I just found this and think it's great. Apparently this Threadless design was inspired by Conan O'Brien's last monologue on The Tonight Show. The final paragraph went something like this...
"To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."
I'm not sure of the story behind his departure but you can see the full monologue here.
Work hard and be kind. It's such a simple but obvious bit of advice when you think about it. So why do we rarely hear it? You always hear people saying that they achieved their success by 'working hard', but rarely through 'being kind'. Personally, I think there's too much emphasis on the first bit and not enough on the second. Get the second bit right and the 'working hard' bit becomes a whole lot easier. I'm no fan of the 'nice guys come last' school of thought. That line is usually rolled out by people with a very different perspective of success than my own.
I've 'lucked' my way through a great career by creating my own opportunities for serendipity and being nice when the moment arrived. I got my job at the BBC by just saying 'Hi' to a passing stranger. Sometimes it really can be that easy. It always amazes me when I meet people whose default settings aren't locked on 'be kind'. It's quite remarkable how many of them you come across in an average working day. Count them.
Being kind allows me to achieve things I might not achieve otherwise, with the added bonus of keeping the smile on my face through to the end of the day. At the same time I watch colleagues stumble over obstacles left by people who don't know what it means to be kind. It makes the workplace look like a giant game of snakes and ladders. Be kind and good things happen. Don't be kind and you'll inevitable take a fall.