Today a young door to door salesman knocked on my door. Unfortunately, I could not buy what he was selling but I made sure to give him all of the attention that he needed and remain pleasant throughout his short presentation.
I wanted to share something that put a smile on my face this morning. My work place is very diverse, as matter of fact, my company ranks in the top 10 among the most diverse companies in America. With this being the case, a lot of times we run into situations where there is a language barrier. Last week while I was at work, one of my coworkers twisted her wrist while lifting something that might have been too heavy for her.This particular coworker of mine speaks little English and my Spanish needs “mucho” work. But we have never had a problem communicating. When I ran into her shortly after her injury, I took a look and I knew that a simple first aid routine was in order. With me being an athlete, I knew that a simple procedure called 'RICE' (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), was what she needed until she ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I went to the nursing home to visit my step mom’s grandma. She just got out of the hospital recently where she underwent some serious operations. I wanted to surprise her after work so I stopped by for a quick visit. When I got there she was happy to see me. We hugged, kissed and exchanged greetings. Then I heard a woman crying. It was my great grandma’s roommate. The curtain was drawn so I could not see her. She started calling out a name that wasn't mine but she was definitely talking to me, begging me to go to her side of the room. I ignored her at first and continued visiting with my great grandma. Then she started begging and saying, “Please, come see me!" So I went to see her. When I drew the curtain back she looked so old and frail but flashed me the biggest smile! She opened ... Read Full Story >>
I consider myself one of the luckiest people I know. I lost my biological mother when I was nine years old and when she was alive she was not much of a mother to me. I met my step-mom for the first time when I moved to America to be reunited with my father. From the beginning she made sure to let me know that I was safe and welcome. I remember when I first saw her at the airport. It was different but not uncomfortable. Over the past several years there is nothing I needed that she did not provide. I am the young woman I am today because she made sure to raise me properly. Yesterday I went to see her for Mother’s Day. When I gave her my gifts she held my face in both of her hands and kissed me straight on the mouth - even though I had the ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I was at Subway, grabbing lunch with some friends. I received my order, sat it on a table, and went to the bathroom to wash my hands. On my way back I noticed a young man struggling to get his drink. He was spilling everything and making a mess. He was looking for the lids but reaching in the wrong trays and dropping straws and napkins everywhere. As I got close to him I notice why. He was blind. I saw that he had still not gotten his drink so I went over and offered to help. I asked him what drink he wanted. Then, instead of getting the drink for him, I took his hands and guided him through the process. After we were done I took him by the hand and led him to the table. I asked him if he needed anything else and he said he was ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday was my step-mom’s birthday. I haven’t been home in a long time so I wanted to stop by the house to see her on this special day. I have been struggling financially so I was dreading the long trip. Gas is so expensive nowadays! Anyway, I filled my tank with gas and set off. I stopped at the shopping mall and found a present. It was the perfect gift and I knew she would love it. But when I got to the cashier my card was declined! I did not have enough money in my account to pay for the gift! So I pondered the issue for a few minutes. I could put it back and get something cheaper, but I knew there was nothing else in the store she would have liked as much. So, I got on my smart-phone and transferred some money from my savings account so I was ... Read Full Story >>
This morning, I remembered a childhood memory. It made realize that some of the acts of kindness that we might do spontaneously might never be forgotten by the recipients. I was six years old and in foster care. My foster mother was not the kind of person I would have chosen to stay with. One morning she sent me to the store for a sack of flour. On the walk back home I was doing what any six year old would have been doing -- playing. Because of that I dropped the sack of flour and it burst open spilling the flour all over the ground. I knew that this meant I would be in big trouble when I got home. So I ran back to the store and asked the clerk if I could have an empty bag and a scoop so I can gather up as much of the flour ... Read Full Story >>
I wanted to share a story from a time in my childhood when I was living with my step mother. She worked all day so I was responsible for doing the household chores and taking care of my younger half brother. During that time in our life, my dad was not present much, but I didn’t mind, my step mother took great care of my little brother and I in any way that she could. I loved her and always wished she could spend more time with us but she worked Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. At that time my little brother was about 4 years old and he missed her so much all the time. He would always wait up for her but would fall asleep many times before she returned and when she left for work he would be asleep. One day, ... Read Full Story >>
This morning I woke up to a text message that said, “I want you to know that you are a talented, smart and incredible woman whose beauty radiates flawlessly from the inside out.” When I read it I smiled so brightly that I did not need to open the blinds and look out to know it was going to be a beautiful day. As I chose my work clothes for the day I took extra care. I tried on a few items until I found the ones that made me look as good as I felt. As I sat in the morning traffic I thought to myself, “Does he know how wonderful he made me feel with his simple and kind words?” This made me think of the power of words. Can you imagine how something so simple can make such a big impact? So I challenge you and myself to be kind with our ... Read Full Story >>
I was a freshman in college when I met Mr. Yepp. He was friendly and smiled a lot. He was almost always standing by the cashier that checked us into the university cafeteria, and I would run into Mr. Yepp during three of my daily meals. However, as the years past, I became annoyed by him. He would stand there and shake every person’s hand that came through the cafeteria. This was a problem for me because I did not want to offend him by refusing his handshake; however, I did not want to shake hands with him before coming into the cafeteria to eat because he was shaking every single person’s hand, and I had sanitary concerns. When we had the swine flu outbreak at the university, I started to avoid him by going through the back door. I am out of college now, work full-time, and Mr. Yepp is still ... Read Full Story >>
The other day, I decided to come home early because it was such a beautiful day. The kids were outside playing in my apartment complex and the ice cream truck was whistling its tune. As I drove slowly to avoid an accident, I noticed a little boy looking at the ice cream truck. He didn’t get anything and he walked away with a disappointed look on his face. I asked the ice cream guy what happened and he said the little boy had no money. I had no cash on me so I drove to my building and went upstairs to look for some cash. When I found it the ice cream guy was still waiting but the little boy was not. I went in the direction I thought he might have gone and I saw a woman getting out of her vehicle. I asked her if she had a little boy ... Read Full Story >>
This morning, as I got dressed for work, I chose one of my favorite necklaces. I do not wear it often because I want to hold onto it for a long time.
When I got to work, I was walking though a doorway and a woman stopped me and said, “I love your necklace.” I stopped walking to talk to her for a few minutes as she admired it and told me how great it looked on me. I was feeling a bit under the weather and did not feel as though I looked my best. But what she said to me made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.
I recalled the many mornings that she has spoken to me with a smile and then remembered something that my mom taught me. “You only give to others things that you would want to have.” As this thought ran through my mind, I unfastened the necklace from around my neck and told her she could have it. She would not take it because I had expressed to her how important it was to me. So I took her by the arm and put the necklace in the palm of her hand.
As I walked off I told her that a blessing given is a blessing received.
A while back I started a prayer book for a very sick friend called Marvin. This morning I was collecting prayers and a man wrote something in Marvin's prayer book. Then he told me his story. Like Marvin he too has cancer. He has been through chemotherapy three times. His cancer has returned after every chemo period and even a few surgeries. He is now stage 4 and terminal. The reason I am sharing this is because he said all of this to me with a voice that was so hopeful. He seemed not concerned about his situation at all. Instead, he asked many questions about Marvin and even put his phone number in the prayer book for Marvin to call. He said, "Tell Marvin, no matter what time of the day or night it is, he can call me. Tell him I want to hear from him in his darkest hour. You ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday after work I went to get into my car and to my surprise, I had a flat tire. I have always been the type of person who remains calm no matter what situation I’m in. This time, I was perturbed; this was the second flat tire I have had in one week. As I struggled to get the spare out of my trunk, a car pulled up next to me. It was my boss Marvin. To give you a quick background, Marvin is seriously ill and receives chemotherapy three times a week which leaves him very tired and weak. He was in his car heading home to rest when he saw I was in need. He asked me for the tools and I almost said "no" because I did not think he was well enough for such a task. However, he wouldn’t take no for an answer so I handed ... Read Full Story >>
I have a plant that sits on my desk. Yesterday, the two ladies that clean the office came in right before I was leaving and looked at me with with angry eyes. They do not speak English and I do not speak Spanish, but I practice with them every chance that I get so I’m getting a lot better at understanding and communicating with them. With the plant in her hands, she looked at me and asked me why I had not watered the plant since it was wilting. Ironically, I was holding a bottle of drinking water in my hand taking a sip as she was saying that. S he said a few words in Spanish that completely flew over my head so I asked the other lady to translate. She said, “You drink water all the time but you neglect to water the plant! She left the office with the ... Read Full Story >>
This weekend I went clothes shopping. While I was looking through the garments I would put the ones I wanted to try on across my arm.
Then a lady who worked in the shop approached me. She appeared to be about the same age as my grandmother. She said, "Hello. May I please have your items so I can set up a dressing room for you?”
