Recently I was flying home from vacation and sat next to a young man. He had his earphones on so I just continued to knit the baby hat I was working on that I donate to charities. He asked me what I was doing. I told him, and noticed a change in his attitude so I asked if he had a baby. He mentioned that he and his wife lost a baby boy and they were having difficulties having a family. I asked him if he would like the hat to give to his wife when he returned from his business trip. At first he said no that it should go to charity and I said there was a reason I sat next to him (my husband should have been in that seat) and that it was meant for him and to bring hope to both of them. When I finished I ... Read Full Story >>
While shopping, I overheard a mom tell her little boy and his older sister that she only had money for one birthday party so they would have to share one, even though they were months apart. They both asked if they were going to get a gift and she told them that they had to choose: party or gift. As I turned the corner, I saw that she had a smaller girl in her cart.
Seeing them reminded me of my family when I was growing up. We didn't have much, but mom and dad always made sure we three kids had enough. I happened to have three 5 dollar bills in my wallet. I pulled the dad aside and tearfully asked him to give or spend $5 on each child. The look in his eyes and the way his wife's face lit up when he told her more than made my day. It felt so good.
My niece's partner was called to the scene of the accident, but had to stay at post to direct rescue workers.
A bystander had thrown herself on top of the victim to help protect her from the pelting hailstorm, both also covered now with a heavy overcoat from my niece's partner.
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This story has stayed with me as the image of such a selfless act; using the only thing this stranger had with her -- her body, as a shield to help save the victim from more distress.
A true act of kindness; pure and from the heart <3.
Blessings to all those who act from the heart when presented with the call.
Two days ago, I witnessed the magic of random kindness when I was having dinner with a friend who's involved with ServiceSpace. We gave a bracelet to the waitress with a message on it: "I am a sacred, worthy, luminous being. I am love and my love is for giving." The bracelet was a gift from Dr. Tom Pinkson, who shared his wisdom at the first Sacred Leadership Summit we'd just attended. To our surprise, the waitress was very happy and told us how sad she was the previous night and how she had prayed. The bracelet made her day! At the end of our dinner, she insisted offering us free coconut ice-cream. We were just thinking about getting coconut ice-cream from the store on the way back! Wow, a small gift could ripple big. You just never know. This is a typical case of serendipity. Last night, I watched the interview of Nipun Mehta by Charles Eisenstein. For the first time, ... Read Full Story >>
Today was incredible! One of my students, Miriam, gave me all of her birthday money ($25) to donate to Charity:Water, and organization that builds wells in communities that have no access to clean water. The following week was our school book fair and she had no money to buy any items, but she told me it was okay, that the water was more important. I shared this on social media and many helped: donating to the charity in her name, and raising hundreds of dollars for Miriam to replace the $25 she so selflessly gave away (https://www.gofundme.com/maribel039s-surprise). Today she received her surprise! First, Miriam found out that others were impressed by her selflessness so much so that they donated to Charity:Water in her name. Next, she got to see the 45 second thank you video that Charity:Water made for her. Then, I gave her the check that so many made possible. She was shocked and ... Read Full Story >>
I was walking into 7-11 after school to purchase a much-deserved large-gulp diet coke. I warily looked over the threesome walking in; one was an older man with many missing teeth; the little girl looked to be about 2, but her hair was a jumble, and her clothes a bit dirty. The younger man had many piercings, pants down to the butt, so many tattoos....kinda scary! As I walked out, I saw that they walked out also, nothing in hand, although I saw them with two liter-pepsi's at the counter. "Excuse me," I said, "were you short?" "Yeah, forgot our card at home, but there's no worry." The younger man then showed me his tattoo of the little girl: "See, that's my sister, I take care of her." The older man grinned his toothy grin, "We love her." I handed them $2. "Nah, nah, it's okay, we going be okay." I insisted. Yes, ... Read Full Story >>
You may know I have a soft spot for the elderly. Which probably explains why today I took time out of my day to speak to one named Beverly. I had decided to take my toddler for a big walk around the block on his push bike thing. Beautiful day for it. So beautiful I extended our walk and went a way I don't normally go. This is where I met Beverly, kneeling in her garden doing whatever it is those who love to garden do. I smiled as I passed and said "Good Morning". Hearing this she sprung up, looked at my toddler and I with the biggest smile on her face and started a conversation. Many times I could have ended it. Said we had to go and kept waking. But I didn't. As I looked into her 80 something year old eyes I could see the joy my toddler and ... Read Full Story >>
