I work on a college newspaper, and we share the lab with the magazine staff. It always gets really hard around deadline day. Everyone is grumpy and frantically trying to get stuff done. They forget sometimes to smile. So, I found this giant smiley face at a garage sell...it is bigger than me! I bought it and took it into the computer lab where we all work and I thumbtacked it to the wall! It was hilarious! It did the trick though! Everyone smiled and when deadline days come around, if someone is in a bad mood, or is getting to wrapped up in work, we just smile at them and point to the wall! And it usually works! Plus, the added bonus is that anyone who comes in to see us is instantly caught off guard by the giant yellow smiley face but the first thing they do is smile! So basically, I installed a smile machine! And all it cost was a dollar at a garage sale!
I was a regular commuter in the virginia bus as well as metro trains during my job in virginia a year back. I will carry the exact change needed for the day in the purse. One morning as I was traveling in the bus, one commuter got in the bus. Somebody new to the town and this kind of a traveling...he didn't have any change on him.
After he got in the bus, he was feeling embarrassed as he didnt have any change to be put in the change machine next to the driver. I was very sure I didnt have any extras. I still thought to give it a shot. And to my surprise I found the EXACT CHANGE in my purse which this person needed. I immediately took it out and gave it to him. He was so happy and thanked me. He said that he will return it the next time he is in the bus.
I never saw him again in the bus but just a few coins made a difference.
My office is on the 11th floor in the central part of Bangalore city. One afternoon, I was by working by myself and a person walked into the office. He was physically handicapped and was walking with the help of a armrest. He asked for my boss because he had come earlier too to meet him. Unfortunately my boss wasn't in the office. When I asked him why he had come, he handed over a paper which was a letterhead of a school and the signature of the principal of the school at the bottom. The name said that the photo on the letter was that of his son. The man met with an accident few months back and was unable to do any work at this point and his son needed to pay the fees for the exams. There was three denominations written on the paper. The exam fee was Rupees 100 (a little over 2 U.S. Dollars). It seemed a very small amount for me but for that person it must be big. I removed a 100 rupee note from my purse and handed it to him. The man gave a surprised look and walked off.
I don't know if this person was genuine or not. But surely the happiness and the sadness on his face seemed one.
This seems to be my calling. I have thought of other ideas for passing the smile cards out, but paying for the car behind me at the toll and forwarding the smile card has been really fun. Hope to post something different next week. If not, just call me the toll booth kindness bandit :). Peace and Love!
I'm finding inspiring stories on the web site. I just had my hair done and left a large tip and told the girl that did my hair to buy lunch for the three employees there.
She smiled so big and said "Thanks, no one has ever done that for us before." I wish I had a smile card with me to give her. I also help lead a girl scout brownie troop and wnat to share this concept with them.
It was time to head to the Gandhi Ashram for the day long events that marked and celebrated the life of one of the greatest influences on my life – Mahatama Gandhi. I decided to walk to the Ashram on this day. After 10 minutes or so, I’m not sure why but I decided to take a bicycle-rickshaw and a rickshaw pulled up. On the way to the Ashram, the driver stopped at a flower shop to get a garland of flowers. Instead of getting a small one, he ordered one of the largest ones they had – it was 1m long. I knew this was too expensive for his meager income. He then proceeded to gently place the garland on the rickshaw, with utmost love and devotion. In the middle of the garland, he placed another flower. I was a little confused by the ... Read Full Story >>
I taped a one dollar bill to the back of a smile card and placed the card near the selection buttons of the company vending machine. After an hour I revisited to see if someone had or was partaking my gift. Nope, it was still there. After lunch several hours later both the card and the buck were removed. I just hope the individual will "pay it forward." I explained to my team mates what I was doing and they are ready, willing and able to join in on the "kind train." I'll distribute some of my Smile Cards to them.
We live in a small flat in Ranip (in India). While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day). During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. ... Read Full Story >>
We have an intern who works a few cubicle away from me. He is from Canada and has been planning to go to LA for a couple of days. He has been meaning to look up hiking trails there, as he loves to hike.
When I found 'a hiker's guide to southern california' in the bookstore I frequent - with wonderful maps and details - I decided to get one and put it in his cube with a smile card.
Now he has decided on a couple of hikes from the book, and the book is a common resource for all interns who work at my company. :) a mini-smile library in the making.
