Friday, March 14, 2008

Smile Cards

I don't watch much television, but I recently started watching Oprah's Big Give because I was intrigued by its premise: What would you do if you were handed a bundle of cash—and told you have to give it all away? I like how the contestants on this show aren't in it for themselves; not only are they helping other people, they are helping complete strangers and expecting nothing in return. Reality show drama aside, I enjoy watching how creative the contestants can be in giving away their money and also how they learn a thing or two about themselves. They definitely face big challenges, and I'm excited to see what they do next.

In thinking about this, I realized that you don't always have to "give big" to make a difference. Sometimes the little things can mean the world to somebody. It can be as simple as making dinner for someone, calling a long lost friend, or picking up a stranger's bill at a restaurant. I remember one day in college, I was having a really bad day and I didn't want to talk to anybody about it. I just shut myself in my room and stayed there all day. When I came out, my roommate had taped a beautiful handmade card to my door and in an instant I felt completely better. I don't remember why I was sad that day, but I do remember that card. I also remember how she was always doing other people's dishes and cleaning up after them when she didn't have to. It made me realize that these little acts of kindness can really add up...which brings me to what I want to share with you: Smile Cards.

I recently discovered these Smile Cards. They look like business cards that you leave behind whenever you perform an anonymous act of kindness, asking the recipient to keep the kindness going. You can print the cards out yourself at the site or you can request that they send you a batch. There are also some great stories and kindness ideas at the website to get you started. Remember, you don't need to have the card to perform an act of kindness, but sometimes it makes it fun!

Is there an act of kindness that you have performed or has someone been kind to you? Share your stories!

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