In this age of public outrage and social media shaming, small acts of private kindness sometimes don’t seem to count for that much.  Yet even though they may not have the social cachet of jumping on the hashtag du jour, to the individual who receives them, they can still mean a lot.

Anyone following this blog will know that I’ve been working with YouTube as a medium for science communication – and specifically risk communication – for a few years now.  The channel – Risk Bites – has been moderately successful, and is approaching 100 short videos on risk and science designed for a non-expert audience.  Yet as any content creator will tell you, sometimes it’s hard to continue without affirmation from your audience that they value what you do.

Which is why I was both deeply humbled and massively buoyed up earlier today to be on the receiving end of some rather unusual acts of private kindness.

The “acts” came in the form of a series of postcards – each hand written by an anonymous writer, and each expressing their thanks for what I do with Risk Bites.

The postcards were from members of the Postcard Underground.  From what I’ve been able to glean – which isn’t a lot – this is a group of individuals who collectively decide to inundate an inspiring person (or group or organization apparently) kind words.  Via snail mail. On postcards.

It’s an incredibly generous act, and one that is the antithesis of so much that takes place on social media these days.

I have no idea who these postcard writers are.  But whoever you are – thank you.

I only wish I could reciprocate by joining the legion of shadowy Postcard Underground members.  On the other hand,  you don’t need to be part of a covert group to anonymously send someone kind words.

And despite the cut and thrust of today’s social media-driven world, small acts of private kindness do actually still count.

(8/5/15 – Edited slightly for style)

Andrew Maynard