In the early 80's, I was introduced by a homeless lady named Rosie to a little café in Portland, Oregon. I had taken Rosie for coffee or food many times in the months I had known her. This day she insisted she was taking me to lunch. We walked from the hotel where I worked to a little cafe on Davis Street. I was franctic, knowing she had no money, and I did not want to hurt her feeling by offering to pay yet again. The cafe was filled with people, all of them smiling, even the workers. Rosie told me to sit and drink coffee while she worked for her lunch. After about 20 minutes, she paid for one meal and we sat enjoying the best vegetarian chili and cornbread I had ever eaten. She explained to me that the café let you work for a meal if you had no money, or would give you ... Read Full Story >>
Last month my kindness idea allowed me to meet some new people in my community. When I delivered their food, I also gave each my phone number so they could keep in touch if they wanted. All of them have called me since.
Having a bad spell with MS has left me pretty much in bed the last two or three weeks and feeling nearly helpless.
Yesterday, the young mother I had helped showed up at my house with a casserole. While she was here, she washed my dishes and carried out my trash. The young gentleman I had helped has been here twice, just to check on me. He has no transportation so he had to walk the several miles to where I live.
In helping others, I have made new friends . What a blessing.
My lesson in kindness began many years ago.
At age 13, I was taking a bus cross-country, from Illinois to Washington, to be with my Dad and siblings. I had no money, not even a penny. After the bus had made three or four meal stops, where I stayed on the bus, the lady next to me started a conversation.
She finally asked me if I had food money. I was afraid to admit that I didn't have any. Well, the lady's trip ended in Topeka, Kansas. When she got ready to get off the bus, she handed me $20. $20 was a lot of money in those days. She told me she had also been hungry in her life and I needed to eat. At the next stop, I ate like there was no tomorrow.
That was 50 years ago and I have never forgotten that kind woman and have been paying it forward every since.