Taking the time to write a ‘Thank You’ card is an act of kindness that is always appreciated. These days, however, it is one that is often replaced with the more efficient option of a text or email. Still, there’s nothing like checking your mailbox and finding a card amidst the bills and coupons. Something about knowing that someone remembered your kindness, and took the time to write and mail a card in return just feels good!
With our love for a handwritten note in mind, we were inspired by artist Aquil Virani’s idea to write 30 ‘Thank You’ cards to strangers that had impacted his life in some way, in celebration of his 30th birthday.
Elaborating on his plans in an article by CBC, Virani explained, “I think of the project almost as a gratitude timeline, of thinking back, ‘Who are the people who had an impact on me, who I’ve forgotten to thank, or who I never got around to thanking or who I never had the chance to thank?’”
After spending time reflecting on his life, Virani was able to compile a list of all sorts of people to write to, from acquaintances to total strangers. According to CBC, “It included his childhood martial arts instructor, a friend’s mother, a famous hockey player, a broadcaster, contemporary artists and political activists.”
About The Project
Virani had been thinking about how to spread kindness during the pandemic. And since quarantine and social distancing regulations prevented him from throwing himself a party, he figured he could still find new ways to reach out and connect with people safely, despite it all.
“Letter writing made sense. It was a solitary activity, that I could do on my own, that I don’t need others to do,” he told CBC.
However, Virani’s dreams of spreading kindness weren’t anything new. While the pandemic provided the most obvious outlet, Virani had spent much of his life seeking opportunities to make a difference.
Virani explained to CBC, “I think maybe because I wasn’t always happy during my childhood, I searched for kindness, and I searched for ways to connect with people. Seeing how kindness helped me and finding it in different places was a way to survive and to feel happy.”
We were inspired by Virani’s search for kindness and touched by his honesty about the impact that kindness has had on him personally. Reading his story reminded us of all the ways that kindness has impacted us, making the good days even better and the tough days just a little bit easier. Needless to say, Virani’s birthday project was quite a success, and several recipients of his letters have reached out in gratitude. His initiative was just the reminder we needed to thank the people who make a difference in our lives!