Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Kindness Project

Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good.  But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole . It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts.

One of the easiest ways I've found to take the random out of an act of kindness is to get a pack of smile cards as a reminder of your purpose. They're adorable and free.

Here's one of mine:   

It says: "Smile. You've just been tagged! Experiments in anonymous kindness is the name of the game, and now--you're it!" 

Turn it over and it adds: "Someone reached out to you with an anonymous act of kindness. Now it's your turn to do the same. Do something nice for someone. Leave this card behind and keep the spirit going!"  Below that is a quote from Gandhi: "The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose."

So far I have used my cards repeatedly for only one thing: paying for the coffee of the person behind me in the drive-through at Starbucks. I'll leave a smile card for the cashier to hand them along with their coffee, and drive away. One time, this particularly amused me, when I was in our decrepit, old, farm truck and paid for a girl I could barely make out through the tinted windows of the shiny-black Humvee behind me. I rattled away in my beater with my own drink and cackled to myself. She may not have needed a free cup of coffee, but everyone could use a little out-of-the-blue kindness.

One barista told me that she'd seen someone use a smile card the same way before and that it went through more than a dozen people, each buying for the person behind them, before someone took the card and their coffee and left.  No matter what became of the card after that, I'd like to think that there were at least a dozen people who--though they technically didn't get anything for free, and some perhaps even paid more than they would have otherwise--were startled out of their humdrum routine and reminded, for a moment, that kindness is a choice. 

Do you have any ideas for other anonymous acts of kindness? I'd love to broaden my smile-card horizons with your brilliant schemes! If you get a pack lets make a covert plan of action. :)

And please check out the blogs listed below for some truly inspiring, emotional and amazing posts about kindness.

Posting today for The Kindness Project:

Elizabeth Davis
Sarah Fine
Liza Kane
Amie Kaufman
Sara Larson
Matthew MacNish
Sara McClung
Gretchen McNeil
Tracey Neithercott
Lola Sharp
Michele Shaw
Meagan Spooner
Carolina Valdez Miller

Be sure to check them out :D We post the second Wednesday of every month. Want to join us? Grab our button and spread a little kindness.


  1. What a wonderful idea, Alina! I love these cards! It's that conscious effort you're making that makes the biggest difference. Brightening up one person's day will often have a chain effect, just as you've shown. Man, I need to get myself some of these. Love the idea.

    1. Thanks, Carol. :D They are so cute, they brighten my day every time I look at them.

  2. That is too awesome! I've never seen a smile card, but I love it! So going to do this! Now I'm giggling at you & Ms. Humvee~ :D <3

    1. Isn't it awesome? I wish I could have seen inside her head. :D

  3. Thanks for the link. I'm going to print out a stack of smile cards. :)

    1. Fabulous! I will do it that way next time. I just had them send me some and made a donation.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! <3

  4. I don't have any earth shattering random acts of kindness tips, but I always try to smile at people I meet and hold the door for them. An actual smile can go a long way...and doesn't cost anything. :)


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