While I feel so saddened by the world and the mean-spirited people my husband and my son especially have had to deal with this week, I still believe in being kind to everyone. The little kindness I did for the elderly lady at the grocery store, and the assistance I gave someone else at the local yarn store, are moments that make my days better. Making cookies for a neighbor who got laid off was a small gesture that made him smile.
Sometimes I would prefer to give back the meanness I get from some people, but have learned that just makes it worse. The hard part is not lashing out at those who hurt my family. That has happened too often this week to my son in particular.
Nothing to be gain by striking back, but still it saddens my heart and life at time can be wear your spirit down.
Tomorrow is another day. And another chance to make some one smile
Oh, I sincerely hope I am not repeating myself! If I am, please forgive me. But I share this in case any one would like to do it next year---and I truly recommend making the effort. Before Christmas I found a charity that was looking for workers to check on the elderly. I am not looking for a job, so I wrote instead and asked if I could send gifts to 15 or so people of their choosing, and a host of Christmas cards to more elderly shut-ins. I said I'd send the gifts to them so they could vet it, along with wrapping paper and ribbons, to please wrap up once they saw the gift was nice and A-ok. Thankfully they agreed. The same with the cards, I left them unsealed so they could read the message and be certain it was all on the up and up. Really getting into ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago, this lady named Lisa and I started working at a bank at the same time. We went through training together and were given part-time positions. Eventually one full-time position opened up.
We both really needed the extra income and benefits - my husband had just gotten laid off; I think she was going through a divorce but I can't remember her exact circumstances.
But when she was offered the full-time position, she told the manager that they should offer it to me first and she'd take it only if I declined. Then she told me to take it.
I have since lost contact with her but that was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. I hadn't thought about it in years but this morning I woke up and thought of her. I hope someone else was able to show her the kindness she showed me.
We had to run out to buy more food for the feral cats who frequent our "restaurant"..we are in the midst of a cold snap with increasing bitter temperatures & high winds & they need to eat more frequently to stay warm.
The Universe was so kind, we were able to get a break on the cost per bag...a $3 savings per bag! Awesome.
We used some of the savings to buy a basket of strawberries for our 90 year old friend who had shared with me yesterday that she loved strawberries but couldn't see spending $7 a basket (the off-season price we are being charged here now).
Knowing she'd insist on paying us (she's very proud), we dropped them off with her son (she lives w/him) , told him we didn't want any payment & to tell her he paid us for them. Lol. When she called us later to thank us & asked us how much they cost, I told a "white lie" & said $3. She said she was going to give her son the money he laid out....I was chuckling as we said our good-byes 🍓
Tonight I am going to finally start on a project I have been procrastinating on for a while. A few years back, I lived in Japan for two years. I made a lot of friends there, including a sweet old man who worked in the office I did paperwork in on Friday afternoons. He really welcomed me into the community. His hobby was drawing and painting, and he was very talented at it.
I bought this book which is filled with suggestions of interesting things to draw (followed by the appropriate space to draw them) but they are in English, and he can't read them, so I am going to translate the whole book into Japanese. I hope he likes it and still has fond memories of me. It has been too long since last communicating with him.
I learned a valuable lesson a couple years ago. I met Denise, who was totally paralyzed. She could not speak, and the only movement she could make was to nod or move her head from left to right very slightly. She had very advanced progressive MS. I visited her often and soon learned that in my time with her, I wanted to help her connect with the outer world as much as possible. It would seem that she was the receiver of what I had to give.
Maybe so, yet it came to me that she, too, would want to escape her immobilized world as much as possible and give also. Then it further dawned on me that she was already giving by receiving what I had to give. By her receiving, she was giving me the gift of providing me the opportunity to give. I told her that receivers are as necessary and worthy as the givers. If there were no receivers, there could be no givers. Her role in the chain of giving and receiving was vitally important. She couldn’t move, but her eyes could shine. She gave me a great gift when they shined back at me at that time.
My 9-year old daughter participates on a cheer leading team. Last weekend they had their pictures taken by a professional photographer and had the option of purchasing group photos and/or individual photos.
One of the girls on the team is unable to afford purchasing photos. So, without her or her family knowing, I purchased an extra team photo that will be just for her. I know she would really enjoy having a keepsake from her time on the cheer leading team. I can't wait to see the look on her face when she sees that she will be getting a team photo on the day when everyone else receives their own photo orders.
"How can you stand that display of Girl Scout cookies facing you all day?" I asked the cashier, motioning to the table of temptation a few feet away.
