At the end of a year when across the world xenophobia and intolerance seem to have prevailed, a ray of light is being cast over London by a sweet, heartwarming project by This is Thoughtful, a community of creatives whose work seeks to have positive social impact.
Their latest, A Welcome Thought, does just that. They are spreading simple welcome notes around town (London initially, though the initiative has quickly gone international) as a way to reclaim public spaces from any unwelcoming conversations, affirming instead a desire for inclusiveness and warmth.
This is how it works: Anyone interested can print out the template for the notes (found here). The outside of the card has the words “A Place For” printed on it and a blank box for anyone to add who or what they would like to welcome. Inside is space to write a message to the person who finds the card. Students, friendly rivals, one-of-a-kind moments, the homeless… So far, the place cards have been addressed to a wide range of ideas and people.
Images of the place cards are popping up on social media too, with the #thisisthoughtful hashtag.
A WELCOME THOUGHT: This place is home to us all @thisisthoughtful campaign for tolerance, kindness + understanding #thisisthoughtful pic.twitter.com/BTRNuLYDab
— LIFE + ME (@lifeandmeuk) November 25, 2016
— Paul Rowson (@PRowson) November 23, 2016
Love this guerrilla kindness project #thisisthoughtful. I left this one in the ice cream freezer at the Japan Centre pic.twitter.com/q1sUveTxfn
— Cassie Werber (@cassiewerber) November 23, 2016
It, indeed, is thoughtful. So far, hundreds cards have been disseminated around the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, Greece and Spain, and the team hopes that people will print out their own and join in their guerrilla welcome, and that they will pass along the cards they find so as to reach as many people and spaces as possible.
“We need to send a timely reminder that this planet is home to all of us, and that to build a better future together every one of us has to feel we belong,” explained Daianna Karaian, the founder of This is Thoughtful, in an email to Global Voices.