Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Giving up Bus Seat for a Smile

After reading the "Drawing a smile" posting by our friend this morning, I was inspired to scribble something too.
I am a regular traveler of the local bus in bangalore, India. Most of the people in the city travel by these buses which get very very crowded at the peak hours of the day.

In the morning I always get a seat as it is the first stop of the bus. Evening though I usually get a seat 3/4th way in the journey. But what I have noticed is a simple act of giving a seat to someone gives them so much joy. Sometimes when I see an old lady standing, I make it a point to give her my seat. You should see the sparkle of joy in their eyes.

A simple thing as a seat gives such joy and brings smile on someone's face. I better not miss any opportunity to spread this smile. Let me be a greedy in being kind...

1503 Reads

Service With a Smile

Last night a friend and I went to eat dinner at a nearby restaurant.  After we were seated it took a while before anyone came to take our order, and eventually a nice waitress stopped by our table and asked if anyone had served us yet.  We said, "No", and she was incredible apologetic and said there was a mix-up and they weren't sure which server was assigned to our table.  For the rest of the evening she was super nice and friendly, and kept checking in with us to make sure we were doing okay.  Then when we got our our bill she hadn't charged us for our drinks! 

So in the spirit of paying it forward, since she had been so kind as to do that for us, I decided to leave her a $20 tip (our meal was only about $10) and a smile card :)

1755 Reads

Babysuits, Books, Wheelchairs and Gardenias

Recently we were blessed with a little boy and we are still overwhelmed by all the wonderful gifts he received with Smile cards!

The first tag was a beautfiful, organic cotton, custom babysuit that said in big bold letters - "Be the Change You Wish To See In the World - Gandhi"

Another was a tag for a struggling teacher in Fremont on behalf of our little one. She got an entire year's supplies of books so she could keep her school going.

And then an organization that arranges wheel chairs for disabled poor was donated one in out little one's name.

Recently, we discovered a smile card hiding inside a little Gardenia plant.

The fragrance from the Gardenias and all these tags was quite refreshing and now we have quite a few acts of kindness and smile cards to pass on :)

1615 Reads

Tagging a Neighbor

I don't know my neighbors. I see some in the elevator sometimes but other than that I don't know who lives behind the doors i pass everyday.  made me realize it was a perfect opportunity for a tag:) Yesterday I left a calendar on their doorstep that had beautiful pictures and quotes, hope the neighborhood tagging will be paid forward!

1287 Reads
  • Posted by sunnyskies
  • Sep 26, 2006
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An Inspiring Comment

I love to buy things for people w/out them expecting it...especially people i don't know. For ex. When i'm at the drive thru at McDonalds I'll purchase my food along with paying for the car behind me. And ssk the cashier at the window to give them this card and drive away w/out turning back to see their reaction.

I've done this about 5 times and my spirit is uplifited higher and higer everytime.

1383 Reads

Lunch in Walnut Creek

I have been meaning to post this story for the past few weeks--my husband and I were in Walnut Creek to run errands.  We decided to stop off at California Pizza Kitchen for lunch; we asked to eat on the patio.  It just so happened that across from us, on the other side of the glass (in the restaurant) two women had just sat down for lunch. 

One woman was visibly upset and repeatedly left in tears.  I decided that she would be a perfect candidate for a tag--it was kind of difficult to tag her without her noticing as she was sitting directly across from us but luckily we had the same waitress.  When we told our waitress what we wanted to do, she broke in a huge smile and said that she was happy to accomodate.

