“Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.”
In addition to the referenced suggestions, here are some possible idea topics to write open letters on, to get you started:
1. The Families of victims of terrorist attacks
The recent Manchester and London City terrorist attacks are still very fresh on our minds. One way or another, the reports about these ugly incidents must have filtered into your ears.
You do not have to bemoan the situation only in your room. You can reach out by the means of an open letter to the friends and families of the victims of these unfortunate attacks.
Reach out by speaking up against acts of terrorism. Reach out by sending out your love to the survivors of the attacks…
Just reach out. You may not know the victims personally but send their families and friends your words of sympathy, empathy, condolences, and assurances that justice would be found for their lost loved ones.
2. The victims of the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria
Many people in the northern part of Nigeria have been severely affected by the rapacious activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and many children orphaned.
Do you feel like you have some words of encouragement for this sect of endangered humans? The issues of the internally displaced people… whatever you have to say, an open letter can do it for you.
3. Those who are suffering from mental health issues, insomnia, depression etc
If you are a survivor or a therapist on mental health problems, you may take up this one. Share your experiences and suggestions that will help those who are presently having such issues.
Life is already difficult on its own. To suffer any of the mentioned conditions is another huge burden.
Sometimes sufferers may be languishing in their little corner on the false belief that nobody loves or cares about them. And that’s often far from the truth.
Your open letter to them could be the love letter that may assuage their pains. Would you write an open letter to such people today?
4. Atheists in (your location)
You may not know such people personally but you are convinced that if you ever meet them, you will have something to say to them or questions to ask them. You can do that via an open letter.
By so doing, you are not forcing them to believe in God (although it would be nice to have them believe). Rather you are bearing an open testimony to them about the fact that God exists whether they believe in Him and the need for them to get to know Him, personally.
5. Widows (and widowers?)
Widows are often neglected in some societies. Are you a widow or someone close enough to know, who wants to draw attention to the pains or frustrations of being a widow?
Are there some possible joys (seriously?) in widowhood that you would like to share with the public?
Nobody will feel the pain of widowhood as much you do. That is to say, you are in a better position to tell your stories like they are. Write an open letter as you deem fit.
6. The president of your country
You stay in your corner complaining that your president is not doing some things right. Given the chance, “you could pass him some good pieces of advice that may help him”, you console yourself.
Sorry to disappoint you: your president’s handlers may never come to you for advice. But you can get their attention through an open letter.
Irrespective of your country, you can write “an open letter to my president.”
7. Aspiring bloggers
You have been blogging for a while now, so you know some things new bloggers don’t know. But no aspiring blogger has come to you for guidance.
You do not have to wait for that; you can write an open letter to all aspiring bloggers, giving them insights that can help them in their journey.
As I am now if I could see “An open letter to all bloggers in Africa,” I will read every bit of it. (Update: here is my open letter to new bloggers.)
8. Stay-at-home moms
The idea of being a full-time housewife is unthinkable for some people. Yet many women have found it very fulfilling.
What knowledge do you possess that can be of assistance to stay-at-home moms, to help them make the most of their status? To all stay-at-home moms, how about writing an open letter highlighting your experiences – fulfilling or frustrating?
How I wish someone will be bold enough to write an open letter to the husbands of stay-at-home moms! You will agree with me that not many a husband truly appreciate the sacrifices and labour of love of their housewives at home.
9. Those preparing for a professional examination
You are a successful professional. To get to where you are right now, you have had to write your profession’s rigorous exams.
Congratulations! You passed and you were recognized as a full-blooded professional.
But you know what? Many People have been struggling with the same exams for years. Why don’t you write them an open letter sharing some insights on how to pass the exam?
10. Pregnant teenage girls contemplating abortion
This happens a lot: when teenagers get pregnant, the next thing many of them would think of will be how to abort the fetus. If many of them knew better, they might not have taken that option.
You can write an open letter to pregnant teenage girls who are contemplating abortion, giving them helpful reasons why they must not abort their unborn children. Who knows, one of them could read your letter and have a positive change of mind.
Just look at the hugely successful soccer star Ronaldo had become today! The world would have been robbed of this football prodigy had his mum gone ahead to abort his pregnancy.
