When you are kind, the world becomes kind. This was my son's experience last week. He went out biking but as soon as he was out on the track, the tire gave way. While he was struggling, a stranger stopped by to help him carry the bike home and while they were doing so, a lady in a car saw them and offered to give them a ride home. These two encounters left my son in awe for the world. He was beaming and couldn't stop saying: "People are really good!"
He in turn wanted to do something nice the next evening. On our return home from the temple, we picked up two boxes of doughnuts, one for our friend's daughter and the other for my son. As soon as my husband and I handed him the doughnuts, he went around the car park offering one to each cleaner and helper.
That spontaneous act of kindness made us parents very happy. :)
As I share the experience of this random act of kindness, I'm wearing my widest smile. I usually go to my workplace coffee shop to place an order but this Wednesday, it was slightly different. I called the four member crew, asked them to make a choice of a drink and snack (in their shop) and bought it for them instead. At first, they didn't sense what was happening but when truth dawned, they were surprised and a bit embarrassed. However, I explained that it was an act of appreciation and they were truly deserving. This brought a 'big' smile and a loud, 'thank you' in unison. I had for a long time nursed a desire to reach out to them but my doubting mind had always had an upper hand. On this day too, I had thoughts like, 'What if they refuse?', 'What if the place is crowded?', 'What if they ... Read Full Story >>
There's a massive construction going on in the area where I live. I've been told that this open area which was home to migratory birds in the winter and a walker's paradise will soon house hundred 'villas'. It may or may not be a good initiative but change is inevitable. So now, what used to be an open space of trees is replaced by bulldozers, noisy machines , construction vehicles. and workers. So now every morning while packing lunch, I prepare bags of fruits and water for the men who work here as appreciation for their effort and the interaction is beyond rewarding. I feel this is the best way to start a day. The beaming smile on each of their faces when you hand them this little bag melts your heart.. The content may actually be nothing but for them to feel cared is what really matters. I now have Mr. Khan, ... Read Full Story >>
The deadline to submit the personal project was Thursday. Though my son had everything ready well ahead of time - crazy ideas popped up at the last minute. All of a sudden he wanted to remake the video as he wasn’t quite satisfied with what he'd done. He hence approached one of his classmate who happily agreed to come to the rescue. The night before the due date, the two of them skyped for hours getting the video ready. Finally, past midnight, it was done and all of us could have a restful night. The next evening when my son returned home, he was filled with remorse. His kind friend had spent the entire time helping him and ended not completing his own. My son was overcome with guilt and he kept thinking of ways to pay the help he had received forward. Just then he got a call from another classmate who ... Read Full Story >>
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to spend time with some high school students and share ideas on starting kindness challenges in schools. These were students who already had the intention and only wanted a headway. I shared quite many kindness stories from KindSpring and a number of inspiring videos from KARMATUBE. As I spoke, eyes sparkled, heads nodded and hearts connected. It didn't take long for the energy to shift.
Later, I received a message from the head of the student council which read, "Thank you. I just want to tell you that I appreciate your visit and time. I got feedback from some of the students and they described your talk as incredibly motivating. It gave them a big dose of happiness. After you left, everyone was holding doors and complimenting each other."
While I was waiting to board the next flight, a gentleman came and took the empty seat beside me and started a conversation over the phone. I couldn't help but listen to his story where he shared this random act of kindness he had just done.
At the food court, he noticed a group of about 15 students who were traveling to take part in a competition. Seeing that they were quite hesitant to spend money he decided to pay for them.
He asked each of them to come forward, order a meal and enjoy the treat. The boys were moved and couldn't help but thank the generous man, who in turn couldn't hold in his happiness. In fact his smile of satisfaction infected us, too. It was a good distraction from the tedious boredom of waiting.
On his way home, my husband noticed a family struggling in the middle of the road with their malfunctioning car. Though he was dead tired having worked for twelve hours, he stopped to give them a ride in his tiny car.
The family of six struggled to make place for each other and my husband expressed how apologetic he was as his car wasn't too comfortable for the family. The father then replied, "Your car is small, but your heart is BIG, so thank you for your generosity."
It's always nice to do whatever we can to make a difference!
As I walked into my workplace coffee shop for my daily dose of Latte, the soft-spoken cashier greeted and asked when I was making a trip to India, my home country. I told him it would be in two months and his face lit up. He's from India too, so I asked him the same question to which his rather sad reply was, "not too soon".
Well, to cheer him up, I started a casual conversation, asked him what he liked about Dubai and his job. In a bit, he was his cheery self and that made me feel good. I intend to give him a little surprise tomorrow. Shhhhh...don't tell him. ;)
Went to the neighborhood park for early morning walk with a friend but noticed litter everywhere. It wasn't at all a pleasant site and dangerous for the birds and cats . So, in all kindness , we got down to clean our beautiful space.
Meanwhile, the gentleman in charge arrived and together we made it green and sparkly..
Next Saturday, we intend to do the same and invite everyone there for some community service/ 'seva' and fun.
I've been stitching heartpins and gifting them to everyone possible and if you ask me why I do it, it's because of the joy that just bursts forth. The smile that lights up at the sight of the heartpin is worth anything you'd wish for and it goes further. From that moment on,there's a connection. We exchange warm hugs , smiles and a million 'thank yous'. This hobby that has so attracted me has opened my heart and brought me out of my cocoon. Now, I don't mind starting a conversation with a stranger, wishing him or her well and gifting a pin because I know that this little piece of art will do its magic of breaking all barriers. We bond and share stories and next time our paths cross , we greet and smile which is enough to brighten the day. This morning I received a heart warming post on ... Read Full Story >>
It was the fourth frame that needed replacement, and as a way to teach my son a lesson, I decided to buy the cheapest one. However, even that was six hundred dirhams after discount. I bought the frame but deep within,my thoughts were for those who can’t afford and hence are deprived through no fault of theirs. That’s when an idea struck and just by coincidence I received a flyer on a parent’s what app group asking for old/spare/ rejected glasses for donations. The cutoff date was 20/6/2018 which is today. With full enthusiasm, I circulated the flyer to my acquaintances but a lot of questions were asked about permission to do the same and how authentic this was. This put me in doubt and in a way slowed if not marred my zeal. But if you set a pure intention the universe will conspire and make it happen. Yesterday, out of the ... Read Full Story >>
One person that I meet while leaving for work and returning home is Ajay.
He works for a car cleaning company and is in the parking lot of the building washing cars. I don’t know what his work timing is like but I find him at his job all the time. I often wonder if he’s eaten and rested so I ask him about these things. His answer is always a smile. It never wears out. In fact, his way of communication is a smile.
This evening while paying him, I gave a 500 dirham note instead of a 50. At first he didn’t realize it but as soon as he did, he ran to catch me and return the money. As he handed me the money, I could see relief on his face. Such is his sincerity and dignity.
What an honor to meet Ajay and learn this lesson on trust firsthand.
Ramadan is a time for giving back to the community, connecting and sharing love.
This Ramadan, I have decided to open my heart and do as much as I can. I've taken part in food donation, water donation, and clothes donation. Each day, I've stitched heartpins and given them to those people who've made a difference in my life. It has been a humbling and enriching experience.
I've been to labor camps and distributed items with my students and we've also spoken about giving in generosity and not as a ritual. It so far has been a blessed one and my spiritual journey has been much more meaningful.
The most fulfilling activity was visiting an orphanage and stitching heartpins with the children. Three hours just flew by. Everyone wanted to try and the thrill at completing them is beyond expression. Some of the children asked if I was coming again and I do hope the same myself. :)