One Man's Note

Maisie-Rose Byrne is a One Young World Ambassador from the UK who is passionate about using alternative methods of international development in order to generate growth in developing countries. Maisie started her own initiative after being inspired by the fellow One Young World community; it is based in the idea that small actions can make a big difference​.

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Ever since hearing a story about a girl overturning her decision to take her life after finding a random note on a bus, I have been inspired by the idea that small actions can make a big difference.

Using this phrase as our motivator, my friend Urszula and I set up a project where we leave secret notes in public places, scrawled with inspirational quotes, motivational words or just a simple dictum to see the sunny side of life.

It kicked off one day when I thought the guy opposite me on the tram could do with some cheering up. Like all commuters, I didn’t dare open my mouth and speak to a stranger on public transport… so I took the easy way out. I left a note on my seat with a simple instruction to ‘open me’ on the front. It was the fact that you got no immediate feedback from the act that excited me so much – the possibilities of what happened to that note were endless. I knew, of course, that a large amount would simply be scrunched up and thrown away, but the idea that something I had written might make somebody think, even for a fleeting moment, was exhilarating.

A few months later we had the idea to link the notes to a Twitter account and @OneMansNote was born. We now have thousands followers on social media and receive countless messages every day from people all of the world. Some contact us to share how finding a note made them feel, some want to get involved and leave their own notes, and others simply want to share their own kindness ideas with a kindred spirit.

A few little notes aren't going to change the world, we know that. But a group of people united by the common cause of making every day just that tiny bit better for those around them? Crazier things have happened...

On Saturday 26 September, we are taking our project to the next step on South Bank in London. To celebrate the launch of the Global Goals, we will be asking people “What is your wish for the world?”, and collating answers on post-it notes to create our very own ‘Wishing Wall’. We hope to show that our wishes can come true… if only we have the courage to pursue them.

More information on the event can be found here.

You can follow One Man's Note on Twitter and Instagram for more info and updates.