It hasn't been a great year for tolerance. But Daianna Karaian has a plan.
As an American living abroad in the U.K., Karaian has was hit hard emotionally by both the Brexit referendum and the U.S. election.
"Tears have definitely been shed but quickly replaced by a resolve to do something," she says. "If ever there was a time for people to make things better, this is it."
Her solution? Little paper cards, hidden in stores, coffee shops, train cars, or wherever. The cards say "A Place For" followed by a blank space.
Immigrants. Muslims. Cat lovers. Anything goes.
Folded inside, finders get instructions for how and why they can print their own cards.
It's a simple way to show others that no matter what's going on in the world, there are people who accept them. At the very least, it's a small injection of joy in a stranger's day.
Karaian is calling it a "guerrilla campaign for tolerance," and now, others are joining in.
First in London and then all over the world, people have been using these cards and marking places for the brave...
A WELCOME THOUGHT: This place is home to us all @thisisthoughtful campaign for tolerance, kindness + understanding… https://t.co/sel02H1SCr— Life + Me (@Life + Me) 1480077180
...for friendly rivalry...
A Welcome Thought... #thisisthoughtful https://t.co/L70YOShHLq— robbiewords (@robbiewords) 1479208377
...for sharing and kindness...
#thisisthoughtful https://t.co/hAmhX60IwE— Yvonne Lancaster (@Yvonne Lancaster) 1479939069
#thisisthoughtful a place for students - ΜΑΘΗΤΕΣ https://t.co/wNg0cp6LBf— Alexia Boubouli (@Alexia Boubouli) 1479979583
...or even just for a quiet moment.
Love this guerrilla kindness project #thisisthoughtful. I left this one in the ice cream freezer at the Japan Centre https://t.co/q1sUveTxfn— Cassie Werber (@Cassie Werber) 1479934722
Karaian has placed many of the cards herself, and she says her favorite part is watching people find them.
She says they pick up the cards curiously, cautiously at first, like they're passing notes in math class. Then, when they read the card, there's usually a big smile.
And just like that, phase one (brightening their day) is done. From there, Karaian hopes they'll pass the kind notion along.
"There's this sense that this past year has been hell-bent on dividing us," she says. "It's nice to be reminded ... that most of us just want to love and be loved, no matter who you voted for and what you think or what color your skin is or what religion you practice."