I was talking with a woman in my office who has a son near the same age as my little 5 year old boy. I was telling her how much my son loved his Superman pajamas with a detachable cape. She laughed and told me how much her little boy would love something like that. She looked for weeks and then asked me again where I got it. She was not able to find any more there.
She loves her son so much that I decided I would find another one somewhere! Sure enough, in the age of the internet, I was able to find one on-line and have it shipped to me. The other morning I put in on her chair so she would find it when she came in to the office. She was so excited and touched that I found one for her son. I was so happy to make her and her little boy smile.
I get updates all the time on her little superhero. I'm just glad I was able to find the outfit and make them both smile!
I know that the title is little curious. But the scary homeless man is even more curious. I have lived in Mayport Florida for about three years. Every day, leaving work, coming home and running errands, I pass this homeless man with two shopping baskets full of his treasures. Except for about 2-3 months of the year (and I'm not sure where he goes during that time), he is always around, never to be missed. Anyhow, the reason I call him a scary man is because my son and I are often together when we see this man and he's always talkin to him self and staring at people with an awkward look. He talks loud and much of what he says does not make sense. With his two carts filled to the top, he's there just talking away. It's intimidating. My wife and I are always talking about his misfortune and how ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter is six years old. I wanted to wash her winter coat and I found in each pocket a pair of gloves.
I thought that one pair of gloves might not be enough to keep her hands warm and asked her why she had two pairs.
She answered: ‘I am doing this already for a while, daddy. You know, some children in school don’t have gloves and when I have an extra pair, I can lend it to them so they won’t get cold hands'.
About a week ago, my 4 year old cousin and I were playing basketball at our local park. The weather was warm, and many other children were outside as well. As we played, I noticed a small group of boys picking on a smaller, skinnier--and possibly younger--boy. They were calling him names and even pushed him to the ground and kicked dirt in his face. When I saw that, I grabbed my cousin by the hand and walked over to the group. I stepped between them and the smaller boy, and asked them politely what this boy had done to deserve what they were doing to him. One of the boys replied, "He's weird." At that, I asked them if they thought I was weird (I have black and pink hair and quite a few piercings, but I'm also an intimidating 5'11"), and their response was a semi-frightened "No." I then ... Read Full Story >>
I started walking from school to our house when I was in 4th grade. By that time, my allowance was just 10 pesos (about 2 dimes) -- just enough for a tricycle fare (which is 5 pesos).
After I crossed the highway one very hot noon, I saw a very thin man, with a can beside him for alms. Just ten steps after him was the stand where ice cream was sold for 5 pesos.
My heart was struck but my mind wanted ice cream.
I stopped to think for a while. "If I buy an ice cream and give the man my fare, he won't be able to by anything that could satisfy his hunger. But if I let down my cravings and give him my ten pesos, he can buy rice and put some soy sauce to taste."
I don't know why but I didn't want anyone to see me do my kind act, so I dropped the coin silently and ran to my house with a smile.
I will not forget that moment forever, that feeling that lifted my heart. ^___^
My husband is not a big fan of kids, especially those without manners and that misbehave. One of our neighbors has 3 children and the oldest is Jacob. He's 10 now, but was 5 at the time. Just a big bundle of love and energy, with his bright blue eyes, red hair, freckles and braces. (For you all that remember Mayberry RFD on TV- he's Opie's look-alike! For the rest of you, he's a darling! I just love him to death). For some reason, he took a liking to my husband. Everytime he saw him, Jacob would wave, dash across the street and come visit. If he was in the garage repairing his bikes or in the front yard cleaning, Jacob would wave, dash across the street and come visit. Jacob would always ask so many questions and keep my hubby company. They would ride bikes together, and what not. They really seemed ... Read Full Story >>
In a fast-paced city like New York, one can spend a lot of time thinking about doing big things to spread smiles in the city. But often, it is the spontaneous, simple and small ideas that do the job. Take our lemonade stand, in the heart of New York City. Spontaneously decided over coffee one day, and six days later, five of us were at Central Park at 5PM, handing out "free lemonade" to all passerby's who wanted it! "Why are you doing this?" "Just because." "Is it really free?" "Yes. Spread the joy, pay it forward." "Can I take some more smile cards?" "Absolutely." "I'd like to help you give out lemonade." "Sure thing." We collected 250 smiles and were out of lemonade in all but ONE hour! The box of 1000 Smile Cards that we started with was down to 200, thanks to everyone. =) About 5 minutes after we started, ... Read Full Story >>
Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus. Finally, there was only one family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me. There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. You could tell they didn't have a lot of money. Their clothes were not expensive, but they were clean. The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, elephants and other acts they would see that night. One could sense they had never been to the circus before. It promised to be a highlight of their young lives. The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. The mother was holding her husband's hand, looking up at him as ... Read Full Story >>
"One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and ... Read Full Story >>
Today it was raining really hard. When I went to the grocery store, all of the Shopping Carts were dripping wet. I managed to find a paper towel and wipe it down and off I went to do my shopping.
