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A Bag of Chips Changes My Son

Performing acts of kindness seems to have been a theme in my life for a long time.  I started when I was a little girl, when I wrote a poem about friendship to a neighborhood lady who always seemed to be in a sour mood and was especially unfriendly to the neighbhorhood children. When I had children of my own, I continued to do acts of kindness in their presence, so that they might learn by example.  Sometimes they participated, and sometimes they just observed.  Afterwards, each time we would talk about it and it always brightened my day immensely. One day not too long ago, my son and I were in line at the Dollar store buying an assortment of products.  In a line next to ours, a woman was waiting to make her purchases.  She had a few necessities and one bag of chips.   She stepped up to register to make ... Read Full Story >>

8205 Reads

11 Years Without a Single Complaint

I met my husband (my 2nd) back in 1997 at a colleague's wedding. We immediately hit it off and saw each other regularly. I told him all about my having IIH, and what it involved as well as the worst case scenario, which is blindness. I was also at the time a single parent to an 8 year old daughter. Although in some ways we were total opposites, we shared the same humour, values and ideas, and within a year we were married. It was the most fantastic day, and I don't know who cried more, myself or my husband. He became a fantastic husband, and father to my daughter (the only one she's ever known), and life was good to us. Two years on, due to my IH I lost my peripheral vision and depth perception. After having an Lp shunt to prevent total blindness, my mobility was severely affected, as the ... Read Full Story >>

5605 Reads

The Security Guard's Idea!

Ten years ago, I was dissatisfied with my job working as a Vice President at a bank.  Often, due to my standing as Vice President, I'd watch someone greet me respectfully but then turn around and respond dismissively to a fellow employee.  In reaction to this obvious inequity, I made it a point to be even more respectful of individuals who were below me on the corporate ladder.  One of these individuals was a security guard who oversaw the parking lot of the building where my office was located.  This man was consistently gracious to everyone and it was easy to think of him as a friend. During this time, I had 2 dogs, one of which was very old, blind, deaf, and  had a bad heart.  I couldn't leave him at home alone so I began sneaking him and my other dog into my office every day.  The security guard, ... Read Full Story >>

12.0K Reads

Why Didn't I Help Her?

On Monday at 2:35 pm, a bus full of passengers was going to 4 Bungalow from Andheri (E) in the outskirts of Bombay. There were a lot of guys on the bus who wanted to reach their destinations and were busy in their work. The bus was so crowded that you had to struggle even to get room to stand, forget about a seat. People were entering & exiting stop by stop. At one of the bus stops, an old lady came on the bus. She was not too old but looking tired and I think she was not well also. She had to go beyond 7 Bangalow which was a distance of at least one hour. I don’t know why I was watching her. I noticed after a few minutes that her legs were shivering slightly. Maybe she was tired and that’s why she was facing this problem. ... Read Full Story >>

6152 Reads
  • Posted by captonjohn
  • Jul 19, 2009
  • 39 Comments
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Be Vocal In Times Of Beauty

To stand up and speak out against cold injustice, against the blind wrong-doing that we see in the world-- that is one kind of activism. But there is another kind. A rarer form of fire-in-the-belly commitment to a much less talked about cause. Tell me, do you stand up and speak out when you encounter a moment of unexpected joy, warmth, beauty or compassion in your life? Do you stop to say so when you stumble across something that makes you smile- or are you in the dull habit of registering the remarkable without remark? Are you a bystander of beauty, a mute spectator of special-ness? Do you let the silver-lining moments of the day slide into an insignificant silence-- or do you seize them as the chance to make something bloom? Sometimes I think of all the nice things I've thought about other people and never shared, of the unacknowledged ... Read Full Story >>

38.7K Reads

The Bridge We Were Meant To Cross

 My brother and I were driving home together and became engrossed in a conversation. Because of this distraction, my brother took a wrong turn.   Unfortunately, the wrong turn took us towards a bridge and we had no way to turn back. Grudgingly, my brother paid the bridge toll and drove on. He was clearly frustrated by the mistake and the needless waste of $4.   We eventually reached an exit slip-way and, as we took it, my brother noticed a beat-up black Mustang pulled over to the side of the road. A young guy was standing nearby trying to phone someone. I was busy trying to figure out which way we went next but my brother pulled over and asked the guy if he needed any help. And he did. He had a flat tire and needed a wrench to get it off. My brother gave him a wrench, then proceed to help him ... Read Full Story >>

