A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes, carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did ... Read Full Story >>
"I have a package for Jonathan," Tom says. "Um, ok, let me page him," the person behind the counter says. This is an independent book store, and they generally don't get random deliveries like this. Wearing a buttoned shirt over a pair of jeans and black sneakers, Tom might've been taken for an errand guy. A closer look, though, and Tom's mystique is evident with the serenity on his face and the depth of his voice and the span of his geniune smile. On paper, Tom has a ton of accomplishments to his name, but in spirit, he identifies to something subtler -- "I grew up in love with stories of the invisible worlds that surround us, whispering to us of greater potentials than most of us ordinarily recognize. I have learned about silence and the world’s soul through years of walking in the woods, on mountains, and ... Read Full Story >>
Last month I started a family kindness journal. Every day each member in the family must write down the good deed that they did that day. It is amazing to see how far my children's deeds have come.
At first they helped the teacher or shared school supplies, but it has progressed to wonderful things I never imagined.
For example there is a boy my son has not gotten along with since the first day of school. My son came home and told me his good deed for the day was to make friends with this boy.
I said, “What possessed you to be friends with someone who has been mean to you all year?”
His response? “I gave it a lot of thought and realized he was lonely and didn't know how to make friends, and that was why he was mean.”
This boy has had quite an attitude adjustment (no longer hitting and calling names) and has been welcomed into my son's group of friends.
Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people.
I was at work and it had been snowing all day. I peeked outside about an hour before leaving work and I was terrified to see that every square inch of my car had been blanketed in about 8 inches of snow. I stayed in the office a few minutes after 5 trying to figure out how I would get the snow off of my car in heals, a skirt and no window scraper! I finally sucked it up and walked outside. To my surprise as well as relief, my car was completely clean of snow. My windows were scraped, even the headlights had been cleaned off! "Who did this?" I was puzzled, but so grateful! The next day at work, I prodded everyone I knew to find the culprit, but no one could tell me....they all denied the good deed. The following day, a co-working named Brian said "So, were you wondering who cleaned off your car?" I knew then that Brian was my little snow angel. He said, "Yeah, my car was heating up, I needed something to do for 5 or 10 minutes." He brushed it off as if it was an act of boredom, but I know that he has a kind and pure heart and what he did was an act of kindness.
When my father married my mother in 1943 he gave my mother a 1937 crown coin and told her to keep it in the back of her purse and not spend it. This would mean that she always felt that she was protected and would always have money if she really needed it. When I was married in 1970 my husband who had heard this story, obtained a 1937 crown for me and I have always kept it in my wallet, and I have always had enough for my needs. A friend recently fell on hard times, partly through external circumstances and partly through poor planning. Friends and I have loaned her money, paid her bills, even given her food, tried to teach her budget techniques, and none of it has been a solution, she has just slipped deeper and deeper into financial trouble and depression. Last week she looked pale ... Read Full Story >>
I was a first year college student in a Graphic Design course and I'd like to tell you an interesting story that happened to me a few months ago. You see, I live in a "seedy" (an abundance of illegal activity) apartment building whose residents are a large diversity of minorities, most of which I have never met, (I don't even know my neighbors name), and we all have to use the laundry room on the third floor. The dryers in the laundry room are old and usually require more than one cycle to fully dry even a small load of laundry. One evening I found I had only one loonie left for the dryer (they only accepted $1 coins) and so opted to leave my wet clothes in the dryer all night knowing that my clothes would still be damp in the morning and that they were the only ... Read Full Story >>
I had to come on to UC Irvine's campus to accompany a friend to a meeting. In the parking lot, I enlisted him in my scheme with a Smile card and short explanation. We were each supposed to make 1 person smile, pass on the card, and meet up to share the story of what happened. He was dumbfounded and at a complete loss of ideas for what to do. To top it off, we were in an upscale shopping area of the campus surrounded by young, smiling, mostly affluent people. "No worries," I said as I pulled out my laptop to look for a wireless signal that we could use to hunt for ideas. The only problem was that there was no empty tables to sit at. That's when we spotted him: an older man by sitting by himself while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. "Excuse me sir, ... Read Full Story >>
I always seem to lose or toss sunglasses in my car. I noticed I did the same in my boyfriend's car recently. We both joked about them, but then we pulled up to a man at a street corner. It was a bright day and he was hoping someone would offer him some food or a bit of change. Instead, we gave him a pair of our sunglasses - the sun was so bright and he looked like he was a regular there.
Later that afternoon, on our way home, we pulled up at the same corner to see him wearing my sunglasses. We had the window down, and between lights he thanked us and mentioned that he hasn't enjoyed a beautiful day in so long.
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
I was in the bus in heavy traffic going to an orphanage to visit some children. What I saw brought tears to my eyes.
There had been a terrible accident. The owner of the motorbike laid bleeding, critically injured and dying on the side of the road. Members of a church nearby called an ambulance. They were having a women’s gathering day at the church.
While the man lay helpless and hurt, the women rushed to his side and around him sang beautiful hymns and prayers - some to save his body and some to save his soul. They sang like angels. The music was so sad and beautiful and the gesture was so touching at such sad and tragic moment. I shall not forget the kindness of those women being there in his hour of need.
