In the past two months, I have become friends with two women who are sight-impaired. One lives near me. I drove to her house and picked her up. We went to lunch together at one of my favorite restaurants nearby, my treat. It was a good day. Another is a young, talented writer whose stories I've been recording. Yesterday we texted back and forth as I worked on her newest story. I had one other blind friend many years ago. She was my favorite customer when I waited tables at a little diner near my house, and we became friends. We went to mass together and sometimes I helped her with her mail. I've learned a little bit about the frustration and heartache of being without sight. I believe these women came into my life for a reason, especially the two in the last two months. I'm very grateful to know ... Read Full Story >>
I've always been enamored with the moon (maybe it's my culture - Indians tend to view the moon in a pretty romantic light). But I made a point to spend more time than usual admiring it yesterday. It was so soft and beautiful in the sky, surrounded by sparse clouds, a bit more yellow than usual, and it felt a bit larger.
It just so happened that that morning, just before I went to the airport to come back to NY from Texas, I found a moon pendant someone close to my heart had given me, that I thought I had lost. It has an image of how the moon looked on the day I was born. It was a beautiful gift!
So there I was staring at the moon on my way to get groceries, with another moon around my neck. I know this is a bit cliche but looking reverently at the moon made me feel a bit smaller, and all the noises of New York City faded into the background of this universe that we live in.
“Smile!” I shouted, flashing a neon yellow poster at Seattle’s bustling crowd. We were three thousand miles away from home on a Random Acts of Kindness and Volunteerism Road Trip. Our funds were running low, so we had two goals today: 1. Try out our new "Smile!" signs and see how much kindness and joy we could spread in Pike Place Market. 2. Raise a meager $20 a piece by doing street performances. Singing, drawing caricatures, storytelling -- we'd be like real life bards! Since there were four of us, this would total $80, enough for gas to Portland and a small hotel room. We weren't sure how people would react to our signs. It's so easy to walk past a busy crowd, lost in your own world, refusing to make eye-contact with strangers, and feeling alone despite being surrounded by hundreds of people just like you. I nervously raised up our signs and ... Read Full Story >>
I spotted a small child, maybe 6, who noticed another child, who looked maybe 3, on the playground when that little fellow dropped his cupcake. The older one I spotted walked across the entire playground and tried to help the little guy pick up the cupcake. The cutest and kindest thing was he finally offered the sad little guy his own sleeve to wipe his tears. A mom, I'm thinking, came over pretty quickly and thanked the older boy, and together they cleaned up the dropped cupcake. When the mom and little one walked away hand in hand, the little boy turned around and waved to the older child, who waved back. The spontaneous act of kindness on that older child's part, and the simple gratitude showed by the little one was pure and beautiful. It was a gift to me to have caught the moment. I'm grateful for seeing it. ... Read Full Story >>
I went out to breakfast this morning to meet a friend. Was lovely. But what wasn't so lovely was the lady who took our order.... Nothing major, only that I noticed a bit of a 'tude' about her. She spoke in a way that was frustrated, unhappy, certainly not friendly, and sort of rude. Working in hospitality myself, I noticed it. When it came to my turn to approach her and order I thought to myself ... "what can I do here to make her day, to appreciate her, to make her smile'. I had nothing. Surely there must be something I can sincerely compliment her on. Then there it was and I knew instantly. Or more so heard instantly. It was her voice. She had the most incredibly well spoken and clear voice. It was SO good. Like incredibly good. Professionally good. I had it. That was it. That was what I would compliment ... Read Full Story >>
It was raining hard and nearing dusk. I was late for an appointment in a nearby city that I knew only by GPS. And now my phone had died. The usual interstate exits were closed. I couldn't see, ir was raining so hard. I couldn't figure out how to get where I was going or how to let my appointment know I was likely not going to make it there. I stopped at a McDonald's in an impoverished part of town and walked up to what appeared to be a mother and her teen daughter. "I'm sorry, but do you mind, is it possible for me to look up a number on your phone and then call the place and let them know I'm lost?" She handed me her phone and then told me she was lucky she had her phone, it was getting ready to be turned off because shedidn't have ... Read Full Story >>
I happened to face loneliness and difficulties which made me dull for a while. During, this time, when anyone approached me, respected me or supported me in smallest way, I noticed it and felt grateful. I had taken small gestures like being welcomed, thought-of or included for granted. However, during this emotional phase, I noticed each of these and was humble, simple and thankful to others. I had built walls around myself and was keeping my distance (having dutiful relations, not friendly connections) with a few people (this even included family members) because of holding small grudges against them. During, this trying phase, when they were kind in little ways, i noticed it and was able to acknowledge and accept it. I realize some of these walls were either shaken or partly broken. Now, if these same people are able to interact with me, invite me or call me; freely, as a friendly ... Read Full Story >>
My four year old daughter and I went to a Trader Joe's Market that was two towns over to pick up an assortment of flowers to arrange for my volunteer event. At check out, my daughter waited on a bench next to the exit door.
