Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too
I thought about that smile and then I realized its worth
A single smile, just like mine, could travel round the earth
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected
Let’s start an epidemic quick and get the world infected!
– Karen McLendon-Laumann
A smile is invaluable; it’s in fact, one of the most effective ways of non-verbal communication, which leaves a positive impact on both our personal and professional lives. American writer, author and developer of the courses on self-improvement Dale Breckenridge Carnegie wrote in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.”
A small act of kindness, like passing a smile, has the power to make the world a better place, than it is today. Considering the situation of our country and the level of pessimism that’s taking root in the hearts of our people, imagine the outcomes, which other numerous random acts of kindness can convey. Small acts of kindness also have the ability to release the stress in our lives and its scientifically proven that performing acts of benevolence provides inner peace and calmness and eventually make us feel happier and healthier.
This world in which we are surrounded by unlimited dreams and limited opportunities we seldom make time and effort to indulge in the random acts of kindness. But amidst us all, there exist a bunch of crazy individuals, who insist on standing up for what matters and who believe in bringing optimism by doing random acts of kindness to others.
One such believer is Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi, a young student based in Islamabad, who decided to celebrate his 22nd birthday in a unique way by performing 22 random acts of kindness and giving a little bit back to this world. Muzamil was inspired by the lady behind The Birthday Project, Robyn Bomer who performed 38 random acts of kindness on her 38th birthday, therefore, he decided to do something similar, as such initiatives are much needed in our country where all people talk about or face each day is anguish and unkindness.
To initiate the activity, Muzamil wrote personalized letters to policemen appreciating the efforts they put in providing security to the nation. He bought ice cream for the guards at McDonald’s and bought water bottles for Capital Development Authority’s gardeners. He cleaned dirty windows at a junction for an hour, planted a tree, cleaned a random person’s car in the parking lot, had a heart to heart conversation with a cleaning boy at his favorite coffee-shop, performed barrier duties for guards when they were having dinner, wrote appreciation letters to instructors for choosing education sector over corporate sector, cleared all the left over trash in the university, distributed tissue papers to all the students who were present at the university’s café and printed happy pamphlets with positive messages and distributed them in the university and on cross-roads.
Aren’t you already amazed with Muzamil’s thoughtfulness? Well, his project of spreading happiness didn’t end here. As Muzamil turned 22, according to the plan, he performed more acts of kindness and finished this activity by distributing balloons at a local orphanage. Further, he compiled all the acts of kindness in a footage and created a short video clipping that, when shared with the digital world, went viral and became a source of inspiration, not only for the people of Pakistan but also for many young individuals around the world.
What a great way it is to celebrate a birthday by spreading smiles on other people’s faces! Muzamil’s way of celebrating his big day by performing acts of kindness is a thought provoking initiative which brings up a question in mind that if this young man can take a step forward by bringing smiles on people’s faces then what’s stopping us? It’s time to look for an answer within yourself and then to look around and be inspired by the crazy people who are already living amidst us, creating a kinder world for us.
There is a website that is compiling pictures and stories of random acts of kindness from all around Pakistan. So, if your story is similar to Muzamil’s, then share your story at kindness.coca-cola.com/pk and join the league of crazy people spreading happiness in their unique ways.
This article was originally published in Daily Times on April 24, 2013