In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the centre of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.
Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the centre of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days.
At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
"I'm at Lens Crafters waiting to pick up my new pair of glasses. In walks a Mom & her little girl. Now Mom is probably in her late twenties & the little girl is maybe five. Both of their wardrobes are badly dated to say the least . It was obvious that the family’s financial windfall had not yet arrived. I overheard a comment the Mom made to the Sales Lady that she was in between job #1 and job #2 of the day, so she didn't have a lot of time. The little girl and the Mom proceeded around the store looking at these little tiny frames for this darling's face. The Sales Lady was helping them try on frames; pulling aside her favorites. You know how some little kids actually look ten times cuter in glasses...that was this little girl. She finds these cute little frames with a butterfly ... Read Full Story >>
What would it be this morning -- a warm Blueberry Lemon? Banana Nut? Cranberry Orange? Oatmeal Raisin? There is always a warm muffin or two tucked into a white napkin and placed next to the morning newspaper, waiting for me once I open my front door. Who is the Mystery Muffin Giver? I try to wake up early to see if I can catch him/her in the act so far I've been unsuccessful. But no matter what, I've got those goodies and a good read to dwell on! [Now for the background story!] My Mom lives in a Retirement community and she moved in after my Dad passed. She loves it. Most of her neighbors in the apartments are widows just like her and they keep each other good company. In this community, though, while lunches and dinners are prepared in the dining room, there's no breakfast. Now, my mom is an early -- and ... Read Full Story >>
"One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and ... Read Full Story >>
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and face shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. "I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. "Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait." "That doesn' t have anything to do with it," he replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't ... Read Full Story >>
My husband is not a big fan of kids, especially those without manners and that misbehave. One of our neighbors has 3 children and the oldest is Jacob. He's 10 now, but was 5 at the time. Just a big bundle of love and energy, with his bright blue eyes, red hair, freckles and braces. (For you all that remember Mayberry RFD on TV- he's Opie's look-alike! For the rest of you, he's a darling! I just love him to death). For some reason, he took a liking to my husband. Everytime he saw him, Jacob would wave, dash across the street and come visit. If he was in the garage repairing his bikes or in the front yard cleaning, Jacob would wave, dash across the street and come visit. Jacob would always ask so many questions and keep my hubby company. They would ride bikes together, and what not. They really seemed ... Read Full Story >>
"A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle-faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside, the kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. Memories of running, splashing so caref ree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mom let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mom asked. "Lets run through the rain!" ... Read Full Story >>
Every morning my friend would stop on the way to work to grab a quick breakfast for herself and her son, before dropping him off at school. They tended to frequent the same eatery every morning grabbing an egg sandwich, juice, coffee for her, milk for him. One day she ordered an additional breakfast. Once they had eaten and were headed out the door, she stopped, said good morning to a homeless man sitting outside of the restaurant and handed him the additional breakfast she had ordered. He thanked her profusely, grinning, telling her it was the first meal he had in a great many days. She couldn't help but feel good and was glad she finally took action. She told her son that she had seen him every day that week outside the restaurant and that no one, herself included, had stopped to offer him support, food, drink, comfort, etc. She further explained that homelessness ... Read Full Story >>
