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Family Hosts 200 Homeless People for Dinner After Daughter's Wedding Gets Called Off

When an engaged couple calls off the wedding, it is usually a time of sadness and anger. But one family in Atlanta found a way to turn a terrible situation into a beautiful one. Carol and Willie Fowler's daughter Tamara was set to get married at the Villa Christina catering hall, when the wedding was called off just 40 days before the event. Initially the Fowlers were upset to hear that the lavish gathering they had planned and paid for was not going to happen. Then they had a genius and generous idea: They invited 200 of the city's homeless to feast on the four-course meal that would have been part of Tamara's wedding reception. The Fowler family called Elizabeth Omilami from the Hosea Feed the Hungry organization for her help in getting the group together. At first Omilami thought she was being pranked! Carol Fowler said that even daughter Tamara ... Read Full Story >>

13.8K Reads

Mom's Dinners in Sierra Leone

When I was growing up in Sierra Leone, Sunday dinners were special. My mom would spend hours making delicious food for dinner and the mouth-watering aroma would fill the house.

In between games, my siblings and I would anxiously check the kitchen to see if dinner was ready. When dinner was done, my mom filled several baskets of food for various families in the neighborhood.

Of course, we wanted to eat first and then deliver the baskets. But my mom would gently insist that we first deliver the food and when we got back, we could all sit down and eat dinner. She pointed out that if we waited to deliver the food after we had dinner, the food we delivered would be cold.

In a simple way, she taught us that giving is not just for when it’s convenient.

2620 Reads

An Impromptu Wedding Present in Action

Two of my dear friends got married last Saturday, May 2nd -- a special date for the wonderful souls. But what it was even more special was their intention: "We would like our wedding, and in fact our entire marriage to be about creating more good in the world." When I got their *personalized* wedding invitation exuding love, creativity and inspiration, my heart was instantaneously filled with gratitude and joy. Circumstances didn't allow me to attend their wedding in person, but I tried to celebrate their union in a unique way. Ever since I received their invitation, two and half months ago, I thought about this wonderful couple -- every day, twice a day actually.  I thought of the fusion of these two beautiful hearts, and I sent along my secular blessings. (I guess I took the inscription on their wedding invite literally: "No gifts please - Your Blessings is our Gift"). That ... Read Full Story >>

6752 Reads

Morning Walk

It was a beautiful morning and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and go out for a walk.  I was feeling grateful for the fresh air, sun shining, and birds chirping and all of a sudden came across this sign on the sidewalk!  It said "good morning, go on an adventure, make a stranger smile".  

What a wonderful and unexpected message to read!  Random acts of kindness come in so many different shapes and forms, I'm scheming of how to pay it forward this week! 

4050 Reads
  • Posted by rachel lapierre
  • Jan 30, 2012
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Easter Kindness Amongst the HelpOthers Community

Some beautiful stories of Easter acts of kindness, as reported by Smile Group members of ... trionafaye shared: "Made some Easter sugar cookies. Shared them with the staff at the nursing home for the great care they provide for my mother but to offer them a little treat, as they have worked the Easter holiday." wooka85257 shared:"made my 93 year old mother an Easter basket and set it on her walker to find in the morning. She was like a little kid... exclaiming over all the chocolates and the goodies inside. Happy, happy!" HappinessCountsT shared:"Helped my mom to set up my little sisters princess Easter basket. I also gave her old pink Easter basket cause she's turning four years old on Tuesday" HappyDae shared:"Put a little Easter Basket of candy on the kitchen table with an "I love you" card for my sweet husband to find. He was so surprised...Big Smile!!" Jennypoo shared:"My son and I hid colorful plastic eggs filled ... Read Full Story >>

3520 Reads
  • Posted by Smile Groups
  • Apr 9, 2012
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Power of Flowers

While at the supermarket this morning, waiting on line to pay for my groceries, I noticed the flowers by the counter  (because of my DailyGood reminder which suggested buying flowers for the cashier!).   All of a sudden, I remembered that it had been months since I have been wanting to do something special for my downstairs neighbor who has climbed the stairs numerous times to let me know that I left my car lights on!   So I decided to buy her a bouquet of flowers to thank her, and bought a second one for myself.    As I got back home, I found the Waste Management truck in my parking spot, with the garbage man picking up the building's trash.  My first reaction was to feel annoyed that I had to wait till he was done before I could park and get upstairs (I was feeling hungry and looking forward ... Read Full Story >>

2214 Reads

Video: Are You Somebody's Favorite Person?

A subtle, poignant and charming film about the need for deeper connections in our lives.

