Letter Earthlings - Touching Lives one Letter at a time
I began using handwritten letters as a medium to spread love and kindness while I was reading for my Masters in Counselling Psychology in Bangalore, India. Writing letters of love and hope to people I didn't know was a great source of happiness and relaxation for me and I did enjoy leaving them at random places for people to find, at university, at a book shop, at a cafe and any nook or cranny that caught my fancy. It was such a delightful experience to write a letter, put it in an envelope, seal it, and then to let it find it's way to someone else's hands and heart. Maybe I didn't know it then, but 'Letter Eathlings' had already been created in my heart.
'Letter Earthlings' was launched on Facebook in February 2014 and we met at Atta Galatta in Bangalore where I along with my friend Harish Bhuvan hosted two gatherings there. They were attended by college mates and others who got to know about it via social media. It was an amazing experience to say the least, and those who came left filled to the brim with love and joy. I returned to Sri Lanka, my homeland in May, 2014 and then my days were filled with looking for jobs, settling down, and getting re-aquainted with my country. The project was laid to rest temporarily, but in my mind, ideas were running haywire about how to re-launch Letter Earthlings. The whole year whizzed past me and then when 2015 dawned, on the 1st of January, I gave my page on Facebook a makeover and the project was launched. I was over the moon and hosted the first gathering in Sri Lanka in January, at a local coffee shop which was such a fabulous experience. Letters were written for people in different parts of the world and every letter was posted as a gift. There were lovely responses on the page and some hype about it on social media, which one of my friends Senashia, who was also at University with me saw, and she sent me a message on the page asking about how she can be a part of it. And, there began an amazing partnership and friendship which was rekindled because of Letter Earthlings.
Senashia was also back in Sri Lanka and she helped me with developing the Facebook page and also with other technology related aspects and she still remains my 'partner in good crime' as she calls it. We've hosted six letter writing gatherings in Sri Lanka so far, and gatherings have been hosted in Bangalore, Chennai, Dubai and now in Rajasthan and Kuwait too, thanks to a few beautiful souls whose mission is to spread goodwill and kindness in the world. Yes! It's slowly going global. We get requests for letters on a google form which can be accessed on our page and then we send those requests around to the coordinators in all the different cities which are then made available at the gatherings. Letters that are written are collected and then posted in beautifully decorated envelopes because all we want is to add some colour to someone else's life. We do not depend on funding and the entire project is based on generosity and our incessant faith in the universe and it has worked out beautifully so far.
The vibe of each gathering is different and the number of people who attend could range from 5-20, and there is plenty of tea to keep us company while we write. There is a great deal of cheerful banter to accompany the letter writing and the entire atmosphere is one of love, community and unadulterated happiness. There have been some very touching letters that have been written and one that comes to mind is a request that was made for a lady in Sri Lanka who was suffering from cancer. The person who requested the letters for her wanted her to feel loved and strengthened and she received many letters from us and we heard on the grapevine that they made her and her family very happy. She passed away, two weeks later and I am just happy that we had an opportunity to let her know that she is loved while she was alive. Another letter request that really touched me was a request made by a husband for his wife who was going through post-partum depression and he wanted her to know that there are people out there who care about her and feel for her. The requests we get are all sacred because they are all so very human, and real.
Words have a special healing quality and handwritten letters I believe are a great way to tune into the love and compassion we have within us and to channel it onto someone else's life. It is not only healing for the recipient but for the writer as well as I have personally experienced. Everyone who attends a letter writing gathering has a story, has lived through different experiences and are willing to share some of that with the person they are writing to. This is what makes ' Letter Earthlings' beautiful and this is what sustains it. It is not the amount of requests we get, or the quantity of letters written, but our willingness to share our love with others.
Love keeps 'Letter Earhlings' alive. Hope gives it wings.