This may seem a small thing, but to me, at the time, it meant everything. I had been downtown with a job counselor who was helping me choose an interview outfit. Part of this program, that helps people with disabilities get jobs, was a clothing voucher. So my counselor and I headed to a store, parked in the garage and got our parking stickers stamped with the time we thought we needed. Well, you put 2 women picking out clothes with a strict budget and that too, during a sale ... and what you get is "overtime". My counselor left just before me, so when I went to leave, sure enough, I had overstayed the time allowed by the stamped ticket, and owed $3.00. I had no cash with me, as I had forgotten to grab some change before leaving, and was otherwise broke and overdrawn at the bank. So while three dollar ... Read Full Story >>
On a recent Sunday morning, my daughter and I went the the local bagel shop for a treat. Upon leaving, we saw a wallet on the ground. I picked it up, and figured out how to contact the owner. My daughter wondered if we’d get a reward, and I said it was just right to return the wallet and that we shouldn’t return it expecting a reward. We returned the wallet, and the person was grateful, leaving a wonderful halloween pumpkin on our porch. Only 5 days later, I took a business trip and had a very pleasant cab ride with a cab rider whose home country is very distant from ours. We talked of our cultures, sharing our common experiences in our different worlds. We talked of how difficult being a cab driver has become with the slowing economy. I tipped more than usual, just seemed like the right thing ... Read Full Story >>
In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. On the way, imagine you encounter a tiny, cardboard skinned robot making its own way down the streets of New York City, asking for help. Would you help this lost little robot? Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal. Given their extreme vulnerability and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. I set out on the first test with a video ... Read Full Story >>
For Brian Tapp, not even having a horror day could overcome his bowerbird instincts. Driving along Alison Road in Randwick last month, the 59-year-old florist was contemplating failure: evicted from his Clovelly shopfront that morning, he was transferring some effects to his base in Kingsford. As he passed the entrance to Randwick Racecourse, Mr Tapp noticed something on the road. He pulled over. It was 10.15am. His day was about to change. Adam Morison's day was about to change too, but he didn't know it yet. If anyone in eastern Sydney was feeling worse than Mr Tapp it was Mr Morison, who had arrived at Sydney Airport at 10am for a noon flight to Bali. As he got out of his car, he went into a panic: he did not have his wallet, his passport, his money or his itinerary. "I was gutted," he said. "The surfing holiday was over ... Read Full Story >>
The other day, I decided to come home early because it was such a beautiful day. The kids were outside playing in my apartment complex and the ice cream truck was whistling its tune. As I drove slowly to avoid an accident, I noticed a little boy looking at the ice cream truck. He didn’t get anything and he walked away with a disappointed look on his face. I asked the ice cream guy what happened and he said the little boy had no money. I had no cash on me so I drove to my building and went upstairs to look for some cash. When I found it the ice cream guy was still waiting but the little boy was not. I went in the direction I thought he might have gone and I saw a woman getting out of her vehicle. I asked her if she had a little boy ... Read Full Story >>
"Conduct Your Blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind." Strange message in a stranger place. I don’t know who said it, but this pronouncement suddenly appeared on a huge wall of the 59th St. subway tunnel connecting the Lexington Avenue trains to the N and R lines. For many months I’d passed the area, which was roped off and covered over with heavy paper - reconstruction in progress. What else is new in NYC! Then one fine day the plastic barrier was cut and the brown paper pulled down. There, gleaming in vivid colors, was a giant mosaic mural with a great scroll of a message running through it in a waving line that ran up and down from ceiling to floor and back. You probably don’t think of the subway as a provider of uplifting impressions, but those of us who use it every day have got used to ... Read Full Story >>
Pay It Forward Day has come and gone, but one New York City metro rider is keeping its spirit alive. The anonymous do-gooder left a sweet note along with a prepaid unlimited metro card for another rider to find, use and pass on. New Yorker Michelle Attardo spotted the card on 2nd Avenue between 88th and 89th and took a photo, which she shared on Instagram. The note reads: Unlimited - good 'til midnight. Use, if you can; leave for someone else when you're done. We love everything about this note, right down to its impeccable semicolon and apostrophe usage. Whoever you are, thanks for making our day -- and someone's night! ... Read Full Story >>
Today I had the thrill of giving someone the shirt off my back! For the past four days I have been participating in a disability arts festival as a member of a choir set up specifically to perform at this festival. Yesterday, after our performance, I was feeling a bit sad thinking that this might be the last time I would sing with this amazing group of people. I was putting on an oversize, custom-made, raw silk shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons that I have been enjoying wearing when it occurred to me to give the shirt to the first person who said they liked it. After our performance, as choir members were winding down and changing, the director of the procession said she loved my shirt. So, I happily took if off and gave it to her. She immediately put it on, saying, "Can I give you some money for it?" and "Why ... Read Full Story >>
I went along with the Kindness Suggestion today and gave someone a surprise treat!
I stopped at Starbucks, bought a $5 gift card and asked the barista to use it on whoever came in next.
I was still waiting for my drink when the next customer arrived. The gentleman thanked me so much for the card and said nothing like that had ever happened to him before. He was so thankful!
He thanked me again as I left, and said, "God bless."
Walking to the elevated railway I passed a man in a doorway holding a sign asking for money for food. I smiled at him and wished him a good day.
As I got closer to the train station I saw a man selling fruit. So I bought a bag and walked it back to the hungry man in the doorway.
