Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Praying for Clear Skies

Last week, the festival of Pongal was being celebrated in South India.

On one particular day of the festival, families are supposed to have a fun day out - it is the tradition. Nowadays, it is mostly those who are not all that wealthy and can't afford to go out every weekend who follow this tradition. So on this day there will be crowds from even remote rural areas, including people who live in real poverty, on beaches, in movie theatres, parks and zoos in the cities.

On this day, in the morning I spotted the vegetable vendor wheeling eight happy kids who were blowing balloons and having a lot of fun to the park. I mentioned this casually in the evening to someone  else. He said that he had seen them too, and in fact had spent some time in the morning praying that it wouldn't rain. He had seen dark clouds in the morning and didn't want the children to have their fun spoilt.

I know this sounds like something small but I don't know too many people who would care about unknown people in the same way.

It finally never rained and I saw the children being wheeled back, tired and happy.

2130 Reads

Teaching with joy

My daughter has a Physics teacher that teachs with joy. She loves science and passes this passion on to her students. This is a High School Teacher. Can you imagine this age child enjoying a Physics class?

She is young and newly married and is devoted to teaching. Her family does not live close by, so we have adopted her in a secret way.

We send her notes telling her how much she inspires her students. We have sent her movie tickets, a New Years basket with Champagne, hats and noise makers encouraging her to take time to enjoy her new marriage and spend fun time with her husband.

 Recently in our part of the country it has finally gotten into the freezing temperatures, so we have treated her to a "Hot Chocolate  Kit" , encouraging her to keep warm.

 Small notes to encourage her to take care of herself, so that she can then take care of her students.

It is fun for us and we hope she enjoys it also.

1897 Reads

Thank Someone Today

I find that everytime I thank someone--sincerely thank them--it brightens my mood. To the lady who serves me my sandwich at lunch, I smile and say, "Thank you very much." Same to the bus driver, a professor, or a friend. Letting someone know you care requires going beyond normal, everyday tones. You must say it with a smile and sincerely mean it. Try it...I guarantee it'll put a smile on others' faces, as well!

1345 Reads

Little Sweet Somethings

A couple of days back, a Postman came knocking on my door with a postal package. Since it was the festival of Pongal, it is understood that we tip the postman, handing him some loose change. But I wanted to do something really nice for this little man who looked tired puffing on his bicycle.

I first thought of giving him some relatively new clothes but I hesitated since he seemed so dignified and proud and sometimes offering used clothing may seem insulting.

And then it struck me! I had a huge box of sweets (the bumper festival version) which some friends of my family had dropped off the previous day. I gave him the sweets , which he appreciated graciously. I imagined him eating a refreshing sweet on the hot roadside, and his little children and old parents enjoying the treat.

Later that night,when my father was sorting the post (I never check since I'm always sure that no one will send me any!), he saw that on that morning the postman had delivered an acceptance letter form a top university for my graduate studies. :)

1584 Reads

Rush hour smiles

I have about an hour commute to my job. It is usually a stressful experience for most drivers since the traffic is thick and moves very slow. People don't practice too much kindness, cutting each other off and not letting people into their lane. As I creeped onto the freeway today, I decided to smile and wave at everyone as I went by. Whenever someone was trying to get into my lane, I gladly let them in and waved.

Their reactions were priceless and made my drive very entertaining. I'm sure many of them were wondering if I was on my way to the therapist. Hopefully it made their drive a little less stressful. I know it did for me!

1796 Reads

Mom's Dinners in Sierra Leone

When I was growing up in Sierra Leone, Sunday dinners were special. My mom would spend hours making delicious food for dinner and the mouth-watering aroma would fill the house.

In between games, my siblings and I would anxiously check the kitchen to see if dinner was ready. When dinner was done, my mom filled several baskets of food for various families in the neighborhood.

Of course, we wanted to eat first and then deliver the baskets. But my mom would gently insist that we first deliver the food and when we got back, we could all sit down and eat dinner. She pointed out that if we waited to deliver the food after we had dinner, the food we delivered would be cold.

In a simple way, she taught us that giving is not just for when it’s convenient.

