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.
When I decided to be a part of the smile card experiment, the first person that came to mind to target was Lara, a fellow member of my research group and a mentor. I couldn't think of the perfect thing for her yet and on top of that found out that it was her birthday 2 months back. The next day, at a local deli, inspiration struck when I saw their freshly baked honey wheat bread. I picked up a loaf and headed to lab. Unfortunately or fortunately, Lara wasn't in her office, so I put a note on the loaf reading: Lara, Happy Belated Birthday! I really like this honey wheat bread and thought you would enjoy! An hour later, she comes by and I innocently tell her someone left a package for her. She reads the note and immediately looks at me, "Did you leave this?" I try my best to ... Read Full Story >>
I was recently at an estate auction. Sometimes in order to get rid of a lot of items quickly, the auctioneer will group a bunch of items together in a lot. There was a box of fancy old church hats in a box with a vintage purse that I wanted. I bid on the lot and won. Even though the hats were interesting and pretty, I didn't really want them. So, I approached another bidder who I had noticed was bidding on boxes of old hats and asked her if she would like the ones that came in my box. She said yes, and I gave them to her. She proceeded to tell me that she was sending all the hats to Tennessee where fancy hats are very popular with the church ladies. She sends them to her sister who sells them at a thrift store so that she is able to buy her cancer medications. I had no idea that was why she was buying the hats, but some one sure knew! I am a nurse and see lots of cancer patients. Her act of kindness really touched my heart.
I would be having a major heart operation soon and the one of the parents in the school where I worked surprised me during Valentines Day when she gave me a heart box containing money from the children whom I have taught. It might not be much but still, it is still a proof that people care and that God is still looking out for me.
from my friends for my 9th birthday. i could not have a party; so my friends gave me a surprise party. it was so kind of them. they picked the food , friends of ours, place (one of the girls homes); and all chipped in to get me a gift. i thought me and my mom were going to cry. my mom has leukemia
(Not inspired by Dancing with the Stars) A Group activity by the volunteers of BeTheCause.org in Orange County: As I wrapped my arms around this woman of 81 years, I felt right at home. We swayed from side to side, not too fast as the workers of the Center had told me that her bones were fragile. She hadn’t danced for over 20 years, but she remembers that she used to love it. Her skin was soft and warm. She recalls stories to me about how she used to go to all the parties and knew all the latest dance steps. Now, we just move from side to side. Her life is confined to the company of other elders at the senior center, and the workers we pay to take care of our parents. Every now and then they get some entertainment. They play bingo weekly, go for walks, and because of ... Read Full Story >>
I recently got a bunch of your cards and started doing little things to spread some kindness around. Not feeling very bold, I offered to make and post cards to strangers who were going through a rough time. It was great fun to do and I figured we all like getting post that aren't bills.
Well, today someone put a big smile on my face! I got a huge box of chocolates and a thank you card in the post from a kind-hearted anonymous. It makes me smile every time I think about it...keep on giving - you never know who's heart you might touch!
A few years ago, this southern Alabama town experienced unusually frigid weather, cold enough to knock out the power for days. My husband, braving the cold, was on the way to the grocery to resupply our perishibles, and passed a police officer. He was standing in the middle of a fairly remote and windblown intersection, directing traffic. He thought of the officer again when he'd completed his errands, thinking of how cold he must be, stopped at a convenience store and bought a large cup of hot chocolate or coffee, it escapes me now. But, when passing the officer again, he rolled down his window, passed the cup to the officer, and thanked him for his help. My husband's description of the expression on the officer's face was that he was surprised, and grateful. What a simple, easy way to practice these thoughts we have.
My "You Don’t Have Any Choice but to Do Something" moment ... I owned and ran a book publishing company for many years. During the first Gulf War when we were all watching cruise missiles fly through he air on television and telling ourselves this was a “good” war, I was struck by a small column in a local newspaper that mentioned seeing 'Random Acts of Kindness' graffiti on a freeway overpass. The rest of the story is long and fascinating but I resolved to publish a book of people’s stories about Random Acts of Kindness in their lives. At the time no such thing existed. There were no books of inspirational stories (I know hard to believe now since the Chicken Soup series has beaten it into the ground) but I was worried the book would not be understood so in a moment of panic I stuck a marketing tag on ... Read Full Story >>
Every since I was little I loved doing things for other people. As I got older I began doing random things for people. For example, during holidays, such as Christmas, I would make out an extra card along with the ones for my relatives. Then I would go and find someone in the grocery store and just hand it to them and walk away! It was so much fun. Although I admit, the first time I did it I was so nervous. I didn't know who to give the card to. So I said a little prayer and knew that the right person would just appear...about that time an elderly man ran into me with his shoppping cart!! It was an accident, and he apologized a million times! We smiled and he walked away, and I knew that he was the one! Later I found him in a different isle, ... Read Full Story >>
I recently lost my cousin, Jimmy, to an act violence. Jimmy was unique- he was unusually kind to EVERYONE! At his memorial, I plan to speak about his pay-if-forward lifestyle. I want to give everyone a card and ask them to pay-if-foward in Jimmy's honor.