I saw a man listening to music on his phone today. He was standing by the pet store as I walked by and he looked lost in thought as he listened to the soft sounds playing. He was looking off into the distance as if watching old memories being projected onto the wall in front of him.
The music was a beautiful Asian sounding song. I got to the end of my walk and upon my return the man was still standing there. The music was still playing and he was still looking off into the distance.
As I walked by again, I looked back and smiled and said, "such beautiful music!" Suddenly everything changed. His face lit up with the biggest and most happiest smile! He said, " Thank you!" We both smiled. Our sparks connected just for a moment. There is so much kindness in a shared smile!! I smiled all the way back to work!
We picked up our first csa basket of the season today: a half bushel basket of whatever the farmer grows, straight from the farm and picked fresh this morning. What a great birthday gift!
A few weeks ago I overheard a chorus friend talk about what she eats as she has very little money. It made me sad to hear that she lives mostly off of frozen $1 pizzas, so I asked her if she'd eat veggies if I gave her some. She said she loves to have veggies but can't afford them often.
Usually we end up freezing half of the csa basket because it's so much but this year I will bring the extra veggies to my chorus sister every week.
I was in the post office today 'after hours' when just the lobby is open and no one is there. I went there to mail smile card orders and some cards. After completing the transaction of mailing the packages of smile cards, I noticed that there was a lot of recyclable trash lying around (papers, envelopes, labels, etc.) and disarray of lots of the packaging materials (boxes, envelopes), so I spent about 10-15 minutes cleaning up the whole place, neatly stacking the envelopes etc. and putting things in the recycling or trash.
No one else was there, so it didn't feel strange to be tidying up! I also left behind one of our "bumper stickers" that we put in the smile card orders (They are ones with a suggestion of how to use smile cards, and ideas for RAOK) in a place where people will see it! It felt really good, and I can't help but think that it was the very act of shipping the smile cards that inspired me to do that.
I spent most of yesterday at a clinic having various medical tests. It was a private clinic and so there was no discussion of the results. The staff were polite and efficient and very good at what they did. So efficient in fact that I felt like a package to be processed and came away feeling hollow and empty and really really lonely even though I'd come into contact with many people. Later, at the supermarket, there was a man begging. Maybe it was my frame of mind which encouraged me to give to him, as I don't commonly in such situations. I gave him a small banknote. Later, when I was returning my trolley, I couldn't see the line. He caught my eye and pointed it out to me. Do you know, in a whole day interacting with people, I felt that he was the only one to 'see' me ... Read Full Story >>
Today, after I dropped my daughter at Youth Move, I had about an hour before she needed picked up, so I picked up lunch at the nearby natural food store when I was downtown. On my way inside, I looked to my left and noticed a nice elderly couple who seemed to be down on their luck. Intuition told me to get some McKenzie Mist water and bring the bottles to them, so I did. By that time, her husband had stepped away, so I brought the water bottles to the woman, who I learned was named Deborah. She was reading the paper when I came by and looked over at me with the most pleasant grin that glowed. She was very grateful for the water and remembered having McKenzie Mist water in the home that they used to have. That is all I learned of their story the first time I ... Read Full Story >>
My baby harp and I journeyed to the surgical floor this week. "Come on in!," said the first person, who was going home that day. He had had a successful surgery and he and his wife were very happy. I played quicker, happy music to send them home with songs in their hearts. The room felt like a party.
The second person was an elderly woman and she shared with me that her husband played guitar for their church. She had a slight southern accent and loved all music and hymns in particular. I played "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" and she told me they had the kids in Sunday school sing it first thing. She loved it all and shut her eyes and smiled in delight. She had her curtains open to a view of the woods and river. After I played she said, "Honey, God gave you a gift. Never suppress it. Use it to the fullest." Her words were music to my ears! I left her a dove made out of a hymnal page and she couldn't have been more thrilled.
I played for a younger woman who fell sound asleep to lullabies. I tried to leave quietly and did manage to leave a Mindy dove and a Rajni card by her water.