As I was standing in line for my secret weekend indulgence, a medium dairy queen cone. I watched the two teens behind the counter working frantically to get through the long line of hungry customers. Usually there are one or two customers but today, to my surprise, there were more than ten. So many, in fact, that I wondered if it was worth the wait. There was a tip jar in the middle of the counter and though most orders were for three or more concoctions no one was leaving a tip. The order before mine was a big one! Eight "Blizzards," all sizes, flavors, etc, to go. The gal worked efficiently, cheerfully filling the orders and delivering them with a smile and a "Have a nice day!" Then came my tiny order. "I would like a medium cone." The gal smiled and said, "Is that all?" "Yep", was my reply. I had handed her a twenty ... Read Full Story >>
I keep scissors handy on my sofa side table to clip interesting articles and coupons that my friends & family may like. Once a week, I sort them into different piles and send it thru the mail to distribute. I received many thank you's for the interesting articles, so I started to clip out funny cartoons, inspirational stories, share poems and pick up stick-um's and other surprise goodies too! I stuff them into the letters especially if I know the person needs a pick-me-up ... it's fun and not expensive at all ... and everyone loves the "snail mail surprises." Lastly, when I sort thru the mail, I pull out the Two for One coupon restaurant deals, additional savings coupon or certificates from department stores, etc. I keep them in a envelope and if I don't need it, I make sure to pass out to other friends and co-workers for their use before expiration dates. I recently snail-mail ... Read Full Story >>
Happy Memories... Ding-Dong. “YEAH! Auntie’s here! Auntie’s here!” scream my hubby’s niece & nephew in unison. "Let me get the door!” “No, let me!” They continue shouting as they charge off together, hurdling themselves at the front door, each one’s goal to get there first and open the door for their Auntie. Me! I can’t get enough of them, of their enthusiasm, their youthful zest for life, their excitement every time I visit! Their faces aglow, their exuberant welcomes & sincere eagerness (which to be honest is partially due to the Surprise Travel Bag they spy me carrying in). It’s a tradition I started when they were all young. I bring a large bag filled with toys, games, coloring books & crayons, paper and magic markers, candy, books and more. The contents vary but the rules don’t. They include: each gets a turn picking what activity we will ALL do, each takes a turn going ... Read Full Story >>
After 2 false alerts the winter storm advisory today, tonight and tomorrow is real -- snow has been falling and accummulating. And I'm armed! I made sure to put an extra pairs of gloves, 2 ice scraper (small and large), and a small hand held brush for sweeping the snow in the front seat of my car. What I'm also going to do is scout our work parking lot for a secret snow wiping and windshield cleaning, after I leave work. I started this tradition a few years ago when my hubby and I discontinued car pooling. (I did not realize that he spoiled me- I'd sit in the nice, warm truck watching/waiting while he did the cleaning then drove us safely home.) Now I do my own (ugh!). I know how much work it involves, and how cold you can get. So I'm excited to be able to surprise someone with a ... Read Full Story >>
My workplace, as do many others in our town, support local services and the needy. One of the main services we support and donate to, besides the Red Cross and United Way, is our local food bank. This year, the food bank is challenged more than in the past. We cannot let the shelves become depleted or the food run out. Others, especially children, depend on it. With the country's economic situation stalled and more people out of work, more people are hungry and need supplements to feed their families. This year, all the companies in our area got together and decided to sponsor a Community "Food Fight Contest". The contest will include 3 categories or areas to win: a) supply the most food, b) donate the most money, and c) provide the most volunteers. A company can win in all 3 areas or 3 different companies can win in each different ... Read Full Story >>
After I married, we honeymooned in Hawaii. Both of us enjoyed our ten day stay-- the islands are gorgeous, the people loving, gracious and spiritual, the sunrises/sunsets one more spectacular then the next, the rainbows miraculously appearing each afternoon after a brief rain and the flowers so brightyly colored and diverse. What a paradise! We returned to one restaurant several times in Maui because I loved the buffet, the service, the outdoor tables where I could feed the birds, the ocean view and it was close to our hotel. I befriended a waitress who symbolized the Hawaiin people to me: she was plump, middle-aged, super friendly, greeting us each time with a huge, warm smile, twinkling eyes, a deep booming laugh and a hug. She was quite chatty and so am I so we bonded instantly. She shared some of her life stories with us, which was so sad: hubby ... Read Full Story >>
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, KINDNESS, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "THE ONE YOU FEED!"