3090 Reads

Car Trouble at Staples

After classes yesterday, a friend and I drove to a local Staples store to pick up some school supplies. Getting whatever we needed, we headed outside and my friend unlocked his car by remote. I went over to drop off our bags when I noticed he was looking at a lady standing in front of her car, fiddling with her hood. It was getting dark, and after a record warm winter in New Jersey, the weather was getting bitter cold. We went over to ask if she needed help. Lo and behold, she had just replaced the antifreeze in her car, and somehow jammed her car's hood, making it unable to close. Not mechanics in any way, my friend and I offered to help her out. As we tried to figure out where it was jammed, tried to fit our hands under the hood to find the latch, using cell phones as ... Read Full Story >>

1831 Reads

Making a Friend Smile

The other day, after returning to college, my friend had gone to the mailroom to get her mail. I had a smile card and unknowingly slipped it in her pile of envelopes in her room. Minutes later, she came into my room where a few girls were hanging out and asked if we had gotten a card in the mail.

Of course I said no, and she told everyone what it said. The next day, she found out that her grandmother died. Before we knew it, she was on a bus back home for the rest of the week. As she was leaving, I stopped by her room and saw on the wall the quote on the smile card, "The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose." Somehow I knew that the card had meant something to her. I'm glad I chose to slip it in that pile so she wouldn't know it was from me.

Although this act of kindness could never move mountains in itself, I felt good afterwards, and so did she, which is what counts!

1371 Reads

Pay-It-Forward Birthday Wishes

It was a good friend's birthday the other week and I wasn't going to be able to wish him in person.  I decided to pay-it-forward in honour of his birthday and started searching through the internet for ideas.  I came across a wonderful concept on the Give Foundation's site, whereby you can gift a donation for a particular item/cause in honor of a friend -- just what I was looking for.

They had lots of wonderful causes to support and I decided to support two causes with the theme of empowerment in mind.  Through one NGO, you could support the purchasing of books to create a rural library and the other  NGO purchased a wheelchair for someone in need.

It is such a wonderful feeling to pay-it-forward to honour people's birthdays -- I think I'm going to continue this for other friends too!

2207 Reads

Project "Pay It Forward"

I am a part of a Christian club at my school. However this club can sometimes be unmotivated. I motivated them today! At our usual half hour meeting we usually discuss events we want to do or fundraising ideas and do a devotion. But today I started a new program for the club called ‘project pay it forward.’   I brought with me to the meeting a box of thank you cards, pens, and smile cards that I have been saving for this purpose. I announced to the club that we were going to start a new project. At first I could see the glares coming at me. But as I passed out the smile cards and thank you cards, I could see the group beginning to change. This wasn’t going to be a typical  meeting. I then told them that we were going to write thank you cards to faculty members ... Read Full Story >>

2052 Reads

An Experiment in Teaching Children Philanthropy

Once a year, I give my two children money. The only hitch is, they have to give it away. I give them each $100. They know it is a lot of money, so they are careful how they use it. It is their job to find out who in our community is doing things that they feel good about, and then decide who will get the money, and why. Giving away money, even if it is only ten or twenty dollars, is a tremendous way to learn about the positive work people are doing right in your own neighborhood.  It makes us get out of our comfort zone, ask around, talk to people we wouldn’t normally talk to, and ask questions about what the problems are and what people are doing to make them better. Everyone wins. My kids learn about the community, about the power of giving, and people in ... Read Full Story >>

5485 Reads
  • Posted by Author Unknown
  • Jan 30, 2007
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Say Thank You!

I had to go to the emergency room last night, and had the nicest nurse  care for me. I thought I would send a letter to the hospital praising her excellent care.

 I think we all should try and praise people that give us excellent service :)

1632 Reads

Stones and Flowers

One afternoon, he discovered that if he tossed stones over his neighbor’s fence, he could create a crashing sound, the sound of breaking glass. So he would heave a stone and wait for the crash. Heave, crash. It was great fun and felt a little dangerous. He might get caught, after all, but that, to a small boy, was part of the excitement. As it happened, he did get caught. The man who lived next door came to his house and told his parents about the boy and the stones. ‘I would like Juan to come to my home so I can show him a few things,’ the man said, in a tone Juan found rather ominous. His parents, ashamed of and disappointed by their son’s behavior, readily sent their son to the neighbor’s house. Juan sheepishly followed the man into his house, through the back door, and out into the yard. ... Read Full Story >>

4471 Reads
  • Posted by Author Unknown
  • Jan 29, 2007
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Grandma's Ice-Cream

My mother and grandmother were incredibly generous, giving, and loving people.  I think that love and giving go hand in hand.