I looked at her with gratitude and said, “No thank you." She insisted and I told her that if my mother were to see me hand her my clothes for her to prepare a room for me she would ask where I had left my manners. She smiled and said, “You have a good mother,” and left to go help another customer.
When I was done trying on the clothes she asked me to give them to her so that she could hang them back up; but I knew where I had found everything so I returned them myself.
Before I left the store she said to me, “Thank you for being considerate. I’m very tired today."
I was glad I had put my mother's teaching into practice.
My boss has cancer. He was diagnosed a few years ago; he went through treatment and chemotherapy. His cancer went into remission but returned recently. He is now currently having chemotherapy 3 times a week and fighting for his life yet a gain. I’m sharing this because never in my life have I ever seen someone so brave. Every day my boss comes to work with a smile on his face. Many times I can look at him and tell he is having a hard time but you could never tell. Every time I see him I make it a point to stop and ask, “How are you doing today?” I don’t ask as a courteous greeting, but rather out of concern. He can hear it in my voice and know what I mean so he looks back at me and tells me how he is doing. Every time I have asked, ... Read Full Story >>
In my country we have a form of transportation called “border border” where you ride on the back of a bicycle. It was one of the most common forms of transportation when I was a kid. One afternoon I was ill and had to leave school early. As I was walking home I saw a man on a bicycle with a baby as the passenger. He had been asked to take her to a specific destination but was having trouble because the baby could not hold on for itself. He was pushing the bike and walking besides it with one hand holding onto the baby. Then he saw me and asked me where I was going. I told him and it turned out we were going in the same direction. He asked if I would ride on the back of the bike and hold the baby for him. I gladly obliged and ... Read Full Story >>
This morning when I got in my car I said a prayer. I prayed that God would help me become a better person and I prayed He would allow me to experience personal growth. As I pulled out and headed to work I said I was going to hold myself accountable for all the things that I know prevent me from being that better person. As soon as I got on the freeway the madness started. People were driving crazily, not courteous at all. So I was getting mad and impatient. And then a car came out of nowhere and the driver cut in front of me so recklessly that I had to slam my foot on the brakes to avoid from crashing into him. In that moment a string of curse words entered my mind and my arm raised in anticipation of blaring my horn! My other hand prepared to flash a ... Read Full Story >>
The other night a friend I went to visit a childhood friend of mine. It was a wonderful visit. My friend loved and adored him. We shared many laughs over some childhood stories. It was a very long drive so on the way back we stopped at a restaurant so that we could use the restroom. To be courteous he placed a small to-go order and on the way out he paid for the order along with a tip that was five times the amount of his bill. His tip was so generous that the waitress could not believe he tipped her that much. One of the other waitresses called out to him loud enough so that he could hear since he was already at the door heading out how generous his tip was and she thanked him. Back in the car I asked him why he had left such a big ... Read Full Story >>
The pregnant woman I wrote about in my previous story has now become a friend of mine. Many of you wanted updates on both her and the baby, so this one is for you guys. As promised, I still have fruit for her every time she goes on her walk. Yesterday she did not come by, so I was worried. I went to her office to take her the fruit, but she was not there. This morning, she came by looking very tired. She said that she had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, which was why she was not at work. As the time for delivery is nearing, it is getting harder and harder for her to sleep at night, so she is tired. I gave her a banana this morning, and, as always, she seemed to be surprised that it has been almost three months and she still receives fruit from me. ... Read Full Story >>
Two months ago, I was driving my new car for the first time. As fate would have it, it started raining very hard.
A few blocks later, I came by a bus stop. Standing there was a young woman who was being drenched. She had no umbrella and all her belongings were wet as well. To make matters worse, she had mud on her shoes. But, like we all know, the universe is funny. The light turned red, causing me to stop directly in front of the young lady, so I rolled the window down and screamed over the thundering rain for her to get in. She was hesitant because she didn’t want to get my car wet and dirty. Nevertheless, I insisted, and she got in.
Twenty minutes later, I dropped her off at her destination. My car was dirty and muddy and needed to be taken to the car wash to have the mud removed from the rugs. But I was glad to pay for the service because I had made a big deposit into my personal bank account for random acts of kindness ... and that by far was more rewarding than having a clean new car!
