One of my favourite sites on the Internet is all about kindness. It’s called KindSpring and uses the tag, Small Acts That Change the World.
In 2003 two people concerned about the horrors of frat-house hazing (Nipun Mehta, the founder of ServiceSpace and a young college student) dreamed up a different kind of prank, one that would spread smiles instead of humiliation. With the help of a small team of volunteers, they printed Smile Cards and began playing kindness pranks. Those receiving an anonymous kindness were tagged with a Smile Card and encouraged to pay it forward.
The Smile Cards went viral so a Web site was created where people could share stories of their kindness pranks. In KindSpring’s decade of spreading kindness, volunteers have shipped more than a million cards to over 90 different countries. They have amassed hundreds of kindness ideas, formed a virtual community where people can share their ideas and stories, and spread a decade’s worth of joy.
A KindSpring volunteer, Geoff Nedry, described the Smile Cards to Richard Whittaker for Works & Conversations:
On the front it just says, “Smile. You’ve been tagged.” And in small print, it says, “Experiments in anonymous kindness is the name of the game—and now, you’re it!” Then on the back there are a couple of lines, “Somebody reached out to you with an anonymous act of kindness and now it’s your chance to do the same. Do something nice for someone. Leave this card behind and keep the spirit going!”
It is such a simple idea, but from wandering around among the KindSpring stories, I’d say it is a powerful one. So check out KindSpring; order (or print off) some Smile Cards, and start throwing pebbles into the pool of kindness spreading around the globe.