While going through a time of great sorrow and grief over a loss, I left my apartment and went to the 99 cent store to pick up two things I needed. Although these were not important items, I needed to get out for a while.
Having picked up the two items, I wandered through the store in a state of depression or shock, picking up more and more stuff, filling my arms. I was juggling these items, not willing to walk to the front of the store for a cart, not really thinking I needed one.
I heard a voice in the distance, far removed from my frame of mind, saying, "Lady, Lady." I turned around to see this man holding out a basket to me in both hands. He said, "Lady, Lady, please stop suffering,” and he gave the basket to me for the burdens I was holding on to. All I could say was, "That was so sweet!”
Then the man was gone, and the other shoppers were frozen in time watching what went on. They added, "Yes, that was so sweet.” In an instant, that one act of kindness changed my heart and mind, and he was long gone without even my being able to say thank you. The moment came and went, and it changed my day.
I have a big veggie garden and every year i plant a little more than i can handle. It's something like my eyes are bigger than my appetite. I decided to take all of my excess veggies down to the laundry mat with a sign that read "free veggies". I guess that those who use the laundry may prbably rent places and might not be able to plant a garden. I did this all summer and each time when i went to collect the box...it was empty!
On a Saturday morning, I glanced out of our window to see our chubby, middle-aged postman huffing and puffing on his rounds. I went out with a glass of water. He refused it politely but stopped for a few minutes to chat.
He told me about how his delivery car has no air conditioning but federal law requires that he has to drive with his windows fully shut so terrorists can not get to it easily!
I wanted to offer him something cool - so while he went about his rounds, I frantically looked for something he could take with him and found a cucumber from our garden.
When he came to drop off our mails, I offered it to him and his round, chubby face lit up instantly!
He started talking about his garden and how he cares for his garden. I could sense a bit of sadness when he said that his cucumber wines didn't flourish this summer. But he immediately smiled and said "but am so happy to see healthy ones from another garden!"
As he moved on , turned back and said that sharing of this cucumber meant a lot for the gardener within him. It meant a whole lot for me too.
One day I had a doctors appointment to have some lab work done. I had to fast for 12 hours prior to the tests. Knowing that I would be starving by the time I left the doctors office, after not eating for 12 hours plus, I prepared myself a sack breakfast. So I had the testing done and was leaving the doctors office and was thinking about the food I had in the car, and how I couldn't wait to eat. I had reached for the sack and was fumbling and driving trying to get to it, when I had to stop at a red light. I looked out my windshield and there before me to my left side, the drivers side of the car was a man with a cardboard sign that read "Will work for Food". I wanted to cry. The first thing I thought of was I know how ... Read Full Story >>
The other day, I don't know why, but I took a dollar bill out of my pocket, crumpled it, and dropped it on the ground. I didn't stick around to see who finds it. I just knew that "finding" a dollar bill is a lot more than getting one and someone would feel good and talk about "finding a dollar on the street" for the rest of that day. That made me feel good just thinking about it.
As I walked down the street, I took in my surroundings and was keeping an eye out for opportunities to serve. I spotted a man sitting off to the side of the road. He had soiled himself repeatedly and looked like he hadn’t bathed in days. This was someone I wanted to reach out to. It is Dussera (a holiday in India), so fafada and jalebi (sweets) vendors are everywhere. I decided that like everyone, this man too would eat these food items today. I went to a nearby vendor and ordered 20 rupees worth of fafadas and jalebi. I told the man behind the counter who it was for and asked him to put a little extra love into the food and packing. I then took the bundle and made my way towards the man. He was surrounded by a 1 ft perimeter ... Read Full Story >>
It was time to head to the Gandhi Ashram for the day long events that marked and celebrated the life of one of the greatest influences on my life – Mahatama Gandhi. I decided to walk to the Ashram on this day. After 10 minutes or so, I’m not sure why but I decided to take a bicycle-rickshaw and a rickshaw pulled up. On the way to the Ashram, the driver stopped at a flower shop to get a garland of flowers. Instead of getting a small one, he ordered one of the largest ones they had – it was 1m long. I knew this was too expensive for his meager income. He then proceeded to gently place the garland on the rickshaw, with utmost love and devotion. In the middle of the garland, he placed another flower. I was a little confused by the ... Read Full Story >>
I'm a single mother of a 14-year-old male. I have not been around any young children in a long time. However, this weekend, I kept a four-year-old little girl overnight at my house. Brought back lots of memories. Her mother has no family here in Atlanta and just needed a little "me" time. I was happy to help her out even though a four-year-old is definitely a handful. I actually had a good time.
I came across your site and ordered myself some cards.What a wonderfull idea!!
I use mine in the eight items or less isle by picking someone behind me and leaving enough money to cover the cost of their items and leave a smile card. I also do this at corner shops by paying for either milk or butter and leaving a card with the attendant, saying the next person who is scratching to get milk money, give them the milk and smile card.
