Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people. I want to share the lovely feeling of joy on being around a bunch of 4 year olds for whom I was a complete stranger yet felt so bonded by my presence and connection. Early this week, I offered to do some ‘story time reading’ at a local preschool. The kids and teachers were very excited about it. It was wonderful to be around these incredible kids who all picked their favorite storybooks for me to read. Due to time constraint, I could only read few books but promised the other kids to read them their favorite story the next time. I already made 2 trips to the school to keep my promise and looking forward to more! I was thinking of ways to show my appreciation to the teachers and staff of an ... Read Full Story >>
Every since I was little I loved doing things for other people. As I got older I began doing random things for people. For example, during holidays, such as Christmas, I would make out an extra card along with the ones for my relatives. Then I would go and find someone in the grocery store and just hand it to them and walk away! It was so much fun. Although I admit, the first time I did it I was so nervous. I didn't know who to give the card to. So I said a little prayer and knew that the right person would just appear...about that time an elderly man ran into me with his shoppping cart!! It was an accident, and he apologized a million times! We smiled and he walked away, and I knew that he was the one! Later I found him in a different isle, ... Read Full Story >>
When I decided to be a part of the smile card experiment, the first person that came to mind to target was Lara, a fellow member of my research group and a mentor. I couldn't think of the perfect thing for her yet and on top of that found out that it was her birthday 2 months back. The next day, at a local deli, inspiration struck when I saw their freshly baked honey wheat bread. I picked up a loaf and headed to lab. Unfortunately or fortunately, Lara wasn't in her office, so I put a note on the loaf reading: Lara, Happy Belated Birthday! I really like this honey wheat bread and thought you would enjoy! An hour later, she comes by and I innocently tell her someone left a package for her. She reads the note and immediately looks at me, "Did you leave this?" I try my best to ... Read Full Story >>
I was at work and it had been snowing all day. I peeked outside about an hour before leaving work and I was terrified to see that every square inch of my car had been blanketed in about 8 inches of snow. I stayed in the office a few minutes after 5 trying to figure out how I would get the snow off of my car in heals, a skirt and no window scraper! I finally sucked it up and walked outside. To my surprise as well as relief, my car was completely clean of snow. My windows were scraped, even the headlights had been cleaned off! "Who did this?" I was puzzled, but so grateful! The next day at work, I prodded everyone I knew to find the culprit, but no one could tell me....they all denied the good deed. The following day, a co-working named Brian said "So, were you wondering who cleaned off your car?" I knew then that Brian was my little snow angel. He said, "Yeah, my car was heating up, I needed something to do for 5 or 10 minutes." He brushed it off as if it was an act of boredom, but I know that he has a kind and pure heart and what he did was an act of kindness.
I traveled to Ethiopia last year with my business partner and president of OLA's Exotic Coffee & Tea. We are a coffee company that imports coffee from Africa and traveled to Ethiopia to visit the coffee plantations and speak with the government about investing. One day our entourage traveled about 4 hours from the capital to visit the Yirgacheffe coffee region. There we were looking to survey some coffee processing plants to possibly purchase. It rained heavily that day and there was a flash flood in a nearby village that we had to travel through to reach the farm. After we surveyed our last coffee farm, we climbed into the 4 cars we traveled in and began the long journey back to our hotels. As we were leaving though, through the rain and soggy conditions, Ola our CEO waved his hands to stop the cars. ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, I arrived back home to our flat in London from my trip to visit my family in California to find a "mystery package", which someone had left with the porter in our building some time while my husband and I were both away. It was a large envelope with a wooden backing, and a small note on top reading "Deep and Trishna, Enjoy!" As soon as I opened the flap, I discovered a Smile Card attached, and I knew instantly that someone had anonymously reached out to us with an act of kindness. As I reached into the envelope, MUCH to my surprise, I pulled out a sketch by Manohar Devadoss. My heart instantly melted by the idea that someone reached out to us with such a beautiful drawing by a person, whose life has touched mine from the minute I read Pavi's piece on him and his wife. ... Read Full Story >>
It was a routine trip. We, my wife and I, are walking back home from the grocery store when we spontaneously decide to walk into a coffee shop. As my wife orders a small cup of coffee at the counter, I huddle our grocery bags under our table and get ready to share some hot coffee on this unusually cold day. Just then, my eyes catch glimpse of a young woman in her thirties escorting a rather frail Mexican woman into the shop. Maybe it was the gentleness of their encounter or a vague familiarity with the circumstances, but something about them grabs my full attention. I immediately feel an impulse to do something for them. Anything. Unfortunately, before I can gather my wits, they leave the coffee shop without ordering anything! When my wife returns, I tell her of my silent encounter. "But I ... Read Full Story >>
I love to do the random things like pay for the person behind me in the fast food drive thru.... This week after church we decided to go out to eat with our kids in tow. Our family consists of 6 children, some adopted. We went to a local restaurant. We were seated next to a family of 4 children, and I noticed the young mother had a bandana on her head and appeared to have a hair loss issue, it immediatly touched my heart. I told my husband I want to pay their bill. He looked around, I think he was looking for a lonely person in the corner, then I pointed to the family next to us. When he did a head count I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Our income is stretched as it was and here I am suggesting we pay for another bill. After ... Read Full Story >>
My wife and I were at the bookstore the other day and we were helped by a young woman in finding a book, and something about this woman just told me she needed to get tagged! So my wife wrote a beautiful note addressed "To the woman in the light green sweater and curly, brown hair" with a quote that said "Sometimes our joy is the reason for our smile, and sometimes our smile is the reason for our joy," along with a small box of Godiva chocolates ... We gave it to another employee who read the whole thing and left it for her to come back to. Now they say that in giving we receive, and maybe it was a coincidence, but minutes later, I ran into one of my best friends from high school, who I hadn't seen for about a decade!
