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Because I Had It

Louise M. Davies was the principal donor for the building of the very beautiful symphony hall in San Francisco. It’s named for her. A newspaper story, just after the building was inaugurated, quoted her response to an interviewer’s question:  ‘Why did you give this gift of six million dollars?’ She was said to have replied, ‘Because I had it.’

Her answer was wonderful. It was so uncomplicated. It was stating the obvious. And although she could have offered an opinion (‘San Francisco needs a symphony hall with modern acoustics’) or a personal reflection (‘I’ve always loved music. It’s important to me’), she didn’t do that either. She just said, ‘I had it.’

So simple.

Not feeling needy is what allows generosity to happen, but it doesn’t obligate it to happen. The impulse to do something has to be present.  Recognizing the possibility of creating delight or of alleviating suffering are both sources of that impulse. Both are responses to people other than ourselves. Both provide pleasure.

3732 Reads
  • Posted by Sylvia
  • Feb 10, 2007
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Couple Guys Near The BP Garage

Around where I am staying there is a BP garage. Couple of guys normally hang around behind the garage: playing games (dices) and just chat and chat, looking and admiring at passerbys. Some of the guys don’t have places to stay and are unemployed, whereva the night catches them that’s where they lay their heads. Some are bit scary, they are untidy and look more like gangsters. There is one guy among this group whom I met and most of the time we end up having a friendly chat and we greet each other always. Before I bought a car, he would voluntarily pick up my grocer, assist me when I have loads of things to carry, accompany me half way to my place when it’s late, defend me when the guys wana mugg me, make some funny moves and so forth. After all the efforts and help he sometimes refuses ... Read Full Story >>

2193 Reads
  • Posted by Maverara
  • May 12, 2007
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The Neighborhood Flower Lady

When I was an at-home mom, there were times I wished I could buy some beautiful flowers, but money spent there was needed in the home. I remember when walking into town with the family, as we often did  when we didn't have a car, my youngest daughter would always carry sticks when we walked. One of her many nicknames as a toddler was Stick Girl. One day when passing the Flower Lady with Stick Girl, The Flower Lady smiled at her and said, "Come here, I have something for you." She handed my daughter a beautiful long stemmed flower. My daughter dropped that stick and carried that flower from Grant Circle to the Boulevard and back home. We placed it in water and enjoyed the beauty of that flower along with the feelings of warmth and kindness from the Flower Lady. Folks in our neighborhood would just run to her ... Read Full Story >>

3616 Reads

My Neighbor Athena

As neighborhoods go children come and grow ... some leave some stay.

A new neighbor is always call for speculation..

Me .. I always look to see if they have kids toys.  If they do its just a matter of time when I will meet them.

Newest amongst our neighbors is Athena!  She's a real delight!  Single handedly, she seems to have brought our neighborhood alive.  She has one child and she has managed to get other parents to open doors and let their kids out.  Our neighborhood once again is it was when I was a kid and everyone had 4-5 kids.

So today, I appreciate ... my neighbor Athena.

2336 Reads

A Clean House And an Apple Pie!

One of my dear friends is having a rough time of it, as her husband of 21 years just walked out and announced he wants a divorce.  She is working full-time while trying to raise two teenagers, and barely has time to think. I told her sister I wished there was something more we could do for her.  "Maybe there is," her sister said, with a twinkle in her eye. We went to my friend's house the other day while she was at work. Her sister has a key to get in. She cleaned up a bit, put fresh flowers on the table, and I left a freshly baked apple pie on the counter. I also put a meal of pot roast and vegetables into her crock pot and plugged it in. Then we left. She called me later that night and told me how much that meant to her. She and ... Read Full Story >>

2143 Reads

From The Heart, Thoughts By John Mayer

John Mayer, a popular singer/song writer, recently wrote this on his personal blog and I thought I'd share... FROM THE HEART…. I need to write this. I've been traveling alone in Japan for the better part of three weeks now, and It's been so remarkable an experience for me that I can't book a ticket home yet. I haven't spoken very much out loud these days, but I've been thinking to myself in what feels like surround sound. I can see so many things clearly, and feel so connected to myself and the world around me that I need to share the perspective with you. I'm already aware that when I sing, say or write anything, 50 percent of the response will be in support of it and the other 50 will want to discount it. This blog, though, is directed to 100 percent of people reading it. If my blog truly does have ... Read Full Story >>

4398 Reads

The Slow-Down Culture

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule. Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results. Said in another words: 1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil. 2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants. 3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people. 4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA. The first time I was ... Read Full Story >>

5635 Reads
  • Posted by Manju
  • Jun 3, 2011
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David Copperfield on Kindness

I believe in kindness. But it's hard to be kind. We're not trained for it. Kindness is for sissies; we learn that early. "Nice guys finish last." If they even get invited to the race. Kindness is taken for weakness, rube-ishness, stupidity. No one seems to respect the kind. They respect the killer. We're taught to value competitiveness, strength, cunning, Darwin. I work in the entertainment business, where kindness just never seems to be "in." It's not macho. It doesn't sell tickets. In the movies, the hero never kills the bad guy with kindness. But I believe Economics 101 is right. The value of a thing is determined by its scarcity. Which makes kindness spiritual gold. I am writing these words a few weeks after my father's death. He was a fervent Republican. He preached an eye for an eye. He was a hawk. But he practiced ... Read Full Story >>

3703 Reads

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 >>

3525 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 >>

2622 Reads

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 >>

2039 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. 

2106 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 >>

2723 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 >>

6372 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 >>

15.0K Reads
  • Posted by Sarika
  • Dec 12, 2013
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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 >>

8745 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.

2198 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.

2642 Reads
  • Posted by fmesh
  • Mar 27, 2015
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