I recently donated my baby son's clothes, formula, etc. to a stranger who was expecting a baby. I even gave brand new outfits that I really loved- a little baby gown with a duck on it. The woman who is young (maybe 19 years old) has a partner who can't afford the $250 to fly into town to see his baby delivered. Although I've never met this woman, it was really humbling to think about how many material things I have and how many things I take for granted in my life. Never fully appreciating my circumstances and the plenty in our lives - food, shelter, family, friends, etc. I saw how greedy I had become and how I needed to be grateful for what I have on this earth. The young woman did deliver her baby and I heard that the baby went home with the duck gown as his first baby ... Read Full Story >>
I was out of town at a relatives house for a party- when I heard the doorbell ring. I volunteered to help answer the door, since everyone was so busy. A nervous little girlscout came with her older brother. I decided this felt like a moment to do something nice.
I encouraged the shy little one to talk about her products, and cheered her on when she recommended items. At first I thought, it's probably not a big deal to be encouraging- and went ahead to order the "Smores" and other items that would be left as a surprise anonymously for the relative that I was staying with.
I shared my experiences as a young, nervous girlscout too. And then applauded the kids for doing their work- going door to door. I thought they were bound to get a lot of orders, and congratulated them on working so hard.
Then to my surprise, the older brother piped in- we've been trying to sell for hours and barely anyone was buying! I had no idea such a little act of encouragement would matter. I may never see these little kids again since this wasn't my neighborhood- but I really felt good for what happened in our exchange.
The strangest thing happened to me. I was up early with the baby and decided to go to the grocery store. When I entered Albertson's grocery store, there was a cart full of FREE candy and kid's treats. I was so surprised- they even had nice candy corn (a treat I think of fondly from having neighbors in Wisconsin who used to give this out to the kids) for free. I still couldn't believe it - chocolate, candy corn, stuffed animals, balloons. I checked with the manager to make sure this wasn't a mistake! He said "Take it all. Give it to the neighborhood kids." Then it dawned on me- how about taking it and spreading kindness to all the kids in the neighborhood! So I loaded a cart full (and still had to pinch myself because this just doesn't happen to me. I give a lot of free ... Read Full Story >>
I have a very simple story this time. I just decided to take a break from my hectic life and be present/fully engaged with my infant son and husband. Usually, I am multi-tasking work/mommyhood/wife/household stuff. And I lost site of my priorities, my family.
Today, I really stopped and absorbed myself as my 9 month old tried sitting in a crawling position or cried about something or just wanted to sleep (without mommy running off for a work engagement or thinking about that next thing that had to be done). And I made amends with my husband for being crabby and losing my temper. And just tried to be grateful for a change. Sometimes I find I forget to be kind to my own family. Isn't this ironic, on a site devoted to kindness to others.
I made a homemade carrot cake for the first time. It was really the most delicious cake, according to my family. So I decided I would spread kindness by giving some of this cake to a my parents' neighbor- someone I didn't really know. I gave the cake to a neighbor's husband- who invited me in to talk. Next thing I know, his wife also comes over, and we have a three-hour discussion about life- concerns about her college age son, and lessons around marriage and divorce. I walked away from this meeting profoundly touched about the wisdom this woman shared from an early divorce- the courage she showed to leave someone irresponsible, and the faith she kept that she deserved to be married to a man who honored her and supported her. The eerie thing is I struggle with being married, and certainly didn't know she went through this experience. I walked ... Read Full Story >>
I located this amazingly hard working college student who wanted to save money for college by helping me in the office and home. When we were sorting through some clothes, she exclaimed, "I love that superman t-shirt." I didn't understand, and asked "What superman t-shirt".
And she proceeded to show me this cute white top with a big Superman S in glitter. It seemed like it was made for her, and as an act of kindness, I said, "Hey, Merry Christmas, I believe this is your t-shirt." She proceeded to get really excited and immediately put it on. And the surprising thing, is it was as if that t-shirt had been waiting for her this whole time, as I had forgotten about this gift and it fit her perfectly! I would say this young lady was superwoman in her own right, putting herself through school and supporting her whole family- including an invalid grandmother.
I set out with my infant son and two puppies into a new Northwest Houston neighborhood for our secret agent adventure in smile tagging a stranger. We secretly discussed which stranger's house we would smile tag and leave a high end chocolate bar. We spotted a home where people clearly had left their trash on the curb, and needed to come out their door to pick the cans up. This was the place!
The whole "James Bond" team ran up to the door, positioned the smile tag and chocolate bar at the right angle to be picked up, and breathlessly raced away so as not to be caught during our secret agent adventure. We were all giggling and laughing as we nonchanantly got back into our undercover outfits as a mom, boy, and two puppies who were on a casual walk through the neighborhood.
In the end, we were the ones that gained from this act of kindness, as we bonded around our secret agent adventure, and shared in the grace and joy of giving to a stranger! According to my son, this was the best walk/outing ever.
I was just thinking that kindness doesn't need to be restricted to human beings, and maybe can even extend to all of God's creatures. The other day, I was playing soccer with our two puppies and my baby boy in the backyard. And all of the sudden I saw two sad little eyes peering through the neighbor's fence. There was this great, big, golden retriever girl "puppy" who was crying because she was tied up to a chain and usually left by herself in a concrete backyard. It broke my heart. I know the neighbor's are nice people, just a little out of touch with dogs. And then, two ladies on the hill behind us started calling out to the puppy. Hey little puppy. (They could have said hey big puppy, if any of you know how large golden retrievers get in a year). I let them ... Read Full Story >>
I finally got my smile tag cards. I decided to add something to the cards- and I have always thought that a giving act is to share something you would want to keep for yourself. In my case, I'm a huge chocolate fan, and my husband brought back from a trip to Europe two fancy, Belgium chocolate bars. I decided to give away the chocolate bars to strangers as a random act of kindness. I was on a walk with my baby and puppies, when I saw an 80 year old man struggling to repair something on the ground. I thought -- this is who I'm going to smile tag. When he got a call that pulled him away from the repair job, I gleefully ran with the smile tag card and Belgium chocolate bar- and left it by the repair site where he had to lie on the ground. I know- what in ... Read Full Story >>
I have been doing business in Houston, Texas recently, and was talking with an elderly lady in the neighborhood who has knee problems and needed to find a way to sell her old furniture. She and her husband had retired for some time now, so earning some extra cash was important for her. She just didn't know where to start.
I went online to see if there was a craigs list in Houston (there is), volunteered to take a digital photo of her hutch and other furniture, and helped her post it online!
She was so happy to have someone as her compadre as she ventured into what was akin to her first virtual garage sale- without the wear and tear on her knees! Wish us luck on her getting her furniture sold soon!
There was a little, blond haired boy playing in the side streets. He looked kind of lonely kicking a football by himself. I noticed my two puppies were kind of drawn to the little boy. So, I asked permission for us to watch his football practice. He was kind of shy and said okay.
Later, the pups were really getting excited watching him practice kicking. I finally told him the most shy puppy I had- for the first time in her life wanted to run up to a boy (and she had been previously terrified of children). We cheered the little boy on as he made attempts to kick really hard. It was kind of nice to be in the moment rooting for someone else, some stranger in the middle of the street! I kind of felt he enjoyed the cheerleading squat on the sidelines too.