I only picked up a few items and was on my way out of the store. As I walked out I noticed a Mom struggling as she came through the store doors with a baby in her arms. It was raining so hard outside she was running in. I quickly said she could use my cart as it was dry and she could put the baby in right away instead of looking for something to dry a cart off with. I just grabbed my bags of groceries out of the cart -- they were light -- and I ran off to my car without a cart. The mom was very grateful to me for helping her out.
I felt happy knowing I was able to offer her my shopping cart and was able to help her with her little baby.
Be on the look out for opportunities. They're everywhere, even when you're grocery shopping in the rain!
Shortly after my divorce, I had to quit my management job and take a factory job so I could spend more time with my three kids. I was only making 1/5 of what I was and things were getting really tight. But I have never asked anyone for anything; my pride wouldn't allow it. I didn't really know how I was going to continue making ends meet. To make it worse, Christmas was coming up and I couldn't even afford a tree or any gifts for my children. I was behind on rent and the light bill was past due. I don't know where it came from or from who, but one day when I returned home from work, I was totally amazed. I just started crying and I couldn't stop. Someone had delivered so much stuff to my house. Gifts for all three children. Clothes, School supplies, toys. Enough ... Read Full Story >>
Last week I went with my boyfriend to visit the first town that he lived in -- a very small town along the Oregon Coast, when he moved from Korea to United States as a child. We went to the skate park that he had helped the city build as a teenager. While we were there, there was a 10 years old boy who really took a liking to my boyfriend. For some reason, they just got along. Maybe because he was older and skating, it gave the kid someone to look up to. After they rolled around on the crappy cement for an hour or so, we were getting ready to leave. My boyfriend noticed that this boy's skateboard was in very bad shape. So as we said our goodbye he handed the kid his skateboard, which was pretty much brand new and expensive. With that childlike awe, the 10-year-old ... Read Full Story >>
At the local Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in my city center, one thing's for sure -- I will find a young anxious teen fundraising. It's the hub for school teams and local organizations. At anytime day or night, you can find children of all ages, selling processed nuts, candy, cookies or popcorn. It's not so easy to sell those to ATM clients, and I feel their uneasiness as they look at you with big pleading eyes. Everyone dodges eye contact with the kids and that only makes it worse. Today was no exception. My heart began to skip a beat or two, as I approached the ATM. It was getting dark and the young boy had a box half filled with chocolate covered raisins. I asked him, "How much for each box of raisinettes?" He said, "Two dollars". I said, “I'll tell you what. I will buy the rest of the box, ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, I was out at the beach with my friend and her sister. We had a great time wading right into the ocean, going on the merry-go-rounds, shooting water balloons and eating popcorn and cotton candy. It was like being back in one of our high school carnivals! That was when I saw two little boys in grubby shirts. They didn't have shoes on and their hair looked totally dishevelled. Most likely they were popcorn of candy vendors, but one can't be sure. I saw them emptying their pockets, looking at some food stalls, starting to count the spare change in their pockets. Something about this scene really went straight to my heart. Just across the beach is this really big mall where people spend thousands of rupees buying branded goods. Man, the inequality in the world is enormous. I didn't want to offend the small boys by handing them money. So I ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago, my husband and I were at a neighborhood grocery store with our two sons. My elder son has Downs Syndrome and his baby brother was also diagnosed with mild autism a few years later.
Right as we were passing the floral department, a lady who worked there, handed me a bouquet of flowers. Unexpectedly. "These are for you," she said. "I've been looking for someone to give these to!" She said she would tell the cashier at the checkout that they were free.
The gesture brought tears to my eyes.
My son with Downs Syndrome is now 12 years old and my "baby" is 8. I draw on this kind incident to give me strength when people have given me rude and even verbally abusive comments, when my children have had problems being in public.
Receiving those flowers has really made a deep impression on my life. Thank you, to that kind lady in the floral department that day!
