allowed to take home and write, the lectures he gave were literally some of the high points in my life. He took care of his mother. He caught the bus. I really miss him. He taught me about 25 years ago. Thank you for reminding me of him. I’ll try to think of some other people and write them.

  11. iamzg says:

    This is so awesome. Thank you!

  12. I love writing letters! It certainly takes much longer than just shooting an email or sending a text, but it’s so much more fun, I think 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  13. Tamara says:

    Actually, I sent an email to one of my graduate professors and mentors to thank her for the huge impact she had on my life, but it was probably about 8 or 10 years after the fact. It felt good to write it. I thought about her quite often over the years, and always “meant” to reach out to her. I never got a response to my email. Perhaps I waited to long…

    • Aww I still think it’s nice you reached out to her 🙂 And sometimes I feel like people might see such an email and really appreciate it, but because they are busy, they never get a chance to answer and regret that as well, even though it probably still made their day. So I don’t think it was too late!

  14. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  15. dweezer19 says:

    When my third son was born It was the staff nurse who practically delivered him due to the weather and delayed appearance by my OB, just in time to make the “catch”. He would receive the delivery fee of course and I knew the historical facts of the pecking order between nurses and MDs. So I wrote a letter to the hospital about my experience and the perfectly wonderful care I received in labor and delivery, all because of the head nurse on duty. I found out she needed the boost and the letter was pinned to the bulletin board. Expressions of gratitude should be on everyone’s bucket list. Thank you for sharing yours.

    • Aww that is so nice that you wrote that letter 🙂 I love stories like this one and I completely agree! Thank you for sharing this great story and I’m glad to hear the delivery went so well thanks to the helpful staff nurse!

  16. We forgot to tell you that Alix & Roxane from “Tails from Paris” have nominated your blog for the Liebster & the Super Sweet Blogging Awards :

    You can choose either one or both. Because you’re worth it 😉

    Have a super sweet coming week !
    Alix & Roxane

  17. btg5885 says:

    For the most part, you cannot thank people enough. Well done. You reminded me of the story about how a CEO would send hand-written Christmas cards with personal notes thanking peope for their efforts and wishing them well.

  18. This is one of the nicest blog posts I have ever read. Full of heart, very uplifting and a real feel good factor. What a lovely lovely girl you are 🙂

  19. Reblogged this on aurorasdreams and commented:
    Project Light to Life is a beautiful blog to follow. Very uplifting and full of the feel good factor. A truly lovely lady 🙂

  20. I want to let you know that I’ve been nominated for the Inner Peace and Sunshine Award by Come What May Girls. I’d like to pass on the sunshine and nominate YOU for the award! You always bring a little bit of sunshine into my life and the way your write exemplifies inner peace! Congratulations! You can view the post here with your nomination: http://turquoisecompass.com/2013/11/15/inner-peace-sunshine-award/
    Hopefully you will pass on the blogger lovins’ as well.

  21. Always nice to pay it forward and make someone feel good. In the end, it always makes you feel better too!

  22. mandala56 says:

    I have many pen pals, and usually send out around three or four letters a week. It’s great to have a network of friends all over the world. Most of us decorate our envelopes and use various denominations of commemorative or vintage stamps, so the envelopes are worth keeping, too. I’ve written a few of those special letters before, too.

  23. Pingback: 200 Love Letters | It was "buy one, get one free."

  24. Iulia Calota says:

    Hi Christine,
    Thank you so much for following my blog and very impressed with the wonderful blog you’re keeping – it’s such a great project!
    With regards to your blog post, I received a beautiful Thank You card from my colleage Jenny, who went off on maternity a couple of months ago, to thank me for the earrings I made for her and gave to her on her last day at work. It was such an easy thing for me to do and I thought it would make the perfect gift knowing how much she loved wearing earrings. I had no idea it would have such an impact on her. And to receive her card was a beautiful and unexpected surprise. The smallest of gestures can mean so much! 🙂
    Iulia xx

    • Thank you so much 🙂 Aww that is so sweet! I love it! It’s so true that the smallest acts can mean so much to a person. You might be interested in the Kindness Chain post I just made, if you want to check it out; basically, you do a small kind act, send me a write-up about it, I’ll post it, and you pass it along to a friend!

  25. libertystarts says:

    Hi, I came here via auroradreams. My junior school teacher Mr Swift for his genuine caring and interest in sorting out my behaviour problems at the time, his decency and goodness are qualities I have never forgotten, and a model for my own behaviour of how to relate to children. I been unable to locate him in the intervening thirty years, so I may just write a blog post in readiness. Thank you for this lovely post and your blog.

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