Today my heart is full of joy and gratefulness for my family and for the beautiful people I encountered today. My husband worked all night as a police volunteer and got home at 5.30 a.m. in the morning and then left at 4 p.m. this afternoon for another shift. My daughter spent the morning with some friends and neighbors raising money for a very famous charity in our town and also helped one of her friend's dad raise money for a sponsored climb of a mountain in Morocco. And what did I do? Well, I bought some cakes for my daughter and her friend and gave a smile card to the gentleman that was selling the cakes, plus a card that said, "May all your days be filled with Love." I went to the library and left the cards inside the magazines and books and on the shelves so people could find them. I ... Read Full Story >>
Below are the some of the heart warming anecdotes that I've witnessed and heard from others during the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan last year... In the supermarket, where items of all the shelves fell, people were picking up things so neatly together, and then quietly standing in line to buy food. Instead of creating panic and buying as much as needed, they bought as little as they needed. I was proud to be a Japanese. When I was walking home, for 4 hours, there was a lady holding a sign that said, "Please use our toilet." They were opening their house for people to go to the restroom. It was hard not to tear up, when I saw the warmth of people. At Disneyland, they were giving out candies. High school girls were taking so many so I was thinking, "What???" But then the next minute, they ran to the children ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I was in town with my daughter and we saw this man sitting on the ground, looking sad and like he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Before I could say anything my daughter asked if we could give him some money. (He had a hat on the ground with some coins in it.) So, I gave her some change. At the same time an elderly gentleman bent down towards the man, said some words, and gave him some money. I was very much touched by the gentleness of the gesture. It was as if the older man was saying, "I am helping you because you could be my son." It was a very hot day, which is not very normal in our little town. We were going to the supermarket and my daughter asked me if we could get some water and something for the man to eat. ... Read Full Story >>
If you are on the lookout, you can almost always find an opportunity for kindness. I filled my afternoon with small gestures today, they didn't take much time or effort, but I hope they made a small difference to the people who received them. I was out and about because I had to do a few errands this afternoon. My first stop was the supermarket. I wanted to buy some croissants with chocolate on them for my daughter Rita. I also decided to get a few plain ones for my husband, my mum and me. Armed with the croissants, I went on to my second stop - a local charity bookshop. I wanted to see if they had any books on Unicorns, since Rita loves them (and, I have to admit, so do I). While I was there, I struck up a conversation with the lady at the counter during which she commented on the smell ... Read Full Story >>
On New year's day in China, I went to town to book my daughter's birthday party and stopped at the council (they have a lovely coffee shop) for a coffee.
The view was lovely and the weather was just perfect a cold winter day but with a lovely blue sky and the sun shining that was warm and almost a promise of Spring.
On my way out I left 2 stones with the words "good luck" written on them and some smile cards for people to find. I hope they will put a smile on the face of the person who finds them.
Today I went to my daughter's school and spoke about kindness to 60 kids plus teachers and teacher assistants. After a small talk about the meaning of kindness, I gave a challenge to the children - I told them to write a small story about an act of kindness that they had done and how that made them feel. Or if they had received of an act of kindness how did that make them feel? In what way had that act changed them? Then I and the Deputy Head and the Head Teacher will choose the best ones, the one that will stand out for their feelings of compassion and love toward others. When I was waiting for my daughter I saw some teachers that were at the assembly passing by and I was hoping that they would tell me if they liked the talk or not, but they didn't say anything. Then this little boy came to me and said: "You know, I enjoyed the ... Read Full Story >>
This last week we had half term holidays and my niece stayed with us for the week because my nephew ( her brother) was going to have a delicate spine surgery and it was easy for the parents to concentrate on looking after him. My daughter, my neice, and I went out for some last minute shopping and while I was on the line waiting to pay the girls asked if they could wait for me at the door. Some minutes later they return to ask if they could give the sweets they had just bought to a man in the street, so there they go and give their sweets away, another 2 minutes and they return to ask me if there was anything else they could give the man, I told them that I only had the 3 ginger bread men they had bought for dessert, so they took the biscuits to ... Read Full Story >>
I do a lot of kind things on an impulse, mostly because I know that if I think about them I will probably will let my head get in front of my heart and then regret not having acted.
