Everyone in the office noticed the fun going on across the street a few days ago. The temperature had topped 90 before noon and on the lawn of a residence motel a large group of kids had made their own "slip-n-slide" out of a large blue plastic tarp, a garden hose and the built-in sprinkler system.
In a city as transient as Reno, and as geared to adult amusement as our city is, it felt good to see kids doing something as wholesome as playing in the sprinklers. I was still watching when the boss' wife pulled up and walked across the street with a box of popsicles she had bought for the kids. She just wanted to add to their fun. She gave the box to an older girl who passed them out to the whole group. It reminded me of the unexpected joys of my own childhood summers.
My mission is to step way out of my comfort zone in serving the needy and not the greedy. I do hot dogs for 5 cents in front of my used tire co. just to meet people, hear stories and pass out free bibles, I hand them a one page story explaining "Why" hot dogs while they wait.
I am in the process of building a "Mission Possible" team to go into the many fields of the needy.
I am a Police Officer. I went to a woman's home to take a report of damage to her fence. She thought neighborhood kids had torn it down. I found out her husband built the fence 30 years ago, and all the paint in the world couldn't stop it from rotting. She had paid a fence company a deposit, but could not afford the balance, over $140. She is 89 years old, and on a fixed income.
I went to the fence company the next day and paid the balance. They readily took the payment, but told me I was nuts. I told them her husband built the fence, he had died, and the fence meant a lot to her. After hearing her story, they did a great job putting it up.
Telemarketers. As much as I dislike more than almost anyone I know being disturbed by telemarketers I have always told myself that most of these people are simply trying to make a living with a tough and thankless job. I try to tell them quickly but kindly, in a cheerful friendly way, that I am not in the market, that I want to save their time because I know they're trying to make a living and I wish them "good luck". This I find, is better than pretending to be interested, raising their hopes unnecessarily and wasting their and your time and patience.
If you know someone so hard up they have to make ends meet by telemarketing, give them some flowers. Anyone who has to wallow through that much rejection every day needs some random kindness!
After reading so many acts of kindness on this site, I remember all the things I use to do for others in the streets, malls and other places.
The one that gave me the most joy is a kid that I bought an ice cream for. He was standing at the ice cream truck looking at the guy saying "Can I have an ice cream? I came first in my class." The vendor says "You can ice-cream but do you have the money to buy it?" After the vendor finish selling to other customers, he drove off leaving the kid standing there.
I jump in my car chase him down and brought a big one and gave it to him and said keep being in top of the class and you will surely reach your goal in life.
But as for me now I cannot even pay my mortgage this month. I'm sure someone will help.
Thank you for your gift of smile cards. I used them as a very effective tool to teach my children the importance of outreach to those less fortunate. I held a family meeting. As a prelude to my lesson, I read to them Matthew 25:37-40. I volunteer at a hospital, assisting cancer patients. We decorated roses with curled ribbon and attached a smile card to each rose. We snuck into the hospital waiting room early in the morning before treatments began, and left fragrant smiles for the cancer patients.
I helped at my 8 year old daughters school disco last night. While we were there another little girl she knew (also 8) had come to the disco without any spending money (they were allowed 2 pounds each but the little girl didn't know that). The kid was upset and my daughter was upset for her. Without any prompting my daughter came up to me and said Mummy - I'm going to give her half of my money - which she did. I was so proud and then some of the other kids joined in too and bought the girl sweets and drinks. I felt priviledged to be with such a lovely group of 8 year olds - smiles all round.
On my way home from work yesterday, the last half of the route is a beautiful drive through the country. It was a beautiful day and the spirit of kindness overtook me when I saw an old lady in a wheelchair sitting beside the road just absorbing the day. I stopped at the nearest store and bought a bouquet of flowers for her. After I drove back and gave the flowers to her, she looked so touched that it made the little tiny act I did seem like the biggest.