There's a woman I work with who is very shy. She doesn't usually share much about herself so I don't know her very well. At the beginning of the week, a group of my co-workers and I were gathered around the water fountain. This woman was there too. Usually she is fairly quiet, but today she was unloading all her woes.....I listened (without interrupting) while she shared her many concerns and life challenges with the group. Some of the group rolled their eyes or tried to change the subject I suspected because they did not want their precious break time spent on someone else's problems. I could tell she was really stressed and disheartened. Even, her appearance spoke volumes - her posture was poor with slumped shoulders, she has deep furrow lines on her forehead, her eyes had no sparkle and she had dark circles. She seemed to be surrounded by ... Read Full Story >>
After working out one day, in the locker room, I came across a gorgeous wedding ring studded with many diamonds and a ruby ring. I could tell they were very expensive, and by the color, the gold looked to be 24 carat. I looked around but there was no one in the gym or in the locker room. So I took the rings to our work Lost & Found in the Security department upstairs. After you fill out the tag, the items are kept for at least 30 days. I told the security guard that I did not want my name mentioned, as I wanted it to be a random act of kindness. I did not want the person to feel they needed to thank me or compensate me. And I was pretty sure that the rings would be claimed! Over the course of the day, I forgot all about turning in the rings but ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago, I was promoted to supervisor. I was so excited about being promoted, but little did I know, more importantly, how many valuable life lessons I would learn while in this position. Early on, I was short-handed and needed another staff member. Management and my senior staff joined me in interviewing the candidates and after much deliberation and voting, we hired a guy called Melvin -- or Mel as he liked to be called. He was a character of sorts -- a retired cop, thick skinned, street smart, tough and rough around the edges. Mel had much experience in the real world, but I wasn't sure he would be a good fit for the group or the company. When Mel first joined our team, he teased us relentlessly, cussed up a storm and was loud and aggressive, but after some time we all got used to him and realized that he actually added ... Read Full Story >>
Not sure if its the cold weather or what but there have been quite a few cars and trucks that have had dead batteries lately including my hubby and his truck.
While leaving the parking lot the other day, I noticed a gentleman who could not start his car. I have jumper cables in the trunk so I stopeped and asked, "Need a Jump?"
'Definitely!", he replied. "OK", I said as I pulled up next to his car and popped open the trunk. Then I told him, "You will have to help me to set up and charge. I carry the jumper cables just in case, but I'm not comfortable hooking them up to the battery."
It feels so good to be able to help someone out in their moment of need.
We all like to be recognized and sincerely complimented. So after a recent stay at a hotel, I pulled out the "We want to hear from you" insert and hand wrote a thank you for the nice accommodations and staffing. My Mom left a huge tip for the maid (hidden surprise under the bed pillow). One of my neighbors is usually out in her yard weeding and gardening . She has one of the best yards on our street so I stopped and told her so. What a bright smile after that compliment. I noticed and complimented a co-worker who cut her long hair into a shorter, more becoming hairstyle that framed her face and made her look younger....she was pleased too. She said many didn't even notice and she was very attached to the length. I was also touched by a co-worker from another department that sent me an email thank-you (copying my boss) for the consistent responsiveness and thoroughness in my follow-up to ... Read Full Story >>
I usually carpool to work with my hubby on the really cold, snowy winter days, as I feel safer with him driving us in his huge truck vs my little car. Well, last winter, guess who was out sick for a few days? and guess who drove to work by herself? And guess how much snow fell? 5-6 inches and it froze so quickly into ice! Yep, you guessed it...."little old me!" After work one day last winter, I carefully walked to my car, started the engine, turned on the heat and defrost and located my bright red hefty ice scraper and brush to begin the task of removing all the snow and ice from the car. It had been snowing all day so I had a thick layer blanketing the windows, hood, and roof. I worked away, trying not to be grumpy or cranky about it, but not succeeding. I realized how spoiled I was because I usually get to hop into a warming truck ... Read Full Story >>
I am a big conservationist and believe it is our responsibility, as stewards of this earth, to cut down on pollution, excess consumption, ravaging of natural resources, etc. I try to do my part every day and one way is by refusing to use plastic bags at stores, especially grocery ones. I have my own recycled ones I bring and if not enough, then I ask for paper bags and use them as garbage bags.
When I was out at Whole Foods buying some organic items, I decided to buy several recycled bags and have the cashier or bagger gift them to others in line along with a smile card. At first, the cashier did not understand when I told her what I was doing, why and that I was a member of HelpOthers. However, the bagger was very receptive, smiling and said, "How cool- sure we'll pick out some people and give them the bag and the card."
I was pleased as it will be DOUBLE RAOK's -- one for the environment and one for the recipient of the recycled bags who can re-use them every time they go shopping like me!
A co-worker of mine has commented on this pink stone necklace that I wear occasionally...she really likes the color and design.
I happen to be wearing this necklace today and when she complimented me again on it, I asked her, "You really like this necklace, huh? Want it?"
Her eyes opened wide and her mouth dropped open into a big, "Oh!" She hesitated ....
I reached to unclasp the necklace with a big smile, "It's yours", I said.
"THANK-YOU!", she exclaimed as I settled in around her neck.
"How does it look?", she asked.
