What better way to start a journey than to tag the passengers on my flight? What to tag them with was the next question. The kids were easy. I went out to a party supply store and picked up a variety of goodies- bubbles, mini mazes, cards, candy, notebooks and pens. It was perfect, the store had smiley face bouncy balls and smiley face bags. But what of the adults, the day before my trip, I realized the perfect solution was in front of my eyes for weeks. For graduation, I had received a bag of smile stones. If you haven't had the pleasure of finding a smile stone, I hope you come across one. Smooth glass stones in a myriad of colours with smiley faces drawn on in permanent black. Mid-flight a child behind came crying to her family, it was time to begin. I pulled ... Read Full Story >>
I was catching a flight from Calcutta to Madras and had arrived at the airport rather early. Have always thought of airports as rather happy places- everyone at the beginning or the end of a journey- or both- such a sense of adventure in the air- and warmth- because people travel to see people and you know as you look around that that's someone's daughtersonhusbandwifefriendgrandmotheruncle cousinnephewhathaveyou and someone on the other end is going to be So Very Glad to see them. So until I saw the young couple sitting a few seats away from me, and noticed that the woman was crying-I'd never stopped to think that though airports are places of Adventurous Arrival they can also be about Difficult Departure. The young woman was crying, the young man was- not. He looked distinctly connected to her and decidedly uncomforting (and yes that is judgemental of me but so be ... Read Full Story >>
My dearest cousin has been really down in the dumps the last few weeks ... it hurts me to see her so unhappy with life.
So I went out and created a care package for her! In it, I put a brand new gardening tools, seeds, and a pot so she could get into gardening and get her mind off things (it's also just a great therapeutic activity!) and I also got her a 1000-pc puzzle to have her fun with. I just want her to get her mind off things and have fun with life, even if just for a moment.
You see the smile card there? YAY for happiness!
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes, carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did ... Read Full Story >>
"A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, but they soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted."
May all the seeds you plant land in fertile soil, and for the seeds that don't, give them another try.
Today (6/10/06) opening up my daily email (to find the Smile newsletter) couldn't have come at a better time. My fiance is currently overseas and the last few days I have been having a really difficult time. Today we talked online and our conversation was fine until I started to bring up the 'colors' for the wedding. It was time for him to go to bed and I was in tears just out of frustration but its obvious that its not the 'colors' that I am frustrated with but its just everything. He's been gone since last August and its very possible he won't be home until next February and it's been too long. He left the conversation after he told me he loved me and for the 5th time becuase he had kept telling me he had to go and instead I kept going on and on about everything. ... Read Full Story >>
When I was studying in college, I came to know about my friend Vasanth's mother being sick, she had a kidney problem. He only had a mother and his younger brother, his father had already passed away. In this situation vasanth was staying in a hostel with six people in a room. One day we got a letter from his mother saying that she's becoming very serious. But he was helpless. He did not know how to handle this. We decided to ask for help in a private hospital, but they were not willing to provide treatment for his mother. Then one of our lecturer gave an idea, to publish this news in newspaper asking for help. We published the news in a local paper. The next week we got a reply from a person. He wrote a letter from gudiwada that some hospital is providing free medical treatment ... Read Full Story >>
I will be using these cards to send them out to those that have given me the help and support that I have needed in the last few years and especially the last few months.
I also plan to pass on a car to those people I know who are in need of a smile and a 'lift'. Especially others whose loved ones are away with the military. I know that if I were to recieve something like this right now with my fiance being overseas, it would brighten my day so I hope to be able to do that for others in any way I can.
I will use the cards every day in continuing the RAK I already perform... isn't the world great... the glass ALWAYS half full and the silver lining always to be found?!
As I pulled out the usual looking junk mail from my mail box, I noticed a huge envelope still stuck in the slot. There was something really special about it - the size, the art work in front that surrounded my name and address, an unknown, out-of-town From address..this was no ordinary mail.
With a huge smile, as I opened it, I found 2 large size Asterix Comics and a Smile Card! Am crazy about Asterix (actually Obelix) but it was an interest from my teen years and I had not shared it with that many folks I know now. Am so thrilled and puzzled!
On one hand and I really want to find out the Secret Service Agents behind this tag and expose them :) but on the other hand, I really want it to remain a mystery forever.
This Smile Card and all the good wishes that it came with have been passed onto a stranger at a local Caltrain Station.