I just happened to have a smile card on me--we had our waitress tag her.  It was the best feeling and a new experience for my husband who is now addicted to the feeling.  Hopefully, this made her day a little better! :)

1750 Reads

Listening Life Raft

She recognized my face, but didn't know my name.  It didn't seem to matter though.  For me, it had been more than two years since I saw her, but my guess was that this had nothing to do with  me.  She had gone through a lot, that much was clear.  In the past, it was tough to tell if her continual distress was a result of on-going chaos or the residual mental effects of prior suffering.  Not only was she not open about this, but found ways to inappropriately interject her own issues into any conversation and lead it down a negative path, which meant that most people would try and end their conversation with her in the first minute. The moment I was free, she rushed over to talk to me.  We moved quickly from the opening pleasantries to heavy issues-- abuse, immigration matters, law suits, discrimination, exploitation-- that had all been a part ... Read Full Story >>

3784 Reads

Drawing a Smile

I spent most of last Saturday painting and drawing.  I realized how quickly time passes by when you are inspired by a "feeling".    The next day I realized that it would be even nicer if I could extend that inspiration so I left a drawing in front of my sister's home with a smile card and a rose...  I hope she liked it. :)

1983 Reads

Valentines Day in WalMart Parking Lot

A good friend of mine... i swear she must be the happiest most loving person I've ever met, convinced me to go out with her on valentines day since we both didn't have dates or boyfriends at that time. I went to grab her at her house, and she had construction paper and markers all over. We made what must have been 200 simple valentines saying simply "happy valentines day" and "have a wonderful day"... which then we drove out to walmart. (in our little town, walmart is the place to go late nights) then we put one on everyone's car in the parking lot.

It was such a sweet thing. I imagine it brightened someones day, plus... it was so much fun making them, and running around putting them on people's cars.

3782 Reads

Kindness with my Son

Hello. I'd like to share a bit of kindness and the use of the Smile Cards my son who is 12 got to witness and be part of.

My son and I went out to eat and there was this table of older ladies (like their once a month get together--they must have been into their
70's or more and dressed up) next to us. Well, when my son and I were leaving, I decided to do something good. I told the guy at the counter that I wanted to pay for those ladies meals. He looked at me funny. Asked me if I knew them. Nope--I certainly don't. He looked at me again, asked again and again I said nope. Don't tell them I'm doing this, just give them this "smile" card.

He said "not so many people so generous now a days" So, I paid for their meals (a whopping 20 bucks) and me and my son left.Then he asked me to see the card we left--and he wants some.

3468 Reads

Learning Morality from a Begger

We had just received a large donation of clothing at our non-profit organization. As we looked at the pile, we didn’t know what to do with it, but figured that the answer would present itself. As three of us walked home for dinner, we saw a woman begging by the bridge. She was old and had no legs. She shivered in her thin sari, which offered little protection from the cold wind, but could not seek even mild refuge in her “hut” (four wooden posts, with a tarp like material as a roof and walls). Her hunger forced her to beg. My friends and I looked at each other: here was a perfect opportunity, but first it was necessary to do a little bit of “research.” We went up to the woman to hear her story. She spoke very little due to her poor ... Read Full Story >>

3981 Reads

One Hundred Kind Acts

Okay, I have been working really hard on this project, and as of 15 minutes ago, I finished it!

I work on the college newspaper, and this last week was assigned to do a column. I decided to write over Random Acts of Kindness, but got to thinking and wrote about a whole lot more than that!

This Monday, the newspaper will be handed out to students all around campus! I wrote challenging everyone on campus to do RAK. I gave my e-mail address so they could get some cards from me and whatever. I set the goal at 100 acts before the end of the year! I started a blog so that they can post their stories and we can keep track of how many people are using the cards! I also gave the helpothers web address!

I hope that this project takes off! We will find out this Monday, that is when the paper comes out!

2292 Reads

A Little Bit of Love is the Price of the Fare

As I waited for the bus, a shuttle rickshaw came by.  It was headed towards my destination,and  since it was pretty much the same price as the bus I jumped in. Inside, I found a mother sitting with her daughter. The little girl was absolutely precious. She was all dressed up in a new outfit, her hair done, new shoes and a purse on her lap. I've been taking lessons from a lot of inspiring sources and knew this was the perfect time to meet some strangers. I began talking to the little girl. They were headed to her aunt's house to celebrate the holidays. She happily pointed out her school on route and told me about her shoes that squeek when she walks. Her enthusiasm and smile were heartwarming. While conversing, I noticed something unusual. The driver wasn't stopping at the bus stops en route to pick up more passengers. In my ... Read Full Story >>

5154 Reads

Tins of Chocolate with a Smile...