What better way to start a journey than to tag the passengers on my flight? What to tag them with was the next question. The kids were easy. I went out to a party supply store and picked up a variety of goodies- bubbles, mini mazes, cards, candy, notebooks and pens. It was perfect, the store had smiley face bouncy balls and smiley face bags. But what of the adults, the day before my trip, I realized the perfect solution was in front of my eyes for weeks. For graduation, I had received a bag of smile stones. If you haven't had the pleasure of finding a smile stone, I hope you come across one. Smooth glass stones in a myriad of colours with smiley faces drawn on in permanent black. Mid-flight a child behind came crying to her family, it was time to begin. I pulled ... Read Full Story >>
I was catching a flight from Calcutta to Madras and had arrived at the airport rather early. Have always thought of airports as rather happy places- everyone at the beginning or the end of a journey- or both- such a sense of adventure in the air- and warmth- because people travel to see people and you know as you look around that that's someone's daughtersonhusbandwifefriendgrandmotheruncle cousinnephewhathaveyou and someone on the other end is going to be So Very Glad to see them. So until I saw the young couple sitting a few seats away from me, and noticed that the woman was crying-I'd never stopped to think that though airports are places of Adventurous Arrival they can also be about Difficult Departure. The young woman was crying, the young man was- not. He looked distinctly connected to her and decidedly uncomforting (and yes that is judgemental of me but so be ... Read Full Story >>
My dearest cousin has been really down in the dumps the last few weeks ... it hurts me to see her so unhappy with life.
So I went out and created a care package for her! In it, I put a brand new gardening tools, seeds, and a pot so she could get into gardening and get her mind off things (it's also just a great therapeutic activity!) and I also got her a 1000-pc puzzle to have her fun with. I just want her to get her mind off things and have fun with life, even if just for a moment.
You see the smile card there? YAY for happiness!
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes, carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did ... Read Full Story >>
"A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, but they soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted."
May all the seeds you plant land in fertile soil, and for the seeds that don't, give them another try.
Today (6/10/06) opening up my daily email (to find the Smile newsletter) couldn't have come at a better time. My fiance is currently overseas and the last few days I have been having a really difficult time. Today we talked online and our conversation was fine until I started to bring up the 'colors' for the wedding. It was time for him to go to bed and I was in tears just out of frustration but its obvious that its not the 'colors' that I am frustrated with but its just everything. He's been gone since last August and its very possible he won't be home until next February and it's been too long. He left the conversation after he told me he loved me and for the 5th time becuase he had kept telling me he had to go and instead I kept going on and on about everything. ... Read Full Story >>
When I was studying in college, I came to know about my friend Vasanth's mother being sick, she had a kidney problem. He only had a mother and his younger brother, his father had already passed away. In this situation vasanth was staying in a hostel with six people in a room. One day we got a letter from his mother saying that she's becoming very serious. But he was helpless. He did not know how to handle this. We decided to ask for help in a private hospital, but they were not willing to provide treatment for his mother. Then one of our lecturer gave an idea, to publish this news in newspaper asking for help. We published the news in a local paper. The next week we got a reply from a person. He wrote a letter from gudiwada that some hospital is providing free medical treatment ... Read Full Story >>
I will be using these cards to send them out to those that have given me the help and support that I have needed in the last few years and especially the last few months.
I also plan to pass on a car to those people I know who are in need of a smile and a 'lift'. Especially others whose loved ones are away with the military. I know that if I were to recieve something like this right now with my fiance being overseas, it would brighten my day so I hope to be able to do that for others in any way I can.
I will use the cards every day in continuing the RAK I already perform... isn't the world great... the glass ALWAYS half full and the silver lining always to be found?!
As I pulled out the usual looking junk mail from my mail box, I noticed a huge envelope still stuck in the slot. There was something really special about it - the size, the art work in front that surrounded my name and address, an unknown, out-of-town From address..this was no ordinary mail.
With a huge smile, as I opened it, I found 2 large size Asterix Comics and a Smile Card! Am crazy about Asterix (actually Obelix) but it was an interest from my teen years and I had not shared it with that many folks I know now. Am so thrilled and puzzled!
On one hand and I really want to find out the Secret Service Agents behind this tag and expose them :) but on the other hand, I really want it to remain a mystery forever.
This Smile Card and all the good wishes that it came with have been passed onto a stranger at a local Caltrain Station.
Thank you for expanding the boundary of this mystery called love. Can't help but SMILE!
I used my smile card the other day! It was awesome!
I went to get a carwash and bought a car wash for the anonymous person who came after me ... as i was waiting for my car, I saw a turqouise car drive up, and I thought that must be the person I'm randomly connecting with! It was so cool!
I felt like I was actually giving something to someone else purely out of generosity, and it felt good inside...I kind of felt like I was part of a church group when I was explaining what I wanted to do, to the confused cashier, but she eventually understood the concept.:)
Anyways, so that was great and my car was clean! Just wanted to share the good feeling with you and thank you for the idea!
I have given out all of the original cards you sent me, mostly at a Safeway store near Luke Air Force Base. I buy the Safeway gift cards and leave them, along with the Smile cards asking the clerks to give them to people in uniform.