Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Hikers Guide to Southern California

We have an intern who works a few cubicle away from me. He is from Canada and has been planning to go to LA for a couple of days. He has been meaning to look up hiking trails there, as he loves to hike.

When I found 'a hiker's guide to southern california' in the bookstore I frequent - with wonderful maps and details - I decided to get one and put it in his cube with a smile card.

Now he has decided on a couple of hikes from the book, and the book is a common resource for all interns who work at my company. :) a mini-smile library in the making.

1693 Reads

The Japanese Man, Frank, and Michael

The Japanese man points to my airplane seat, right as I head to the bathroom.  He didn't speak much English, so I just signal that I'll be back in couple minutes.  When I return, we play charades to see if he wants to swap his aisle seat with my window seat.  "Yes, yes," he says with a child-like glee. I am more than happy to oblige.  My window shutter has been down for couple hours of the flight already and I am hardly planning on making any further use of it. Right before he changes seats, he folds his hands and bows as a gesture of gratitude.  It's touching when someone is thankful for something that takes almost no effort on your part. Before he can even get settled in, he slides up the window shutter and curiously looks outside at the clouds.  He's happy.  I can just tell.  And that he's happy, ... Read Full Story >>

6813 Reads

Smile Ripples...

I get really excited when I tell people about smile cards and they react in an outwardly enthusiastic way, but I get even more inspired when I hear their story of how they passed along a smile card they received from me in the past...

At work the other day, a friend of mine did just this!  She said she held onto the card for quite a while until an inspiring idea came to her last week and she decided to act upon it.  A friend of hers had done her a huge favor recently helping out with a photo shoot for the nonprofit we work at.  During a recent converstation, my friend had mentioned a book she was reading to her friend, who seemed particularly interested in it. 

Last week she was thinking of something nice to do for her friend just to say thanks for everything.  So, she decided to buy her a copy of that book they had talked about along with a thank you card and a smile card slotted in the middle and she put it in the mail.  Her friend called her as soon as she received the package and told her just how unexpected the gesture was and how it really made her day.  Sometimes the smallest of thoughtful acts go a lot further than we can imagine...

1903 Reads

Walk for G

On September 25th was our friend G.M.’s Birthday. To some she is an embodiment of compassion. To some she is a personification of beauty, grace and dignity. To some she is a pillar of virtue and strength. And to some she is a quiet pilgrim walking her journey with as much integrity and passion as is ever seen. But to most… she is nature’s precious gift to life. My friend H had just arrived that day at my house for dinner when we found out that it was G’s birthday. I am not sure why, but ever since I heard about it… I was feeling compelled to do something for G. However, I did not want to force anything… and was sure that if the intention is heartfelt then actions will flower naturally from that space. After dinner H and I came up with an ingenious idea to do a "Walk ... Read Full Story >>

1472 Reads

Lessons from an Old Woman on a Bus

Last night on my way back from work, I was caught again in the crowded bus where you don't even have space to put your legs on the floor at times. Every person's attention is to the next seat which gets vacant.

It is a like a tout musical chair situation. An Old lady with heavy luggage got in this bus. And after some time, somebody offered her a seat. A generous act.

What I saw after this was a display of an unconditional love. This lady kept offering to share her seat with whoever was standing next to her. The seat is meant for 2 people.

An old lady was showing me how easy it is to be kind and generous and what unconditional love is. She was passing her kindness to everyone of us without a smile card in her hand. I felt fortunate to be witnessing this standing behind her. She didn't even knew that she was doing a random act of kindness.

God bless her!

1314 Reads

Selling Furniture, Making Friends

I have been doing business in Houston, Texas recently, and was talking with an elderly lady in the neighborhood who has knee problems and needed to find a way to sell her old furniture. She and her husband had retired for some time now, so earning some extra cash was important for her. She just didn't know where to start.

I went online to see if there was a craigs list in Houston (there is), volunteered to take a digital photo of her hutch and other furniture, and helped her post it online! 

She was so happy to have someone as her compadre as she ventured into what was akin to her first virtual garage sale- without the wear and tear on her knees! Wish us luck on her getting her furniture sold soon!


1361 Reads

E-card Kindness

I couldn't figure out what to do for an act of kindness because I stay home allot.  I decided to send some friends and family an e-card from blue mountain cards.  I sent the cards and got a great response.  They e-mailed me back and it improved there day, which in turn improved my day also.

1485 Reads

Sandals at New Year's Eve

Many people spend their New Year’s Eve, getting dressed up and dancing their way to midnight. We decided to do things a bit differently. We filled a backpack with clothes, shoes and other goodies and headed out to the railway station. The first person we spotted was a 15-16 year old boy picking up discarded plastic bottles on the platform. We called him over and started up a conversation.  We had a discrete look at his hands and noticed he had long fingernail.  We explained that it was important to keep short nails (studies have shown that disease occurrence in the poor can be reduced by 30% by keeping short fingernails) and then the two of us began cutting them for him.  When we were done, we offered him a chocolate bar, which made him look at us suspiciously. (In India, there is a fear that people cast spells on food and then lure children away).  ... Read Full Story >>

5748 Reads

Nice Moment #2

Today my boss bought me a crossiant.

