By Fungayi Sox
In 1982, fifth grader Samantha Smith wrote a letter to the then Soviet president, Yuri Andropov regarding her worry over an impending nuclear war with the Soviets. The letter read:
Dear Mr Andropov
My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and US getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you are not, please tell me how you are going to help not to have a war. This question you do not have to answer but I would like to know why at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
She was invited to meet the Russian leader and children of the Soviet Union. After seeing that the Russians “were just like us” her statement of hope was “We will live”. Within 10 years, the Berlin Wall fell and with it the Soviet Union, partially due to the letter of a young school girl.
How did a 10-year-old’s letter avert an international crisis?
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
The above quoted letter contained authentic emotions of a worried and concerned innocent little girl who made a decision to pen down her two cents thoughts on a letter and poured down all her mind and suggestions which irked the Russian leader. The child innocent voice, which is highly noticeable in the letter challenged the conscience of the Russian leader by posing difficult questions which made it impossible for Andropov to ignore the little girl’s appeal.
Smith’s letter proved the intellectual prowess in little children ,which because of their child innocence, sets pace for a certain unique and appealing stream of consciousness.
As innocent as Smith may have been in penning down the letter, she proved to be smart and intelligent as she posed tough questions whilst at the same time being conscious that the Russian leader could possibly sweat were he to attempt to answer the questions on the spot.
This question you do not have to answer but I would like to know why at least our country.
God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
By giving Andropov adequate time to digest the tough questions she had posed, little Samantha indirectly sent Andropov an invitation to dialogue and as highlighted, she won the audience of the President and managed to avert a crisis.
Moreover, Smith’s reference to God’s desire for the harmonious co-existence of people on earth appeared to be her value proposition which triggered a conscious appeal to Andropov and which in turn won her the President’s audience.
The occurrence and sequence of events triggered by Smith’s letter seemed choreographed but I believe it was just an authentic outpour of emotions which caught the President off-guard and challenged his conscience. How a little girl contributed to averting a looming war is truly testament of the Power of Letters in Writing.
The powerful biblical letters of St Paul
With the Easter season slowly creeping in, no one can deny the dominance and impact of the letters written by St Pauls, which in essence constitutes two thirds of the New Testament.
The Letters of Apostle Paul were written in epistle form and expanded upon the Greco-Roman models of his time. Undoubtedly the body of Paul’s letters make up most of the theology of the Christian Church. One cannot help but notice the love and care Paul has for people in churches he established. In his personal letters to Timothy and Titus, one feels the tenderness of a good father.
- Fungayi Antony Sox is the managing consultant at TisuMazwi — a communications centred social enterprise that facilitates book project management including writing and publishing, content development and marketing, research, digital media and personal development. He writes in his personal capacity. For one-on-one writing and self-publishing coaching sessions, contact him on 0776 030 949, follow him on Twitter @AntonySox or connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox.