One night after school I was on the bus riding to dance class when I happened to come across a website called The World Needs More Love Letters. It talked about Hannah Brencher, a 24-year-old who was hit with depression after moving to New York following college and decided on one lonely afternoon that, to combat her feelings, she wanted to reach out to someone. This feeling inspired her to write positive letters to complete strangers that she would drop all over New York. These little acts not only gave her something to focus on, but made her better knowing she had made somebody’s day a little brighter with just a few comforting words. And so her movement began.
After reading her story, I was utterly inspired. I was moved by how a little gesture could change someone’s day for the better. Immediately I wanted to follow in her footsteps, and so I grabbed a post-a-note out of my school bag and wrote a little anonymous kind note that I stuck on the back of the bus seat for the next person to read. Doing this made me feel happily warm inside that perhaps I had made someone’s day a little brighter. From that moment on, I continued to write these little affirmations that I would stick on park benches, posts along the street, within books at the local bookstore and on the bus for strangers to fall upon. Here are some I have written:
I’ve found while doing these anonymouse kind deeds that it not only brightens up your day but the days of other people around you. There are not enough nice things said to one another in today’s society, where it is so easy to criticize, especially with the Internet at hand.
Here are three ways I’ve found writing kind notes can make a positive impact on the world and why you should begin this train of kindness:
They can brighten a dark day for a stranger
Imagine having a really bad day. Your boyfriend just broke up with you or you just lost your favorite job. The world around you seems like it’s falling upon your shoulders and it appears all hope is lost. Then, imagine you’re on the way home and your eyes happen to come across a little message that reads, “Everything is going to be alright. Don’t let it get to you.” Even though it’s only little, this gesture could just be that spark of inspiration to keep going and a comfort hug knowing someone if looking out for you. And it might not even be a bad day for a stranger, these little notes can just put smiles on people’s faces, which is sometimes all that’s needed.
It makes you feel you good knowing you have done something thoughtful
How good does it feel when you open the door or pick something up that had fallen for a stranger out of pure kindness and not for personal gain? Writing notes to strangers is exciting, exhilarating and rewarding knowing that you have made people realize that they are worthwhile in this world without a payoff. Kindness has gotten a stigma for being a sign of weakness and despair, but really it is a manifestation of strength. As we do these acts to create light and hope for others, we unintentionally light our own way. No matter how small an act of kindness is, it is never wasted.
Can inspire others to follow this act of kindness
Just like I was inspired by Hannah Brencher to write notes of kindness, when people see these acts, they may be inspired to do the same. If we unite as a group to illuminate kindness and to look for good in everyone we meet and respect their journeys and battles, it helps create positivity in the world. My notes to strangers are like stepping-stones to making the world a better place, as we become better people in it. In a world where, at times, hatred and cruelty prevails, it seems the uniting magic for positive progress is created by the small acts of kindness done across the globe.
I remember a week after writing my first kindness note, I was on the bus to dance class again and I happened to see a kind note on the back of the seat where a young women was sitting. She grabbed the note and upon reading she gave out this warm smile. Smiles like these are what connect us. These small little deeds can have a big positive impact on the world we live in. Knowing that people are right with you and that it truly matters you’re here. I hope that one day we live in a world where kind notes flood the streets and hate is just a past recollection.