If you ask yourself, are you somebody's favorite person, what would be your response?  Perhaps you can forward this video to your favorite person.

2895 Reads

Saga of a Blue Scarf

Last December, following the Friday night performance of our Winter Solstice Celebration, my wife Chez had gone to the Cathedral parking lot to get some gear before taking a taxi to our hotel. When I finally got to the hotel a couple of hours later, Chez realized she was missing a small bag and was sure she’d left it on the ground outside the car. So I said I’d go back and look for it.   It was quite a dark and wintry night, and when I arrived back at the Cathedral around 1:30am, the whole area was deserted. I found the all-night security guard and asked him to unlock the gate to the parking lot for me. We walked back to Amsterdam Ave. and up past the front of the Cathedral to the north lot entrance. We were about 50 yards into the lot when we heard a woman’s voice calling ... Read Full Story >>

2957 Reads
  • Posted by Paul Winter
  • Dec 21, 2011
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The Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2012

"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. " -- Dalai Lama  Ever year, we are amazed by every-day stories of kindness, compassion, warmth, and love that fills this space with inspiration and hope.  We are grateful for having such an amazing community to grow together with and spread ripples of kindness throughout the world.  Here are the top 10 stories of 2012!   My Sneaky Mirror of Kindness  High school is always full of girls who have little self-confidence and lots of negative thoughts relating to self-image. so, one lunch break, I did something to help! With the help of some friends I made a giant love heart on the girl's bathroom mirror!  It was made out of love heart shaped sticky notes with kind messages on each of them. The school was buzzing with chatter about the "Love Heart ... Read Full Story >>

33.9K Reads

1,000 Crisp Mohandases

It was late one night when I got an email from the states. It was my friend John who, as usual, had an idea. This one was about the power of connectedness. John was taken with the notion that he could, by sitting at his computer, with only a few small movements of his fingers, could affect change on the other side of the world. “In ten seconds,” he wrote, “I sent an email to my friend in Boston, asking him to go down to the street and give a watermelon to the first person he saw. And he did.” John, of course, wanted to illustrate the power of connectivity with a more compassionate experiment. “Please go find a needy person and give them $20 [1,000 Indian rupees, at the time]. If you can, try to see how it changes their life and let me know.” On our last afternoon in Ahmedabad, ... Read Full Story >>

2857 Reads

Scientific Research on Kindness

Heather asks, "A friend mentioned to me that research shows that a certain number of acts of kindess a week "sticks"--creates the positive habit. Do you know of this, or similar, research?" So we thought we'd compile some useful resources for Heather and the rest of you, thanks to our friends at DailyGood. Altruism: a Neural Kick from Within: What motivates people to act anonymously kind? Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, wanted to find exactly that -- the neural basis for unselfish acts. So they decided to peek into the brains of 19 volunteers who were choosing whether to give money to charity, or keep it for themselves. They found that the part of the brain that was active when a person donated happened to be the brain's reward center -- the mesolimbic pathway -- responsible for doling out the ... Read Full Story >>

2984 Reads
  • Posted by Smile Team
  • Jun 27, 2007
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Dallas Cowboy's Gift to a Homeless Man

The Dallas Morning News reported a heartwarming story today, for all of us sports fans: A homeless man who goes by Doc was cashing in change at a Cinemark Theatre in Dallas when a guy walked up and offered to pay his way into the movie. He planned to spend his day passing out fliers and accepted a rain check before realizing that he recognized the generous gentleman. "Was that Tony Romo?" Doc asked the worker behind the counter. It sure was. Doc, who requested that his real name not be used, hustled across the street to the consignment store that paid him to occasionally pass out fliers and requested the day off. By the time he got back to the theater, Role Model had already started. Romo, who confirmed the story but didn't want to elaborate, waved Doc over to sit by him and his friend. Doc sheepishly mentioned that he hadn't showered ... Read Full Story >>

15.9K Reads
  • Posted by doubleA
  • Nov 24, 2008
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This I Believe, Robert Heinlein

This article has been taken offline by the request of Trustee of the Heinlein Prize Trust regarding infringement of a copyright.

