I had my 25th birthday last week. I am tired of drunken debaucheries :) so 8 of us got together and decided to do something nice for the people who pick up the phone when we call the college shuttle. It is because of them that we are able to go from one place to another in this freezing cold.
We made posters saying - "Thank you for all you do", "Your help is appreciated!" and others. We bought coffee, cakes, cookies, and chocolates and decided to take it to the shutte headquarters.
It was a blast -- haven't seen sooo many unexpected smiles in a looooonggggg time!
It was indeed the best birthday ever :-)
My birthday was coming up last week and I was thinking of ways I could pay forward some kindness on the day to send good wishes out in the world. And then on my birthday itself, right in front of my eyes, three different opportunities came up one after the other, to support my colleagues at the charity I work at in different ways. One girl decided she wanted to give back to the charity that gave her so much both as a child when she was growing up and also as an adult by employing her to deliver services to other children. So, she's going on a trek and raising money for our charity. She is now part of a really amazing program that works with the most at-risk young people in our area, many of whom have already been kicked out of 3 schools, carried a knife to school, ... Read Full Story >>
The other day, I was standing in line to buy my groceries, looking at a magazine. The woman behind me, with two small girls with her, struck up a conversation with me about the movie star on the cover.
She mentioned she was living in some weekly suites near the store, and was having a problem with the father of the girls paying his child support. I noticed the older little girl (about 4) was very excited about getting a cartoon plate set (the set that comes with a cup, plate, and matching silverware with the character on it), and there was another one in the cart for the smaller child. I asked if I could purchase these for the girls, and she agreed. Honestly, I didn't agree with some of the things about this woman's life, but I don't feel that children should bear their parents' burdens, and I wanted to do a little something to make their life more enjoyable.
I have my in-laws over for dinner and when I do I make an extra dinner for them to take home - especially lasagna- because they love it so much. They can have it for a few days and it makes them so happy. Even some small act of kindness goes a long way. Anytime I do some small act of service it makes ME feel so much better.
I have been getting packs of smile cards in the mail, usually a few a week. My daughter who is 10 asked me about them the other day. I explained what they were for, and what to do with them.
She is going to drop her first smile card tomorrow to one of her favorite teachers. She is going to write a letter of appreciation to this teacher, and attach a smile card to the letter, and place it in her mail box. I am going to write the letter for her, so the teacher doesn't recognize her handwriting. Just think of the smile that will come from her letter :)
My mother in-law who always puts others ahead of herself had a pretty broken down fridge. My sister purchased a new one and was trying to get rid of her old one. I transported the fridge across the Bay Area to deliver it to my mother-in-law. When we arrived we realized that it was 3 inches to tall. So I learned a bit about cabinet making in the process.
My mother-in-law is very happy about her "new huge" fridge and I am very tired from the ordeal but very satisfied. It's funny how second nature it is to go out of my way to help a perfect stranger but I sometimes "have to make time" to help my own family. I'm glad I did.
I am very involved in my church and I am also a volunteer in our Garden Ministry. Basically I am one of three who takes care of our gardens, watering, weeding, etc. a couple of days a week. The main entrance to our church is a very long driveway with 2 flowerbeds on either side. I'm not sure what had been planted there before but whatever it was became scraggly and really wasn't very appealing. We decided to yank the plants, pull the weeds, turn the soil and get all of the rocks out so we would have nice beds for planting new flowers. This took us 3 days and when we were finally done we decided to shop for flowers. First we went to Home Depot but the selection was minimal as we needed around 100 plants. Next we went to Walmart and they had what we wanted but ... Read Full Story >>
For the past 5 days, I was down with viral flu and I wasn't really feeling well. My father lost his job, I've had trouble in my work and a lot more trouble I can only imagine.I can't help but cry. What keeps my sanity for these agonizing days? You guys in here - people I really don't know personally but by your never ending stories of kindness. I know at one point I'll be able to stand up and gain whatever helplessness I am feeling in my heart now.
I really just want to thank you for letting me feel your kindness here in my heart.
Last weekend, a few of us drove to Oklahoma to see my husband's mother, who is now in a nursing home. We wanted to take her out to lunch to celebrate her 88th birthday. We decided to go to an all you can eat buffet. Now when I said there was a few of us, I should have mentioned 10 people in all. When you have over 50 members in your family, 10 is a few to us but not to the waitress at the buffet. The waitress began clearing off a couple of tables and moved the tables together. Then she started running around the room to gather up enough chairs so we were all able to sit together. It was on a Sunday, and the peak time for lunch. The place was packed. You had to get a clean plate for salad, entries and desert. I figured we ... Read Full Story >>
I have two young children, so I can be limited at times in what I can do for others, but I try to work something small in each day. In the past few weeks, here are some of the things I have done: -- I have taken my two young sons on a walk with a bag to pick up garbage. My four year old had a blast! -- I let the person behind me in line at Wal-Mart go ahead, even though she had almost as much as I did. -- I have a friend whose son attends the same preschool as my son, and she has 4 month old twins. Knowing what a pain it is to get kids in and out of the car for just a short trip, I stayed in the car with my 11 month old and her twins so she could run her son in ... Read Full Story >>
In 1997, we had quite a spate of burglaries in our neighbourhood. Our home was targeted 5 times between December 1997 and February 1998.
At the time, my children were age 10, Shaun, and age 8 twins Graham & Timothy. All of them were really scared, but Shaun had taken it really badly, and he needed to be put on antidepressants.
