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It Started At A Bagel Shop

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 >>

4369 Reads
  • Posted by JZ
  • Nov 27, 2008
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You Can Be My Neighbor Just As You Are

As a youngster, there was nothing I liked better than Sunday afternoons at my grandfather's farm in western Pennsylvania. Surrounded by miles of winding stone walls, the house and barn provided endless hours of fun for a city kid like me. I was used to neat-as-a-pin parlors that seemed to whisper, “Not to be touched!” I can still remember one afternoon when I was eight years old. Since my first visit to the farm, I'd wanted more than anything to be allowed to climb the stone walls surrounding the property. My parents would never approve. The walls were old. Some stones were missing, and others were loose and crumbling. Still, my yearning to scramble across those walls grew so strong that finally, one spring afternoon, I summoned all my courage and entered the living room, where the adults had gathered after Sunday dinner. “I, uh. I wanna climb the stone walls,” I said hesitantly. Everyone ... Read Full Story >>

3506 Reads

An Unexpected Gesture Helps Us Find Our Way and Makes Our Day

On a hot summer day, a  friend and I decided to go to the forest for a walk.  We walked around for a while, and then realised that we should probably pay attention to where we're going so we wouldn't get lost.  We noticed a marked trail and remembered that the trail started where we parked our car, so we started following it, only after two hours...we realised we were just looping around, and the part of the trail that was supposed to take us back to the car seemed nowhere to be found! So we diverted from the marked path, in hopes of finding our way back. We found a cycling path and followed it to a parking lot. Sadly it was not our parking lot! A map at that parking lot showed us where all the other parking lots were...and we noticed we were a long way from ... Read Full Story >>

2611 Reads

Helping With My Heart

I was walking down a busy shopping intersection when a large family stopped me, asking if I knew how to speak Hindi (an Indian language). Most people in my city don't know how to speak Hindi and I cant speak it very well. However, I can understand it and spoke whatever broken Hindi I could with them.

The family consisted of a lady and her husband, their two children and two elder parents. The lady said that their luggage was stolen while they were on the train from their village to the city. She said it contained most of their money and they were all very hungry she asked me if I could spare some money.

In my city we need to be careful of impersonators asking for money but something in my heart told me this was genuine, especially since it was an entire family.  I was moved by seeing the sweet, expectant faces of her children.

I gave her everything in my wallet except for the money I needed to get back home, giving her information about the railway police and places to eat.

The family walked away, and I went on my way feeling glad that I listened to my heart.

3964 Reads

Building A Cultural Bridge

When my son was young, we earned a very low income and were living in one of the housing projects in Queens, NY. Having Spanish was his first language, but through attending nursery school, my son was already bilingual.

We were at a health clinic waiting our turn one day, when one of the nurses asked out loud "is there anyone here who could translate from Spanish?" Immediately my son called out raising his hand "I can". I took him into the doctor's office and both he and I helped a Spanish speaking woman to communicate with her physician.

This small act from him many years ago, has been a mirror for me to try to become a bridge between cultures. I now live in an area of Ecuador where there are many English speakers living among the Ecuadorians who speak only Spanish. I have been translating public meetings, without charge, so that bridges may be built among all of us by getting to know one another as individual persons, and so that  a community spirit may grow.

2666 Reads

Learning How To Really Smile

Have you ever considered what it would be like to not be able to smile? I hadn't, up until a few months ago, when I found that I actually couldn't. Well, that is exaggerating it a little bit... Technically I could smile, but only with one side of my face! I went to the doctor, and was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy-A relatively unknown condition that paralyses one half of the face. As you could imagine, this was quite a shock to me, and made me very upset. Although this was a major bomb that was dropped on my life, this story is not about how hard life is, but how awesome it is when God challenges you in different ways. Anyway, so smiling is a part of everyday life for me. It is my way of greeting people, of laughing, silent communication (hehe) and consolidation. "Losing" half my face (temporarily) caused me ... Read Full Story >>

2544 Reads
  • Posted by Jump4Joy
  • May 7, 2010
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Kindness Karma on a Nightshift at the Hospital

I was working a nightshift at the hospital one day, and usually there are only four staff working during the night .  Fortunately, I was working with my mates that night -- all except one colleague who I didn't get along with mainly because he's always been EXTRA nice to me, which creeped me out.   A few days prior he had done something I didn't like and I had slapped him, which I later thought was a bit over the top, for me. Anyways, I had decided that no matter what, I would do my best to be nice to him from now on. So this night, we all decided to have Subway sandwiches for dinner and I took down everyone's order to go and get it.  But, before I left I couldn't find that one colleague of mine, who I didn't get along with, to take his order. When I got to Subway, I figured this was my chance to ... Read Full Story >>

2031 Reads

An Opportunity to be a Good Samaritan

I was on my way home one evening when I saw someone walking on the side of the street.  I recognized him as one of the people that works at one of my favourite resturants.  I pulled over and offered him a ride home.  He said that would be great and got in.  