3286 Reads
  • Posted by hopeful
  • Dec 23, 2008
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Family with Epileptic Son Touched After Stranger Pays For Dinner

A North Carolina family with an epileptic child was given a touching gift on Friday when an anonymous stranger paid for their dinner at a restaurant, leaving them a note that is, not surprisingly, going viral online. The note read: "God only gives special children to special people." The message was delivered to Ashley England and her family, including her 8-year-old son, Riley, at the Stag-N-Doe pizza restaurant in China Grove, N.C., on Friday by a waitress. "I'll try to do this without crying," the waitress told the family, according to "But another customer has paid for your bill tonight and wanted me to give you this note." England said Riley, who is nonverbal, gets frustrated because he can't speak, and he had been especially rowdy during the meal. "He threw the phone and started screaming," England told WBTV. "The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us, especially with public ... Read Full Story >>

2693 Reads
  • Posted by Good News
  • Sep 5, 2013
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The Mani Man

A prayer wheel, or mani wheel, is a wheel filled with innumerable mantras and inscriptions wrapped clockwise around a central axis. Some prayer wheels are tiny, like tops; others are huge, filling an entire room, and one turns the wheel by holding its handles and walking clockwise around it. Others are attached to running streams or waterfalls so that they can harness the natural energy and spread benedictions throughout the land. The faithful believe that spinning these prayer wheels or hanging prayer flags in the wind actualizes the inscribed prayers. The Tibetan province of Kham is akin to America’s Wild West. The people of Kham are great equestrians, and like all who ride regularly, they love their horses.  Until about a century ago, Kham was carved into dozens of smaller kingdoms, each of which had its own army, raised by forcible conscription. There was once an old man in far eastern Kham ... Read Full Story >>

8045 Reads
  • Posted by Santosh
  • Dec 9, 2007
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Archive of Kindness Quotations

Here are some quotations archived from the weekly newsletters on this site: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." --Edward Hale Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. --Barbara De Angelis Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. --Albert Schweitzer Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. --Scott Adams Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that has. --Margaret Mead Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. --Eric ... Read Full Story >>

2604 Reads

In Giving I Connect with Others

I have lived with passion and in a hurry, trying to accomplish too many things. I never had time to think about my beliefs until my 28-year-old daughter Paula fell ill. She was in a coma for a year and I took care of her at home, until she died in my arms in December of 1992. During that year of agony and the following year of my grieving, everything stopped for me. There was nothing to do -- just cry and remember. However, that year also gave an opportunity to reflect upon my journey and the principles that hold me together. I discovered that there is consistency in my beliefs, my writing and the way I lead my life. I have not changed, I am still the same girl I was fifty years ago, and the same young woman I was in the seventies. I still lust for life, I ... Read Full Story >>

2673 Reads

How to be a Kick-Butt Volunteer

A volunteer, by definition, serves and improves our community. But a little birdie once told me there are some volunteers who prefer to laze around and play Candy Land instead of getting any real work done. I assume these people believe that since they are volunteering, they are automatically helping and consequently forget to put genuine sweat into their work.  Is it possible to have your peacock feathers a bit too fully displayed and misdirect your admirable intentions? I posed the following questions to a bunch of my cronies who have years of experience in the nonprofit sector: What makes a first-rate volunteer? What makes a helplessly high-maintenance volunteer? How can a person become a super-hero volunteer? Listen to the following advice of my friends. I’ll be bold enough to guarantee that my grass-roots amigos can steer you down the most direct boulevard to becoming a kick-butt volunteer. Jennifer Beahrs, a ... Read Full Story >>

2512 Reads
  • Posted by Shyla Batliwalla
  • Aug 13, 2008
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A California Town Turns Strangers Into Friends

California town decides to put kindness on the agenda By Susan Herendeen Wednesday, April 22, 2009 WATERFORD, Calif. — This little town in eastern Stanislaus County may be known for the orchards and dairies that dot its rolling hills, but this week city officials are reminding the 8,100 residents to pass on some good cheer by doing something thoughtful for a stranger, mentoring a youngster or simply being a good neighbor. Thanks to a push from the Waterford Ministerial Association, the city has declared "Random Acts of Kindness" week, which began Sunday and ends Saturday, at the close of a community clean-up day. City leaders may not find a cure for the ills of modern life, like road rage or bullying or the angry remarks that can demoralize a community. But they hope to remind people that kindness can turn strangers into friends. "It's a goodwill kind of thing, to draw attention to the fact ... Read Full Story >>

3223 Reads
  • Posted by Susan Herendeen
  • May 20, 2009
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Grandma's Ice-Cream

My mother and grandmother were incredibly generous, giving, and loving people.  I think that love and giving go hand in hand.

I remember when I was a little girl there were children over playing at my house. We were out in the yard and there used to be ice cream trucks and their bell would be ringing, calling in the children everywhere, the ice cream man is here! I went running back in the house. I guess ice cream was probably about a nickel, and there were fifteen children on my front porch. There were always a lot of children around there.

My grandmother would give everybody a nickel to go buy ice cream, and if she did not have enough nickels for all the children, then I didn’t get an ice cream either.

2779 Reads
  • Posted by Patricia
  • Jan 28, 2007
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