Monday 9 August 2010


A woman in Pittsburgh for the past year has been living a secret life. No, this is not the logline for a new movie on the Lifetime channel. Laura Miller, a 32 year old administrative assistant, has taken it upon herself to enact random acts of kindness all around the city – deeming herself 'Secret Agent L' – and document all of it on her blog.

The project began innocently enough when a friend of Laura’s asked that in lieu of receiving a birthday gift, Laura instead do something kind for someone else (Laura clearly has some very altruistic friends). And in short the idea was born. So be it a small plant under someone’s windshield, or a free coffee, or quarters at a Laundromat, Laura set about leaving her mark of furtive kindness on a city that must have thought someone had clearly gone mad. As we all know, in today’s cynical age, even acts of kindness can cause suspicion. “You want to buy my coffee? Why? What do I have to do in return?!” Sad but true.

Laura then documented all these secret missions on her website and tagged them all with her secret agent business card, so she could receive responses from her chosen participants – and she did this all on an meager assistant’s salary. What occurred was a wildfire of responses, (most expounding what a horrific day they were having and how much the act of kindness lifted their spirits). Now she has a true ‘pay-it-forward’ type scenario occurring, with 80 likeminded agents across the country also carrying out acts of kindness. Screw giving OBEs and awards to actors and sportsmen, what about commending average citizens who take money from their modest salaries to give to others merely cause they think it would be a nice thing to do.

I have to hand it to this woman, not only has she gone about and done something positive and inspirational, but she actually has time to do all this stuff?! Which means she’s nice and excels at time management. Organized cow! (Just kidding of course) Where the hell am I going wrong? I can barely shower in the morning let alone be kind to my fellow human beings….I let my partner change a diaper this morning, he looked so eager and willing (NOT). Does that count?

Once again, stories like this make me think that humans are not as selfish and narcissistic as I once feared. In fact, I think more people are like Laura, they just need a little gentle reminder that something small and kind could be done and could make the world of difference. Hmmm, maybe I’ll let someone buy me coffee this morning. Just think how good that will make them feel. J
Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed