It was 8.30 am on Sunday morning. I woke up exhausted from a very hectic weekend, but had a smile on my face at the thought of our first London Smile Card Activity! The weather was brilliant, it was going to be a fantastic day! I grabbed my batch of cupcakes which I had made the day before...this was my first attempt at baking, and my husband warned me that taking on this feat of making 50 cupcakes for a public audience was overly ambitious. I bought a box of pre-made cupcake mix in trepidation, but decided the day before that I wasn't going to use it. I was going to do it from scratch, and do it with a heart full of love because that was the only way. After burning the first 3 batches, I started getting the hang of it...process of trial and error seemed to be ... Read Full Story >>
The maid at the Kingsgate Hotel off Salam Street in Abu Dhabi had outdone even my mother. Every article of clothing had either been placed on a coat hanger or folded neatly, even the socks. The disposable razors and washing gels were lined up like toy soldiers, waiting to do battle. I thanked Agnes profusely, gave her a generous tip and went about my day. Late that evening, when I returned from work, a shiny new alarm clock was on the bedside table. As I had occasionally asked the maid for the time of day, I knew right away what had happened. She had used some of the money I had given her – money she certainly needed for herself or her family back home in the Philippines – and bought the clock. As I hope anyone would have done, I told her she was too kind and returned the ... Read Full Story >>
I recently received a Smile Deck, and decided to do a challenge, by drawing one card randomly every day! Here were my opportunities for smiles this week ... 7 ♣ - Thurs. Sent encouraging notes to family members who are far away A - Fri. Gave hugs to first five people I saw in the morning. They were exercising in the park. I announced my mission – to give hugs – and was enthusiastically accepted by 4, somewhat reluctantly by one. 6 ♣ - Sat. Made a lunch for my husband and included a written note with a joke in it. 9 ♣ - Sun. Put on a vintage “Sun, Wind & Fire” video for my husband & did a little joy dance to this fine disco music. 8 ♣ - Mon. Did a chore for a neighbor .Took out & carefully folded his dried laundry in our apartment laundry area. 9 - Tues. Donated a favorite recipe ... Read Full Story >>
When I take my daily walk, I say good morning to each person I pass on the trail. And when a bicycler comes up from behind and says, 'On your left', I always say thank you. Kindness becomes a habit." - - "When my daughter and I traveled home on Christmas Day one year, we made a small gesture that still makes me smile. We had wrapped Pez dispensers as a small gift for her 8 cousins. When my sister-in-law gave them all large gifts, we decided not to mention our little stocking stuffers. Instead, on the way back home, we gave one to each toll-worker we encountered. "Merry Christmas. Sorry you had to work today!" we said. We got smiles and waves and some even leaned out of their booths to watch us leave. That Christmas was a strange one, but those smiles and waves made it a holiday. Its not ... Read Full Story >>
Happy weekend, RAOKtivists! It's Kindness Ninja Saturday!! My sweet class of 23 second graders absolutely love sneaking out of our classroom and performing acts of kindness. We call ourselves the Kindness Classroom and we are Kindness Ninjas! The Kindness Ninjas' favorite RAOK was hiding bottles of bubbles around the playgrounds.
The past two Fridays, the Kindness Ninjas have made positive post-it notes for their friends as well as for some anonymous recipients. A big ninja snuck around after school and put some of these on teachers' classroom doors!
So....take it from the Kindness Ninjas...
Be kind. Be nice. Be sweet. And, never forget that together we can be the change we wish to see in the world!
"Kindness, I've discovered, is everything in life." - Isaac Singer Sometimes, all it takes is a small reminder to open our eyes to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. Lucky for us, we get those reminders every day! For the last 365 days, we have been inspired by innumerable acts of kindness that have touched the lives of thousands of people all over the world. The following stories are some of our favorites from this year. Enjoy! 3,762 Miles Walked and 100 Tons of Trash On an unassuming weekday evening, Jane was at home… as usual. As her thoughts swung between what she was going to do with her life and their dinner plans for the evening, she was unexpectedly interrupted by an urgent call from her sister “get over here! Turn on NBC and check these guys out, they are just like you…” One facebook message and a phone interview later, ... Read Full Story >>
August 19, 2009 -- LONDON (Reuters) - Visitors to London always have to be on the look out for pickpockets, but now there's another, more positive phenomenon on the loose -- putpockets. Aware that people are suffering in the economic crisis, 20 former pickpockets have turned over a new leaf and are now trawling London's tourist sites slipping money back into unsuspecting pockets. Anything from 5 pounds ($8) to 20 pound notes is being surreptitiously deposited in unguarded pockets or open handbags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and other busy spots. The initiative, which runs until the end of August in London before being rolled out countrywide, is being funded by a broadbrand provider, which says it wants to brighten up people's lives in unusual ways. "It feels good to give something back for a change -- and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate," said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket who ... Read Full Story >>
So I am on the way to an appointment, and while I am not late yet, I don't have much time to spare. I drive up Henley Road (always careful to observe the speed limit, of course), and I approach that nasty, blind S-curve just south of U.S. 40. Ahead looms a garbage truck. Uh-oh. By their nature, garbage trucks progress slowly -- house by house by house. Passing a truck on that nasty, blind S-curve is foolish. I prepare for an impatient crawl through the curve and up to the stoplight. I see a hand hanging out the side of the truck. The hand is motioning. The hand is waving. The hand is motioning and waving for me to keep moving and go around the truck. I have the reflexes of Uwe Blab, but I finally pull out and around, pass the truck, reach U.S. 40, make it to my ... Read Full Story >>
Ethan is six and three quarters and Emily just turned seven, and they are best friends. Their pre-school teacher, Kathleen Albert, has been teaching them about kindness. So, for their graduation project, Ethan and Emily decided to raise money to help feed hungry people by collecting cans. When they were done, they had raised 5,304 dollars for the San Francisco Food Bank - enough money for 15,912 meals!
I decided to add some positive energy into my workspace by having the students contribute to a "question of the month." I posted a question on the wall outside my office at my elementary school and waited. Eventually, I started seeing some amazing ideas and answers to the questions. Here are some of the responses throughout the year. It was heart-warming and yet sad to me how some of the expressions are things many of us take for granted... If you had a million dollars what would you do with it and why? - I would give back to my city. So I could fix it up - I would buy food for my family and a car - I would give to foster children, homeless and everybody who needs it...yah, my family - I would give it to the school: books, pencils, better food - I would give back to the community, give some to ... Read Full Story >>
"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to loose without regret, how to acquire without meanness." - George Sand Thank you, KindSpring community for who you are and all that you do. We are grateful for your presence, inspiration, and beauty that you constantly spread throughout the world, one small act of kindness at a time. We hope that you enjoy the Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2013! When I Hugged a Homeless Person I spent most of my early adult life looking through them. I was busy. I was working. I was raising a family and running errands. I had things to do. If you didn't look at them they weren't there, right? You know, those bedraggled looking people on the corner with a sign in their hand. I only wanted the light to turn green fast enough so that I wouldn't have to keep ... Read Full Story >>
10 Simple, Inspirational Ways of Thinking About Life The poet William Blake once wrote that “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is– infinite.” Our outlook determines our worldview – and when we choose to view and think about life positively, we discover possibilities we previously might have missed. It only takes a small reminder to open our eyes to the wonder of each day on our planet – and with that thought in mind, here are ten simple reminders to live with happiness and peace during all seasons of life. 1. The best things in life aren’t things. The best things are the people, the places, and the memories we encounter on our journey. 2. Our actions might be the only inspiration for someone today. One small gesture of kindness can create a world of difference for another person. 3. A ship is safe in harbor… but that’s ... Read Full Story >>