16.2K Reads

Love Thy Neighbor

When my wife, Beth, and I moved from the suburbs to a warehouse loft in the center of a large city, Beth embraced every aspect of urban life -- even the sirens, the parking problems, and the car alarms at night. The homeless people made me nervous, but Beth learned their names. The only neighbors who bothered her were the guys who ran the tattoo parlor across the street. They got into traffic-stopping fights, harassed women on the sidewalk, and intimidated men. They were the reason Beth didn’t walk on that side of the street. For two years she glared out our window at the row of men sitting in front of the shop and fantasized about shooting out their tires. Then one day she called me at work to tell me she was getting a tattoo. She’d never wanted a tattoo before and had even taken pride in being one of ... Read Full Story >>

10.9K Reads
  • Posted by Joe Slevcove
  • Jul 22, 2007
  • 39 Comments
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Helping An Old Man To Find Joy Again

This year had been very difficult financially for my family due to budget cuts, layoffs, and unforeseen circumstances and with the holiday season around the corner, I didn’t know how I was going to buy Christmas presents for my children until my very own Santa showed up. One day while window shopping with my 4 month old son, a stranger walked up to me and began a conversation asking the usual baby questions like how old is he, will Santa be coming to see him, was he my only child, etc. After a few minutes of talking, he introduced himself as Ralph, and asked for help with shopping for for his grandkids since he didn't know what to buy. I agreed since I was only window shopping and didn’t have anywhere to be at the time, and because I had children close to the same age that he was looking for, I  figured I’d ... Read Full Story >>

16.8K Reads
  • Posted by 2zdrbz
  • Jul 27, 2010
  • 39 Comments
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Taking Off My Shoes

Today was a rainy day and I was walking down the street feeling blessed. I felt like doing something kind for someone else, almost as if I was trying to spread the abundance of love I was receiving. I suddenly saw this teenage girl dressed in tattered clothes, getting soaked and without any footwear. She was making her way through the dirty garbage and sewers, trying to pick something that would be of use. I immediately told her to wait for me there as I ran home to get her something.   Spontaneously, I took off my shoes, which I really love, wrapped them up in a plastic cover and gave it to the teenage girl on the street. The girl looked shocked as if she is so not used to this kind of kindness.  She almost couldn't believe it. A distinguished musician who lives down the street corner stopped his car to ... Read Full Story >>

6617 Reads

Carnations with a Smile at a Supermarket

Every since I was little I loved doing things for other people. As I got older I began doing random things for people. For example, during holidays, such as Christmas, I would make out an extra card along with the ones for my relatives. Then I would go and find someone in the grocery store and just hand it to them and walk away! It was so much fun. Although I admit, the first time I did it I was so nervous. I didn't know who to give the card to. So I said a little prayer and knew that the right person would just appear...about that time an elderly man ran into me with his shoppping cart!! It was an accident, and he apologized a million times! We smiled and he walked away, and I knew that he was the one! Later I found him in a different isle, ... Read Full Story >>

18.6K Reads
  • Posted by Kat C.
  • Mar 23, 2006
  • 38 Comments
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Two Women Who Taught Me Kindness

This is a story about a wonderful little snippet of life I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in. I write about it here, not to toot my own horn, but to give others an idea of how easy it is to perform a simple random act of kindness, and what a positive effect it can have. I was standing in line at our local Wal-Mart with one item in my hand at the express lance check out. The lady in front of me was a fragile looking senior citizen. Since I had been widowed fairly recently, and was still walking around in that pervasive fog that is a combination of ennui and sadness, I was so self-absorbed in my own little world of gloom that it wasn't really registering in my brain that the little old lady was having trouble getting her items out of her shopping cart ... Read Full Story >>

4864 Reads

True Story of A Grateful Whale

If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours ... Read Full Story >>

15.0K Reads

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

This story started many years ago, when I was in the 5th standard at primary school. I was at a girls' school and our teacher made all the girls in the class sit next to someone different everyday. It was great when you got to sit next to one of your dear friends, but very boring when you had to sit next to someone you didn’t like. I hated sitting next to Madhuri. I didn’t like her because she always fought with me.   On one of the days that my teacher had paired Madhuri and me to sit next to each other for the day, I noticed that she seemed very anxious. I asked her what was wrong. She wasn’t very forth coming to start with, but eventually, after for a long time she told me that she had two sisters and one younger brother in her family and that her father ... Read Full Story >>

57.7K Reads

The Wisdom of Old Ted

I placed Ted's ashes in the ocean and watched as they made a rainbow before dissolving into the sea. In my hand was an envelope with my name on it. I reflected on my friendship with Old Ted, over the past two years prior to his death. It was a sunny mid-day in Tucson. I had been attending a teaching and we were on lunch break. I was the first to arrive at the Furrs restaurant. I was getting out of my car when I saw him. An elderly man in his eighties, thin, tall, and walked with the gait of someone who knew how to put many miles behind them in a day. He came up to me and said, "I'm hungry can you feed me?" "Of course." I said. He looked me over, I was dressed in my red and yellow monks robes. "What are you?" he asked quite matter ... Read Full Story >>