“Everyone says the flowers smell good but I don’t smell anything. Nothing. Do you smell them?” she asks, in her heavily accented voice. After walking around a busy street looking to do a random act of kindness, I had stumbled into this flower shop. Even though my mind was busy devising possible scenarios, I had a gut feeling that something was going to present itself. A little startled by the flower lady’s question, I tell her that “the flowers smell ah-mazing and perhaps you should take a break once in a while so you can enjoy them too.” Before I realize, I find myself in the midst of a conversation about her life -- she got laid off from United Airlines a few years back, took the unemployment money and traveled the world for a year. Then, she ran out of money and came back to work at the ... Read Full Story >>
Wow! I got seriously tagged with an act of anonymous kindness last week. Actually, its more like seriously pummeled with kindness. I spent 26 days at a meditation retreat, mainly to begin the process of self purification through self discovery...I guess you could call it a renovation of the interior walls of my mind. As I walked back into my studio home on Sunday, WOW, a few folks had decided that they would self-purify my home and renovate its interior walls as well. The place has been tiled, every corner has been painted, fridge has been stocked, light switches have been replaced, new furniture has been added, and an infinite amount of love has been poured into every inch of that space. On the table in the middle of my room was a flower pot with one smile card attached to the stem. The coolest thing I found was one ... Read Full Story >>
Two days before Mother's Day, I was at a Walmart with my wife, getting some gifts, and I saw a nice gift set of lavender-scented lotions and other stuff (Hey, I'm not supposed to know exactly what all comes in those sets :-)) And so I thought what the heck, I'll get one and we'll find someone to give it to. So we're paying for everything, and the woman behind the counter is this cheery, middle-aged woman who remarks "Getting a gift for Mother's Day, huh? Nice set," or something. Somehow that set showed up for only half of the price, $5 instead of $10. Strange, I thought. We finish paying, and we move over to the side, and I'm thinking I should just give her that set! We pull out a smile card and as she's helping another customer, I tell her, this is for you, and give her the set ... Read Full Story >>
In the middle of lunch, we get a phone call. "Sir, I've got a special package for you." "Special package? Um, ok, I'll come down to get it." "This is for you," the slim, twenty-something guy says with a mischevious smile. "Who is it from?" "It's from an anonymous friend." Actually, in all my excitement I couldn't tell if he said "friend" or "friends" but it didn't matter. With radiant joy for having kind friends, I took a peek inside the box. "Thank you." The kid rushes off as if his 007 mission is accomplished. Inside the box -- guess what? T-shirts. Lots of them, I think about 25-30 of them. Each t-shirt had the same kind of "smile" written on it, the way each smile card has, and a happy face. ... Read Full Story >>
A good friend of mine lives about 1 hour away. I called her last week and found out that she wasn't doing too well. Nothing big, but just bummed because a lot of things fell through which would make the following year a little more challenging. After hanging up with her, she was put on my smile list, but I couldn't think of what to do, but opportunities present themselves when you're not even looking. A few days later, some friends and I happened to be in her city eating at a restaurant with fabulous desserts. As we pored over the dessert menu, I got it. I turned to my friends and asked them if they wanted to join in on a game of tag. After explaining the idea, they were up to take 15 minutes more after a long day to make someone's day. ... Read Full Story >>
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!
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.
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!
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 >>
I was a first year college student in a Graphic Design course and I'd like to tell you an interesting story that happened to me a few months ago. You see, I live in a "seedy" (an abundance of illegal activity) apartment building whose residents are a large diversity of minorities, most of which I have never met, (I don't even know my neighbors name), and we all have to use the laundry room on the third floor. The dryers in the laundry room are old and usually require more than one cycle to fully dry even a small load of laundry. One evening I found I had only one loonie left for the dryer (they only accepted $1 coins) and so opted to leave my wet clothes in the dryer all night knowing that my clothes would still be damp in the morning and that they were the only ... Read Full Story >>
I recently went to the bank to cash a check that I had. I really didn't want to go, but I knew that I had to so I decided that I would make the trip to the bank worthwhile and fun!