I'm currently at a unique university, an inclusive campus where 46 speech and hearing impaired students graduate each year. I have been doing one on one sessions with these students to help them get clear on their goals, have a reality check of where they are and have a plan in place for next three months. Every morning, I made it a practice of setting the intention in my heart of "May I be an instrument for them to get what they need right now." And for the last two days , I am seeing a few of them overflowing and sharing in kind. Though they communicate with very speedy sign language that I'm still new to picking up, I'm enjoying their ability to express themselves so joyously. Today, an incredible thing happened. One girl came at around 11:30 AM and sat down. I started with how we usually do. She can speak ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday's Smile Card Challenge on the Kind Spring website was "Strike up a conversation with someone who looks like they need a friend." While waiting to have a prescription filled at my HMO's pharmacy this morning, I noticed a lady who looked very agitated and impatient sat down beside me. I greeted her and asked if she was having a hard day. She replied that she was having a hard life and went on to tell me about a number of problems she was having. I said a quiet prayer that I would have the patience to listen with with empathy and understanding. I just made an occasional comment such as "Oh I am sorry you have to go through that" and "that must be really hard". When her name was called to talk to the pharmacist she told me "thank you for listening. I think I have the strength now to ... Read Full Story >>
It was really getting to be autumn: Cold, wet, and gray. I'd donned thermal underwear and fur-lined boots for the first time this year. I'd just finished some shopping, and was getting ready to leave the supermarket's parking lot, when I heard music coming from the area of the shopping carts. Now, sometimes, people will beg in front of the supermarket. As a matter of fact, I had had to make a little detour around a man who was kneeling right besides the entrance, putting himself obnoxiously in the way. I didn't understand why he was kneeling (with his body upright) - it looked very uncomfortable. I felt he was trying to push my guilt button with the posture and didn't give him any money. But the music - guitar strings being softly plucked - was coming from a different area. I followed the sounds, and even though the baseball cap was shielding ... Read Full Story >>
When I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter, I witnessed a car accident while waiting on a bus to go to work. Someone managed to get the elderly lady who caused the accident out of the car. It was during the summer months and I was one of the few teaching staff on and it was also my first day with the group. Workmen stopped and helped the lady and gave her a blanket. I agreed to stay with her until the ambulance came but I couldn't travel with her as there was no one else in my department to cover the new class. Fast forward about 10 years later. My mother in law was collecting donations about 10 minutes from where the accident occurred. She left calling cards saying she would be back to houses where no one was in. When she returned to a particular house an elderly ... Read Full Story >>
One day I nipped out of work during lunch time and on the way back I bought a sandwich in a local deli. When I returned to work, I realized I didn't have my sandwich. I telephoned the deli to see if I'd left it on the counter. They said I hadn't, but that if I sent a student down they would make another sandwich for me (they didn't actually know me even to see). The deli was a few minutes from the college. I was really touched by this. I teach Business Studies as well as office administration and I relay this story to all my students. One day about five years later, I was having lunch in that same deli. I asked if I could speak to the manager. He came to my table and he looked like he was expecting me to complain. I told him about his kindness ... Read Full Story >>
There are so many opportunities to practice loving-kindness in the day to day happenings that make up a life. Letting a car pull out in front of me during my commute, slowing down, holding a door, giving a smile, a compliment or a kind word. The treats of surprising someone by paying for their coffee, their meal, groceries or toll. Writing notes of love, support, appreciation and gratitude for family, friends and strangers. Sharing what we love and allowing others to share with us in return. It makes for a happy life and joyful heart. It also can be done anonymously and is a bit impersonal most of the time. This past week has gifted me with opportunities to examine "what more can I do" - and it involves stepping out of my comfort zone. 1:1 interaction beyond social norms and opening myself even when I may be uncomfortable or nervous ... Read Full Story >>
