Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Thirst Quencher On Busy Day

I was leaving my office late Saturday morning...a little bit grumpy because I had to get up early and go to work on the weekend, and was now running late for the next of my zillion obligations for the weekend...and the worst part was I had no time to eat a proper lunch. I was complaining about all of this to my husband on my cell phone, while I turned around from locking the door behind me, and then I spotted him. A man lying in the grass asleep. I said to my husband, "I'm sorry I've just been complaining. Thanks for listening. I have to go." I went back into my office, found a box, and went to my desk. I took every bag of snacks and protein bars I could and placed them in the box. Then I went to my mini fridge and put in two kinds of ... Read Full Story >>

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An Interview With Sharon Salzberg

What does kindness mean to you? I think the associations people have with kindness are often things like meekness and sweetness and maybe sickly sweetness; whereas I do think of kindness as a force, as a power. When I look back over the instances, the encounters of my life, even when I just look around at the world, there's something that moves me so strongly that really is inspiring and uplifting about people just taking the time to pay attention to somebody or going a little bit out of their way to seek to help them. I can almost feel the palpable force of that. It reminds us of our own inner strength and our capacity to give, and it also reminds us of how connected we all are. In what way can kindness be a spiritual practice? It's both an internal spiritual practice and it's an external practice. I think one doesn't ... Read Full Story >>

2782 Reads

A Little Time On The Elevator

I was at a business meeting, and I had to run downstairs to pick up some documents. As I was hurrying to catch the elevator back upstairs to my meeting, an elderly woman stopped me and asked me to go on the elevator downstairs with her.

She explained that she was terrified of elevators and asked/begged if I could go with her downstairs to the street level. At first, I was going to ask her why she was afraid, and the doors were opening. I canned my question, just got on the elevator and went downstairs with her, and pointed which direction she should go. I got back in the elevator and went upstairs. My colleagues were a bit inconvenienced, but our meeting proceeded without a hitch.

Sometimes it takes a little time to be kind, sometimes you have to give up your priority to help someone make it to the street.

3076 Reads

Helping Our Abandoned Animal Friends

My nieghbour abandoned his home over one month ago and left 3 beautiful cats locked in his hame to starve. I knew he had left for good, and had left his animals behind as I saw the cats in the window. I called every agency but in this small town there are very few, the only thing we have is a dog catcher, and he wouldn't come as it was a private home, he said he could do nothing about it. I could not accept that, so I went and opened the window wide enough for the cats to get out. My daughter and I fed them everyday, we posted posters all over town in the hope of finding them a home. I also bought ad time on a local radio station and sent out ads looking for people to adopt them. Because they were older, no one wanted them, ... Read Full Story >>

1613 Reads

Holiday Kindness

I was on a holiday in Santorini, walking through a quite, traditional village when an old, Greek lady asked me if I could help her. I said yes, and followed her into her house. She pulled out a ladder and in broken English and lots of gesturing I was asked to hang up her net curtain. So there I am in my short hoilday skirt, up a ladder, hanging up her net curtain. After doing so I was offered a shot of Ouzo, which I kindly accepted and ran back to the coach which, luckily hadn't departed yet!!

1218 Reads

Five Dollars and a Lot of Love

After several months of having only one income suporting our household, we had been struggling to make ends meet. One day, I took all the cash I had for the next week ($60) and went to buy groceries, as the fridge and cabinets were empty. I kept a running tab in my head of everything I was buying, even rounding up to the nearest dollar to make sure I didn't go over what I could afford. Once the food and basic items we needed approached $60, I went to checkout and somehow the total came to $65. On the off chance that I had room on a credit card, I tried using two of them...both declined. Getting very embarrassed, I asked the clerk what I could deduct that was about $5. Everything in my cart was important and it scared me that money was so tight. I didn't know how to decide. ... Read Full Story >>

5720 Reads
  • Posted by Wes Bennett
  • Aug 23, 2006
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A Cup of Chai At 3AM

The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.

A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.

Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).

Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.