This whole week I have been doing acts of kindness every day. The following are a few that I wanted to share. Thursday I went to the post office and solicited for prayers for the prayer book I have started for a very ill boss of mine who is battling cancer. Friday I called my boss while he was receiving his chemotherapy and I told him that everything would be ok and he just needed to hang in there. I also offered to drop off the prayer book for him to read if he needed encouragement. Saturday I just moved into my current neighborhood and still getting to know my way around. When I first went to the car wash near my apartment, I met a lot of friendly people. When I went back for the second time, they washed my car for free. This past Saturday my mother needed to borrow my car. I ... Read Full Story >>
There is a pregnant woman that works in the building adjacent to mine. I started work here a few months ago and every morning I would see her taking a nice walk. Then one day I greeted her and asked about her baby. She was very kind and smiled a lot.
On our first meeting she said she was having trouble picking a name so we brainstormed together and came up with some ideas.
Our chats became regular whenever she was on her walk and on the days that she did not show I would go by her office to see about her and the baby. I noticed that when ever she went on her walk she had a bottle of water; she told me that she got hungry a lot. So I started bringing some fruit to work with me and every time I saw her I gave her one.
We have now been friends for a few weeks and I still bring her a fruit every morning during her walk. The satisfaction it gives me to see her gratefully smile at me makes my day! Funny how a piece of fruit given in kindness can transform my whole day.
The baby is due in two months and she is as excited as can be. And I couldn’t be happier to have a new friend in my life. I look forward to meeting her little angle too.
I currently work as the internal human resources manager for a large home improvement store. One of our core values is to give back to the community, and to make an emotional connection with our customers. One afternoon, a lady stopped by my store and dropped off a letter. It was a very busy week for me so I did not get to the letter until a few days later. When I finally did, I noticed that it was from a nearby day care center. The director had written that they were low on funds, but needed certain things for the day care. I ran her letter by my store manager, and he agreed to a meeting with the day care director. When we arrived at the center, the director gave us a tour. The facility was really in bad shape. The walls needed to be repainted, the ceiling tiles needed to ... Read Full Story >>
My latest week of paying it forward - Monday I paid for the coffee of the person behind me on my way to work. Tuesday I was driving to work and accidently cut somebody off. When we came to the stop light I rolled down my window and apologized to the driver. Wednesday I was driving out of the parking lot and a young woman, who was obviously not paying attention, backed into my car. It turns out she had no insurance and was really worried about the big ticket and the damages to my car. I assessed the damage to car and decided I could fix it myself without getting the police involved. She was a college student and, since I just graduated from college only four months ago, I do understand that money is very hard to come by. I told her to be more careful next time and left. Thursday I invited my new neighbor ... Read Full Story >>
Every morning when I wake up, I kid you not, the first thing I do is check my email for comments from you guys. What a wonderful way to start my days. So I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all of you guys and your kind words. They inspire me in ways unimaginable. The responses I get on my childhood stories are therapeutic. I have stopped keeping my journal; I write everything now on HO and I can tell you it’s a lot better than tucking my feelings away. Thank you and I will continue to make you guys proud with my pay-it-forward reports.
In September of 2005, during Hurricane Rita, I learned the importance of family and sharing. We were located in an area that was safe from the hurricane but my great-grandmother was not. At that time she was 80 years old and suffered from arthritis so even though she still had her mobility it was limited. I could not believe it when I heard my mother say we were going to Louisiana. That was the same place that the hurricane was heading for! So, I asked why and she told me it was because she did not want my great grandmother to be alone and there was no way to get her to us - so we had to go to her. It moved me to see that my mother was willing to put herself in harm’s way to make sure her mother was not alone at such a scary time. So we got ... Read Full Story >>
On tuesday, I was driving and came to a red light where a gentleman was selling news papers. It was very hot outside so I rolled down my window and asked him if he wanted some Gatorade since I had plenty in the trunk of my vehicle.
I quickly put my hazard lights on, put the car in park, and ran to the trunk for the Gatorade. The light turned green and by this time the car behind me was honking their horns and being impatient! Regardless, I took my time, and spoke to the man for a few seconds, gave him the gatorade, and then decided to leave!
Today was the day that I paid my bills. I was feeling a little under the weather financially and worrying myself about it. I was praying and thinking about the problem when, just like that, I got the solution. I’m a firm believer in the concept of “a blessing given is a blessing received.” So I went to the grocery store to do an act of kindness. Since I wanted to do this act anonymously, I couldn't figure out the right person for a long time. Finally, I went in line behind the person that I wanted to pay it forward to. When the cashier rang her items up I handed my debit card over and asked the cashier to charge it on me. The lady in line was confused at first, but I explained to her the whole concept of paying it forward and even told her about HelpOthers.org. ... Read Full Story >>