As we travel around the world, we are often asked if we ever get into trouble or if we feel unsafe in some of the places we go to. Our answer tends to be the same: most people in the world are actually good! Problems can happen whether it is inside your country or abroad, but the truth is that most folks out there are generally kind to one another.
We’ve known several backpackers traveling with almost no money, thanks to the kindness of strangers. Friends have told us how locals shared their meals with them while on long train rides across India. We’ve ourselves been offered free food and lodging in Italy, by people we had literally just met. Whether we realize it or not, many of us are on the receiving end of these random acts of kindness at some point. As such, we should also make it a point to give a little something back every now and then.
We recently came across The Good Cards, an app that lets you track in a fun way acts of kindness and “paying it forward” type of actions. By turning kindness into a sort of game, you get to do good deeds and see the actual impact of your generosity.
It’s pretty simple: you get a card with a unique bar code, you use it to log in to The Good Cards app, and you meet your virtual guide. He or she will explain to you the details of the game and, most of all, inspire you to get started!
The first good deed you’ll have to do will be a personal one. You know what they say: if you don’t love yourself, who’s going to love you, right? Afterwards, you are supposed to do a meaningful gesture for a friend and, anonymously, drop the card so that your friend can keep on using it, thus creating a positive chain reaction. I do something for you, you do something for the next person, and we all keep on spreading the love! This positive domino effect can virtually keep on spreading for years, affecting the lives of hundreds or thousands of people! The fun part? You actually get to track on the app the entire journey of the card, and all the good actions that have happened around the world because of it!
The fun part of The Good Cards game is that every good deed gets logged on the app (with descriptions of what happened and photos!) and so you get to see how far the chain of good actions has spread. We logged the first card in Portugal and, who knows if it may even reach you one day! Well.. if you get a card in your hands and the very first logged action includes a photo of mine ready to take care of my health by going on a run in Lisbon, then you know it came from me!
When you are part of the game, you can opt to log your actions anonymously, and share as many or as little details as you wish. The important thing is to keep the positive chain reaction going, and continue spreading happiness based on the little things. Like Alexander Supertramp said: “Happiness is only real when shared!”
Since The Good Cards app was launched in the US, cards have already traveled to 19 countries. Anyone can start the chain, just like anyone can also be on the receiving end of a good deed and, as such, keep the game alive! For all you know, one day, you may be a part of a chain started by someone you admire, like your favorite musician, or someone in a town somewhere in the world, a place that you probably didn’t even know about!
When you join The Good Cards game, you can actually see what other folks have been doing all around the world! There’s a little bit of everything in there: from gift sharing to actions that have nothing to do with money or material things. Right now, the non-profit company that created The Good Cards, Better World International, launched a Kickstarter campaign to ensure they can spread the game even further in the world! These guys are truly committed to turning good deeds into a game! It’s all meant to be fun, while actually having a positive effect and a deeper meaning. Pledging during the next 30 days is a good way of getting cards for you and your friends or colleagues to start playing, while getting your hands on some extra goodies too!
We often focus on everything that is negative happening in the world right now. But we think it’s good to look at the bright side every once in a while, because good thinking only brews even more good stuff! Whether you are in your city or traveling abroad, join The Good Cards game and watch your good deeds ripple effect! We promise: I’ll make you feel good!