Todays Kindness Challenge was to help another as you have been helped; to repay an act of kindness you have received.
As a mother of two young boys I'm often helped with my boys by others. Today I saw a mother having trouble with an unhappy two-year-old while carrying a baby in a sling. She looked frustrated and annoyed (and I recognized the feeling) so I went over and asked if I could help.
She asked me to help get the older child into her pram, which I did!
It was so nice today to be able to help another mother as so many others have helped me.
Yesterday I helped a very busy friend clean out her car. We vacuumed and steam cleaned the upholstery. She was so happy and relieved to finally have it done!
Today was International Coastal Clean-up Day. So, my husband and I spent a very rainy morning picking up trash on the beach.
It seems like such a drop in the bucket (even though it involved many buckets) but it was a satisfying experience and one we will continue regularly on our own.
I highly recommend this experience. It may change your perspective on all things plastic!
Yesterday I invited my elderly neighbor over for lunch. She accepted but with the heavy rain that we have received she decided this morning that she preferred to remain inside today.
I was still moved to share a delicious meal with her so instead of giving up, I decided to go ahead and prepare the lunch and then fill a basket with a tin of her favorite chocolate chip cookies and a small potted plant.
I took the lunch to her and she was delighted. She enjoyed and so did I and it reminded me of the special times spent with my late maternal grandmother, who I miss dearly! She and I would get together over a cup of coffee and some type of homemade goodie and have the most wonderful conversations. It was wonderful to remember Grandmother with a smile while sharing a smile with another sweet lady. What a nice afternoon!
I've been inspired by the shared stories from teachers introducing the Kindness Challenge to their students. I've spent this rainy morning working on a Kindness calendar for my second graders. Can't wait to get started...they are going to eat this up! (Update: great idea to share! Here's the PDF of the calendar and list of ideas.)
Every Thanksgiving my family and I, along with others, prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals for the people in our small mountain community. My husband and I also bring meals to shut-ins, people that never leave their homes for various reasons. After we passed out boxed meals in a senior housing apartment building. After delivering to some individual apartments, we went to the central dining room and placed the boxes filled with turkey, ham, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole in front of each seat. People invited us to stay, and thanked us, but we had other deliveries and had to leave. As we started to exit, I turned around and saw them all watching us. Impulsively, I asked, "Would anybody like a hug?" They lined up. There was so much warmth in each hug. My eyes filled with tears and my heart with love. I now visit occasionally to chat ... Read Full Story >>
In the Kindness Challenge, when I initially read the recommendation to gift a book, I was resistant as the first book that popped into my mind was a poetry book I had received shortly after college. I loved the book so much that after beginning my first full-time job,
I saved my money to purchase the original version of the book, which was printed in 1935. I had found this through a rare book dealer. I didn't want to part with it. After some thought, I realized the book was just a collection of pages bound together.
I decided to anonymously gift it to a co-worker who's a bit surly but collects rare books. And, it made me quite happy to practice unconditional giving, while allowing the book to travel onto its next chapter.
Day 10. I have a beautiful cloth bag that I carry around with me everywhere. It was made in India, from scraps from an employment generation program led by a fashion designer who has set up an organization to shelter and help women who have escaped domestic violence.
The cloth is a cream-colored crepe de chine, printed with pink and purple flowers. I have other collapsible bags that I also carry, but this one was special - a one-of-a-kind.
While taking a walk, I stopped in a grocery store I had never been to before, to get a lemon. I ended up picking up one other item, and as I was putting the two items into my cloth bag, the cashier, Shari, remarked how beautiful the bag was. She pointed out how unusual that such a beautiful piece of cloth would have been used to make a bag. Well, what could I do but take my purchases out of the bag and gift Shari the bag? She was so excited that after asking "Why would you do this?" she immediately went around to the other cashiers to show them the bag. #21KindActs
I bought some potted chrysanthemums and my daughter and I went "ding-dong-ditching" with them.
Ding-dong-ditch is a game where children ring a door-bell and run away. In our version we left the potted "mums" on a neighbor's doorstep. We don't know the neighbor but she appears to be going through chemotherapy and we hope our little surprise brought a smile to her face.
Today I did something I have never done before. I ordered delivery pizza for our neighbours at our back fence whom I don't know.
I've been watching them all as a family this past week (parents and teenage children) spend their weekends in the garden. Cutting trees, picking up rubbish, and doing such a big job. It has warmed my heart so much.
So as a nice treat on this hot day, I discovered their address and went down to the local pizza shop. I ordered 2 pizzas, coke, and garlic bread, and had it all delivered to them. I left no name except to tell them to have a nice day and that this was a random act of kindness.
So far this is the biggest act I have done. I love it. I really hope they felt loved today and I'm so glad that lunch was on me!
Today it was my turn to receive a random act of kindness.
I was visiting relatives in Anchorage, Alaska, and my wife was in the hospital with viral meningitis. It was her first day and she was feeling poorly.
I went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast and after looking around, I decided on eggs and sausage. As I went to pay, the clerk said there was no charge because the person in front of me had paid my bill.
