Dear Stranger (An Anonymous Letter)

You walk into a local cafe, order your coffee or tea or sandwiches, and make your way to an empty table near the back of the room. As you sit down you notice an envelope, inconspicuously left behind on the seat. It's addressed simply "To Whoever Finds This." First you aren't sure if you should open it, but after taking a few cautious looks around the room, curiosity gets the better of you. Inside is the following handwritten letter:

To Whoever Finds This,

Isn’t it strange to read the words of a person you’ve never met? Or maybe we have met and don’t know it. Maybe we will meet. Maybe we’ll be friends, or lovers, or perhaps we’ll instantly dislike each other. Right now we’re just strangers, having a one-sided conversation on a piece of paper.

If you’ll lend me a moment of your time, maybe it will be as though we have met. I’ll share a piece of me, and maybe it will touch a piece of you. If you look around the room you’re in, maybe every person in it has the ability to change you in some way. Maybe you have the ability to change someone else.

I think we’ve all felt lonely sometimes. Even when you are surrounded by people, you can feel completely alone. In fact, that’s the hardest kind of loneliness there is - lying next to someone you love, or in the presence of friends. How do you solve that kind of disconnect, when the people you care about are within reach, but you cannot seem to touch them? Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you are blessed with connectedness and love, or maybe you struggle to find fleeting moments of it. Maybe you ride waves of joy before being swept under by a sea of sadness.

Life is too short to feel alone. It’s scary, and hard, and vulnerable, and no one really talks about it. Sometimes I get scared. I’m scared there isn’t enough time to do the things that matter, or be with the people I love. I’m scared I’ll hurt people with my words and actions and not be able to make it right. I’m scared that doing my best won’t be enough. I’m scared we will go through life never really feeling whole.

I don’t know what your life is like… but if you’ve felt lonely, or afraid, or disconnected from the world, then please hear me. You are not alone, and it’s okay to be scared, and if you are looking for connection, make it. Reach out to someone instead of waiting for them to reach out to you. Ask for what you need. Write a letter to someone you do not know. Maybe we are all just waiting for someone to share a piece of themselves.

Thanks for letting me talk. I hope we meet someday.

Signed, anonymous.

What would you think if you found this letter in a public place? Share in the comments below.

  • Have you ever been the recipient of a letter from a stranger? How did it make you feel?
  • Have you ever wanted to write a letter to a stranger?
  • If you had one message to share with someone, what would it be?