Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Smile Card Surprises At Work

--by supune, posted Nov 29, 2007

One of my heroes told me of how she likes to secretly leave little treats for people at work with a smile card. So, I started doing that too. I found these really great snacks made by Larabar called “cashew cookies.”  That was usually my go-to. Sometimes, I’d leave a book or a DVD that I liked for my co-workers on my way out. It was kind of cool, because everybody got it! Nobody tried very hard to find out who or how. They just kept doing it again and again. I got 3 of the smile cards given back my way.

One of my best friends at work had her birthday a couple weeks ago. If you meet her, you would know that she’s an exceptional human being. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I know. On top of that, she’s very smart and always has good advice on anything for anyone. I do believe all people are beautiful in their own way like flowers. But she’s beautiful like the sun rise (I mean inside and out). She treats everyone the same and she treats each person specially. At the office, she’s everybody’s best friend.

A tangent: My birthday was the week before. The year before I had bought her one book, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. And she bought me 2 books, Life of Pi and Wicked. The arms race was on. This year I ran across some book recommendations and decided on 3 books that would be cool for her: A Thousand Splendid Suns, Seizure, and Notes from My Travels. And then, on my own birthday, she stepped it up even one more notch -- she donated enough money to the LA Mission in my name to feed 30 people!  Like I said, she’s super thoughtful. She knows I hate the idea of birthday gifts. But I’m a big fan of the anonymous gift smile-card-style. No expectation, no obligation.

So now, on her birthday, someone had left an envelope full of movie tickets on my desk. There was a cryptic message about how I should secretly get those to my friend (specifically the lady mentioned above) and get her to give 5 pairs of tickets to people (one for herself and the rest for her to give away). That was a pretty cool thoughtful gesture. I still don’t know who it was and that’s not important. What’s cool is that there is some notion that people are thinking and giving.   Smile Cards make it really easy (and fun!) to keep the ripples going.

Now, we're all stepping it up.  Next year’s gift-giving  escalation will require even more smile cards. :)

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Readers Comments

amos wrote: Relationship is not strangled by claims. Intimacy is tempered by lightness of touch. We have moved through our day like dancers, not needing to touch more than lightly because we were instinctively moving to the same rhythm.
Gautam Chaudhury wrote: Such work really heals!
prossy wrote: Waooooh! that was a cool, and inspiring story.Life changing.aaah! Please keep it up.A thousand blessings. you made my day.
pskenned wrote: What a great idea to use the smile cards at work! I'm doing it!
angela wrote: that was a really inspiring story i hope you will continue your great job!God Bless!
pigsarenice wrote: where do you get smile cards do you make 'em?
Me and my friend used to go around doing 'random acts of kindness'.
It gives an undescribable feeling inside.
Flowers wrote: What a great vibe you must have at your workplace!
MisteMay wrote: Thank you so much for our thougthfulness and great ideas. I cannot wait to do some of these ideas at my place of work as well.
sweetp wrote: hmm...i'm inspired to do something for all of the doctoral students at my school... we ALL could use a pick me up!!
sleepytomato wrote: A really awesome story! It's nice to know how the spirit of giving is spreading. Keep up the good work! :)

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