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Making People’s Day, One Chicken Breast at a Time

Dear Blue Haired Meat Seller,

I’m turning thirty, have a full head of gray hair and am so out of shape that I’m starting to resemble Mr. Potato Head. A simple compliment about how cool my hair looks and how the color of my shirt makes it that much better, absolutely made my day.

Everyone has to work at some point. What you reminded me is that it’s not what we’re doing but rather what we DO with what we’re doing.

We can choose to grumble through the school course we hate or shitty job we have making sure that everyone knows how terrible life is and how we are so hard done by. That’s easy. Playing the victim is easy. But instead of focusing on how crappy our situation is and putting our energy towards bringing a bit of light the gloom that may be surrounding others, our crappy situation becomes that much less crappy  because life is not always about us. And we forget that all too often.

“Everyone likes a compliment don’t they?”

That is a question that I will not forget for a very long time.

Thank you.


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“We are a broken people…”

Today’s letter was contributed by Rachel, an extroverted twenty-something writer, reader, learner, and dreamer surviving off coffee and deep conversations. She believes in early mornings, live music, road trips, and finding the good. Follow her thoughts on Twitter at @_rachchristine and her writings at www.sincerelyrachelchristine.com: To the drug-addicted brother from the sister who cannot save you: I just want you to be okay. I heard somewhere that big sisters are supposed to help quench the thirsty dreams of their younger siblings. I’m sorry that I did not do that for you. It’s crazy to be a witness to the erosion of your spirit that’s taken place over the last few years. It’s hard to watch someone so close to my heart become the personification of statistics, symptoms, and stories. It’s safe to say that a drug addict is everything they say he will be; a liar, a thief, and a desperate shadow of a person. You still have a spark every once in awhile, but I sometimes wonder what the size of the flame would be, had heroin not decided to try and squelch it. Would you be a businessman? A drummer? A teacher? Some days I slide down to the floor and cry achingly and I press my palms into my eyes, wishing away reality. It’s like I’m homesick for what used to be, for who you used to be. I want to laugh with the young boy who wore fake glasses in his school picture because he knew “class clown” was in his birthright. I want to joke around with the teenager who will still play Nintendo 64 with me, and won’t laugh when I lose every time. I long for your eyes to see the world through sobriety, through actuality, through redemption. Because the world is an incredibly beautiful place that is desperate for the spark of humanity to come alive. I long for your arms to be pink once more, with signs of life instead of death, signs of healing instead of affliction. I long to know why this is your story – but I don’t know that any of us ever will. It is no less beautiful, and you are no less worthy of hope than any of us. We are a broken people, each of us. You are not alone in this, you are never alone. The fullness of love is attainable; you just have to look for it. I love you. Sincerely, Rachel Christine
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The story goes far beyond the cover

Today’s letter was contributed by Sara-Anne (@sara___anne). Her words remind me that stories are often deeper than what we initially perceive. It is these deeper stories that make humanity so beautifully diverse. Check out more of her writing.
To the girl who thinks it's unfair some kids get extra time taking test because it gives them an advantage and better grade:  It is unfair. It's unfair that those kids have mostly struggled until high school until being diagnosed. It's unfair that they study for two hours and still experience test anxiety. It's unfair when they sit down to take the test and only think about how much time they should spend on each question. It's unfair they wonder if they can finish on time and then realize they have just wasted 4 minutes calculating the questions to time and most recalculate, wasting more time. It's unfair when EVERY single noise, smell, or visual stimulation is hyped to their brain. It's unfair when they start hearing book bags zip up and they have not even looked at the last two pages of the test. It's unfair when the other kids are leaving the classroom and they have to decide whether they have time to rush and finish, stay in the class and finish (that is, once they have remembered if the teacher has a class next), or come back later and finish the test (that is, if the certain teacher even allows that). It is unfair when the teacher forgets you have testing accommodations. When you thought they actually "cared" about each student personally. It's unfair when the teacher doesn't understand exactly why you need extra time when some days you can finish a test just like everyone else.   It's unfair to try 4 different medicines and 3 dosage differences after experiencing depression, migraines, panic attacks, anxiety, off of appetite, and loss of interest in being with friends. It's unfair when they have to have a million and one papers signed to even have their accommodations approved, and thats after being testing while moving little red blocks around.   So to the girl who thinks it is unfair for kids with testing accommodations, it's very unfair.   Always remember situations are not always as they seem. There is more to every story than you will know. And loosely joking about the fat kid, the black kid, the short kid, the kid with health issues, and the kid who has testing accommodations actually hurts. Our Creator made everyone different to bring glory to His name, having differences is not bad at all. Being different is a blessing, however it's never ok to let someone take your differences to far and act like they know what is like to have them too.
Have a letter that you’d like to contribute? Send it here
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Your day may have been shit but I bet you were wearing shoes