Its the little things in life, sometimes when a little something comes your way when you most need it, it can restore your faith that there are still nice people out there in amongst the rest of society. Thankyou!! :)
One snowy, slushy, wet day I only had a few minutes to go out and get a coffee before I had to be back at work. I ran out without my coat, in thin shoes and it was freezing. Blocking my path was a huge puddle of icy water. I must of looked pretty forlorn because an elderly gentleman on the other side of the street removed his hat and bowed to me saying, "Madam, were I but 20 years younger I would carry you across." It was a small thing to do for a stranger, but it certainly warmed me up!
This reminded me of something I used to do some 20 years ago. It was a very cold winter in Salinas, Ca. I would go to the Dollar Store and buy mittens, knitted hats, and gloves. Whenever I would drive around and notice a homeless person without one of these items, I would ask if they would like one.
I received such a blessing to see their face light up, as I would drive away I'd call out to them and say, GOD BLESS YOU. It made me feel good that not only their body, but soul would be warmer over such an inexpensive item.
On Friday nights I would go to the bakery and buy day old donuts and offer them to the teenage boys skateboarding in the parking lot. If I had extra I would get them a hot chocolate.
Those were the happiest days of my life.
I am a Police Officer. I went to a woman's home to take a report of damage to her fence. She thought neighborhood kids had torn it down. I found out her husband built the fence 30 years ago, and all the paint in the world couldn't stop it from rotting. She had paid a fence company a deposit, but could not afford the balance, over $140. She is 89 years old, and on a fixed income.
I went to the fence company the next day and paid the balance. They readily took the payment, but told me I was nuts. I told them her husband built the fence, he had died, and the fence meant a lot to her. After hearing her story, they did a great job putting it up.
I was at Chuck E. Cheese's with my mom and my younger brother during the Thanksgiving holiday and I was getting a lot of tickets playing the games there. While I was playing this one game, there was a kid who won 10 tickets but he didn't get them because the game was broken. He looked really sad so I gave him twenty of my tickets to make up for the tickets he lost and then some. I think that kindness really made his day.
Everyone in the office noticed the fun going on across the street a few days ago. The temperature had topped 90 before noon and on the lawn of a residence motel a large group of kids had made their own "slip-n-slide" out of a large blue plastic tarp, a garden hose and the built-in sprinkler system.
In a city as transient as Reno, and as geared to adult amusement as our city is, it felt good to see kids doing something as wholesome as playing in the sprinklers. I was still watching when the boss' wife pulled up and walked across the street with a box of popsicles she had bought for the kids. She just wanted to add to their fun. She gave the box to an older girl who passed them out to the whole group. It reminded me of the unexpected joys of my own childhood summers.
Once, many years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and was scheduled for a mastectomy. That morning I attended a college class in which the husband of a good friend was also a student. Most mornings we said hello to one another and that was about it - he would sit with his guy friends, and I usually sat alone. When he entered class that morning, he came and sat next to me. He never mentioned my mom, never talked about the situation at all...he just sat next to me and chatted a bit. That was the day I learned that sometimes the kindest act is just to BE there...and I always remember this as one of the most touching acts of kindness I've ever received.
As I approached a red light, I noticed a man holding a sign that read “Looking for a job, please help.” Only having a part-time job myself, I knew that I couldn't help with his job. But I wanted to do something.
I put the car into park and walked back three cars to where he was standing and gave him $10. He just looked at me, and we both started to cry. He said, “You know how long I have been standing here and no one has even looked my way?” I said, “It’s just a sign to let you know God is looking out for you. Keep your head up.”
It felt good to give someone hope who was in need. Sometimes all we need to know is that someone understands.
3 years ago I fell off a horse breaking my back and pelvis. I did not know if I would ever walk again and living alone, I had no one to help me when I got home from hospital. I was unemployed and uninsured at the time and could not afford to hire help. But neighbors began bringing me meals, mowing my yard, feeding my animals, running errands for me, bringing in my mail, and much more, and all without me asking and many times without telling me they had done them. As I recovered I tried repeatedly to get disability benefits which takes a very long time to be even considered, and was denied on every appeal. Fearful of losing my home, family members came to my rescue and kept me afloat. I have so many heros in my life to be grateful for and if I can put a smile on each one of their faces, it will be a drop in the bucket of my gratitude for them all.
At the hospital, I was visiting a friend who had lost her baby. I passed a woman in the hallway who was coming from chemotherapy alone. She looked tired. Her shoes were untied.
I asked her if could I tie her shoes for her, and she said yes. So I sat down on the floor and tied them. She said that she felt like a kid again and it was a good feeling to have someone who cared.
Telemarketers. As much as I dislike more than almost anyone I know being disturbed by telemarketers I have always told myself that most of these people are simply trying to make a living with a tough and thankless job. I try to tell them quickly but kindly, in a cheerful friendly way, that I am not in the market, that I want to save their time because I know they're trying to make a living and I wish them "good luck". This I find, is better than pretending to be interested, raising their hopes unnecessarily and wasting their and your time and patience.
If you know someone so hard up they have to make ends meet by telemarketing, give them some flowers. Anyone who has to wallow through that much rejection every day needs some random kindness!