Has this ever happened to you? You have what you think is the most original, bestest idea ever, only to Google it and find out that someone totally one-upped you years ago. Yup. Happened to me today.

I was thinking about a thank you card I received recently, and it reminded me what a wonderful feeling it is to be surprised with a positive experience at your mailbox – after sifting through advertisements, junk mail, and bills, you spot a handwritten, tangible piece of mail addressed to you.

It’s like Christmas in your mailbox!

Most often the correspondence is something good or happy: a birthday card, a thank-you note, a letter, or a postcard from a friend traveling to an exotic locale like Madagascar or Mackinac Island. You realize that someone actually took the time to buy the card, hand write their exact sentiments without the benefit of backspace or spell check, track down a stamp, and personally drop it off in a mailbox or at a post office.

Wow, someone must really like you to invest all that time and energy! Let’s face it – most of us choose the quick and easy route nowadays when sending greetings or connecting up with people, like sending an email, text message, or social media message. But how many of you get as geeked up over an auto-generated Facebook or texted “happy birthday” message as you do over a handwritten note or card? Let’s assume that said text message never made it into the Damn You Autocorrect birthday message hall of fame for now, because that would skew your answers and cause you to belly laugh for hours. You’re probably going to remember how that handwritten note made you feel, that rush of excitement you got when you opened the mailbox and saw something with your name on it.

So here’s my idea. Due to the fact that I work at a paper company; the fact that I had read a sobering study the US Postal service conducted two years ago reporting the average household receives a half a piece of personal correspondence mail per week; and the fact I have a weird character quirk where I enjoy the heck out of making people smile for absolutely no reason at all, I submit to you my Yooper Postcard Social Experiment.

Here’s how it works. As an experiment to see who reads this blog post, I will send a homemade postcard to the first 20 people who send their name and mailing address to lifeinthe906@gmail.com. If I don’t already know you, please introduce yourself and tell me one small thing about you. If you would prefer to pay it forward instead for bonus karma, feel free to send me someone else’s name, address, and one small thing you like about them. That way it’ll be a team effort to send something nice to someone, for no reason at all.

You may remember I’d mentioned earlier that this idea was already out there in cyberspace. Sort of. I came across a similar idea from a foodie blogger who lives in Sydney, Australia. She came up with the idea of sending postcards to her readers three years before it was even a blip on my radar, and hats off to her! I’m now convinced she’s one of the brightest people on the planet, because great minds think alike.

In fact, I’m going to send her a postcard, if she replies back to me with her mailing address.

Ready to change the world and make people smile, one postcard at a time? I’d love to hear from you.

Be happy, be well.