"Oh, that's why I have my back to them!" she laughed, as she rang up our purchases.
"What's your favorite?"
"Mmmm...probably the shortbread cookies," cashier sighed.
With that I gifted the cashier a box of her favorites along with a SMILE card!!!
Got a few extra boxes of cookies as well....I wonder where they will be gifted? :)))
Recently I was helped by some men on duty (guards and cops) when my car broke down. A week later I wanted to thank them and bought some coffee. They refused and said the macho stuff like "It was my job" etc. But I insisted and they accepted :). And I could see big smiles emerge and left them to it. It felt great!
I received a quilt in the mail today from an local organization that makes homemade quilts for people living with cancer. Someone requested it on my behalf, because I would never have thought to ask for myself. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful it is, and how touched and grateful I am for this act of unconditional kindness and generosity.
It inspires me, and I hope it will inspire you too.
The individual makers stay anonymous, and ask for nothing back. You can, if you wish, thank the charity on its web site, and donate. Their quilts are just beautiful, and light, and come with their own carrying case.
I have received many kindnesses in the course of my illness, but this one really stands out for me, because it is so unconditional, and symbolizes warmth and comfort in such a concrete way.
Today, I was rushing to an appointment and I passed a man sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against a building, holding a cardboard sign over his head. As I sped-walked past him, I glanced at the sign-- it read "Anything Helps" in thin, blue ink. You could barely read it if you weren't looking closely. There are many homeless people in the city where I live, and I've recently noticed how, when I first moved to this city a decade ago, I'd stop and do whatever I could each time I passed by someone in need, whereas now, I walk right by and avoid interacting as much as possible. I've been wondering why that is. Have I gotten busier? More cautious and jaded over time? Even though I know a human being is a human being, no matter what mental state or social status they carry, or how much or little money ... Read Full Story >>
I still will never forget a girl student sitting at the back of the classroom. Having failed the college entrance exams and changed schools two times, she couldn’t smile naturally. Every day she would sit at the desk, staring into textbooks and exercises, motionless and heavy-hearted. The desperate loneliness she radiated almost stopped me from teaching. Of course, she had no friends in this fiercely competitive class. Every time I stepped into the classroom, I welcomed everyone. Of course, when I said something to her casually, she reluctantly answered with a stiff, shaky, and sheepish smile. Life is harder for senior students. Hardly does a day go by without endless exercises or tests. Every time when the scores came out, her score wouldn't be the first or second but last. Dark clouds always flashed in her eyes. When I invited her to the teacher's office, we never talked about studies or ... Read Full Story >>
It was raining and chilly. I passed a homeless woman with wet socks and sandals. I asked her if she had any other shoes than that and she said she didn't. So I asked her if she would like a pair of shoes that would keep out the cold and damp. She was very eager, not surprisingly. Her feet were soggy though at least she had an umbrella and a hooded summer jacket on. It was my honour and pleasure to go with her to a shoe store there and then and do some shoe shopping. I don't have a lot of money so I told her the budget and she was like, "Oh, I can't spend that much any way. I just couldn't." In fact she chose a pair of rain repelling shoes which were on sale and the least expensive in that budget shoe store. She seemed grateful, and ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I got a visit from a friend I haven't seen in awhile. When he was on his way over to my house, he was saying how his phone might die. I knew then, as a great friend, it would be a very good thing to give a prized possession of mine to him, as he needed it at the time more than I do.
I have this battery pack that will charge up your phone when you are out and about, and it lasts all day. So, when he got here I offered my charger for him to use, and when he was leaving, I asked him if he would like to have my battery pack and the cord that came with it, so he wouldn't have a dead cell phone the whole hour drive back home.
I really loved that thing, but at the moment I knew what I needed to do as he needed a charge more than I did, since I am always around electricity and have a other car charger for when I am out! Sometimes it is the little things! :) He was very grateful!
