Thomas Carlyle, the distinguished Victorian writer, was just six years old, when a beggar, wrinkled with age knocked at his door. The old manís state - his tattered clothes, his bent back and his shaky hands moved little Thomas. "Please wait!" he said to the stranger, before he rushed to his room.
He was back in a minute, breathless. In his hand, he carried a little piggy bank into which he had safely put away the precious pennies and shillings given to him, from time to time. Wordlessly, he emptied the contents of the piggy bank into the grateful hands of the old man. A beautiful toothless smile was flashed at the little boy.
Recounting this incident, Carlyle said, "I cannot recall anything that gave me so much pleasure as this simple act of selfless service!"
It was a routine trip. We, my wife and I, are walking back home from the grocery store when we spontaneously decide to walk into a coffee shop. As my wife orders a small cup of coffee at the counter, I huddle our grocery bags under our table and get ready to share some hot coffee on this unusually cold day. Just then, my eyes catch glimpse of a young woman in her thirties escorting a rather frail Mexican woman into the shop. Maybe it was the gentleness of their encounter or a vague familiarity with the circumstances, but something about them grabs my full attention. I immediately feel an impulse to do something for them. Anything. Unfortunately, before I can gather my wits, they leave the coffee shop without ordering anything! When my wife returns, I tell her of my silent encounter. "But I ... Read Full Story >>
For the MIT class of 96 reunion weekend, we plan to create a massive ripple of smile cards around the city of Boston and Cambridge -- our own version of an MIT hack! Press will on the hunt for acts of compassion but it'll all be anonymous, so let's see what happens.
See our brochure and hope you can spread the joy in your colleges too!
Last week, I arrived back home to our flat in London from my trip to visit my family in California to find a "mystery package", which someone had left with the porter in our building some time while my husband and I were both away. It was a large envelope with a wooden backing, and a small note on top reading "Deep and Trishna, Enjoy!" As soon as I opened the flap, I discovered a Smile Card attached, and I knew instantly that someone had anonymously reached out to us with an act of kindness. As I reached into the envelope, MUCH to my surprise, I pulled out a sketch by Manohar Devadoss. My heart instantly melted by the idea that someone reached out to us with such a beautiful drawing by a person, whose life has touched mine from the minute I read Pavi's piece on him and his wife. ... Read Full Story >>
It was just 15 years ago that I was changing diapers on my nephew. My sister had him at 18 years old. She was living with my parents while I just graduated college and had my first real job. Her son was just 18mos old and his father was in the Airforce stationed on the east coast. It was just my sister and mom with him all the time. I decided he could use a little "male" in his life, so everyday after work, I would stop off at my parents house and take him to the park and push him on the swing. He really grew fond of me. Since then my sister added 3 more girls and I used to drive to Tracy, CA and spend about 3 weekends out of the month with them. It was tough on my sister and her husband. Money was always tight, so I'd ... Read Full Story >>
As a single mom, it is often hard for me to provide those little "extras" my children seem to want.
About four weeks my 11 yr old son came home from school to inform that the musical instrument he had made from recycled products was chosen to be sent to the NYS Green Nation Recycling Competition in Albany.
There was a note from his teacher informing that my son was invited to attend the competition but that parents were expected to fund this two day event for their children.
My son was estatic, but what was I to do. I didn't have that kind of money, this trip was going to cost $300!
Well, my son immediately began do odds jobs for family memebers so he could earn some money towards the trip, and I began to work as much OT at work to put a little extra in as well.
We prayed every night that somehow we will raise the money for my son to attend.
Last we got a telephone call from a member of the Deputy Sheriff's Association in our area, and this wonderful group of men and women have come together to sponsor my son so he can attend this event!!!!!
My son is truly blessed.
This is about an incident which took place couple of years back. I used to frequently visit an old age home run by the little sisters of the poor in our city Hyderabad. A.P. (India) There I met a gentlemen by name Kurien who happened to be a Keralite in his late eighties. He served the Indian army and retired. He has one son who is well educated and also married. He just does not bother to take care of him nor respect him while he is in the house. Mr. Kurien got dejected with the life in his house and decided to move into this old age home here in Hyderabad. We both began to share a lot thoughts whenever we met and slowly it was a daily affair that I used to spend some time with him discussing what he was doing in the army, ... Read Full Story >>
Dear Smile Cards, First of all, thank you for your continuous efforts to show this materialistic world how to make it a better place - without a great deal of money. I am a Character Education Committee chair at my school, Lufkin Road Middle School in Apex, NC. We got some cards from you a couple of years ago, which helped us improve our climate. As you know teachers are under a lot of stress with the current "No Child Left Behind" and high-stake testing. But, here is an idea I'd like tos hare with you. Every month we celebrate a particular trait, but we know very well that it is a sum of all admirable traits that make a person a good human being. This month students and I have designed a huge treasure chest and gems made of paper, which we found on the Internet and drew ourselves. We put ... Read Full Story >>
I am selfish when it comes to my wife Ana. I always seem to want her to dedicate all her spare time to me. A mutual friend, who has coped with severe ulcerative colitis for several years had major surgery last week to remove her large intestine and other affected organs. As I listened to Ana as she talked to our friend on the phone and spoke words of encouragement and hope, I realized how wrong I have been. That Ana's love and caring for others is an answer to their prayers. That Ana is the embodiment and response to prayers of my own: "God Bless so and so and this one or the other..." Ana does while I just prayed. Humbled and thankful for Ana's example of prayer in action. May we all realize that it is thru acts of kindness that we truly do God's bidding.