11.0K Reads

The Best Way I Ever Spent $100

A few months ago I decided to take my daughter on a little fun weekend trip to Melbourne (Australia). We enjoyed a beautiful day at St Kilda beach and, after hours of walking around, decided to sit down on a bench near Lunar Park to have a little rest. We noticed a duffle bag behind a bush but there was no one around so we assumed it must have been stolen and dumped behind the bush. There were clothes, books, university documents and lots of other bits and pieces in the bag. We found a wallet with some cards and ID but no cash. The bag belonged to an 18-year-old girl. She had put a tag on her bag with her address and phone number on it, so I called to let the owner know I'd found her bag and arrange some way to return it to her. The girl's mother ... Read Full Story >>

7312 Reads
  • Posted by alluneedislove
  • Sep 10, 2009
  • 38 Comments
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Home Is Where The Heart Is - Even For The Homeless

About two weeks ago I saw a very sad, blue eyed, homeless man sitting outside my local coffee house. I said, "Hi. How are you doing today?"  He seemed shocked that I was talking to him. "Not very well," he replied. He proceeded to tell me how he had been hit by a car while riding his bike. He had been in the hospital for a month and a rest home for another month. During that time the person that paid for his SSI checks died of a heart attack and his wallet was stolen with all his IDs. He had several checks waiting for him but had no ID and therefore no access to his money.  I decided that if this was all true I'd like to help him get a copy of his birth certificate and social security card. I asked him to meet me at the Department of Vital ... Read Full Story >>

13.5K Reads

Tire-It-Forward

One of my friends, let's call him Jose, is one of those guys who doesn't even need to say anything and people will just feel comfortable in his presence. He is an amazingly compassionate guy, who will flat out tell you that his purpose in life is to bring more beauty on this planet. No, if's, and's, but's ... clear and simple, unwavering in his life mission. He doesn't need to convince anyone and he can't be swayed from it by anyone else. It's a funny story about how he learned his initial lesson of compassion.   He was madly in love with his high school sweet-heart for many years. He would do anything for her and she was the most important thing in the world to him. Until ... she left him oneday (perhaps she cheated on him before that). It hit him like a bucket of cold water. Never before had he ... Read Full Story >>

5818 Reads

Yogi on the Go

I struggle with money in that I don't have a lot of it. I hate how we are so dependent on it and yet we need it in order to survive - we need to pay rent, buy food, etc. It's a daily struggle, but we all have to do it. Before I went back to school I was living in Toronto as a waitress and yoga teacher and was making some decent money. My partner and I decided to start taking 10 per cent of our tips from waiting tables and giving it to people in need. I have numerous stories of how I saw this process of giving away larger quantities of money every month make shifts in people's lives.  Although the money was a sort of "bonus" to people, it was also recognition of THEIR struggle and a reminder that someone cared - even if it was a ... Read Full Story >>

5149 Reads

From a Flood to a Hug with Kindness

The late evening train from Glasgow was battling the worst of the winter weather and the driver was proceeding more on hope than anything. Weeks of rain had meant the line might or might not be flooded - and he wouldn't know until he got there! Well, it was flooded. So he backed up to the nearest station where we sat and waited for about half an hour with no one knowing what was going on. I didn't mind. I wasn't going home to anyone, I had music to listen to and it wouldn't be the first night I had slept on a train. But not everyone would be in that position. Then the lights went out. Still there was no announcement. We sat another half an hour then the driver announced he was taking the train back to Glasgow and anyone who didn't want to come with it should get out now.  ... Read Full Story >>

6597 Reads

My Best Friend Saved My Life

I met my best friend when I was fourteen. We were in ninth grade - goofy, awkward teenage girls.  We stayed close for many years and then back around 2001 we drifted apart. She and I didn’t really talk at all for about six years.    Then, at thirty-three years old, I found out that I had breast cancer. She came back into my life like a force of nature. She cleaned my home, cared for my child, and took care of me. She bathed me, clothed me, gave me my medicine, and found creative ways to make food more edible when my mouth was so devastated by chemo that I could barely swallow. She saved my life and, with no thought of reward or recognition, and she did it all while having a fulltime job as well as two kids and a husband to care for!    To this day she still won’t accept ... Read Full Story >>

23.6K Reads
  • Posted by enigma74
  • Feb 23, 2012
  • 37 Comments
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