A homeless man and his dog were resting in the shade of the brick building, as Deadwood, SD tourist families -- intent on capturing some of that flavor of the old west, pretended not to see him. "How are you today?" I asked him, smiling at his pup. "Oh, okay." he replied. "I can't complain." His eyes looked tired, even so early in the day, like he hadn't slept well in a long time. Grateful for my combo knapsack/purse (that holds more RAOKs than personal items), I fished around until I found my Smiley change purse and dug out some cash from my "fiver" fund. "And here's a Peace dove. I make and give. May you always be led in the direction of Peace, " I said. Holding the colorful dove in his hand, the man looked up at me and said, "Bless you." Now, why does this make me cry every time I think of our ... Read Full Story >>
I was at the Laundromat yesterday during a storm. The power went out and my clothes were mid-cycle. There was nothing to do but wait. While waiting, I decided to tidy it up. I put the carts and magazines away, organized the bulletin board, folded the items in the lost clothes bin and picked up and disposed of dryer strips. As I finished, the power was restored and the Laundromat looked very welcoming.
It is with mixed emotions I went to the young offender center every few months to give vaccinations. On the one hand I feel lucky to be able to provide a service that may have a positive health impact for the residents. But, on the other hand, I feel a sense of sadness and disappointment as I see the inmates being escorted by guards to the nursing unit. My last visit was very memorable. For some reason, there was a levity in the air. More than ever before, I felt a lightness as I spoke with each person. We shared stories and smiles and fears. Even the toughest inmates seemed to be surrounded by light. I saw them as not only youth, being punished for crimes, but also as children who have the potential to change for the better. Most of them wanted to talk longer! They were reaching out to ... Read Full Story >>
Last time I was in town with my son and his friend I decided to treat them to ice cream. I long ago discovered that buying a box of individual ice creams in the supermarket is cheaper than buying them individually, but they always seem to come in larger multiples than we need.
This time we bought a box of six, with just three of us to eat them. The boys of course didn't see this as being any problem at all and happily ate two each, but I thought that eating two myself would just be gluttonous and it would be a good opportunity to demonstrate some kindness. I gave the extra one to a young lad who was passing. I think setting a good example to my son and his friend was as important as the act of giving itself.
Another story on KindSpring about a missing wallet reminded me of when my daughter was in primary school. I was walking with her to school and when we passed our bank I went to use the hole in the wall. There was a man using the other machine. I was busy doing the transactions and when I had put my money away my daughter pointed to the floor and showed me a £20 note. I picked it up and she told me about the old gentleman.
I took her to school and promised to go into the bank on my way home because it would be open by then. I gave it to a lady and left my contact details. A couple of hours later she rang and asked me to call in which I did on my way to meet my daughter. The man was so grateful he had left £3 which I gave to my daughter as she was the one who found it
I heard the tail end of an inspiring speaker on the radio this morning. She was talking about a year when she visited her brother in Sydney, and they had no family so went to a large church group event for Christmas lunch. They noticed volunteers serving them, ate their lunch and her brother commented "we are on the wrong side of the table" with that, they cleared the plates of those at their table, and went into the kitchen, served up dessert and then stayed and helped with the dishes.
Her comment was that her life changed when she adopted this way of being "Be a Host, not a Guest" when I thought about it, it went a lot deeper than I thought and resonated with me. Its now written on a post it not on the back of the front door. She said it applied to life from everything to to welcoming strangers, to our care of the Earth, and care of each other.
I called to visit my ex husband's mother on Sunday. I knew she would be home alone all day so when I'd finished my quick shop, I dropped off two bunches of roses with gyp and a newspaper.
She was tickled pink about the gift, so easily pleased as always. I told her I could call later that evening, I know that's her loneliest time. I called at about 8.00 pm. The roses were in 2 beautiful crystal vases and she was looking happy.
We chatted for ages and she cried. I think I'm actually the only person she opens up to as she doesn't want to upset her children albeit they are well grown up. I stayed until about 11.30 pm. I put the lock on her gate and as I left, she thanked me again for the roses saying they really lifted her spirits.
This lady is a diamond if ever there was one and I'm so glad I not only got to know her but proud that she still embraces me with love even though I am estranged from her son.
