June 9, 2016

An Open Letter To People Writing Open Letters

They're out there. Open Letters. Directed at everyone from frazzled mothers to weary police officers to loathsome subway manspreaders. And each of the writers of these letters needs to hear one thing loudly and clearly:

Thank you.

Yes, I said "thank you." And I mean it. 

In the hustle and bustle of the everyday world, most of us are too busy to keep up with every current event and worthy cause. It's not that we don't care, we just don't have the time. 

That's why these Open Letters are important. For reasons only they may know, someone took the time to put pen to paper (ok, more like fingers to keyboard) and speak so passionately and eloquently about an issue that the rest of us took notice. 

We wept with the father whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. We brushed back happy tears when the kind passenger on the plane helped a frazzled mother. And we laughed and sympathized with the not-at-all crafty teacher who had to admit defeat at the hands of Pinterest.

Not all of these Open Letters accomplish what the authors hope. Some are so clueless, so tone deaf, that they actually undermine and sabotage those they intended to support.

No matter. The occasional missed shot doesn't negate the value of these public posts. Good or bad, they all help direct attention to a single subject long enough that the apathetic and/or uninformed amongst us finally learns something about it. And that's a good thing.

So, thank you, Open Letter writers. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.