The Japanese man points to my airplane seat, right as I head to the bathroom. He didn't speak much English, so I just signal that I'll be back in couple minutes. When I return, we play charades to see if he wants to swap his aisle seat with my window seat. "Yes, yes," he says with a child-like glee. I am more than happy to oblige. My window shutter has been down for couple hours of the flight already and I am hardly planning on making any further use of it. Right before he changes seats, he folds his hands and bows as a gesture of gratitude. It's touching when someone is thankful for something that takes almost no effort on your part. Before he can even get settled in, he slides up the window shutter and curiously looks outside at the clouds. He's happy. I can just tell. And that he's happy, ... Read Full Story >>
I get really excited when I tell people about smile cards and they react in an outwardly enthusiastic way, but I get even more inspired when I hear their story of how they passed along a smile card they received from me in the past...
At work the other day, a friend of mine did just this! She said she held onto the card for quite a while until an inspiring idea came to her last week and she decided to act upon it. A friend of hers had done her a huge favor recently helping out with a photo shoot for the nonprofit we work at. During a recent converstation, my friend had mentioned a book she was reading to her friend, who seemed particularly interested in it.
Last week she was thinking of something nice to do for her friend just to say thanks for everything. So, she decided to buy her a copy of that book they had talked about along with a thank you card and a smile card slotted in the middle and she put it in the mail. Her friend called her as soon as she received the package and told her just how unexpected the gesture was and how it really made her day. Sometimes the smallest of thoughtful acts go a lot further than we can imagine...
On September 25th was our friend G.M.’s Birthday. To some she is an embodiment of compassion. To some she is a personification of beauty, grace and dignity. To some she is a pillar of virtue and strength. And to some she is a quiet pilgrim walking her journey with as much integrity and passion as is ever seen. But to most… she is nature’s precious gift to life. My friend H had just arrived that day at my house for dinner when we found out that it was G’s birthday. I am not sure why, but ever since I heard about it… I was feeling compelled to do something for G. However, I did not want to force anything… and was sure that if the intention is heartfelt then actions will flower naturally from that space. After dinner H and I came up with an ingenious idea to do a "Walk ... Read Full Story >>
Last night on my way back from work, I was caught again in the crowded bus where you don't even have space to put your legs on the floor at times. Every person's attention is to the next seat which gets vacant.
It is a like a tout musical chair situation. An Old lady with heavy luggage got in this bus. And after some time, somebody offered her a seat. A generous act.
What I saw after this was a display of an unconditional love. This lady kept offering to share her seat with whoever was standing next to her. The seat is meant for 2 people.
An old lady was showing me how easy it is to be kind and generous and what unconditional love is. She was passing her kindness to everyone of us without a smile card in her hand. I felt fortunate to be witnessing this standing behind her. She didn't even knew that she was doing a random act of kindness.
God bless her!
I have been doing business in Houston, Texas recently, and was talking with an elderly lady in the neighborhood who has knee problems and needed to find a way to sell her old furniture. She and her husband had retired for some time now, so earning some extra cash was important for her. She just didn't know where to start.
I went online to see if there was a craigs list in Houston (there is), volunteered to take a digital photo of her hutch and other furniture, and helped her post it online!
She was so happy to have someone as her compadre as she ventured into what was akin to her first virtual garage sale- without the wear and tear on her knees! Wish us luck on her getting her furniture sold soon!
I couldn't figure out what to do for an act of kindness because I stay home allot. I decided to send some friends and family an e-card from blue mountain cards. I sent the cards and got a great response. They e-mailed me back and it improved there day, which in turn improved my day also.
Many people spend their New Year’s Eve, getting dressed up and dancing their way to midnight. We decided to do things a bit differently. We filled a backpack with clothes, shoes and other goodies and headed out to the railway station. The first person we spotted was a 15-16 year old boy picking up discarded plastic bottles on the platform. We called him over and started up a conversation. We had a discrete look at his hands and noticed he had long fingernail. We explained that it was important to keep short nails (studies have shown that disease occurrence in the poor can be reduced by 30% by keeping short fingernails) and then the two of us began cutting them for him. When we were done, we offered him a chocolate bar, which made him look at us suspiciously. (In India, there is a fear that people cast spells on food and then lure children away). ... Read Full Story >>
Today my boss bought me a crossiant.
Today I tagged a vibrantly passionate pink-haired musician near Embarcadero in San Francisco, who was belting out Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with her accordion!
I hid behind a public bathroom to get everything together - SmileCard, $10 gift card to Cafe Gratitude, and a note saying thanks for the rousing rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Then I neatly paperclipped the bundle together, walked up (with my sunglasses on - even more annonymous!), smiled and put it in box where people were putting money, then went on my way.
well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.
I went to the US OPEN... and getting into my car I noticed that the lady next to me left her lights on so I gave her a boost. She was so thankful that she wanted to give me money. I told her just do a favor for someone else. I think a lot of people have been doing this, but we forget to do this radom act of kindness, the cards will help us remember.