“You don’t need much to change the entire world for the better. You can start with the most ordenary ingredients. You can start with the world you’ve got.” –Leslie Dixon
In a summer of Russian spy espionage rings being uncovered in real life while Angelina Jolie single-handedly battles the Cold War sleeper-cell resurgence on the silver screen, it appears secret agents are popping up everywhere. Yet just as the idea of 10 clandestine agents infiltrating our government offices and children’s soccer games terrifies us, it also thrills us to no end (SALT grossed over $100 mil in it’s opening week). There is a profound tradition of fear and intrigue unleashed the human psyche when it comes to shadow figures, cloaked in the deep veils of undercover, on missions to unravel society’s darkest secrets. We love the anonymity of sabotage, the basic conceit that one individual can cause enormous, potentially world-altering change through the ninja reflexes of infiltration and deceit.
But what if the entire idea of espionage was spun on its head? What if instead of sabotage, there existed a vast network of undercover agents, all working to spread positivity and joy in the world?
Meet Laura Miller, aka Special Agent L.
This 32 year old Pittsburg native daylights as an administrative assistant, and moonlights as a rogue spy specializing in anonymous acts of kindness and day-brightening. It all began one afternoon last July when a friend suggested to Laura that instead of a birthday present, she perform a random act of kindness in her name. Immediately Laura ventured out, purchased a single lavendar hydrangea, and tucked it under the windshield wiper of a stranger’s car. In that instant, Special Agent L was born.
Since that fateful day, Agent L has engaged numerous mission throughout Pittsburg: from leaving a roll of quarters at a laundromat, a box of donuts for staff at the local bank, or decorative cards with inspirational quotes planted in public places for passers-by to discover ( just to name a few). Each small act of kindness is tagged with a business card (much like the Smile Cards designed by Nipun Mehta) that states the following message:
“I think people are so hungry to not feel alone and not feel weird and that they don’t matter” says Laura. “People really want to feel valued and noticed because there’s so much hurt out there and my project is an attempt to heal some of that.”
Every week this “all around swell chick” tries to accomplish at least one mission, and you can follow all of her missions on her blogsite: secretagentl.com Even better, if you are feeling inspired, you can sign up to become an ‘Affiliated Agent’ (there are currently over 80 worldwide) and join the underground movement of spreading smiles.
Thanks to CNN for the news article tip and to the lovely Laura Miller for igniting our imaginations with the allure and mystique of positive espionage.
This inspiration post will now self-destruct.