I looked up and didn't see anyone at first, but when I went around a corner, she was standing there. I asked if she was the one who had bought me breakfast and she said that she was.
I thanked her and asked if she often "paid it forward". She was surprised that I had recognized her act as a random act of kindness.
She said she did it to welcome me to the hospital and hoped I would enjoy my "day on the planet".
At that moment, I found myself in tears. It gave me a boost to handle the issues that were facing me.
We just moved and seriously downsized our home. In the process I gave away many of the things that were special to me. I just didn't see how they could be of value to anyone with their beauty hidden in a box, sitting in storage!
Last week I promised to get the hard-drives cleaned on two of our computers so our neighbors (whose computers have crashed and who can't afford new ones) can have working computers.
From the beginning of our marriage my husband and I have given away so much more than we have ever sold. It has always served as a perfect reminder of how blessed we are. We also notice that when we share the other people involved usually share also. It's that old pay-it-forward mentality.
Yesterday I gave a hand-written thank-you card to our custodian. Just to let him know that the day he had been absent the whole staff was not only worried but also gained a new realization of, and appreciation for, all the behind the scenes work he does. Our workdays wouldn't run so smoothly without him.
One of the first things I do every morning is say, "Hello, new day," and recite the following aloud, as told by the 14th H.H. Dalai Lama:
"Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
from me to all of you.
A lotus from within my pond,
Reaching for the light as we all must,
morning dew shining of night's sweet dusk.
Throughout many cultures over time, the lotus has been a powerful image and a spiritual symbol. In Hindu, Buddhist and Egyptian religions, the lotus is considered a sacred flower.
Among its many meanings and significance, the lotus is a symbol of "spontaneous" generation, and so it also represents divine birth, spiritual development and creation itself.
About a month ago, one morning, I awoke to find a note on my door. It read, "Don't worry. You were born awesome, not perfect."
I was going through a bit of a transition at that time and those words meant, and still do mean, a tremendous amount to me on so many levels.
To this day, I have been unable to find out who posted that for me. So, today, I thought I'd return the favor.
Stocked with little notes reading, "Be yourself," "You belong," "You're special," and "You are loved," I drove around various neighborhoods, posting them on random doors.
I trust that the Universe had me place them exactly where they needed to be.
I've been trying to get a friend of mine hired at the company I work at -- he's actually a former boss of mine, but that's fine too. He is a friend today. Easily one of the brightest people I know and he'd be a great fit at our company. A woman who has been here for 30 years saw his resume and thought so too. I'm not in the position to hire him, but she is and knows others that are, too. So far, things are looking positive. While that could be my kindness story today, it's really not. In talking with my friend about the meeting that he had, he said of the 30 year veteran -- "I really like her because you know she cares. She cares about the company and she cares about the quality of her work." I agreed with him wholeheartedly as this really does sum up ... Read Full Story >>
I am in the midst of prolonged frustrations at work. Today was more of the same. I walked to the car remembering my act of kindness and feeling a little pressed for time and creativity. As I drove to the grocery store to pick up milk, I ran some scenarios through my head not landing on one I was satisfied with. I walked in, there was a table of vibrant yellow mums. I chose one and put it in my cart still not knowing what I was going to do with it. I find myself trying to figure out the perfect scenario for these acts of kindness knowing that it defeats the purpose, but I can't help myself. I left the store and while I was backing out of my parking space, I saw an older woman walking to her minivan. She was by herself and did not have much in her cart. I ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I wrote a mail to several senior police officers of my city thanking them for all that they do. I feel that their job is very tough. They deal with all the negatives of the society, the works seems very twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, in all weather conditions. Also, their jobs could be very dangerous.
Yet no one says thank you but instead one only hears about the negative aspects of the police. Usually the media reports one case that might not be solved, and neglects to mention the hundreds of others that might have been solved, or cases where the police was very efficient.
So as a citizen of the city, I wrote a mail expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all people who work with the police.
Since I knew I'd be driving a fair amount today, I decided to surrender the "right of way" to anyone who requested it: any driver seeking to enter the traffic flow, anyone in oncoming traffic waiting to make a left turn, any pedestrian seeking to cross the street. It was a blast!
At first, traveling on the interstate, I had few opportunities to practice this form of kindness. Access to the highway is limited, and of course at high speed it can be hazardous to slow unexpectedly to yield the right of way.
Once I was back in the city, I had so many chances, and I found myself eagerly looking forward to them. Instead of pressing every advantage and insisting on my right of way, as I usually do, I happily waved others in front of me, blinking my headlights for emphasis. It was so delightful to see their relief, and I received several smiles and waves in return.
I hope this is the beginning of a new habit. Of course, I'll need to allow a little extra time so I'm not so rushed--which will be a blessing all its own!
I just sent an email to my daughter's 2nd grade teacher (and CC'd the principal) to thank her for all the little extra things she is doing this year as a teacher that are motivating and inspiring my daughter to keep learning even after school when she gets home. My daughter has never been so enthusiastic about what she learned at school...it's very refreshing and I wanted her teacher know it!