3561 Reads

A Helping Hand...and Heart

I serve on the committee at church that provides meals when a family or individual is going through grief, or
caring for someone sick, or whatever the circumstance. I had the opportunity to prepare a meal for a man whose wife was in the hospital recovering from surgery. I made the meal and delivered it to the church where he could stop by on his way home from work and pick it up and have a hot home cooked meal before visiting his wife at the hospital. This was completely anonymous as all the man knew was that a meal would be ready for him at the church to pick up.

It gave me such comfort knowing I could help someone who was going through a difficult time, or just to make things a little easier for someone else.

1295 Reads

Moments of Kindness

I ordered one batch of cards over a year ago. Sometimes I just buy lunch for the person behind me at McDonalds (which gets really strange looks from the McDonalds worker taking my money. Because they don't know why somebody would WANT to do that)

And sometimes I pay for prescriptions for older people at the pharmacy I go to ... one's who can't afford even their copay. Thanks for doing this. It's a WONDERFUL THING! God bless.

1099 Reads
  • Posted by Heather Berry
  • Aug 20, 2006
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Two Cable Guys

This morning as I was returning home from taking my daughter to school, I noticed two cable trucks parked on a neighborhood street and two men were working so hard on a electrical box, sweating profusely (it's 100 degrees even at 8:40 in the morning). I was only a block away from home, so I stopped in and grabbed some cold water bottles and drove it over to them.

It is amazing how little deeds can really make a difference. These men at first looked at me as if I wanted something in return (funny how our society is conditioned to expect this)but after I handed them the bottles and told them to be sure to stay hydrated, they smiled so big and thanked me and said, "You are so kind, thank you so much, have a great day!"

It is not often that you receive comments like this every day. All it takes is small random acts of kindness and what you get in return makes you feel so good. A lot better than grumbling and rushing around all the time!

1145 Reads

Bearing Smiles

Recently I went to a restaurant with my grandparents. I decided that it was time to use a card. We ate our dinner and got ready to leave, but before I left, I layed a smile card on the table along with a tiny bear figurine that I had made. Then, I hurried towards the door.

Before I got there, the waitress saw what was at the table and called out to me that I had forgot something. I told her no, it was hers! She smiled, and that was the last time I saw her. It was really exciting, and a new way to spead smiles! Plus, one of my bears now has a home, and is "bearing smiles!"

1660 Reads

Living on the Street

I was headed to the UMW womens basketball game yesterday, and I saw an older fella maybe 65ish sitting next to a stop sign on William street at the intersection of route one and William. He was sitting down wearing tattered clothes, and an oversized jacket, homeless fella.. and holding a sign which said: "Hold care in your hearts Thanks very much And God Bless!" I parked my car, in a makeshift spot in the Goolrick Gymnasium parking lot and walked up to the old fella and asked how are you doing? "He looked at me suprised, like I was going to injure him, kinda caught up in words he just said, "I am fine, just making a living....." kind of embarrassed, he said "I live on the streets." The one thing that suprised me that he never asked me for anything, no money or food, seeing that he was homeless was a given, ... Read Full Story >>

1344 Reads

"Stopping and Smelling the Roses"

Since exploring your site and also offering my assistance to two local non-profit organizations, my eyes have really been opened. Usually I go about my business worrying and hurrying to get somewhere on time. Lately, I have been taking the time to "stop and smell the roses," thinking about others and what I can do to help others, rather than just myself.

My neighbor who is in remission from breast cancer and is home alone while her husband is travelling, I am bringing her over a meal to eat while she is adjusting to new medication which makes her feel tired and nauseaus. I also offered to drive her to her doctor appt.

When a school mom or friend is expecting, I like to make a meal and bring it to them after the baby is born, or watch the other children so they can spend some alone time with the newborn baby or take a nap. The best gift of all is not a new blanket or onesie, but the gift of a homemade meal or allowing them time to sleep.

1039 Reads

Inverse Tagging!