When I was about five or so my favorite television show was Star Trek. Dr. Spock was clearly my favorite character and I listened to his advice with great seriousness. When I found out that he was going to be signing autographs at TSS, I begged my mother to take me. To continue this story, you have to understand a little about my chaotic childhood. With rampant abuse, television, movies, and books were my only escape. I delved into them and found places, people, and situations both like my own and not. It gave this little girl hope. It helped to save me from the messiness of growing up in a dysfunctional household. So I hope you can imagine how important meeting "Spock" was to me. When the day came, I couldn't wait to get to the store! I dressed up in my favorite outfit, green of course, and waited, very impatiently, ... Read Full Story >>
On Friday afternoon, when I would arrive at my grandfather's house after school the tea would be already set on the kitchen table. My grandfather had his own way of serving tea. There were no tea cups and saucers or bowls of granulated sugar or honey. Instead he would pour the tea directly from the silver samovar into a drinking glass. There had to be a teaspoon in the glass first otherwise the glass, being thin, might break. My grandfather did not drink his tea in the same way that the parents of my friends did either. He would put a cube of sugar between his teeth and then drink the hot tea straight from his glass. So would I. I much preferred drinking tea this way to the way I had to drink tea at home. If it was Friday, after we had finished our tea my grandfather would set two ... Read Full Story >>
I am a single mother of a darling 6 year old girl, Haley. With a six year old come a lot of questions! Who is that? What are they doing? Why? Where...and on and on. I love her questions! Sometimes I do not have an answer, sometimes we brainstorm the possibilities of what may be together. Children are very, very observant and have excellent memories! One example that comes to mind is right around Christmas last year. We were heading out to her Grandma's house -- an hour drive, so lots of time for chatting! We were waiting to get on the freeway when she noticed a homeless man, no sign in hand. "Mom, is that man homeless," she asked. I told her I believed he was. We got on the freeway and away we went. She was pretty quiet in the back on they way there. We spent a ... Read Full Story >>
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. "Hello Barry, how are you today?" "H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good." "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?" "Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' ti me." "Good. Anything I can help you with?" "No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas." "Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller. "No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with." "Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?" "All I got's ... Read Full Story >>
[Mother Teresa handpicked him to be her personal surgeon. Today, Dr. Devi Shetty is perhaps the most compassionate, committed and charistmatic thing that has happened to cardiac surgery in the last century. He runs the world's second most productive heart hospital where children under 12 are treated for free and other patients pay whatever they can. After completing his 4000th pediatric heart surgery, he wrote this.] My Dear Children: I have been planning to write this letter for quite some time. May be I just waited for you all to grow up to understand what I am trying to convey. The story goes back many years. When God sent you to this world it was perhaps the best thing that had happened to your parents. Every little nudges and kicks in your mother’s womb opened up a new world of happiness and expectations. Then one day, a miracle happened. You were to ... Read Full Story >>
I live in a small town in the north of Australia. It's not much and it's only starting to be a little more known because some scenes in the movie "Australia" are being filmed there. However, before the movie and resident of my town would tell you that it's famous for Mindil. For people who don't know, Mindil is referring to the Mindil Beach Markets which are held on Mindil beach every Thursday and Sunday night in the dry season. So that's the basics you need to know. I was down at mindil on Thursday night last week in the last few days of my holidays. It was busy and there was lots going on. I had recently received my 70 smile cards all the way from America. I was excited and ready to paint a smile on the face of Mindil. I went prepared. Bright coloured clothed, rainbow shoelaces and ... Read Full Story >>
I have recently thought about an incredible act of compassion extended to me many years ago.
In fourth grade we were suppose to bring in a dime for a folder to use in class. My parents were divorced and money was in short supply. Watching my mom fend off creditors, I did not have the nerve to ask her for a dime. When I got to school, I really wish I had asked my mother for the dime because everybody else in class had the dime ready on their desk for the teacher. I was embarrassed and felt silly.
Somehow, A girl named Karen, sitting next to me, saw my personal suffering and waited until the last second to put a dime on the corner of my desk. Even though I never said a word, she saw my quiet anguish and only wanted to relieve it. She said nothing and I was too embarrassed to say thank you. It was the most genuine, authentic act of kindness I've ever experienced.