When I finished, my daughter was seated next to an elderly woman who was reading a book. I asked her if she usually comes to Trader Joe's to read. She responded, "I am reading while waiting for the bus to go home." Not knowing how long the next bus would come along, I offered to take her home, if it wasn't too far.
Her home was 10 minutes away. I said that my daughter and I were not in a rush and we'd be happy to drop her off. She agreed. She was very attentive to my daughter. I believe that my daughter's youthful presence brought a smile to her day. It was a nice opportunity to be able to provide someone a ride when needed. The nice thing was that my daughter and I gained a new friendship. We promised to visit and have lunch with her.
I really wantto share this story that happened a couple of weeks back. One of my friends had told me about this guy from my economics class, who was homeless and was sleeping in his car for the rest of the semester, since the rent in the Bay Area is very pricey. I had asked my friend to give me his contact number so I could go talk to him and see what was going on. I met him the following week and sat down with him. He told he had no financial support and was working 2 jobs in order to pay for his college tuition but was running short on money for books. I do not work, so I decided to sell a few of my old college textbooksso I could help. I eventually saved up money for 2 textbooks and handed them to him and the rest of the ... Read Full Story >>
I was on my way to a bus stop to head to a doctor's appointment and was stopped by a woman on the sidewalk. She asked me if I knew how to get to CASS( a local homeless shelter in PHX AZ) I could tell she was really upset and I told her I'd look it up then opened up Google maps and gave her instructions. While waiting for directions to load she told me she didn't even know where she was because her boyfriend had ditched her there last night. She then explained she didn't have money for the bus so I told her to wait and I quickly ran into the gas station and got $4 cash back and gave it to her for a full day bus pass and walked with her to the cross walk before running to catch my own bus ... Read Full Story >>
This was such a small thing, but seeing how grateful they were was surprising! I recently started a new job as a server in a new restaurant. For a majority of the employees this was their first time working in a restaurant.
They did require that many "server items" (books, notepads, pens, aprons, etc.) to be provided by the employee. I realized that this was a burden to some of the employees that were not prepared to invest in these items for the job.
I already had these items from previous restaurant jobs and while usually the extras were back ups for me I gifted several items to those I felt needed it most. I was overwhelmed with their gratitude, especially for what I thought would be so insignificant.