The three of us met this morning at a crowded cafe in downtown Manhattan. The streets outside wet-gleaming in the rain and blossoming with umbrellas. Me, and K and M. K a young woman I'd met only just this morning. A person with a wonderful spirit working towards finding balance through a challenging period in her life. M a woman I met two years ago in the park. A writer struggling with writer's block and an internal inertia- who later attended an informal poetry workshop we put together and wrote a beautiful little poem - her first in close to a year. So there we were- the three of us- unexpectedly together (who can explain these things?). The napkins on the table were huge, white and irresistible. So of course we had to write a poem together. Because what else are huge, white, irresistible table napkins for? I started the first ... Read Full Story >>
I traveled to Ethiopia last year with my business partner and president of OLA's Exotic Coffee & Tea. We are a coffee company that imports coffee from Africa and traveled to Ethiopia to visit the coffee plantations and speak with the government about investing. One day our entourage traveled about 4 hours from the capital to visit the Yirgacheffe coffee region. There we were looking to survey some coffee processing plants to possibly purchase. It rained heavily that day and there was a flash flood in a nearby village that we had to travel through to reach the farm. After we surveyed our last coffee farm, we climbed into the 4 cars we traveled in and began the long journey back to our hotels. As we were leaving though, through the rain and soggy conditions, Ola our CEO waved his hands to stop the cars. ... Read Full Story >>
Each week, I give my elderly neighbor a ride to the store, when I am going. She keeps trying to pay me, and I keep refusing. I tell her that it doesn't cost any more for her to ride with me. Last week, she brought an envelope saying, "I have something for you." I said, "If it has money in it, I don't want it." But, she laid it on a stand. Later, I opened it to find a 'thank you' card with $10.00 in it. That night, I stopped at her house to give some extra fried chicken that I had. I took a plain card, put the $10.00 in it along with a 'Smile' card, and when leaving, left it stuck in her storm door. The next day, stopping by to return my dish, she said, "Look, I know you put that letter in my door this morning, ... Read Full Story >>
An aquaintence of mine has been trying to get his 91 year old grand mother to move out of her home, where she lives alone. Both the police and fire department have responded to confused 911 calls, but she doesn't recall making them. She was very reluctant to leave her home of 50 years, and it was difficult to get her to move into a seniors home.
This all changed soon after she moved in.. she helped some lady who was about to fall out of her wheelchair, and it changed her whole perspective, "I could help that old lady!" said the 91 year-old grandmother, and now she is much happier living there.
i gave a man my coat, he was cold
About 10 minutes back, I was in the post office to mail a bunch of smile cards around the world. This time, I put all the envelopes on the table and looked up to see the same agent who helped me last time. She rememberd well having to weigh dozens of envelops going to different countries, punch in the codes, print out the stamps, stick them on the cards and bill me. "You!", she said apprehensively. Just in time, the agent next to her remembered me from last time and snickered teasingly at what is ahead for my agent. Half way through, my agent asks me what is in the envelop (last time I told her "something like a business card to spread smiles"). This time I decided to tag her. I had a smile card in my wallet. And thought about what to tag her with. I was ... Read Full Story >>
I wondered if there were anything on kindness so just jumped on line and typed in kindness. To my surprise the Random Acts of Kindness site came up and here I am amazed but not actually surprised at how many folks are kind and want this to spread to others. I see kindness all of the time but it never seems to get much attention in the media. Thanks for following your heart and promoting kindness.
It was refreshing to run into your website. I'm ALWAYS doing "acts of kindness" to make a difference in the lives of others -- I think it's my LIFE's Calling and Passion to be quite honest. I should invest in cardshop stocks as I spend LOTS of money buying cards for others. So this is a GREAT idea and I would love to Pay Forward. What do I need to do? You name it! That too is my motto -- Pay it Forward because in life --I believe, you "reap what you sow."
I was at work and it had been snowing all day. I peeked outside about an hour before leaving work and I was terrified to see that every square inch of my car had been blanketed in about 8 inches of snow. I stayed in the office a few minutes after 5 trying to figure out how I would get the snow off of my car in heals, a skirt and no window scraper! I finally sucked it up and walked outside. To my surprise as well as relief, my car was completely clean of snow. My windows were scraped, even the headlights had been cleaned off! "Who did this?" I was puzzled, but so grateful! The next day at work, I prodded everyone I knew to find the culprit, but no one could tell me....they all denied the good deed. The following day, a co-working named Brian said "So, were you wondering who cleaned off your car?" I knew then that Brian was my little snow angel. He said, "Yeah, my car was heating up, I needed something to do for 5 or 10 minutes." He brushed it off as if it was an act of boredom, but I know that he has a kind and pure heart and what he did was an act of kindness.
The other day, I don't know why, but I took a dollar bill out of my pocket, crumpled it, and dropped it on the ground. I didn't stick around to see who finds it. I just knew that "finding" a dollar bill is a lot more than getting one and someone would feel good and talk about "finding a dollar on the street" for the rest of that day. That made me feel good just thinking about it.