We got to celebrate my friend's 100th birthday with a party as she wished (but in a rehab facility rather than her senior center). There were plenty of flowers, a big balloon, her favorite fast food burgers and fries for lunch followed by cake and ice cream. An elderly gentleman friend serenaded her with songs from her past. We all sang a few songs together for her. Her formerly estranged daughter was present. She was surrounded by 12 people whose presence she requested. She was very, very happy. I was very glad to play a small role in organizing it. Well, just a few weeks later she is now in the final phase of her life's journey, and is preparing.....sleeping most of the time, and not eating or drinking much at all. It's hard to see someone who was such a feisty, spirited, connected and caring being now looking so ethereal, but ... Read Full Story >>
While checking out at the grocery store I had been visiting with the woman behind me. She was riding in one of those shopping carts with the basket in front. The basket held just a few items: some apples, corn, a loaf of bread, some canned goods, and a bunch of gorgeous coral colored roses. Several times while we were visiting I caught her looking at those lovely roses and smiling. I commented to her that they were, indeed, very lovely roses. She said, "I really do love them, they're my favorite color. Well, just as I was leaving, I heard her say to the cashier, "You can put those roses back, I really shouldn't afford them." I turned around and asked her if she would allow me to get them for her. She shook her head and said, "Why would you want to do that? You certainly don't have to." ... Read Full Story >>
My neighbor, recently widowed, told me a great story today. Apparently she had a tree in her yard she was afraid would fall on the house. It was in bad shape and she knew it had to be cut down; she was concerned about the expense, though. Just two days ago, a young man appeared at her door ready to cut the tree down.When she asked what it would cost, he responded: "I don't want money and I don't want the wood. All I ask is that you pay it forward!" She was so grateful. ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday when I was at one of my schools a parent that just enrolled her child in PreK was looking for a uniform for her daughter. The school nurse has uniform donations she can distribute. As she was looking for the right size of pants she pulls out a pair of pants and she notices it is missing a button. Without hesitation, she throws the pants In garbage. I did not see anything wrong with the pants and I could not contain myself. I reached into the garbage and pulled the pants out. I examined the pants and they were in good shape except for the button that was missing and the button hole was unraveled. I told the nurse I would fix the button part and I would return the pants in the school mail. The pants still have good service in front of them. I must say that I surprised ... Read Full Story >>
Let me tell you about Mary - I heard Mary before I met her. She was vacuuming the top level of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal, MO. We got there just as it opened and there was only one other couple enjoying the interactive displays and the assembled historic memorabilia. When we finally reached the top level, Mary turned off the vacuum and waited. I forgot how we got to talking, but before I knew it, Mary was telling me all about how she left home at 15, how she was 83 now and was thinking of retiring this summer, but couldn’t see herself sitting around watching TV and staring at the 4 walls all day. When she told me why she returned to Hannibal, MO from California in 1957, her voice caught on the tears barely held back. “My mother had that cancer of the blood, the leukemia,” Mary looked far off, deep into ... Read Full Story >>
I'd like to share story about a little random act of kindness I did this week. I took a glass container of Kindness Blessing Scrolls to a local indy coffee shop to leave out for strangers to take. I believe that these little gems often are discovered by the people who need the message, like a fortune cookie sometimes. I told the cashier what they were and she said she'd have to check with the manager. I explained that there was nothing self serving or promotional about them, just little gems of wisdom for customers. She was very suspicious and took my email address and glared at the beautiful --well at least to me-- jar that I set beside her register. It made my heart sad that she didn't share an ounce of my enthusiasm. Sometimes doing random acts of kindness takes an act of courage, many times they don't turn out ... Read Full Story >>
Building a house in a remote farm in India is a challenge. When we were driving the process we met many beautiful people. So many people inspired us, so many friends guided us. I thought of sharing about one of the lovely soul. His name was Tulsi Ram. He was from a far village and worked day and night to support his family staying far from him. When he was working for us I used to get amazed by his stunning workmanship. He always used to arrange the tiles even very small one's in beautiful patterns and designs. One day we asked him to make a simple granite seat. He told us that he can make a very beautiful granite seat with a back support as it's at the entrance gate. We thought why pay more just for some additional beauty, so we said no. But he made a very nice and ... Read Full Story >>