I hope the picture is getting clearer to you now?
11. Child prostitution
As much as we may want to shy away from it, child prostitution is a problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be reduced with greater awareness and sensitization.
As a victim or survivor of that evil, you can raise public consciousness by writing about it in an open letter. Make it anonymous if you like, but draw attention to the issues, and recommend possible solutions.
12. LGBT Community in America
I know that a lot of stuff exists in the public space on the issue of LGBT rights. I also know that in your own little corner, depending on the foundation of your value system, you have your own opinion on this LGBT discourse.
What exactly is your own position? Are you for or against it? An open letter is a veritable avenue to let us know where you stand on the issue, without fear or favour.
13. Sit-tight Presidents of some countries
In my own opinion, any nation’s president who has spent more than 10 years (or more than two terms) in office is a sit-tight leader. African leaders are particularly guilty of that behaviour.
For such people, you cannot contribute your vote to send them packing if you are not a citizen of their country. But such a limitation cannot prevent you from writing an open letter to such a president.
Irrespective of your country of residence, you can air your view in favour or against the sit-tight tendencies of some of these world leaders.
14. Facebook Founder
Not too long ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in my country Nigeria, on a working visit. During that visit, some young Nigerians were able to interact with him and got to hear him speak to them face to face. But some of us did not have that rare privilege.
Let’s say you were amongst those that did not get to see Mark Z on one on one basis, but in your heart, you feel you have something to say to him for the benefit of the public. Just do “An open letter to the founder of Facebook.” Trust me, it will not take many hours before he or his aides will get wind of the message.
15. Adult Children who do not care about their parents.
Our aged parents need care and support for the rest of their lives. But more often and not, the children of these sages are now grown, living and working in different parts of the world, with little or no time for their parents back at home.
Read also: A broken piece of heart
Even if the aged parents are put in convalescent homes, regular phone calls or visits from their children will make them happier human beings.
If you had the chance to talk to such people who have abandoned their parents, what would you tell them? Please don’t keep silent forever.
If I were you, I would use the medium of an open letter to write, “Ten things I would say to adult children that do not care for or support their aged parents.”
Maybe you are the parent who feels abandoned by your children, you can think of writing “5 things I would like to tell my children who have abandoned me.”
Even though your children never call home, such an open letter will get to them wherever they might be. With full disclosure of their identities, they can not escape seeing the letter, not with the power of the internet still holding sway.
16. Immigrants in your country
Immigration is a knotty issue in many developed countries of the world. As a citizen, if you feel you have some contributions to make to the discussions on immigration matters in your country, you can write an open letter to the government of the day.
Similarly, you might have some things you would like to share with the immigrants in your community to foster harmonious relationships amongst them and citizens. It would be impracticable to go to them one by one to pass your advice across. But you can write an open letter in a local medium to that effect.
17. Your future Spouse
You have hopes of getting married someday. Right now, you do not know who your future partner would be. But it doesn’t stop you from thinking about him or her every morning as you wake up.
Long before I got married, I can recall writing down “Three things I expect from my wife.” I never got to publish it, but I had the privilege of showing it to my then-would-be wife when we eventually met. If it were now, I would not have missed publishing it on my blog.
Why don’t you articulate your expectations (or your fears) in an open letter? What you are feeling in your heart for your future spouse will make an interesting read for the young people out there.
18. The good friend you’ve lost contact with
Thanks to the power of social media, many of us have reconnected with our friends from the past that we have not been in contact with for multiple years gone by. There might still be someone from your past that you would like to renew your relationship with, but you have had no way of contacting him.
Try writing an open letter giving the necessary details about the friend. The feedback might surprise you.
19. Those who want to publish a book
It is the dream of many people to publish a book in their names before they leave this world. But many of such people do not yet have a handle on what to do.
As an experienced publisher, you can write an open letter to aspiring, first-time publishers. I am sure your ideas will prove invaluable to them.
20. Be the one to add this one…
What would you like to centre your open letter on, apart from the areas I covered in the post? Please share your comments…
P.S. If you decide to write an open letter on your blog following this article, kindly link this post to it to enable my readers and me to join in the conversations too.
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