Today’s letter goes out to Fadra Nally (@allthingsfadra), a blogger from North Carolina who is taking the Flippin’ Good! Deeds Challenge. Let’s help her change the world and give her an opportunity to see it happen with her own eyes. See how you can help.
Dear Community Shoe Collector, "Even my bad days are good days." The truth of these words hit home as I reflect on the difficult season that I seem to be merely plodding through. There is so much to be grateful for; so much that we can still afford to give back despite the "shitty" situations that we may find ourselves in while living in North America. And you're doing it. You are exploiting the abundance (or as a cynic such as myself would say "the overindulgence") of our excessive western culture by giving back in such a tangible way. Shoes. We're obsessed with them. So much so that we have closets full of them that we've only worn a handful of times that sit waiting to be discovered in the front closet or under the bed only to be thrown in the trash; or if they're really lucky thrown into a garbage bag and hauled down to the second hand store. But not you. You're collecting them, and not because you have a shoe fetish but because you want to change the world and see it with your own eyes. There are a lot of people who don't understand the power and strength of online communities but you GET it. You have inspired me to help however I can. Even if I do live in Canada. You truly are an inspiration and a social role model.          Thank you and god speed.
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Restoring hope to a broken world = Culture making

Today’s letter goes out to Andy Crouch (@ahc) whom I had the privilege of hearing talk about what it means to be a culture maker. (Not an affiliate link)
Dear Seasoned Culture Maker, I have been apart of culture shaping conversations for most of my life but never have I understood what it means to create culture as much I do after hearing you so clearly articulate your own passions. What I realized last night was that we, as North Americans, are great at shifting culture, at moving culture, and at rearranging culture; but we have missed the mark when it comes to creating culture. You said that when "culture is created well, threre is a flourishing; it enahnces the world around us." Often we set out to create culture for our own gain: our own ego (despite how noble our intentions may seem). But when this is our approach we end up paying god and can throw our world into a state of poverty that it does not deserve. The powerful portrait you painted of restoration is what clicked for me. We were created to create culture. But somehow most of us have shifted to consuming culture. In order to a create culture that enhances the world in which we live we need to restore hope. Hope in ourselves, who we are and who we were created be. Hope in others. But most of all, hope in humanity.
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A world without #MCV is incomprehensible

Word on the street is that today is Dustin Senos’ birthday. I’ve been following him for a while and he has inspired me to no end…although he doesn’t know it. Drop him a line and wish him a happy birthday.
Dear Genius Code Writer, Guys like you inspire me. Hell, you inspire me. Part of it is probably just the man crush that I've developed over the last couple of years that I've following the work that you do. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't part of me that wanted to be you. But the thing that I'm impressed with the most; the thing that keeps pushing me to better is the passion you for WHY you do what you do. It's not to churn out code for the sake of churning out code. It's not to design or redesign something to simply make it more aesthetically pleasing. By creating, coding and designing ways that enable us to interact with each other in new and rewarding ways, you are helping bring a level of humanity to technology that may not otherwise exist. You see the world for what it is: a big, open, limitless playground that is begging to be explored in ways that it never has been before.  Keep playing. Who knows, maybe one day I'll grow a pair big enough to join you.                                       Happy Birthday,
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What are you running for?

Dear Terry Fox Die Hard, I heard your story on the radio the other day. At the time it didn't evoke much more than nonchalant, half-hearted "Hmm" before it out in favour of daydreaming. Although discarded at the time, your story must have impacted me in a way that I have yet to fully understand as it randomly popped to the forefront of my thoughts. What I initially tossed aside was the fact that you merely participtated in the same event for more than 30 years: although a pretty sizeable accomplishment but not unheard of for a man who's almost 80. However, what I failed to connect to at the time was not the fact that you have ran in ever single Terry Fox run since it first started, but the fact that you believe in something so deeply that you have been committed to it for your entire adult life. As the haze lifts from the words I heard you speak I am envious of your passion and dedication. Cancer ultimately got Terry Fox and you have lost loved ones to it's evil grasp as well. What I hear playing in my head now is the story of a man who is not about to give up. Who believes in something so strongly tha t he will not quit. Finding a cure: that's why you run. I wish I had something to run for.             I wish I knew what I wanted to run for.
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A Match Made In Twitter Heaven

Dear Twitter Love Birds, "You've Got Mail" seems like nothing more than a nursery rhyme compared to the epic tale of love that spanned many months and thousands of miles all while being told 140 characters at a time. Your story is one that is about so much more than love: it is story about human connection and how our digital cultural has made it more possible and more enriching than ever. The boundaries of connectedness have faded to nothing when they once confined us to merely our geographic region. The Cynics will say that the attention span of our digital generation is rapidly dwindling and that we're losing the ability to make real human connections. But the two of you have debunked that myth. The world is more accessible than ever. With that comes ability to find the true love that you were created for: the one that you are destined for.
Today’s letter goes out to brilliant Max Dubinsky (@MaxDubinsky) and the ever inspiring Lauren Lankford (now Dubinsky) (@LaurenDubinsky). Their’s is a story of true love that came together atop a cliff in Colorado.
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Would You Cross the Street?

Dear Good Samaritan, Pretty cool to hear that you picked up a random teenager with bloody hands after he bailed skateboarding and gave him a ride home. You put yourself in his shoes and though of what was best for him. I wonder how many people would've crossed to the other side of the street (so to speak)? Pretty sure my hand is raised
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Dear Girl With Only One Favorite (Contributed by Max)

Today’s letter contributed by the always inspiring Max Dubinsky (@MaxDubinsky).