It was a sunny day when my dad and I were arriving at his company. We parked the car and got out of it. I looked around and saw a gray thing on the floor, I thought it was a garbage bag, but it started to move. As we approached we realized that it was a small wounded dog. We were so moved by the scene that we decided to help the poor dog. We bought some dog kibble in the store across the street and got some pure water for the dog, in order to help him regain strength. He was so desperate that while giving him the food and water he almost drowned himself. After he had eaten we encouraged him to move; Nevertheless, he could not. My dad tried to take him in his arms, but he started barking due to a wounded bleeding paw. In the end, we decided to ... Read Full Story >>
Thank you, KindSpring, for opening my eyes! Today I went to Berkeley, near our old neighborhood - I was a bit surprised by the increased number of homeless (alternatively housed) people walking around. I remember there are more in certain areas. So the first man who asked me for money got all my single bills. So when the second man asked me two minutes later, I said I was out because I gave all I had to the previous person I was headed to the grocery store for a coffee and after I walked into the store I walked out to find him as he had asked me for something because he was hungry and I had just walked into a grocery store. When I asked him what he wanted to eat, he just asked for some vegetables and rice. He talked about how much better the vegetables were as we waited for our number to be called. While ... Read Full Story >>
Just had to share Melvin's story! When he heard of Nepal he felt the urge to console these kids, and thought of what helps him.. his cuddly toy! So he drew a wonderful toy to make from scratch (even learned to sew!) and made 350 of these and personally delivered them to children in Nepal.
It has been a very, very blessed week of giving simple, sometimes handmade sweets, beautifully wrapped gifts, and handmade cards to various helpers in the community. I want to thank them for how they go beyond the call of duty with their homespun friendliness. I have walked all over the place - can't drive due to medicine I have to take. It's been wonderful and I have stopped to have warm chats too. I really wasn't trying to meet my KindSpring Day 18 challenge to make time to listen to someone, but it happened anyway! In going hither and tither I came across a young man sleeping rough. I admit I was so busy I was going to go past his sign requesting help with just a smile, but as I walked on, I suddenly turned around with a little donation and a Smile Card as well as one of the You ... Read Full Story >>
A couple of years ago one of my closest friends lost his sister to breast cancer. They were extremely close, and to lose her was so devastating. I decided to celebrate her life with a memorial candle. I sent it to him in the mail and did not really think much about it after it left my mailbox.
Recently we reconnected and I learned that this small token of my sympathy was so beloved by her husband that he asked if the candle could be present at her funeral. It became part of her memorial service. And it accompanied her to her cremation service.
This news was surprising to me. I never knew what type of impact this would have on her family. It helped me to realize how very important it is to love, by actions. We just never know how much it will mean to someone on so many levels.
Today as I was leaving church, I heard an old man saying he was cold. I was wearing an expensive scarf that had been a gift to me, and I gave it to him. That made me happier because the price on that scarf wasn't even close to the price of happiness I receive as I see someone else happy in their hearts.
I hope I made a bond with this old friend. He walked me home and we talked all the way to my house. For me, material things don't have a meaning until you give them to someone. Make it a good one, a true meaning of love for others.
Last few days, I was wondering whether my life made much sense - being rejected by many people for getting over-serious about people politics, unable to handle the situations with my simplicity and honesty, I struggled and suffered in communities even under best leaders. This time the hurt was deep and I felt depressed to the core. Today, after 10 days, for the first time, I went out, alone, to meet this motherly lady who I had met during my stay in a program. She had been unwell recently and lived alone. Her sons live in foreign countries and her daughter is no more. After I called her and told about my plan to visit her, she started becoming excited and planning food immediately. Nowadays, she has a lady cook coming by to help her but she did part of the work herself with her bandaged leg. Despite everything, the interest and ... Read Full Story >>
Last Friday was a cold day, and the bus was due to come in about 15 minutes. Sometimes I am ok waiting but not this day, so I went to the nearby convenience store and came back to the station where a junior high school girl was still there, waiting for the bus too. I gave her one of the two warm cocoa cans I bought and we had a little talk while warming our hands with the hot cocoa. She is to have her high school entrance exam in a week so I told her a few encouraging words. I left her happy, she thanked me and told me she wished to see me again. I smiled and thanked her very gratefully, nodding yes, the bus had already stopped and I had to hurry away. We may never see each other again but I am grateful to her for saying "wish I could meet ... Read Full Story >>
This is not a pity story, but my past weeks were filled with negativism, cruel remarks, and hopelessness and despair! I was feverishly working at my little office next to the Health Office, trying to input results from about 150 students' screenings. Little Hoku walked in: "I have a tummy ache." She said. "Okay, do you want to go to the Health Office or lie down, perhaps?". I asked. "No, I want to sit right next to you." This was interesting, I knew Hoku. She had to come to the Health Office everyday before lunch for her medications. Although I always spoke to her, she never replied to me. I kept working. "You know I'm a good drawer." She expressed. "I'm sure you are!" I responded. Still typing, I saw that she had "filched" my blue post-it note stack. The next thing I knew, there was a blue post-it stuck to my ... Read Full Story >>