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I just saw a very interesting piece from CBS News (embedded above) that tells of a project that one very optimistic and enterprising soul named Colette Hiller decided to take on: scattering 30 pianos in random public places around London. Their puropse? To inspire impromptu public sing-alongs among strangers. The goal? To foster goodwill and social bonding among the people in the city, who may need a pick-me-up because of the recession and other real-world stressors.

It may sound like a lot of work and expense to procure 30 pianos, secure them in various locations, and protect them from the weather, all while complying with city ordinances and filing appropriate paperwork. It was. But the effect seems to be a great success: people around the city, people who otherwise tend to keep to themselves, shared music and goodwill, and found their days becoming a little brighter.

I'm sharing this story with you because it makes me smile, and because we can learn something from this project, even if we don't have real-life access to ransom public pianos:

1. Music really can be a pick-me-up, and can brighten your day. (Read more about the benefits of music.)

2. Feeling connected to others can also brighten your day. It's worth going outside of yourself to connect with others, even if they're strangers. (Read more about the reasons to smile at others.)

3. The 'Random Acts of Kindness' movement is still alive, and still bringing happiness to people. It's worth going through some effort to bring extra happiness to someone's day--that can bring happiness to yours as well! (Read more about the benefits of altruism.)

4. Happiness is contagious. (Read about shortcuts to happiness.)

Obviously, scattering a bunch of free pianos around town is a serious undertaking, and is a rare enough act to make international news. However, kind acts are performed every day, by all types of people, and they count, too. What nice things have you done to help others? What nice things have others done to put a smile on your face? Share your 'Acts of Kindness' stories here in the comments--you'll make many people smile!


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