Today I woke up with the clear idea that I had to send a certain amount of cash to someone I know who is indirectly related to me. The amount was exactly half of what I had in my already very slim bank account.
As you can imagine all sorts of thoughts went through my head but - I can't explain - I just knew I have to do it and do it anonymously.
All I know is that this person has three children around the same age as my daughter and her husband is an alcoholic with an autistic personality, which makes her life very difficult.
Why I had to do this now and not another time I might never know. But I feel it was the right thing to do.
Weeks go by so fast that sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of everything that has happened.
This week, the girl I have been tutoring had her last exam. To celebrate, I gave her a farewell present, and baked a cake for her mother and for her mother's best friend who I have never met. Later, one of my beautiful companions from the Service Space community had his birthday, and on his behalf I composed six letters of universal love, sent a gift to a friend who has been feeling under the weather and bought coffee for a stranger.
Towards the end of the week, I made a list of ideas to help a friend expand her business, and listened to someone who needed a listening ear. Tonight, I will make the time to listen to another friend who is going through some tough life challenges.
Life is good, and I wish you all a very blessed and blissful weekend.
Today when I went to the supermarket for a cappuccino, the coffee shop was unusually quiet. A younger lady and a gentleman in his late eighties were sitting in front of me, and being rather close, I couldn't help but overhear their conversation. From the snippets that floated my way, it appeared that the lady was a social worker, and that she had accompanied the older man to the doctor's office earlier in the day. As they ate lunch together, they discussed his eating habits and health. He was slim, but I gathered that his doctor was concerned about his diet, and the impact it was having on his memory and on his blood pressure. As I listened from my table, I found myself touched by the patience and kindness in the woman's voice and tone. No matter how many times the man asked "why can't I eat the sausages?" or declared ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday was baking day, so there was a lot of baking and sharing of almond cakes. Today I went to a little convenience store in my town and at the door there was this man sitting on the floor looking very under the weather with a sign saying "It's my B'day help please." I had nothing on me, so I did my shopping and just hoped he would stay there by the time I finished what needed to do. I bought him some chocolate and joined a bank note. When I left the shop he was still there so I started a little conversation, he said he was from Glasgow and that he was homeless, my heart went to him, no one should be homeless, we should all have right to shelter in some shape of form. I gave him the chocolate and the cash and when he looked at ... Read Full Story >>
I learned to count my blessings a long the time ago. I believe that if any one stops for a minute he/she will find something to be grateful for. I am grateful for a great number of things but I am especially grateful for NOW, for this moment in time. I am grateful for the lovely town where I live. In this town the number of charity shops almost equals the number of “normal” shops. There are charities for almost everything you can imagine. Even the primary schools are charity orientated, with the Parents and Teachers Association taking responsibility for raising money through parties, discos, fairs and other events in order to be able to buy things like interactive white boards or sports gear for the school football team. I think my town is very kind and it is very easy to live here. People smile at you a lot, ... Read Full Story >>
I am planning to change my career, so I went to a career adviser to get some advice on what to do with my qualifications. The career adviser was lovely and we connected immediately as if we had known each other for a long time.
When I booked another appointment she told me that she was moving and that it would be the final appointment. I decided to give her a little glass heart with the words "good luck" and a Smile Card. When she saw the Smile Cards she asked me if she could have more, she was going to have a farwell dinner and she wanted to give one to each of her guests. I was over the moon and handed her all the Smile Cards I had in my bag.
I felt that I wanted to do something else so I went home got one of my books and wrote a small dedication whishing her luck for the new job, and wrapped it in a beautiful paper along with more Smile Cards. I gave it to reception to give it to her, I hope she liked the surprise, and I'm happy to have sent more Smile Cards out in to the world.