I grabbed this smiley pen that I had been saving and smile card and I attached it to the pen along with a post it note that said "Keep the pen, smile, and pass on the card!"
When I got my money out of the tube that the bank sends back and forth, I slipped in the pen and cards, so that the next person that came to cash their check, would get more than just money...they would get a bank smile!
I have been using the smile cards for quite a while, and I try to get my family members to do it with me. It is a lot of fun.
Recently, my grandparents went on a trip to New Mexico, and on their way home they stopped at an IHOP to eat breakfast. When they had finished, the guy came over with the bill, but when my grandfather opened up the folder containing the bill, there was nothing!
The waiter said the a young man had paid for their breakfast! They were so suprised! My grandmother called me and told me the story and said that "wasn't it like those cards that I used!" And I said yes, it was. She thought that it was awesome and now she wants some cards!
It just goes to prove that if you do nice things for others, nice things will happen to you!
I was doing some last-minute shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at ... Read Full Story >>
"I have a package for Jonathan," Tom says. "Um, ok, let me page him," the person behind the counter says. This is an independent book store, and they generally don't get random deliveries like this. Wearing a buttoned shirt over a pair of jeans and black sneakers, Tom might've been taken for an errand guy. A closer look, though, and Tom's mystique is evident with the serenity on his face and the depth of his voice and the span of his geniune smile. On paper, Tom has a ton of accomplishments to his name, but in spirit, he identifies to something subtler -- "I grew up in love with stories of the invisible worlds that surround us, whispering to us of greater potentials than most of us ordinarily recognize. I have learned about silence and the world’s soul through years of walking in the woods, on mountains, and ... Read Full Story >>
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
After several months of having only one income suporting our household, we had been struggling to make ends meet. One day, I took all the cash I had for the next week ($60) and went to buy groceries, as the fridge and cabinets were empty. I kept a running tab in my head of everything I was buying, even rounding up to the nearest dollar to make sure I didn't go over what I could afford. Once the food and basic items we needed approached $60, I went to checkout and somehow the total came to $65. On the off chance that I had room on a credit card, I tried using two of them...both declined. Getting very embarrassed, I asked the clerk what I could deduct that was about $5. Everything in my cart was important and it scared me that money was so tight. I didn't know how to decide. ... Read Full Story >>
I was at a business meeting, and I had to run downstairs to pick up some documents. As I was hurrying to catch the elevator back upstairs to my meeting, an elderly woman stopped me and asked me to go on the elevator downstairs with her.
She explained that she was terrified of elevators and asked/begged if I could go with her downstairs to the street level. At first, I was going to ask her why she was afraid, and the doors were opening. I canned my question, just got on the elevator and went downstairs with her, and pointed which direction she should go. I got back in the elevator and went upstairs. My colleagues were a bit inconvenienced, but our meeting proceeded without a hitch.
Sometimes it takes a little time to be kind, sometimes you have to give up your priority to help someone make it to the street.
I came home from work one day to find some business cards and a card holder in the street. Not much, but I figured the person might want them so I called the number only to find out the person was a seasonal employee. No worries, I thought I would just throw the cards out since they didn't seem to be of much value. A few hours later I saw a police car driving down the street, which is unusual. As I went out to see what was going on I saw an envelope on my front porch. It was a package of food stamps or food checks for mothers with young children. There were enough checks to last through October or November and interestingly the name matched the name from the business cards. I called the office that issues the checks, but they were closed so I called one ... Read Full Story >>
Hello. I'd like to share a bit of kindness and the use of the Smile Cards my son who is 12 got to witness and be part of.
My son and I went out to eat and there was this table of older ladies (like their once a month get together--they must have been into their
70's or more and dressed up) next to us. Well, when my son and I were leaving, I decided to do something good. I told the guy at the counter that I wanted to pay for those ladies meals. He looked at me funny. Asked me if I knew them. Nope--I certainly don't. He looked at me again, asked again and again I said nope. Don't tell them I'm doing this, just give them this "smile" card.
He said "not so many people so generous now a days" So, I paid for their meals (a whopping 20 bucks) and me and my son left.Then he asked me to see the card we left--and he wants some.
A good friend of mine... i swear she must be the happiest most loving person I've ever met, convinced me to go out with her on valentines day since we both didn't have dates or boyfriends at that time. I went to grab her at her house, and she had construction paper and markers all over. We made what must have been 200 simple valentines saying simply "happy valentines day" and "have a wonderful day"... which then we drove out to walmart. (in our little town, walmart is the place to go late nights) then we put one on everyone's car in the parking lot.
It was such a sweet thing. I imagine it brightened someones day, plus... it was so much fun making them, and running around putting them on people's cars.