Then just before easter 1998, there was a story in our local newspaper about a two year old boy whose home had been burgled and they had smashed up all of the easter eggs that people had bought for the little boy.
When Shaun heard this, he asked me to contact the paper and ask them to come to our home and he and his brothers shared their easter eggs with that little boy.
When the reporter asked Shaun why, he said he knew what it was like to have things stolen from him and he didn't want the little boy to feel the way he and his brothers felt.
Recently, on the occasion of the festival of Pongal, I was walking back from my grandma's house. She had given me a bag full of food that she had prepared - fried savouries, sweets that were elaborately made and other festival specialities.
I was walking back when I went past a homeless man wearing tattered clothes who I see quite often. It looked like he was quite hungry and tired, maybe even recovering from a hangover. I had nothing with me except the bag full of goodies.
Seeing this man enjoy these treats vs. indulging my own gluttony?
It was no-contest!
I parted with everything that I had and walked home with my hands empty but my heart very, very full.
The 55 year old lady Mrs.L ,who has been cleaning our house every day for tha past 20 years had recently been diagnosed with diabetes.Since Mrs.L is the only earning member of her family, she is finding it difficult to cope. My family has decided to buy her the diabetes medicines which are quite expensive.
The day Mrs.L was admitted in the hospital for symptoms like fainting, my mom guessed that she may be diabetic. My mom usually gives Mrs.L lunch and coffee every day, which she leaves for her before heading to work.
The day Mrs.L recovered fully and came back to work, my mom automatically made her a cup of coffee without adding the usual spoonfull of sugar .Mrs.L hadn't even had a chance to mention her diabetes to my mom since she came to work only after my mom had left. She was really touched when she tasted the unsweetened coffee-moved by the attention paid to small things and the concern we felt for her.
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he ... Read Full Story >>
I would like to share a kindness story that my grandmother recollected about her father (my great-grandfather). He was supposed to have been kindness personified.
He had a couple of lemon trees in his yard in his little town. When they were in season, the trees would be heavy with fruit. Since he had ten children to feed, it was a real treat for the family.
His wife, an extremely shrewd and clever lady, saw that several unknown women from the neighbourhood were plucking her fruit and leaving very little on the tree.
After mentioning this to her husband, she was very surprised to find that for some time he stopped occupying his usual morning seat near the front porch. When asked why, he replied saying that he did not want the women to stop plucking the fruit in case they saw him near the yard!
His large-heart would not let him prevent even people who steal from sharing his fruits!
Louise M. Davies was the principal donor for the building of the very beautiful symphony hall in San Francisco. It’s named for her. A newspaper story, just after the building was inaugurated, quoted her response to an interviewer’s question: ‘Why did you give this gift of six million dollars?’ She was said to have replied, ‘Because I had it.’
Her answer was wonderful. It was so uncomplicated. It was stating the obvious. And although she could have offered an opinion (‘San Francisco needs a symphony hall with modern acoustics’) or a personal reflection (‘I’ve always loved music. It’s important to me’), she didn’t do that either. She just said, ‘I had it.’
Not feeling needy is what allows generosity to happen, but it doesn’t obligate it to happen. The impulse to do something has to be present. Recognizing the possibility of creating delight or of alleviating suffering are both sources of that impulse. Both are responses to people other than ourselves. Both provide pleasure.
Does anyone remember the welcome wagon? When I was young and we moved into the suburbs, their was a great and fun way to meet and be introduced to the new neighborhood. It was called the welcome wagon. It really was a true old fashion wagon pulled by horses.
We got to ride in the wagon around the new neighborhood and meet the other children on the block. My mom received coupons and freebies from the local market. The women on the block would make dishes to welcome her as a new neighbor. I remember this act of kindness as though it was just yesterday.
What happened in our society that we no longer have the welcome wagon? These days it is a miracle if you know your next door neighbors. I make sure that I keep in contact with my fellow neighbors. When the mail comes, I meet and say hello to them. A small act of kindness goes a long way.
I usually travel back home in a very crowded bus with several people hanging out on the footboard(steps) and others standing and crushing each other.
Today when I was travelling, comfortably seated near a window, I saw this really old lady accompanied by her son. Seeing that no one was willing to make way for her, I signalled to her son and asked her to take my seat.
Surprise from my fellow passengers and stares all around turned into warmth as strangers began to smile at me.
I didn't mind standing for the remaining one hour of my journey since the old lady looked very pleased.
When we do our weekly grocery shopping, our daughter Sarah selects one item to purchase, which will then be put aside to give to the local food bank.We are teaching Sarah that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.
During our family’s Friday night observance of the Sabbath, we put coins into our box. Sarah takes a handful of coins and, after telling us something she is thankful for or has enjoyed that day, she places a coin in her homemade box. When the box is full, we donate the money to a local charity selected by Sarah.
I have a very simple story this time. I just decided to take a break from my hectic life and be present/fully engaged with my infant son and husband. Usually, I am multi-tasking work/mommyhood/wife/household stuff. And I lost site of my priorities, my family.
Today, I really stopped and absorbed myself as my 9 month old tried sitting in a crawling position or cried about something or just wanted to sleep (without mommy running off for a work engagement or thinking about that next thing that had to be done). And I made amends with my husband for being crabby and losing my temper. And just tried to be grateful for a change. Sometimes I find I forget to be kind to my own family. Isn't this ironic, on a site devoted to kindness to others.