I am a resource officer at a school district. Last year I met one little boy in particular to whom my heart just went out to. He would talk to me every single day, and always seemed to have a smile on his face. He has a problem with stuttering extremely bad when he tries to talk. It's really hard sometimes to understand what he is saying, although he loves to tell you big tales! Well, this morning, I was talking to a couple teachers who were running the school store. He stopped by and said hello to all of us. They told me after he left that he stops every day they are there and asks them if they will be there the next day. But of course, he never has the money to be able to buy anything. I decided I would get him a little something just ... Read Full Story >>
Actually, he started out as my step-dad's best friend since they were 5 and 6 years old, respectively. They grew up in New York City. Howie's home life was not good, very troubled. Still, he grew up to be a fine man, worked hard, married, and had two children. His wife divorced him when the children were small and he kind of drifted through life, working, but no real focus. I was almost 6 when my mother and stepfather met (again) and decided to make a life together. Howie said to my dad, "You are going to live with her (meaning my mother)? She has a kid, the kid will be an anchor and slow you down." Howie would come over our house and eat dinner and spend time there. I guess I kind of grew on him. He taught me how to play checkers and we got along just fine. At ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I decided to teach my son about the power of small acts of kindness. He had won some lollies in a prize machine in the local supermarket, so I asked him if he would like to share his win with the next child that walks past. He was hesitant because he is a shy young man but said yes after I encouraged him a bit. A father and his child were nearby. I approached the father and asked if my son could give his daughter a lolly that he had won. The father looked at me sideways and was unsure what to say. I further explained how I was coaching my son about the power of kindness. Eventually he said it was okay. We approached his daughter ... who wouldn’t accept the lollies! She too was looking at us sideways with uncertainty! At this stage my son was rather ... Read Full Story >>
Last Christmas I was given a great gift.As I checked out at a local Walgreen's pharmacy, the teen cashier asked me, "Are you Mrs. Peres?" With a curious smile, I replied, "Yes." Then he asked me, "Do you remember me?" Being the joker I am, I looked at his tag and replied, "You're Josh." This young man's face brightened up with such a smile that I had to tell him the truth -- I did not remember him.
He continued to tell me that when he was about 5 years old he would sit with my daughter on the school bus. With a pause, he added, "You were the only person that waved at me each and everyday."
The minute he said that my heart sank and filled at the same time.
At first, I felt so very sad and wondered if his childhood was not a good one that a simple wave made his day. Then I filled with tears at the thought that that simple wave made him feel good and stayed with him all this time.
I was sooooo happy to be me at that moment and it was truly the best gift I received last year.
While we were riding the old German bus in Tirana (Albania), a gypsy girl entered. Seven years old. Most gypsy kids have a 'dead' look in their eyes. Hardened by the world, by what they have experienced. The Albanian gypsies live in slums, their children beg on the streets so that the parents can afford to buy alcohol and continue their addiction. Girls as young as twelve wash car windows at the stoplight, holding a baby with their other arm. Little kids lay down on the sidewalks of Tirana to catch some sleep and rest their dirty limbs. Everytime we saw this hardened 'dead' look in their eyes. But not this girl. She was radiant. A beautiful smile across her face, sparkling eyes. She just stood there, in between me and my two friends. Flip flops, black t-shirt, short messy brown hair which matched her tomboy personality. A joyful presence. She ... Read Full Story >>
My husband and I had been sitting in a parking line for more than 10 minutes trying to get into a local fair when, I discovered I was in the wrong lane, and nearly to the gate! My husband waved to the van next to us. The woman driving, who I could see had several children with her, seamed happy to let us pull in front her after we asked if we may. I was so excited to not have to ‘go around and wait' again, I decided to pay for her parking.
After paying, we parked, and entered the fair, not giving it another thought. Until, 20 some minutes later, when a small horde of people approached us to profusely thank us for our generosity.
Apparently they had been looking for us, just to thank us, and for such a small gesture. It choked me up quite a bit; after all, she was the one who had started the ‘generosity’.
That touching event has stayed with me all this time. To this day, it still amazes and thrills me that a tiny gesture could cause a ‘cascade’ of warmth and unselfish kindness.
If this is the result of a small gesture, what might a ‘medium’ gesture initiate?
As the little girl and her father were crossing a bridge, the father was a bit scared. So he turns to his little daughter and says, "Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river."
To which the little girl replied, "No, Dad. You hold my hand."
"What's the difference?" asked the puzzled father.
"There's a big difference," said the little girl. "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go."
In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. So hold the hand of the person who loves you rather than expecting them to hold yours.
This week-end my husband and I are leaving on vacation to North Carolina ... As you well know, planning is essential including cleaning out the refrigerator of food that will go bad.
Yesterday morning, my daughter calls to check -in and mentioned she was going to McDonald's to get a breakfast burrito. I told her I had the items to make that in my refrigerator and I could make it for her. She said her daughter (my grandaughter) wanted pancakes. I said I had that too!
I invited my other daughter and her 3 girls as we ''cleaned'' out the refrigerator and it didn't cost them anything, plus I have less work to do! It was fun and everybody got their bellies full of burritoes, pancakes, sausage and fruit!
Plus I made it with LOVE! You can't get THAT at McDonalds!