"Great. ...Better on you than me. ENJOY it and wear it in good health! Have a great day", I replied.
"Oh, I AM!", she stated and thanked me again heading back to her cubby with a new bounce in her step. I too, had a perkier walk as I headed back to my cubicle.
I wished I had carried a smile card in my pocket to give her with the gift ...next time ..you just never know when a kindness opportunity will present itself so got to be prepared.
"As I waited at a busy intersection in our city for the red light to change to green, I glanced left; seeing an elderly man groping about on the curb. He had fallen off of his motorized cart which had lurched a few yards ahead of him, and was crawling off the sidewalk onto the road to pick up his front basket ( which was now in the path of oncoming traffic). Without a second thought, I rushed over to help him to his feet, and although unsteady and shaken, I was able to walk him to his cart, and help him back onto the seat and reattach his basket. As he glanced up at me, he smiled and said, “Thank you.” I made sure that he was OK to continue on and then I returned to my car, which I had left at the intersection. Nobody was honking. They just stared at me. ... Read Full Story >>
I have enjoyed mentoring the hearing impaired and deaf in my community. I urge you to give it a try -- working with children or the handicapped is so inspiring and rewarding! I have given some inspirational speeches on how I accepted and overcame my own hearing loss at work and through various organizations. Over the past few years, I have been in email correspondence with a deaf young man who did not believe he was college material. I found out one of my salesmen had a deaf son whom he wished would go to college (to ensure the best possible future and because he was so bright and excelled in math & science). He asked me if I could befriend his son and share my experiences. I gladly agreed and had a grand time emailing back and forth. His son is a lovely person, smart but lacking confidence and a sense of adventure. We were in contact for ... Read Full Story >>
I love it here in CO and in my new town which boasts a "small town atmosphere and attitude"!. Everyone waves, smiles and says "hello" and there seems to be a real community focus. One of my friends gave me an invitation from her church to participate in a Neighborhood Community Day of Giving. I am not of her faith but she said everyone is welcome so I accepted. The invitation listed the projects and what supplies were needed and you could bring in advance or with you to the church. (The church also provided some of the materials and supplies for those willing to volunteer their time but not able to afford the expense). Everyone gives what they can whether time, money or materials and goods! When we arrived we were greeted by the church coordinator of the project with "welcome, smiles and some hugs". She spoke then other sharing inspirational wisdom and prayers. First project ... Read Full Story >>
I was very busy yesterday snipping coupons, cartoons, gathering inspirations, stick-em's, jokes, good reads, music and other goodies for my snail mail treats. Usually I send my snail mail surprises out monthly but with the holidays I haven't. Seems many of my friends , a few widows and a few family members are really down. I believe its a combination of life challenges, the weather and the holidays. I want to do my part to spread cheer, goodwill and smiles to let them know I am thinking about them and sending them hugs, since I can't be there in person. I wrote several short letters and cards then filled them with all sorts of goodies depending on the recipents and what I thought would cheer or inspire them personally. These goodies included an inspirational book, a little mystery fun book, poetry, a spa coupon and a Birdsong DVD. I also held each card/letter in the palm of my hands infusing it with ... Read Full Story >>
On Thursday, Dec 14, 2005, a female humpback whale became entangled in a web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, binding her tail, her torso, and a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside of the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was in such bad shape, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her--a very dangerous proposition. One slap of her tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say, she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and ... Read Full Story >>
I just received this from my Sister-n-Law and loved it so much I wanted to share with you all....it's so true.....enjoy! People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you thru a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to ... Read Full Story >>
One of my best buddies was in New York for Christmas last year. She had a ball shopping, eating out and mingling with the gossling crowds. What stood out in her mind was on Christmas day, she was due at a friend's apartment and had hailed a taxi from the hotel lobby. One promptly pulled over and without looking inside, she grabbed the door handle to let herself in quickly as it was cold and blistery --she was used to the mild climate of California. She hopped in the taxi and what greeted her was Santa! A gentleman outfitted in the authenic red costume, beard , glasses, huge smile and twinkling eyes. "Where to miss"?, he asked. She was too stunned to make any comments, just gave the address of her friend's place grinning ear to ear. One she arrived at her destination, she hopped out and handed Santa the fare.....he declined, "Merry Christmas Miss", he stated, " The ... Read Full Story >>