Last night, I began to hand out “Smile Cards” in celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week. I shuffled the deck and told them that they could choose a card. It looks like a regular deck of cards, with all of the typical suits. The tasks begin at number one and are rather simple and they get more difficult as the number gets higher. Each suit is a different color and represents a different category.
- For people you know
- For yourself
- For our world
- For those unknown
It started out with a lot of laughter after my kickboxing class as I had each of the women choose one WITHOUT looking. Some of cards just don’t work for everyone, so I let them put it back and choose another if it was not appropriate for them. It seemed a little silly at first, but as they chose cards that had significance to them, it became more meaningful. We all got a good laugh from the first one chosen, which was in the category, “for our world” and was “hug a tree in public and inspire others to do the same”. Not that any of us don’t respect our planet, but it just was not feasible or realistic with a foot of snow on the ground right now in the freezing weather. One of them chose the card, “Call a mentor to say ‘thank you'”. She loved that one and was happy to have a reason to do it. Each of the women chose a card that inspired them and will try to act on it this week.
At school this morning, I shared the cards with teachers and staff as well. Here are some of the favorites. Perhaps you could try a few of these too!!
- Connect two friends who had not previously met each other
- Help someone with a chore unexpectedly
- Create five cards with positive messages and leave them in a coffee shop for someone to discover
- Donate your favorite book to a library with a note inside why you love it
- Get in touch with an old friend who you’d like to reconnect with
- Strike up a conversation with an elderly person
- Leave a snack for an unsuspecting co-worker
When you do an act of kindness, someone else will be inspired to do the same, keeping the kindness chain alive. If you would like a directive, I will be happy to pass along some of the ideas from the cards. If you have some of your own that you’d like to share, post them as well. The more kindness shared, the more power we have to make the world a kinder place.