I remember when I was a little girl there were children over playing at my house. We were out in the yard and there used to be ice cream trucks and their bell would be ringing, calling in the children everywhere, the ice cream man is here! I went running back in the house. I guess ice cream was probably about a nickel, and there were fifteen children on my front porch. There were always a lot of children around there.

My grandmother would give everybody a nickel to go buy ice cream, and if she did not have enough nickels for all the children, then I didn’t get an ice cream either.

3382 Reads

Warmth of a 30 days old baby!!!!

One month back, my very close friend was delighted to deliver a girl and boy TWINS. She was a little worried before her delivery as to how things were going to turn up at the end.  How was she going to manage twins?  But after all, she is a mother. After the first look at her newborn babies, all her worry went down the drain.  Last night, I happened to visit my friend. And the best gift of the evening was to hold the boy in my arms for more than 60 minutes. He was completely wrapped in a warm cloth and his tiny hands and legs were tucked inside the woolen piece of cloth. I kept looking at him. Slowly he went to sleep. But the most amazing thing was to watch him. He had a beautiful smile on his face. I could only look at the baby when I held him. We all have been ... Read Full Story >>

1895 Reads

Best Looking Yard in Town

My husband and I own a lawn care company and so many times we would pass this house that was very unkept as far as the lawn was concerned. Last week, we decided to stop in and see if we could help.  Nobody would come to the door for the longest time.  Finally, a little old lady came to the door, very reluctant to open the door.  We explained to her that we did not want to harm her in anyway.  After a few minutes of talking we asked her if we could cut her grass for her?  She was quick to answer, "I cannot pay for my grass to be cut, my sister is living with me dying of cancer and it takes everything we make combined to pay for her medicines etc."  We had indicated to her that we would just like to do this for her and her ... Read Full Story >>

4695 Reads

It takes a second to make someone's day

Everyday I have to pass through a security barrier and the guard stands in the road by the barrier in all types of weather. He waves everyone through, deals with inquiries - all in a days work.

I realised that he doesnt actually "talk" to anyone.  So I slowed my car and rolled down the window had a lovely chat with a special thank you to him and went on my way.   The beaming smile I got made my day.  Each succesive day this last week I have done the same when I have seen a new guard and each and every day the reaction is priceless.  A little thing which took little time and no cost but each day I felt I had made a difference.

Sheila  

1586 Reads

Greeting Valuable Teachers

One of my teachers in college recently opted out of teaching. She was a brilliant spark and inspiration in an otherwise mediocre system. She was just recovering from a  severe depression that set in when, in her stint for the telecom department in a wartorn region, her van was bombed leaving several people injured.

I decided to brighten up her day and phoned her telling her how well I did in her course and what a positive influence she was on me and all my friends. She sounded really overjoyed and surprised.

I don't know how but after that call, I met three of my old high-school teachers in random ways who I hadn't met in close to four years who felt really touched and happy to see me and to be remembered.

1696 Reads

Tickets

I took my son to a game place to play his favorite games, ride the train and carousel, and drive the cars. While playing the games, he kept winning quite a few tickets that are used to "buy" prizes. He wanted to play the games and didn't care much about the tickets. We had left some on a machine and a little boy grabbed them and brought them to us.

We thanked him and then give him the hundreds of tickets we had since he was so honest. He was overjoyed and ran to the counter to see what he could get.

It was something simple for us, reinforced his honesty and helped the little boy smile a little wider that day! 

1482 Reads

Surprise Lottery Tickets

I wanted to do something that would really surprise people so I made up the smile cards your site offers and I had them laminated. I buy $2 lottery scratch offs all the time for my self and for friends and family for their birthdays. Everyone enjoys getting them and the chance to maybe win some money. I work two jobs and my part-time job is working at a Funeral home during calling hours. Seeing it is winter here , folks have to hang up their coats which is located right near the front entrance where I stand to open and close the door and greet folks, so it was very easy for me to sneak in a card with the lottery into a complete stanger's coat.  I couldn't wait to see who the coat belonged to and I was happy to see it belonged to a fairly young girl with a baby. It ... Read Full Story >>

1251 Reads