Signs of Happiness
A few weeks ago, a photo of a thank you note landed in my inbox. The note said:
I just want to thank you for the signs you have out. I often get the urge to give up. Tonight was one of those nights. Couldn’t help but cry after I saw them, while driving pass [sic]. Didn’t expect it, but it helped!
It was signed with a man’s name, and dated on Christmas Eve.
He was referring to a set of five yard signs that a member of the United Methodist Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio had bought from me last December and placed along the road. The signs say:
- You are loved
- You are needed
- You are worthy
- You belong
- You deserve happiness
I am trying to get these signs purchased and planted in all 50 states, in front of schools, homes, churches, and businesses.
It’s a project I started back in August, after getting a little seed money from a relative and discovering a print wholesaler that would ship individual signs for me anywhere in the U.S. I chose the five messages, a graphic designer friend created the designs, and another friend came up with the name: Signs of Kindness. There are now 15 different messages, plus a smiley face sign.
My hope is that this project will make a difference for a lot of people -- not just those who are going through especially hard times, like the author of the Christmas Eve note, but others, too.
I want it to make a difference for the people who buy and plant the signs, who get to experience how good it feels to get thank you notes like that, and to know they are offering their neighbors something important.
I want it to make a difference for people who are having perfectly normal days, but then get an unexpected dose of upliftment that then carries on to their next interactions with their friends, colleagues, and family members.
I want it to make a difference in our communities, helping create a sense of warmth and welcome that is sometimes missing here in New England, and that can get especially lost in election years. I want the signs to be reminders that we can treat the “other,” whoever that may be to us, with love and honor.
I also want this to make a difference in our civic dialogue, sparking meaningful conversations among friends and neighbors. Do we believe the words on the signs? About ourselves? About each other? What are the values that we stand behind, and how do we embody them in our daily lives?
So far, there are Signs of Kindness in 32 states. They’ve been purchased by families, schools, colleges, coffee shops, fitness centers, and churches. They’ve been given as gifts, fundraised for, and paid for by strangers. And the messages are spreading
If you would like to buy a sign for yourself, your business, or your organization, you can do so at www.signsofkindness.org. You never know what kind of impact you will have.