I live in a small town but even so parking is a luxury. If you want to go shopping in town you pay. I went to town to get a few bits and pieces and had my parking under control for an hour when I bumped into a friend. She is 81 years old and a sweetheart and she wanted to talk. So, I was at the door of the shopping centre with almost one foot out the door, an eye out for the parking attendant and an attentive ear for her. When I saw the parking attendant my heart sank. I ran to the car to find a square piece of paper glued to my front window then run to the man who was walking slowly along the cars. I explained that I was just a few minutes late and the proof was that I was there talking to him. If I had ... Read Full Story >>
I had decided to do as many acts of kindness as possible during the month of September, and I must say that I have surprised myself. I I never thought that I would get that much done in such a little space of time. I haven't done anything extra-ordinary, but I have been making sure to keep doing them. For example today is the birthday of a friend from HO and also from a very good friend (almost like a sister) from PT so I decided to top up their birthday presents by donating a small amount to a charity on their behalf that is going to allow 1 child to have clean water for a year, and 1 child to have medical care for 3 months, that didn't cost me the earth and I think it gave their birthdays a RAOK touch. Other things I've done include: sending a card to a ... Read Full Story >>
Exactly 10 years ago I gave birth to a little girl, now turning a big girl.
The day my daughter was born I was blessed with the company of my husband and 3 friends who kept me company from 16.30 in to 23.00 at night. Due to the shortage of personel, I had to stay with my baby daughter in the corridor of the hospital just outside the bunch of the rooms where women give birth.
I can't forget the endless patience and efforts of my friends and family to keep me in good spirits for all those hours. To me, this day is a celebration of my daughter's birthday and a celebration of the most beautiful friendship in times of need. They must have done a fantastic job because I don't remember being bored or annoyed while we waited all those hours!
This year I am going to write a thank you letter to each of them for being there for me.
I used to live in residential area that was quite far way from everything. It was a very hot midsummer day with temperatures over 35 ºC and it was also around that time of the day that the sun is stronger. I was driving home when I saw these two men walking along the road under that burning sun. They looked exhausted. I drove past them in the opposite direction and I had this urge of doing a u-turn and giving them a lift. All kinds of thoughts came into my mind, including what if they harm me? But, there was something stronger than fear inside of me. So, I did a u-turn and stopped the car next to them, opened the door of my old fiesta and invited them in. I noticed the puzzled looks on their faces and I could even feel that they were embarrassed. They were immigrants and didn’t speak my language, but ... Read Full Story >>
Today I received the news that not only was my hard work not going to be recognized but I was not going to get paid on time and all my extra-hours would not be taken into consideration.
I have just finished reading the book "The shack" by William Paul Young. It's a lovely book to read at Christmas time. There is a beautiful paragraph in the book that stuck with me and I would like to share it with you.
"Mack, if anything matters, everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again." (p. 235)
Today I received a lovely act of kindness from a seed I panted some time ago!
Yesterday, I went to my favourite coffee shop in town. I was sitting at a table, leisurely enjoying a fantastic cup of tea. On my left there were two ladies having a hot chocolate and chatting away happily.
I suddenly felt like paying for their drinks, but I was in a dilemma. We don't exactly have a lot of money to give out these days. So I decided to look for a sign to tell me what to do.
The sign that came was very interesting. After a few minutes of my sitting there, two other ladies came in and addressed one of the ladies drinking the hot chocolate by her first name, which was also my daughter’s first name. Now, the interesting part is that my daughter’s name is a very old Italian name, not exactly the name one would expect to hear in England.
So I decided that it was the right decision. To avoid questions from the waitress, I told her that the ladies were my friends and that I wanted to surprise them, paying them their drinks.
I hope they enjoyed their surprise.
There are summers that pass by quickly and with hardly any major events to remember. This summer, on the other hand, it will be a summer to be remembered for doing what makes my heart happy - being of service to others!
I made new friends, sent love letters to strangers, gave surprise presents, baked cakes to give away, looked after babies and teenage girls, listen with my heart to the life challenges some friends are going through, helped others in need of a helping hand ... The summer is not over yet and I expect many more kindness adventures.
I like to start my day asking the Universe " How can I be of service today?" and then I go with the flow.
A Romanian family just moved into our neighborhood and a friend introduced me to them. They are a young couple with a twelve year old daughter.
Knowing that both parents worked and the girl is going to be on her own a lot, and knowing that she is really keen to improve her English, I offered to look after her and teach her English during the summer holidays.