Recently, my Mother underwent a surgery to repair a valve in her heart at UCLA Medical Center.  During the first couple of days she was in the hospital, my Dad was telling me how wonderful the nurses were in the ICU and how they took such great care of my Mom and made sure she was comfortable at all times.  I told him it would be great if we could think of a fun way to show our gratitude -- in the whole process of going through a major surgery, the nurses are often the people who get overlooked the most and aren't thanked enough for the compassion and care they give to each patient.  My Dad had a great idea -- he asked me to bring along some cute decorative tins of chocolate from London for all of them. When I arrived at the hospital, I had my first opportunity to tag Kara, ... Read Full Story >>

4785 Reads

A Stop Sign Moment

It was one of those awkward stop sign moments.  You and the car on the cross streets both arrive at the stop sign together.  Both want to rush first but both are a bit hesitant.  And then, one person gives in -- usually the person with the faster car. :)

Well, it just so happened that I had one of those stop sign moments the other day.  But I had decided to let the other person go and the lady on the cross street had decided the same.

So here we are -- both of us trying to be kind to each other. 

I was determined to stick my ground, so lifted my hand and signaled her to go ahead of me.

She gave me the best smile, and I saw an inaudible "thank you" through some lip-reading, and it just made me feel so good.

All it takes is a moment to be kind.  Try it next time.  It feels good.

1856 Reads

Blanket from God

I was on my way to get some books for school, when I saw two old men sitting and talking in the sun near the bus stand. What struck me about them was not their stance, but rather their attire. Both were wearing old and torn clothes, one was barefoot and the other had on broken sandals. As of late, I’ve been keeping my eyes and heart open for opportunities to serve. Stocked with clothing, it’s my job to find these items an appropriate new home. The men were engrossed in their conversation and did not pay heed to me as I inched closer to hear their words. “In these winter months, we’re lucky that the sun shines so brightly in the day and offers some heat in the cold, but what are we going to do at night? My blanket is thin and torn and ... Read Full Story >>

1941 Reads

healthy alternative

I usually crave a sugar rush in the middle of the afternoon at work. And the alternatives are not always healthy . Its either a candy bar, soda or coffee. I wish we had more healthy alternatives.  So decided to go ahead and make it happen. I left a single serving size pack of Soy milk right next to the soda vending machine at work a couple of days back, then a fruit - and helped someone stay away from soda/candy they did not really need :)

1379 Reads

The Tree of Treats

I have always loved to give, and surprise people. It often frustrates me that I don't have the money to do more. But try to do the best with what I have- and be creative with it! Here are a few things I have done. I hope it will inspire everyone to keep on their giving journey. * Left gift baskets on friends doors. Today My friend was going on an over-due road trip with her family. I created a road trip basket with- sodas, magazines, munchies, coloring books. Left it on her doorstep and drove off. I called and told her there was a tornado to check out her front door, and she found the basket. She called in tears, saying it was the first time anyone had done anything like that. (Isnt it sad with a world full of millions of people...that this doesnt happen everyday?) * I went to my neighbors, with my son and bought fun little toys at walgreens, we tied colored ... Read Full Story >>

1453 Reads

Sharing the Omnivore's Dilema

Recently I finished a book entitled 'The Omnivore's Dilema', a really interesting read about how our food arrives at our tables.  I also recently went on a backpacking trip where I was able to share some of the anecdotes from the book with some of my fellow hikers.  One of them in particular seemed very interested in what the book had to say.  So this weekend I decided I would send him my copy of the book with a smile card attached :) 

1534 Reads

An Inspiring Comment: Super-sized Kindness

I plan to start by doing a couple of good deeds daily and using the smile cards. My idea is based on the movie "Super size" - document and record thirty days of doing random kind acts for people. For two objections; 1) just because it makes me feel better and helps pay it forward with good karma 2) to prove to others and document what happens to others when you give. That it will come back 10 times. Thank you for your website and the smile cards - you truly make the world a better place.

1724 Reads