I didn't know about this website then. It's just the way I operate. I am deeply grateful for the love, joy, and happiness in my life and I give it back every chance I get.
Sometimes it's a smile or a compliment but I am always trying to put it out there in return. It's the best!
There is a crew of street children I'm friends with, and they hang out [read: routinely beg] right outside the McDonald's across my school. I pass them all the time, but I've never given them food or money, just company. Today, on a whim, I withdrew more money than usual with my scholar's cash card [I just got transportation allowance from the school this September]. Incidentally, the crew was complete when I passed by McDonald's. I wasn't even thinking of Day 1's Challenge, but there you go. God works in mysterious ways! The kids were indeed surprised and delighted to know that I was actually treating them to a legitimate meal this time. They enjoyed being able to step inside the restaurant [when the security guard would come close, I made it clear that they were with me] and order for themselves. I bought each of them 1-piece Chicken Mcdo, a regular ... Read Full Story >>
I found myself in the city for work today. On my lunch break I decided to walk around the public gardens. It was one of those unusually warm September days, 90+ degrees and humid, but it felt good after being in the air-conditioning all morning. That is until I walked past two individuals, sweaty and asleep, on a park bench together. What appeared to be all their belongings were in a few bags scattered around them. I continued walking but kept thinking about the pair on the bench. So, I went to Starbucks and purchased five bottles of cold water. Then I returned to the park. First stop was the couple on the bench. I woke the gentleman up and asked if they were ok. Sleepily, he assured me they were fine, but he gratefully accepted two bottles of water. The third bottle went to a man playing his violin by the remembrance garden. ... Read Full Story >>
I went to University in Canada (from UK) for one term and made a really good friend who was from Burkina Faso.
I would otherwise not really have had the chance to meet someone like her. We stayed in touch for a while but as we haven't met since, our contact has fizzled.
So I emailed her today to tell her how glad I was that we met, and to thank her for the footprint she left on my heart.
Thank you, KindSpring for giving me ideas such as these, it's already spreading beautiful moments within, and to others.
I took some time this morning to write a gratitude mind map.
As I continued to add items, I found my fingers almost couldn't keep pace with all things I tried to write. I sent emails to a few people on the map to tell them how much I appreciate them!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward
An old man was seated in the train with his 25 years old son. As train started the young man was filled with lot of joy and curiosity. He was seated on the window side. He stuck out one hand to feel the passing air. He shouted, "Papa see all the trees are going behind". Old man smiled and admired son's emotions. There was a couple who were seated beside the young man. They were just sitting and listing to the conversation between the father and son. They probably thought it was a little awkward, observing that the 25 years old man was behaving like a small child. Suddenly young man again shouted, "Papa see the pond and animals. Clouds are moving with the train". The couple was watching the young man visibly embarrassed of his behavior. Now it started raining and some of water drops touched the young man's hand. He was filled with even ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday morning, I spent a glorious few hours with a group of close friends. We were sitting down in a cozy corner of the cafe, sipping on delicious coffee and catching up on the past year. As we were leaving, one friend found a beautiful blue oragami paper crane, casually perched on top of the mantle of a fire place. Attached to the paper crane was along a lovely quote that read, "You don't need to know. Life wouldn't be this grand adventure if you knew what was coming. Love the mystery." Later, we discovered another piece of paper that shared the story of the paper cranes. It read... "On Valentine's Day of 2011, I came home to find a beautiful mass of moving color. My ex-boyfriend had folded 1000 paper cranes and hung them on my porch. He left a note saying if I made a wish, it would be ... Read Full Story >>
"Life is easy" says Jon Jandai. "Why do we have to make it so difficult?" After pursuing "success" in Bangkok for several years, Jo dropped out of university to return to village life.
There, he went back to the life he knew as a child, working 2 months of the year to grow rice (with an additional 15 minutes a day to grow vegetables), dug a couple of fish ponds, built his own homes using earthen bricks, and gave up buying clothes (he has so many clothes from friends and visitors that he has to give them away).
Jon contends that to be happy, we cannot just rely on money; we have to reconnect with each other.
Check out this inspiring video to hear more about Jon's amazing story!
Today I'm grateful for the joy and grace of the children at Los Angellitos orphanage in the Tijuana area of Mexico.
I go with a bus load of volunteers from Corazon de Vida foundation to spend the day every now and then. We bring them art projects, balls, balloons, a special pizza lunch, and most of all, one on one attention. In return they give us unconditional love and teach us to be grateful for the simple joys of giving and receiving.
I took my elderly neighbor to get her State ID today and then took her on the errands she needed to do. She has a daughter that lives only 4 miles away, but she doesn't drive due to a car accident. This was our second trip to the DMV/Secretary of State because the first time she didn't have everything she needed.
Years ago a college friend and I set out across the US on a post-college adventure. Our vehicle broke-down in New London, Ontario, Canada on a Sunday afternoon.
We were towed to a garage where we spent the night sleeping in the van waiting for the owner to open the next morning. We left the van to be repaired and set out raising money working odd jobs throughout the day.
When we returned the mechanic had finished the work, but the job cost $100 more than we had earned that day. Tired and now more than a little disconsolate, we decided to ask the mechanic if we could send him the remainder of the money from our destination in Boston, MA.
To our surprise and relief he agreed. When we arrived in Boston three days later, we immediately sent the balance to him as well as a note of great appreciation for the trust he shared with two, young strangers.