Here's an idea that brings lots of smiles-- go to your neighborhood crafts store (I went to Michael's), pick up some polished colored stones, hand-draw some smiles, and leave those smile-stones with the following poem at coffee shop tables or just about any public venue. Look a Smile Stone straight in the eye and you'll smile back not knowing why It's something about their lopsided grins, their lack of noses and of chins A twinkling something that's not-quite-art touches your heart Like snowflakes and fingerprints no two are the same But why? You ask- What's the point of this game? Somebody's hand drew those smiles for you To find and to keep and to give away too For when the smile fades from the stone Then you'll find it within And this is where you get to begin To share that smile where there's a lack All ... Read Full Story >>
Psst....I have a secret.
I have a positively powerful secret that I want to share. If you look deep into my heart, you can see how you have touched my life. Can you see me changing? Have you noticed my new countenance? Perhaps you have sensed the smile that has been placed not only in my heart but also on my lips.
When you said the right thing or encouraged me, it made a difference. When you shared my pain or agreed with one of my thoughts, you lifted me up. When you gave me a new perspective, it was welcomed.
Did you know that I am a better person because of your presence in my life? Did you know that I have learned from your pain that you were thoughtful enough to share? Did you know that your insight has heightened my own?
My secret is this: when you share, it shows how much you care. Okay, now you can tell this secret to the world.
My fiancee and I decided today was the day to finally treat ourselves to a nice dinner. It started off as 'our' day' but little did we know that it would turn into much more. I didn't want the whole day to be about yearning to leave the office for the upcoming dinner and I didn't want the dinner to be just another romantic night for two... So, I felt compelled to turn up the notch of giving that day and see what that could do. During the work day, I began in small ways. I inserted a few more quarters, dimes, and nickels, into the vending machines at work for the staff, so that something extra jingled inside for the next hungry worker. I posted smile signs in the lobby which gave clear instructions on how to smile as employees entered the office, either before their morning cup of coffee or right before a meeting with their boss. I drafted some powerful words of inspiration on colorful strips of paper and decorated my cube, so that any colleagues who came by, might just stop for ... Read Full Story >>
I have recently thought about an incredible act of compassion extended to me many years ago.
In fourth grade we were suppose to bring in a dime for a folder to use in class. My parents were divorced and money was in short supply. Watching my mom fend off creditors, I did not have the nerve to ask her for a dime. When I got to school, I really wish I had asked my mother for the dime because everybody else in class had the dime ready on their desk for the teacher. I was embarrassed and felt silly.
Somehow, A girl named Karen, sitting next to me, saw my personal suffering and waited until the last second to put a dime on the corner of my desk. Even though I never said a word, she saw my quiet anguish and only wanted to relieve it. She said nothing and I was too embarrassed to say thank you. It was the most genuine, authentic act of kindness I've ever experienced.
A few days ago I was sitting in a Thai restaurant enjoying a meal when I got on a phone call with a friend I hadn't spoken to in a long time. In my enthusiasm and excitement I talked slightly louder than usual voice and in Spanish, my mother tongue. A few minutes into the call the lady sitting at the table beside mine got up, seemingly offended, and asked the restaurant staff to relocate her to a table as far away as possible from this man who won't get off his phone. I sank in my seat out of embarrassment. I ended the call soon afterwards and felt the urge to go over and apologize. Before getting up I looked around to see where she was and she was, indeed, at the table furthest away from me. Kudos to the restaurant staff. I noticed that the lady was alone and staring out ... Read Full Story >>
1: A 15 Year Blessing From A Homeless Person On the way back from work every evening, more often than not there would be a homeless man standing at the exit of the freeway... He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing. Every day after work I would remember to gather any spare change, and put it aside to give to him if I saw him. A feeling of joy would come over me every time I saw him, as I came off the ramp. He had that effect... Occasionally the red light would be on for a minute and we would ask each other about our day. His answer would always be the same, “I’m blessed!”. Then one day I was called into my boss’s office and was told that I was being laid off due to the economy... [more]” 2: Turning ... Read Full Story >>
Consumed by my loss, I didn’t notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me when my father died, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When Mother’s illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell to me, the twenty-seven-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it as an honor. “What now, Lord?” I asked, sitting in the church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face ... Read Full Story >>
A dear friend was only weeks away from death from cancer. She said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to see the ocean again and get her toes in the sand. We live in Central Virginia and she was unable to travel so the trip to the coast wasn't going to happen. Some of us decided the solution was pretty simple. We would surprise her and bring the beach to her. The beach included three tons of beautiful white sand dumped in her driveway, two cabanas, beach balls, pails, shovels, beach chairs, a variety of decorations and a fire pit for the bonfire on the beach at night. Of course we had s'mores on the beach. We also rented a sno-cone machine since it had gotten to the point where flavored ice was about all she was able to eat. We ... Read Full Story >>
I was shopping at my local supermarket., as I normaly have for years. One particular day, I had done about 2 weeks worth of shopping and was headed toward the register to pay for my groceries. After the cashier had scanned my items and I had bagged them up, she stated that the total was $150. I reached into my back right pocket to grab the money to pay and noticed that there was no money in there. I started to get nervous. I knew my pocket book was in the car and I was sure I had put the money in my back right pocket. I look at cashier with wet eyes and a confused look not knowing what to do. There were people behind me on the line. She told me to speak with the courtesy counter. I laughed and said, "Really? It's cash, no one would hand that in!" I said I would be right back and ran ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I was in the grocery store and ran into an old client. (I worked in Social Services for 14 years and recently left to pursue other things). This particular person had been a very abrasive, beligerant and loud client, which intimidated some of the staff. Somehow I became the person who was best at dealing with these sorts of folks and I was called to the front desk to talk with him. He was tall and, well, scary looking. Wild hair, missing teeth, buggy eyes. I brought him to my office where he began crying and we talked about his life and what he needed help with. I then did my job, and helped him to the best of my ability. He soon found employment and went on his way and was one of my best success stories and I was proud of it. This was over 4 years ago. Anyway, yesterday ... Read Full Story >>
Mr Mitchell was our neighbour for a while. He and his wife had been the terrors of the local kids before we came to the square. If a ball went into their garden it was never seen again-- that kind of thing. Well, she was gone now and Mr Mitchell was in his late eighties. The rose garden he had planted for her was an overgrown jungle and that was how I came into his story. I knew he was infirm, but I didn't know if he had any help and none of the other neighbours cared anymore. (They'd put up with it a lot longer than we had.) One summer Mr Mitchell was taken into hospital for a short stay. While he was away I thought he might like to come home to a neat and tidy garden, one he could sit out in on sunny days. Even to get into ... Read Full Story >>
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. "Help," said the flight service person. "Talk to her. What is her problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she did this." I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. "Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee?" The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used -- she stopped crying. She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the following ... Read Full Story >>
I have a friend whom I talk to a lot and love to share things with. Since she is a bit smaller than me, I'm usually giving her the clothes I outgrow. She doesn't have much money so she really appreciates them. Anyway, she had a horrible past, her parents were abusive to her both mentally and physically. As a result, she has very low self esteem and is very fragile.
