Maybe I’ve lived in the big smoke for too long. Or maybe cynicism comes with getting older. So when I picked up my free newspaper last night at a busy tube station before my commute home, and it revealed a blue envelope with the words “open me” hand written on it, I wasn’t so sure what to do.
Looking to my left and then to my right, I thought: is this a joke? Are there hidden cameras trained on me? Maybe the envelope contains some indecent photos. Or anthrax. Or instructions sending me on a bizarre scavenger hunt through the city to save a hostage’s life. So many horrible possibilities ran through my head (and the realisation that perhaps I watch too many Hollywood movies to encourage such an imagination...).
I seriously considered just walking away and leaving the envelope there, but then decided to just go for it and look inside. And what a good decision that was, because what I saw lifted my heart and put a smile on my face.
The envelope contained a pin, a ten pound note, and a message reading “Happy Monday! Whether this Monday was fantastic or miserable I hope this brightens your day”. This surprise gift seems to be the mastermind of an organisation called GiveMondays, which encourages people to start their week off right by doing a good deed or making someone else smile on a Monday. The group of anonymous givers tweet on #givemondays.
This surprise couldn’t have come at a better time. Having grown up in Boston, last week was a nerve-wracking rollercoaster of emotions (fear, worry, anger and relief – on repeat) while watching the news and checking in with friends and family. Of course, their safety is the ultimate mood-booster, but this blue envelope was a nice little addition and great way to start off a new week.
So, to the givers at Give Mondays: thank you so much for this lovely little gift. I will keep the pin for myself; the £10 I will pass on to someone less fortunate later today. And now there are 6 days left to think about what do to pass along this smile next Monday.