My friend Guri and I had just watched Santosh Sivan's, "The Terrriorist" that evening at the Pacific Arts Film Center on the UC Berkeley campus. Both of us were craving some Indian food after having seen the lead actress each dal and rice on film. So we headed over to the nearest Indian restaurant Naan & Curry. We chatted about various things such as the movie we just watched, our lives, and laughed a ton at one another's stories. Somewhere along the way the conversation turned into something more serious partly due to me. I spoke of my fears in particular my fear of being close to people. At some point through the conversation my eyes glanced around and low and behold the restuarant had closed, chairs were stacked on tables and only a few of us remained. Guri looked over at me and noticed ... Read Full Story >>

1217 Reads
  • Posted by Trushna M.
  • Aug 14, 2006
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It's the Little Things

I came across your site and ordered myself some cards.What a wonderfull idea!!

I use mine in the eight items or less isle by picking someone behind me and leaving enough money to cover the cost of their items and leave a smile card. I also do this at corner shops by paying for either milk or butter and leaving a card with the attendant, saying the next person who is scratching to get milk money, give them the milk and smile card.

Its the little things in life, sometimes when a little something comes your way when you most need it, it can restore your faith that there are still nice people out there in amongst the rest of society. Thankyou!! :)

1508 Reads

A Cucumber From Our Backyard

On a Saturday morning, I glanced out of our window to see our chubby, middle-aged postman huffing and puffing on his rounds. I went out with a glass of water. He refused it politely but stopped for a few minutes to chat.

He told me about how his delivery car has no air conditioning but federal law requires that he has to drive with his windows fully shut so terrorists can not get to it easily!

I wanted to offer him something cool - so while he went about his rounds, I frantically looked for something he could take with him and found a cucumber from our garden.

When he came to drop off our mails, I offered it to him and his round, chubby face lit up instantly!

He started talking about his garden and how he cares for his garden. I could sense a bit of sadness when he said that his cucumber wines didn't flourish this summer. But he immediately smiled and said "but am so happy to see healthy ones from another garden!"

As he moved on , turned back and said that sharing of this cucumber meant a lot for the gardener within him. It meant a whole lot for me too.

2677 Reads

Everyday Kindness Hero

My friend K is truly an inspiration. Since I met him, I have come to realise the real meaning of kindness and selflessness. He is so giving, will do anything for anybody, always offers to help out a friend, neighbour, relative or stranger no matter how close or faintly related!

He turns up at the gym and gives a box of chocolates to the lady on reception, he will fix anything that is broken, he mended my aerial on my car and fitted a stereo in my mum's car, goes out of his way to pick someone up or drop them off, went searching in his basement for a tiny washer that my dad mentioned he needed, buys me lunch all the time, ALWAYS gladly and never expects ANYTHING in return. ALWAYS has a cheerful smile on his face. What a guy!! xxx

1515 Reads

The Almond Paw

I had to come on to UC Irvine's campus to accompany a friend to a meeting. In the parking lot, I enlisted him in my scheme with a Smile card and short explanation. We were each supposed to make 1 person smile, pass on the card, and meet up to share the story of what happened. He was dumbfounded and at a complete loss of ideas for what to do. To top it off, we were in an upscale shopping area of the campus surrounded by young, smiling, mostly affluent people. "No worries," I said as I pulled out my laptop to look for a wireless signal that we could use to hunt for ideas. The only problem was that there was no empty tables to sit at. That's when we spotted him: an older man by sitting by himself while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. "Excuse me sir, ... Read Full Story >>

3819 Reads

Do I Have Enough?

I was doing some last-minute shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at ... Read Full Story >>

8668 Reads

A Day At Bell Mobility

I work for Bell Mobility.

Recently I had a customer in my store who was fairly aggitated about his monthly bill. We talked for a good 20 minutes, not about the bill, rather his theory that there was no good left in this world.

The instant the words slipped from his mouth, I was thinking to myself 'gotcha!' While he wasn't looking, I slipped a smile card into the envelope for his bill with a the words 'think not of all the misery in this world, but of the beauty that remains.' He didn't notice, which was perfect and left my store.

Two hours later, he drove back (through a terrible storm might I add) and walked into the store holding the card in his hand and a big ol' genuine smile on his face. He said, 'This is exactly what the world needs... more kind people like yourself.' He gave me a hug and off he went.

I watched him leave the parking lot outside and sighed in relief... ah, nothing better than a good days work.

2891 Reads