Two days ago, I helped my Little, one of my close friends who just graduated, move out of her apartment. We planned to have a nice dinner before she moved back to her hometown 400 miles away, but being the caring person she is, she had offered her time to help her friends move during dinner, even though she needed to pack/donate things herself. She isn’t usually one to ask for help, so I knew that I had to offer my time/energy persistently if I was going to be useful. I bought her boba to drink because I knew she hadn’t eaten and then rented a carshare for her to borrow. It was a whole debacle - the first carshare we rented wouldn’t open, so we had to be Lyft-ed to another car a few blocks away. This car then had no gas, so we had to gas this car, which pushed ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, my friends and I got together to eat delicious Asian fusion chicken wings in our college town. We hadn’t all been together in a while, so it was nice catching up and sharing summer plans with each other. These catch ups, however, do not allow for deeper conversations, especially if someone is uncomfortable sharing personal troubles in a larger crowd. After the dinner, three of us got desserts - boba drinks - and I noticed that my friend, D, was hovering a bit, seemingly not wanting to go as if he wanted, or needed, our company at that time. Earlier that night during dinner, he had also said his second year in college was really rough, so I asked him about his experience again. This time the flood gates of emotions opened, and he shared with us issues of mental health he had been dealing with throughout the year with ... Read Full Story >>
Today I made my mom a carrot cake before going to work. I haven't been getting enough sleep these last few weeks, but I wanted to make her something that she has been requesting for a while now. The night before I bought ingredients that I didn't have, and then I woke up an hour and a half earlier than I usually do today to prep everything - grating the carrots, melting the butter, mixing the flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. I also cleaned the oven, as our oven was smoking for a bit because something that had dripped to the oven floor was not cleaned. It has been a while since I've baked, and I've also been addressing some internal struggles which has made me be a bit selfish, so creating something simple like a carrot cake for my mother who has worked so hard so that she can provide for herself ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday evening, my partner John and I came to see my grandmother at the nursing home where she lives. As we were walking down the hall towards her room, I saw the elder who wears an orange turban. I don’t know him exactly and he doesn’t speak anymore but I always stop and say hello when I see him; I put my hand out and usually he will look at me, lift his hand up and we shake hands; he has the most gentle spirit and strong presence even though he is ½ foot here on earth and 1 ½ in the spirit world. I don’t know much about turbans exactly – from the outside it is a very simple thing- fabric wrapped around the head and yet, I know it is so much more, sacred in fact; his is typically always immaculately placed around his head covering his hair; he ... Read Full Story >>
My cousin and I went to a local fast food place and we were in line behind this man. He did not have enough money for his meal. I overheard and offered to pay. He was so happy and thanked me so many times. It felt really nice and just that one act of kindness had made my entire month. It's a great feeling helping someone in need, I would like everyone to try it as much as they can.
I have to admit it is strange for me to share my stories of kindness. It is usually something I keep to myself. I was very stoked to see how many ideas are already things I do and do not think of as acts of kindness, but just patience and compassion. My amazing 17 year old son and I embarked on taking on a more planned acts of kindness and wanted them to be things we aren't already doing on a regular or semi- regular basis. The first was to buy groceries for a family that was struggling to get through the month. We were able to buy and deliver fresh foods for them to help them until they had more food benefits at the first of the month. It was super awesome that my son was so into it too! ... Read Full Story >>
I was encouraged to do 7 recent acts of kindness and share with you all here.
1. In honor of nurses week, I coordinated for a massage therapist friend to come in a give 10-minute massages to the nurses at my work. One nurse said that in her 18 years of working here, no one has done anything like this for her.
2. My sister broke her finger and I called her to check in on her.
3. I offered to drop off my yoga teacher at her place after class to save her from walking for an hour. She accepted my offer.
4. I baked chocolate chip cookies and shared it with my coworker.
5. I donated a pack of socks to homeless veterans.
6. I called my mom to wish her "Happy Mother's Day"
7. I organized a French-themed potluck at my place for two other friends. We cooked, ate, and shared stories.
Have a beautiful day and thanks for being here :)
I love making “vision cards” as I call them. My friend was in a dark place, addictions had taken over his life. I loved him from a distance, and sent him vision cards here and there. He is sober now and had kept a card I made 18 years ago! I was really moved. I never knew it meant anything, cause he never told me. Kindness may not be acknowledged in the moment, but it’s all about planting seeds, and one day many years later it shall bloom. Blessings.
I delightfully received smile cards to share. i had one in my purse yesterday when i was at the grocery store. i saw a guy in a convertible car putting his groceries from the shopping cart into the car. I picked up my card and wrote something Randomly retrieving and returning carts to their rightful hone. As i wrote this, the guy chose to place the cart above the curb on the grass by his parking spot rather than walk it 10 feet away. I watched in amazement and i then picked up another cart in the parking lot between our vehicles, handed him the smile card, and retrieved his cart from the grass. i can’t imagine what he thought as i walked away with two carts, put them in the holding bin, and walked into the store myself with no carts myself. very funny feeling as that encounter unfolded. thanks again to this group for cards and for giving me an opportunity to practice and share RAOK . It sparkled my day :-)