It turns out that she gets on well with my daughter and they have a great time together!
In the UK in recent years there is a fashion of giving children party bags at birthday parties to thank them for coming. I always found it a waste of money for those who have to buy them and a nightmare for those who receive them because it usually is just a small bag filled with sweets and tiny toys that end up in the vacum cleaner.
Four years ago I decided to use the money that would have been spent on party bags on something more useful. I donated teddy bears to children in need. And this year, I donated money to a charity that provides clean water for people in Malawi.
It makes me smile to think that 15 people are going to have clean water for 1 year, that wouldn't otherwise have had access. I also sent a package with clothes to a child I support in Mozambique so my daughter can also learn that we should receive with grace and give with grace at the same time.
I live in a small friendly town. Due to the current challenging times the number of charity shops is almost the same as the number of " normal" shops.
I am a regular costumer at the local charity shops, lately looking for teddy bears. There are people that I see working there on a regular basis and I think how lovely it is that they always have volunteers to run the shops.
Today I decided to visit each of the charity shops and leave a rose, a 29gifts and a smile card to each of the volunteers working there. Most of them were surprised, one asked if I was selling the roses ( meaning, I hope, they looked good enough to be sold ) and a lady commented that it was a lovely idea.
My next project is to do the same on the villages around my town. One village at a time.
I found a site in the internet about a "29 Days of Giving Challenge" which I decided to do. The idea is the same as random acts of kindness, except that what you give can be anonymous or not. I’ve been doing it for a while and it’s quite interesting because when you get to the end of the day, you think to yourself, “I gave this or I gave that today”. Sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s more difficult. I tend to try to give something significant. I don't mean significant in terms of monetary value but more in terms of making a difference to someone. One of my gifts this weekend was the gift of patience. My brother-in-law brought his two little ones aged 2 and 4 to spend the weekend with us. As you can imagine my home was no longer mine - it was theirs. My home was turned ... Read Full Story >>
It has been raining a lot in my little town, and that can make you feel as if you are carrying a cloud on your head. Today I went to town to get a few bits and pieces and I was surprised by a trio of man playing beautifully trumpets. I have heard all sorst of instruments being played in the high street but never these ones, and the music was happy and contrasting with the rain. As I walked by, I noticed that they didn't have much money in their box. Something inside of me wanted to give them something more than my change. So I decided to go to the card shop. I bought a thank you card and wrote a few lines saying "thank you for being a ray of sunshine in such a grey morning", in the envelope I also included some change and of course some Smiel ... Read Full Story >>
My husband told me that a friend of ours was not feeling well, so I packed a "get well basket" with croissants and strawberry jam, tea ( a certain tea called Love :) ), and a bar of chocolate and went to visit her in the morning. She was really down and hadn't eaten properly for the last 3 days.
So, I went home cooked some food and took it to her for the rest of the day. I would like to have helped her more but she thought I was already doing too much ( I didn't think so ). I hope she finds the strength to look for more help. I will be here if she needs me whenever she needs me.
A good friend came to visit yesterday and really helped me appreciate a lot of things we take for granted. She is French and lived here in the U.K. for several years. But recently, because of work commitments, she moved to a third country. She said it was such a culture shock and she cried for the first six weeks she was there. What upset her was the lack of personal freedom and the lack of almost any expression of humanity in the government organisations. The people always felt they were being watched and the only way to get decent food and equipment was by taking part in a frightening black market economy. But! Even in the midst of such darkness it is still possible to find some beautiful people; like her landlady, who visited her every day, helped with the three children - and even cooked for her! And the Head Teacher ... Read Full Story >>
I love to surprise people. I like to start things with a "bang" and finish them with another "bang" usually related with acts of kindness.
This year on my last meeting as a chair of the PTA, I offered each member of the team a rose and a card.
Though they know me by now I guess I can still surprise them with unusual surprises from time to time.
The other day I gave a chocolate and a smile card to a charity worker, who seemed quite puzzled ...
Today I gave a rose and a card to a lady that I know who has been working very hard.
Giving flowers is lovely, the only danger is that it is highly addictive.