Anna, a beautiful soul in Delhi writes about an encounter with a Saeed Ji - a man who lives on the street, but blessed with a heart of gold. At first sight he was almost invisible, curled into a spot between the black painted railings that fronted the tomb and the trunk of a low hanging Ashoka tree. Most mornings he was to be found here, wrapped in a long black anorak, knees pulled to his chest as he looked into the distance. There was something captivating about him: an unmistakable sense of dignity, yet a sadness too. "Society today is destroyed. They say it’s developed, but we don’t care about each other. A lot of people see me and probably think: 'He’s just a footpath man, or a beggar, why should I talk to him?' But society has it wrong. We need more insaniyat, more humanship — 'humanity', as you say. ... Read Full Story >>
It’s past eight in the evening when I came out of the mall and it began to drizzle. I continued walking as I needed to cross the highway to board a bus. A few minutes later, the rain poured a little harder. I walked fast and put the brown envelope on top of my head to protect it from the rain. Then the rain drops became bigger. I walked even faster and held onto the envelope, though I knew I’d get wet sooner before I reach the bus. But suddenly, I heard someone calling me from behind. “Miss,” she said and motioned to share her umbrella with me. “Thank you,” I replied and was silent for a few seconds, surprised by such act of kindness from a stranger. “What’s your name,” I asked so I could acknowledge her. “Diane,” she replied. I told her that she was so kind. She just smiled. Then I asked ... Read Full Story >>
I entered medical school in 1967 to use medicine as a vehicle for social change. I used my free time to study the history of health care delivery around the world and to look at contemporary models with the idea of creating a medical model that would address all the problems of the way care is delivered. I didn't intend to create a model that would be the answer to the problems; but to model creative problem solving, and to spark each medical facility to design their own ideal rather than succumb to the garbage of managed care, or a resignation to the impossibility of humanistic care. Beginning in the climate of the political "war on poverty," I felt confident that a free hospital to serve the poorest state, West Virginia, would find easy funding and that we would be built in four years. I smile writing this as we ... Read Full Story >>
It was the early 1990s. During the bleak years of the Bosnian war, the Serbian Army surrounded the city seeking it's surrender and the expulsion of all non-Serbians. The residents, with a minimal volunteer and civilian militia, were unorganized but mounted a spectacularly brave defense. From around the world, many people converged to help them. It was an almost magnetic pull to serve a valiant and vulnerable expression of our human experience. I was one amongst those who came. Fueled by Hemingway and feeling much like the Spanish Civil War, international brigade volunteers were driving ambulances around town. And yet it was resident foreigners who were causing the most distress in their hurry to leave the besieged city. The strong passports allowed most to escape the darkest days, and to sojourn on the Dalmation coast filling their memoirs with a few notes, before going home. A few of us, though, stayed during ... Read Full Story >>
It was in the early 1970s that I was employed by Rockwell in Downey on the space shuttle program. The pressure to produce was intense with constant demands to meet schedules with teams of people of disparate skills and motivation. I had been involved in the Gurdjieff work for a short time and was beginning to experience a bit of the calm that comes from the meditation practice. At lunch time, my habit was to walk around the area adjacent to the test facility. One day while so occupied, I came across a small strip mall that had a space rented to a branch of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation organization. Having a bit of curiosity about the technique, I entered the facility and spoke with a pleasant and slightly plump young woman who appeared to be quite calm. Although it was not my interest to sign up for the courses ... Read Full Story >>
When I first heard about Smile Cards through my pseudo room-mate, I thought it was a brilliantly novel idea - making someone smile and then asking them to do the same for one more person. I tried tagging some people with the cards and only then realised that it is tougher for us by nature to really do something nice. But then once you start, our own expectation rises and what we would have considered nice early on would then become a norm, and thus challenging oneself to go beyond that. I then got the opportunity to ship these Smile Cards to other people like me who wanted to share the smiles. I thought this would be great to do because not only was I 'volunteering' my time, I was also helping make a difference without leaving the confines of my four walls, and so I jumped on the idea. ... Read Full Story >>
In a Chinese modern dance competition on TV one very unique couple won one of the top prizes. The lady, in her 30's, was a dancer who had trained since she was a little girl. Later in life, she lost her entire left arm in an accident and fell into a state of depression for a few years. Someone then asked her to coach a children's dancing group. From that point on, she realized that she could not forget dancing. She still loved to dance and wanted to dance again. So, she started to do some of her old routines, but, having lost her arm, she had also lost her balance. It took a while before she could even make simple turns and spins without falling. Then she heard of a man in his 20s who had lost a leg in an accident. He had also fallen into the usual denial, depression ... Read Full Story >>
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the ... Read Full Story >>