Inspirational User Submitted Acts of Kindness
HelpOthers.org is an inspirational site that features almost 100% unique user submitted content. A great example of people taking the iniative and uniting in a cause, the site offers true and inspirational stories and kindness cards to pass on to people in your life. Encouraging others to submit their stories of kindness big and small, HelpOthers.org has built a wonderfully inspiring site on the simple basis of performing good deeds for those around them. With frequent (very frequent) posting and user commenting, it’s clear that the site has the right formula for spreading the word of the power of positive thinking.
Here is an example of one of their beautifully written user submitted stories from October 15, 2009
–posted by SS on Oct 15, 2009
When I first heard about Smile Cards through my pseudo room-mate, I thought it was a brilliantly novel idea – making someone smile and then asking them to do the same for one more person. I tried tagging some people with the cards and only then realised that it is tougher for us by nature to really do something nice. But then once you start, our own expectation rises and what we would have considered nice early on would then become a norm, and thus challenging oneself to go beyond that.
I then got the opportunity to ship these Smile Cards to other people like me who wanted to share the smiles. I thought this would be great to do because not only was I ‘volunteering’ my time, I was also helping make a difference without leaving the confines of my four walls, and so I jumped on the idea.
The first few times I thought about how people wanted to use these cards and imagined smiles being passed, but soon, it became monotonous and then just became another task on my to-do list. However, as with Karma and other things in life…when things have to happen, they do. One day as I was shipping yet another bunch of cards, I came across the reason why one person wanted these cards. He said, “My dad has just been diagnosed as having cancer, so I’m pretty down in the dumps. I was in Central Park, on a recent holiday, and some people were giving out free cookies, which just made me smile inside. I wanted to pay it forward.”
The people who were sharing smiles and cookies were my pseudo roomie and the NYC gang, and this bit of cross-country paying-it-forward and the ability to share smiles hit right home. This is what it really is about. Shipping Smile Cards and tagging people with it can have positive repercussions more than I could imagine. It was amazing how far one small act of kindness can go.
In my own personal life, I try and do the small courteous gestures that I can in the day and smile at anyone passing by, for you never know that person’s story or the day that they have had. And when someone flashes a smile back at you for even a tiny gesture as giving them your seat on the underground, you know its all worth it.
And from that day onwards, each time I was shipping cards, I was in the moment, just thinking and imagining how an individual’s story of how they planned to use the cards might play out. From teachers wanting to use the cards as a project for her students, to people wanting to help out old people, to people just leaving them in books they leave on the train – the stories of kindness are numerous and limitless. And on days when things aren’t going my way, shipping smile cards helps. It reminds me of the warmth of the human heart and somehow it reminds me that every dark cloud has a silver lining and after every dark night, there is a new dawn.
The stories are well written stories are plentiful and a true source of inspiration for those committed to hearing the goodness in others as opposed to the negative aspects of the human race. Moderation and a great design free of advertisement makes HelpOthers.org the epitome of integrity and positivity. For more information and how to become a part of their inspirational user driven community, visit their site at http://www.helpothers.org