What a diamond!
This story is the result of reading your article from the student who started the Buddy Bench program at his school. My Delta Kappa Gamma chapter of educators took this idea and set out to get Buddy Benches in local elementary schools where members of our chapter were teaching. Our first one started the ball rolling for more benches. That was 2 years ago and we are working to place our fourth bench in our school district, Clear Creek ISD in the Clear Lake Area south of Houston, Texas. We have found a company that makes such a bench in red, blue, and yellow for our schools with the words, Buddy Bench, displayed on the back of the bench. Each school selects the right spot to place their bench in their school yard. The morning we come to give the bench a gathering of the faculty and students come to a presentation ... Read Full Story >>
The time share where we stayed while on vacation had a box in the guest lobby where you could donate your unopened food, soap, etc. to be donated to the local food bank. We were happy to do this, but we also had some opened items which we did not want to throw away, but also did not want to haul on the plane. After talking to the receptionist, we learned that we could leave these items for the cleaning and maintenance crews. This was a wonderful way to help others while also practicing 0 waste.
We found out that the local high school kids were doing a clothing drive for the homeless and as luck would have it, we came across a store that was having a closeout sale and were able to purchase several brand new, quality clothing items at a very good price. We were happy to help out in a community that had been so kind and welcoming while we were on vacation.
Too many adventures! My father, who is in assisted living, likes to sit in the lobby as there is a fireplace there and he enjoys reading by it and greeting people as they come in and out. He moved a globe that decorates the room close to the fireplace and on a table right next to him. He does this every time. Finally the director asked him why he does that. My dad responded that he is keeping an eye on global warming. My dad taught high school for 30 years and took a course in stand-up comedy so as to better keep the attention of his students. I'd say he's still got it. He told me he will do what he can to talk about global warming to any one who will listen. He sometimes asks about my poetry box so I told him about KindSpring member Mindy's poems and the ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago I was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. On my off-chemo weeks I would go out an walk around my neighborhood, as I usually do, albeit much more slowly, not as far, and with a cap on to protect my chemo-bald head from the sun. One afternoon I was walking past a house several doors down from mine; the family who lived there were people with whom I had a "Hi, how ya doing?" kind of acquaintance, but we never really introduced ourselves to each other. This day the man was out working in his yard and as I walked by, he came out to the street and stopped me, saying "I want you to know that my wife and I understand that you are going through some kind of illness and that we are praying for you." Then he continued, "And my wife has a little something she'd ... Read Full Story >>
This is what we give to new parents through my job at the non profit! They can use the bassinet free and return it after three months. The two bags of clothing, toys and anything else we have to give, they keep.
We offer words of kindness, reassurance, and support. Probably not part of our 'job description' but still, part of the community of kindness and caring. Best of all, we sometimes get a visit from the parents and the babies, and get a little cuddle if we are very lucky!
Kindness returned to me. This happened last Saturday, at 6:00 pm. I was having a picnic day with my girlfriend. We both like to ride her motorcycle (she likes that I drive) and that day we drove to the nearest park. We bought some coffees and smoothies, then we were enjoying our food. Within a few hours, sky was menacing and looked ready to drop a heavy rain. We packed everything again and we were ready to go. My girlfriend, who was sitting on a bench, suddenly was very still and she couldn't talk to me. She didn't move. Her eyes were rolling and she was about to loose consciousness. I held her in my arms and asked if she wanted to rest. She didn't answer and only said "Sorry..." It started to rain and I didn't know what to do. She was fighting to stay alert but her skin was pale and her ... Read Full Story >>
Won't you be a buddy?
Photo is of the artist in residence at the health club for the last few days. She's been painting a "buddy bench" for the children's camp to use!
When a child is feeling lonely and needs a caring friendship or someone to play with, they take a seat on the bench, clueing others into how they feel.
How wonderful is that?
Had a nice chat with the artist and gave her a Peace dove, which she hung on her sign board right away.
Truly! We are creating a kinder, more Peace-filled, loving and compassionate world. Grateful for all my "buddies!"