I was on a first date with a woman at a coffee shop when I decided that I would like to reveal the side of me that carries out random acts of kindness. I brought two pouches of gummy bear candies, and pulled out a Smile Card. During our stimulating conversation, I invited her to be my partner in kindness – first, by looking for someone who has walked away from his seat in the café, and then swiftly and gracefully placing the gummy bear pouches and Smile Card on the person's seat. It turns out that my timing for suggesting this to her was impeccable since a person sitting nearby stood up to go to the restroom just moments after I opened the topic. It was as if the universe was smiling upon my desire to share kindness with my date and with a stranger. As soon as the person walked ... Read Full Story >>
My task was to knock on 10 doors and give them a treat -- a "reverse trick-or-treat" kindness mission! I took a wicker basket and filled it with wrapped treats, including Emergen-C Joint Health packets, ThinkThin Crunch protein bars, and Kashi Honey Oat and Flax energy bars -- all fairly healthy items. The Smile Deck Card said to knock on 10 doors, but I took it a step further and knocked on all of the 30+ doors in my apartment building. The results were on the whole quite positive. However, my ambivalence with doing this deed stemmed from my fear that the neighbors would be suspicious of someone knocking on their door inside of a gated building. This turned out to be the case with a number of neighbors, but that was part of the challenge for me -- to maintain positive, giving intentions amidst people's doubt and suspicion. I found that first ... Read Full Story >>
I find that gifting food to others can sometimes be a challenging deed to accomplish. Last night, I encountered two Asian women collecting bottles from recycling bins in the road, so I asked whether they were hungry and wanted some food. They hardly responded, and one merely looked at me with a puzzled look on her face. I assume that they either did not understand English or simply had no desire to receive food. A similar interaction happened this past weekend when I was seeking to give away some pears that I received as gifts (which of course I washed before giving away). As I rode my bike under a highway overpass, I noticed a homeless woman sitting in the dark, empty space below the highway. I turned my bike around and rode up beside her. She appeared to be dirty, had a bin likely filled with possessions, and was fidgeting ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, I chopped hundreds of tomatoes to contribute to a massive, free vegetarian feast that took place today in a park. As I departed my home to attend the feast, something felt a bit off. I did not feel right leaving solely with the intention to receive. Though I had worked many hours to prepare the food, I felt a strong compulsion to continue giving. So I decided to make a gift out of some leftover vegetarian curry that I had cooked. I filled a container with the curry and placed it in a plastic bag with a fork and napkin, creating a portable care package. As I went through my day traveling to and from the festival, I kept a watchful eye out for someone who was sincerely hungry (the "sincerely" part is not always easy with many people begging for drug money). On my way home, I saw a ... Read Full Story >>
This weekend I was tagged for the first time!
After participating in HelpOthers for a couple months now I am grateful to finally be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness!
A young woman at a dance class paid for my evening lesson. She had been gifted her lesson that very same night.
It was a nice surprise when she and the organizer found out that I am well aware of the great things happening on this site!
Today I continued the chain and paid forward this Smile Card at a Himalayan Fair. I struck up a conversation with a woman in line and smoothly told the cashier that I'm paying for her meal. She and the cashier were pleasantly surprised and appreciative.
Hooray for kindness ripples continuing to sail through the world!
As I walked along the city streets, I passed a man who was rummaging through a small strip of land that contained a mix of leaves and debris. Finding this slightly odd, I asked him, "What are you searching for?" His response, very simply, was bills of money. Upon further conversation, I found out that he had become homeless just a month-and-a-half ago after getting laid off from his job and dropping out of college. Since then, he had been working odd jobs and alternating between the doctor's office and the food bank. The man seemed fairly competent, albeit dirty, and I was somewhat puzzled why someone like him would be rummaging through debris searching for buried dollar bills. I offered him a fresh-baked whole wheat peanut muffin from a batch that I had baked that day. His eyes lit up, and he eagerly jumped on my offer. He immediately unwrapped the ... Read Full Story >>
An impromptu reunion with seven of my college housemates arose, and I wanted to connect with them on a deeper level beyond conversation and smiles.
I thought, "What could I give to them?", racked my brain, but could not come up with anything. Then I read monkeyinpajama's "Moving Creates An Opportunity To Start Giving" entry and thought to give away possessions of mine that I acquired over the course of my life.
I ended up giving each of my friends a smile card and a unique item, which brightened the atmosphere and brought an extra level of happiness and excitement to our dinner table. The items I gave them included 20-year-old football playing cards, a transformer toy, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurine of Donatello, a pocket tape reel of jokes, a magic trick, a muscular action hero, and a Samuel Adams top hat.
I think that this was a nice way to begin new chains of kindness ripples in a short period of time.
I saw in ad in the newspaper for a program called Food Not Bombs. They were distributing food to the hungry near where I live. I decided to show up at the indicated place and time in order to help. In addition to contributing my physical efforts I brought a plastic container filled with vegetarian food that I had cooked along with a set of plastic utensils to add to the giving spirit. When I arrived at the intersection no one was to be found. I looked all around and even asked a hotel receptionist and a security guard, neither of whom knew what I was talking about. I was a bit lost. I went back to the intersection and looked around. I saw an unmarked hotel entrance and went inside. The receptionist there informed me that I had just missed the event. It turns out that the program drops off food for the ... Read Full Story >>
Next week I will be moving out of my home town. So, I decided to go into town before I left and show my appreciation for the people who work there. I bought a bouquet of ten white tulips and gave them out, along with Smile Cards, to ten people working in different locations. The reactions I received were on the whole very positive. A coffee shop employee joked that the flowers in my hand must have been for her. Imagine her surprise when I presented her with one of them! The man in the bagel shop was surprised and delighted. I expect most people walking into his shop want something from him but this time was different. Two ice-cream parlor workers had ear-to-ear smiles after receiving their flowers. The KMart cashier said a previous customer had talked about winning a prize. After receiving her flower she said that she felt like a prize-winner as ... Read Full Story >>