1534 Reads
  • Posted by anonymous
  • Oct 4, 2006
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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Today I tagged a vibrantly passionate pink-haired musician near Embarcadero in San Francisco, who was belting out Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with her accordion!

I hid behind a public bathroom to get everything together - SmileCard, $10 gift card to Cafe Gratitude, and a note saying thanks for the rousing rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Then I neatly paperclipped the bundle together, walked up (with my sunglasses on - even more annonymous!), smiled and put it in box where people were putting money, then went on my way.


1475 Reads

Lessons From My Daddy

well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.

3891 Reads

Seeking Everyday Opportunities

I went to the US OPEN... and getting into my car I noticed that the lady next to me left her lights on so I gave her a boost. She was so thankful that she wanted to give me money. I told her just do a favor for someone else. I think a lot of people have been doing this, but we forget to do this radom act of kindness, the cards will help us remember.

1627 Reads

Nice Moment

Today I saw a homeless man feeding the pigeons.

1276 Reads
  • Posted by anonymous
  • Oct 3, 2006
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Lonely Boy Playing in the Streets

There was a little, blond haired boy playing in the side streets. He looked kind of lonely kicking a football by himself.  I noticed my two puppies were kind of drawn to the little boy. So, I asked permission for us to watch his football practice.  He was kind of shy and said okay.

Later, the pups were really getting excited watching him practice kicking. I finally told him the most shy puppy I had- for the first time in her life wanted to run up to a boy (and she had been previously terrified of children). We cheered the little boy on as he made attempts to kick really hard.  It was kind of nice to be in the moment rooting for someone else, some stranger in the middle of the street!  I kind of felt he enjoyed the cheerleading squat on the sidelines too.

1305 Reads

The Baggage Carousel at Oakland

After being delayed for several hours and then sitting on a long flight from atlanta to oakland, i waited at the baggage carousel utterly exhausted.  I though about what it was that would make me feel good and realized it was something as simple as someone helping me retrieve my heavy luggage from the baggage carousel.  I looked around the other haggard looking passengers and decided that would also help them feel better--so i proceeded to help as many individuals as possible with their luggage.  it was a great feeling and put my tired spirits at bay!

1264 Reads

Calming the Storm Brings a Smile

I was working in the house of a dad and his two sons. The dad was feeling like his life was going out of his control, his partner having recently left him and was threatening to take his sons with her. He was frustrated about not getting his two young sons under his control to go through their old toys to figure out what to do with them. He was almost constantly correcting them for this and that no matter how small. It broke my heart as it seemed nobody was getting a moment of peace. I found it hard to think clearly about how to help. I didn't know for sure how to bring the father's behavior to his attention without making him feel criticized in a way that would exxaccerbate a viscious circle. I knew he was angry and fearful of losing control of his life. So what ... Read Full Story >>

1559 Reads

Inspiration and Achieving Your Dreams

I was at work this morning and my work roommate was being harassed by his Supervisor. I was on my lunch break and walked past a newsagent and a book on 'Inspiration and Achieving your Dreams' caught my eye. I used my lunch money to buy the book for my roomate and atached an anonymous card thanking him for being such a treasure to the company and put it on reception to be delivered to his desk. The smile on his face was priceless and so was the smile on mine!!!!

1517 Reads
  • Posted by courts
  • Sep 30, 2006
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Sharing Birthday Love

My sister is on the other side of the world.  I'm volunteerting in India while she's at home in Canada. While I can't be there physically to celebrate her birthday, I wanted to spread some love to mark the day. I set off to the market to get ingredients for cookies when I saw an old man carrying a long rod with a weight on one end and a large tray holding food which he was selling on the other hand.  Perfect! I went up to the man and took the rod off his shoulder and walked with him for the next half kilometer, talking to him and his grandson who appeared after a few minutes.  The grandfather and boy are the only regular income generators in the family.  The boy and granddad go out after the boy gets back from school.  After walking and talking to the wonderful pair, as I left ... Read Full Story >>

2988 Reads

Easter Surprise for a Teacher

There is one teacher at my school who's classes were particularly interesting. He actually taught us something new, something useful. About civilizations like the Kalahari desert people, or the secluded people of Orania in Africa and also the Amish. He would show us videos and was very involved in making his classes fun and not boring.

Soon after...I saw a movie called "pay it forward" and also found this website. I decided to surprise this teacher by putting some chocolate eggs into his mailbox at school.

I never found out what his reaction was, but I'm sure it was a nice surprise that he most definitely didn't expect!

1726 Reads

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...

1518 Reads