2021 DSE English Writing Question 6 (Sample)

6. Learning English through Popular Culture

You took part in a social media challenge called ‘The 21-day Gratitude Challenge’. For three weeks, you kept a journal about the things you were thankful for on a daily basis. After completing the challenge, participants are invited to share their experience on the 21-day Gratitude Challenge website. Write a blog post.

  • Explain why you accepted this challenge and what you hoped to achieve. 
  • Reflect on the 21 days and whether taking on this challenge has changed you in any way. 

Gratitude Makes Your Day

This year, the social media platform Instagram had held a local event called ‘The 21-day Gratitude Challenge’. When the event first came out, it swept through Hong Kong city. Hong Kong people were enthusiastic about participating in the challenge because they wanted to create and promote a culture of positivity and gratitude towards their fellow citizens. As one of the Hong Kong citizens, I would also like to take on the challenge to express my deepest gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives and contributed to the city and spread a message of hope around the city.  I hope that, by doing so, more teenagers can be encouraged to choose a positive attitude towards their lives and feel grateful for the good things they are still having in the city.

In the 21 days, I would like to express my gratitude to my fellow Hong Kong citizens and return their goodness by showing kindness, appreciation and support to them. For the first few days, I dedicated a handmade gift to my parents and gave a big hug to my siblings to express my thankfulness to them for giving me life and bringing me up with love and tolerance. The next few days, I went on to thank my friends for always being there for me in spite of my many weaknesses and character flaws by sending them a heartfelt thank-you note, offering them a treat, saying encouragement words to them and keeping them company. 

For the following few days, I expressed my appreciation and gratitude to the community helpers, who are doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists, musicians, artists, firemen, social workers, counsellors, postmen, construction workers, bus drivers, hairdressers, trash collectors, for their sacrifices and contributions to Hong Kong city, by giving a compliment to them and showing my admiration for their efforts. What’s more, I went to local shops and eateries and bought some local products to show my thankfulness and support to small local businesses such as café, bookshops, hawkers, groceries stores, street food stalls, wet-market stalls and so on because along with the community helpers, they make our lives easier and better and also promote our well-being. 

In the last few days, I expressed my gratitude to all the people above and returned their goodness by giving back to the underprivileged and disadvantaged in the Hong Kong society. I donated and gave second-hand books and clothes to the charity organisations. Then, I made and wrote encouragement cards to the children in the orphanage. On another day, I volunteered to help children from the grassroots family with their homework, followed by taking a meal to a homeless person.

Having successfully completed “The 21-day Gratitude Challenge”, I have found myself humbled by the gratitude that I expressed day by day. I am able to appreciate the others as well as the surroundings because I have come to the realisation that the contributions and sacrifices made by others should not be taken for granted.  Showing gratitude helps me look at the good and bright side instead of the bad and dark side even in times of adversity. Therefore, I have become a more resilient and contented person instead of a negative and grumpy one. 

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