Thank you for expanding the boundary of this mystery called love. Can't help but SMILE!
I used my smile card the other day! It was awesome!
I went to get a carwash and bought a car wash for the anonymous person who came after me ... as i was waiting for my car, I saw a turqouise car drive up, and I thought that must be the person I'm randomly connecting with! It was so cool!
I felt like I was actually giving something to someone else purely out of generosity, and it felt good inside...I kind of felt like I was part of a church group when I was explaining what I wanted to do, to the confused cashier, but she eventually understood the concept.:)
Anyways, so that was great and my car was clean! Just wanted to share the good feeling with you and thank you for the idea!
I have given out all of the original cards you sent me, mostly at a Safeway store near Luke Air Force Base. I buy the Safeway gift cards and leave them, along with the Smile cards asking the clerks to give them to people in uniform.
I'm having a lot of fun with my smile cards! Thanks you so much for all that you guys do, it really is awesome!
I just recieved some great news! I recently won the Violet Richardson Award for starting my STARS, a volunteer club, and my club was given a grant and we have already planned our next project! It's called "Operation Bear Hugs!" We are going to purchase a lot of teddy bears for little kids at our local safe house and we are going to attach smile cards on them! We are so excited!
We also are making gifts for a children's hospital that we hope to visit later this summer ... they are called "Smile in a Box." It is a small brown box that has a poem attached and when you open it there is a smiley face tap light that when you push it it lights up! It's for kid's who are scared at the hospital ... they can have a warm smile anytime they need it! Even late at night! And of course, what would the smile be without a smile card!
Again, thanks for all you guys do! I know that it takes a lot of work! Keep it up! And remember, smiles are contagious ...
Dear whoever you are,
I think that this is quite the service you offer. You all have kindred hearts, and are beautiful people.
I hope that you have a great day. Thank-you for all your beautiful ideas.
My time at Aravind has been going well so far. Yesterday, I went to an eye camp, which is basically a van of doctors and nurses that goes out to remote villages to do eye screening. I've realized that Tamil and Malayalam are not as similar as I thought, so I have had a difficult time communicating with the patients. But, the patients here are all so receptive of a nice smile that can sometimes understandably be compromised by the doctors here due to the large number of patients that they see. This was especially true with a lot of the patients yesterday. I would smile at them and they would begin to talk to me in Tamil. When I told them that I didn't understand Tamil...a phrase that I have found very useful...some still continued to talk to me in words that they knew Tamil and Malayalam shared. It was great! I've realized that a smile is really universal!
One of my favorite tags has been to pay for the person behined me on a bridge toll, and to ask the toll booth operator to give them a smile card.
I've always wondered what kind of ripples that would generate ..
Today a friend told me a talk he heard at a local Zen center. The speaker, an accomplished woman with many ongoing projects was describing how sometimes when she gets overwhelmed with responsibilities, she will roll up the windows to her car and scream. One day she was doing this right before reaching a tollbooth and found out someone had paid for her. As she described it, this completely turned her mentality around and literally made her day. It also made the day of my friend who heard the story today and decided to share.
That bridge is one I frequent.
I try to take time every week to go and visit with people in the nursing home.
I am disabled in a power wheelchair and my Church helped me get a van with a wheelchair lift. It really makes people happy to have a visit.
God Bless, Tommy L Harmon
I have a big veggie garden and every year i plant a little more than i can handle. It's something like my eyes are bigger than my appetite. I decided to take all of my excess veggies down to the laundry mat with a sign that read "free veggies". I guess that those who use the laundry may prbably rent places and might not be able to plant a garden. I did this all summer and each time when i went to collect the box...it was empty!
To be treated nice you have to be nice to those you meet on your way going because they are the same people you will meet on your way coming. Treat any elderly person as you will treat your parents for your days to be happy on earth.
I use public transport quite often. Trains, buses, subway, trams...all of the above. I'm hardly ever able to leave books or CD's behind on the train, as they cost way too much. So I had been thinking about cheaper things to leave behind.
Yesterday as I was sitting in the train I had a big bag filled with little sachets of candy with me. I was going to give it to some younger family members, but they would never be able to eat all of it. Then I remembered I had some smile cards with me and put one of the candy sachets with a smilecard in between one of the foldable tables in front of me.
The next passenger unfolding the table would hopefully be in for a nice surprise!