A couple of nights ago, her fiance and his friend came up to bring her an early valentine's day present, and then without warning, his friend calls her ugly! The poor thing was heart broken, and her whole past came rushing into her head, making her sob for hours. I felt sooo bad. I didn't do well trying to cheer her up over the phone... but what can you do?
So I thought of something. Everyone loves hearing that they have good qualities in them, especially when they don't think they have any. I decided to write 100 qualities I love about her. To show her that she is loved and beautiful.
I finished it today and decorated it with colored pencils and crayons. I'm going to give it to her tomorrow morning. I hope she likes it. :)
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a lovely little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare life threatening disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had somehow survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?".
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
This is a true story that happened to my friend Rekha... Rekha maintains an exercise regime that includes a brisk walk every morning around some gardens in our neighbourhood. One morning, she was walking earlier then usual, daybreak was only just beginning to set in and it was still relatively dark. As she was walking, a cyclist came up to her, snatched her handbag (containing her keys, phone and credit cards) and sped off with it! She ran after him shouting "thief - thief". A man further ahead must have heard her, or seen what had happened. He was washing a car and had a bucket of water with him. He grabbed the bucket and threw the water on to the cyclist. The cyclist, caught off guard, drove off the pavement and his bike fell over. The other people in the park rushed over and surrounded him. My friend Rekha was worried that the people would ... Read Full Story >>
A friend of mine in Chicago sent me an e-mail with her description of an uplifting event that she witnessed... "And talking about beautiful...yesterday I was witness to such a heartwarming random act of kindness. It will forever be imprinted in my mind. I had to run downtown to help Bonnie out for a few hours (it was not part of my original plans for Monday). On my bus ride back to the train station, we were in gridlock traffic right by the opera house. As I stare out my window a handsome young man (25ish to 30ish) walks out of the side door of the Opera House. It's cold and windy outside. He has on a heavy army-issued jacket and a scarf wrapped around his neck. As he's walking towards the bridge there are three homeless men with their cups, each sitting maybe 15 feet from one other. The young man ... Read Full Story >>
Her facial deformities make her look scary. She is around eight or nine years old and she begs for living. The first time I saw her I got a fright and almost squealed. A few times after than I handed over some coins. Later, I felt annoyed with her and her parents for scaring others to get money. Eventually I thought of giving some more money or talking to her but I was worried she might become a nuisance, so I didn't. I told myself she probably wouldn't understand my language, but that was just an excuse and I felt bad about it. Today, when I saw her sitting on the footpath counting coins, I thought she would come to my car and beg but she didn’t. I started walking home from my car but then thought maybe I could do some good here if I could overcome my inhibitions, discomfort ... Read Full Story >>
I don't know how others will respond to my first story, but I do know that it was something I was compelled to do, regardless if the recipient was "only a dog". I work for the railroad, which can be a very dangerous place. It is also usually located in the poorest of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, we often see homeless, hungry animals hanging around looking for scraps of food. Often, they are large, scary-loooking dogs who end up at the pound. For the last few weeks there has been a rather large, red dog who has been hanging around with an obvious leg injury. He was scared and would not come near any of us. Each day I came to work I would talk to him, toss him a bite to eat and go about my business. After about two weeks of this, this wonderful creature saw me arrive at work one evening ... Read Full Story >>
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side. The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman. Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his â€¨journey. The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them. Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I was shopping with my four-year-old son, Jacob. We had been in the store quite a while, so his patience was already wearing thin when I mentioned that I had forgotten to get soup. As I turned the cart around and headed down the soup aisle we saw the biggest, baldest, most bewildered looking biker dude staring at the cans. I thought he might be threatening them to jump into his basket! Like most children his age, Jacob is still learning to not shout out his observations about people in public. As we approached the man, Jacob yelled, "He rides a motorcycle, I bet! Do you think he looks mean?" I was mortified, but the biker smiled and won Jacob over with a high five. The biker sheepishly asked if I could help him out. There was a single mom with small children who lived next door ... Read Full Story >>