His truck had broken down earlier in the day and he could not find anyone to help him get it started so he started walking home.  He had been walking for hours by the time I got to him and was exhausted. I took him about 10 miles the other way to his house. 

He thanked me many times and said he would get me some free food next time I was at the restaurant but I refused and said that wasn't necessary. 

2085 Reads

An Example in Kindness From a Sister

I don’t have to travel far to find someone whom I greatly admire as a fountain of compassion and kindness.  She's the kind of person who would give someone the shirt off her back or the car that she drives.  My sister, Cindy, actually did give away her family van (a second car) to a young man who was struggling financially and needed transportation to get to his job.  That’s just one of the generous acts that has caught my eye and softened my heart.  She also helps countless families with food and clothing donations. During the Christmas holidays, she and her family of daughters and grandkids pile in the car for a giving extravaganza. Over the years, many homeless people have benefitted from a pair of gloves, a hot meal and more as Cindy and her clan make stops along their goodwill route.   It's really amazing. There are many, many acts of generosity that ... Read Full Story >>

2704 Reads

Spring Flowers Just When They Are Needed

Is it possible that another person can feel that your spirits need a lift? 

Well I'm sure my gorgeous friend Paula could tell!

I had been arguing with my husband for a couple of days (over very unimportant things) and was sitting on our couch feeling down when the door bell rang. 

Paula had bought me a bunch of spring flowers while buying flowers for her own house. The smell of the flowers gave me an instant lift and brought a smile to my sad face. How thoughtful to share this wonderful idea with another, brightening my day and house with the smells of spring.

Each day I look at the flowers, get an instant lift and feel very loved!

2002 Reads
  • Posted by kylie.malmberg
  • Jan 6, 2011
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Re-Energised By A Small Act of Kindness

We had gone to another town for a wedding. It had been a long drive, and before going to the wedding hall, we decided to stop at a relative's home to freshen up. On the way to the stairs, I noticed a very old cobbler repairing some shoes.  He gave a heart smile and warm greetings to everyone who passed by him. I returned his greetings and walked up the stairs trying to think whether there was anything to eat in the car that I could offer him on the way back.

While coming down the stairs after freshening up, I decided that I would stop and talk to him and give him some cash instead. That way, he could purchase what he would like for himself and/or his family. So while the others went ahead, I stopped by where he sat, chatted with him for some minutes, and enjoyed his huge grin. I then gave him 500 rupees, saying it was a small token of appreciation from the world to him to use as he sees fit. He immediately burst into another huge smile, and blessed all :).

It made me forget my tiredness from the long journey and gave me a new lease of energy to attend the wedding and endure the long drive back home.

2331 Reads

Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2011

For the first time last year, we featured a top ten list of stories published by our members in 2010 and it was very well received, so we decided to do it again and compile this year's top ten kindness stories of 2011 to share the inspiration!  1. Today You, Tomorrow Me During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. [...] Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out "for safety reasons," but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, ... Read Full Story >>

106K Reads
  • Posted by HelpOthers
  • Jan 1, 2012
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Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2012, Story #2 - Saving The Planet, One Drop At a Time

"Aabid Surti is an odd character. A few years ago, the angular, bearded author was invited to meet the President of India to receive a national award for literature at a ceremony in the capital, New Delhi. He politely declined. Absorbed in writing the first draft of his new novel, he cited the reason that he did not have time. But what he has made time for every Sunday for seven years now, is going door-to-door in Mira Road, a non-descript suburb of Mumbai, with a plumber in tow, asking residents if they need their tap fixed for free!   As a distinguished Indian painter and author, Aabid has written around 80 books but no story so moved him as the truth about water scarcity on the planet. “I read an interview of the former UN chief Boutros Boutros Ghali,” he recalls, “who said that by 2025 more than 40 countries are expected to experience ... Read Full Story >>

14.3K Reads
  • Posted by aalif
  • Dec 31, 2013
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Quiet Dignity at a Truck Stop

A few years ago, I had a long commute to get home from work. One morning I was on my way home and was very tired after working a 12 hour night shift. I stopped at a local restaurant to have breakfast. It was really a truck stop and I was the only customer. Right after I placed my order I saw a man come in. He was carrying a small backpack and looked like he had seen better times. He reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. He asked the waitress if 38 cents was enough to buy a cup of coffee. She looked at his hand and said, "Of course. Have a seat." (Coffee was 50 cents a cup at the time.) It really struck me how she had tried to preserve his pride and how he had not asked for any charity. Shortly before my food came. I ... Read Full Story >>

