Gregg Dodd climbed onto a ladder on New Year’s Day and wrote the numbers one through 365 on the chalkboard wall in his kitchen.
This wall would play a role in his New Years Resolution. Each day, he would add a name and hand write a letter to that person letting them know that “they changed him for the good.”
Five countries, 30 states and 33 pens later, Dodd made it to the end of the year and his list.
“There were times when I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to make it. But at the end, a lot of people have inspired me with their words back. And that’s what kept me going,” said Dodd.
Many on the list are friends and family members but some are people Dodd has never met, like the World War II veteran whom he wrote a letter to on the 4th of July.
Some letters were 30 years in the making.
Dodd spent much of the year tracking down his high school art teacher who refused to let him drop his class.
“He looked at me and said Mr. Dodd, I am not signing that. You are sticking it out. And those simple words instilled this value of perseverance,” said Dodd.
Dodd says that he thinks of life as being filled with a million little moments that sometimes end up being big moments when you look back on them.
“Every once in a while, one of those little moments becomes a milestone in your life and really sets the course for the rest of your life. And these 365 people that received letters this year represent the shoulders that I stand on,” said Dodd.
He started on day one with Mom and ended with Dad.
“Who in your life is more important than your parents?”
He says he still has more letters to write and he knows there are people who haven’t even come into his life yet that will influence him in the future. He hopes that his effort will inspire other people to take the time to say thank you.
“I’m just a guy who picked up a pen and wrote some thoughts on a price of paper but imagine if everybody would do that. This world would be a kinder gentler place.”