6359 Reads

What Nelson Mandela Taught Me About Empathy

What Nelson Mandela Taught Me About Empathy Years ago, in 2007, I visited Sierra Leone to work with an organization, iEARN, which was using technology to help youth recover from the gruesome war which had left millions of lives destroyed. As I listened to stories, and then some more, as part of a project that we were doing to record peoples’ lives, I became emotionally distraught and confused, and angry at the perpetrators at the same time. However, there was an interesting demographic of people that I had mixed feelings towards, even compassion – child soldiers. Those youth who were brainwashed or forced into killing their brethren - their parents, grandparents, siblings – and becoming drugged and desensitized during the process. I wondered to myself, what was the reason for wars, in general, and how do people heal from such trauma? The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was ongoing to help bring forgiveness, ... Read Full Story >>

14.9K Reads
  • Posted by Sarika
  • Dec 12, 2013
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Day # 11 - Spending time with the elderly!

Yesterday I invited my elderly neighbor over for lunch. She accepted but with the heavy rain that we have received she decided this morning that she preferred to remain inside today.

I was still moved to share a delicious meal with her so instead of giving up, I decided to go ahead and prepare the lunch and then fill a basket with a tin of her favorite chocolate chip cookies and a small potted plant.  

I took the lunch to her and she was delighted. She enjoyed and so did I and it reminded me of the special times spent with my late maternal grandmother, who I miss dearly! She and I would get together over a cup of coffee and some type of homemade goodie and have the most wonderful conversations. It was wonderful to remember Grandmother with a smile while sharing a smile with another sweet lady. What a nice afternoon!

9194 Reads
  • Posted by unknown
  • Sep 16, 2014
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Thank You to Mrs. Noel, First Grade Teacher

Today's gratitude challenge encouraged me to think about something I take for granted and then to express gratitude for it by writing a story. Every day, the first things I do - and a large percentage of the rest of the things I do throughout the day - depend on my ability to read. Some decades ago , I joined 40 other six-year-olds as a member of the first township-wide first grade – the previous year, first graders in the township had still attended one-room schools, but the Baby Boom had reached even that rural corner of central Pennsylvania. Sprawling in comparison to the previous schools, the new building had a separate classroom for each grade. First grade had been assigned to a veteran teacher from one of the one-room schools named Mrs. Noel. I don’t know how she did it, but Mrs. Noel taught most of us the basics of reading. In ... Read Full Story >>

3663 Reads
  • Posted by nancy.millichap
  • Jan 25, 2015
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10 Ways to Live Simply in 2015

Although simplicity has a long history, we are now entering radically changing times—ecological, social, economic, and psycho-spiritual—and we should expect the worldly expressions of simplicity to evolve and grow in response. For more than thirty years I’ve explored the “simple life” and I’ve found that simplicity is not simple. I’ve encountered such a diversity of expressions of the simple life that I find the most accurate way of describing this approach to living is with the metaphor of a garden. A Garden of Simplicity To portray the richness of simplicity, here are ten different flowerings of expression that I see growing in the “garden of simplicity.” Although there is overlap among them, each expression of simplicity seems sufficiently distinct to warrant a separate category. So there would be no favoritism in listing, they are placed in alphabetical order based on the brief name I associated with each. 1. Choiceful Simplicity: Simplicity means choosing ... Read Full Story >>

8727 Reads


Compliments can be the easiest acts of kindness. I truly enjoy complimenting people I see every day. I like to think about what kind of compliment would make that person's day.

For the fashionista down the hall, it's fun to compliment her on her shoes. But maybe the person that just smiles all the time would like to hear, "You have such a nice smile!" Maybe the waitress that's working extra hard would like to be acknowledged.  My 5 year old loves to hear how she is the greatest artist EVER!

I'd have to say the greatest compliment I ever gave was to a very close friend. This friend just didn't see the amazing spirit that I see in him everyday. He had ignored or doubted all these wonderful emotions and actions he was capable of.

When I complimented him on all his wonderful attributes, it was like a light bulb went off and he had received that confirmation that he was all those things. Since then, he has embraced his true spirit and it grows everyday. I'm so happy to be a part of that.

2189 Reads


I was sitting in a coffee shop sipping on my decaf and simply watching the world go by. My eyes caught sight of a very mature couple. I knew this as their hair was very white and they were slightly hunched over. They stopped and seemed to be looking around, perhaps lost? Who knows? But what made me smile was.....they were holding hands. Was it the many years they were together or was this a fairly new romance. I wondered, as the smile on my face lingered and together they walked away.

2631 Reads
  • Posted by fmesh
  • Mar 27, 2015
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