Recently, my dad was walking along from the office to the high court (being a lawyer). There he saw a young man being beaten up by 5 others.
My dad is really thin and puny and not in the least bit tough-looking or athletic. But something prompted him to just go onto the scene and protect the guy. He hugged the young man and began acting as if he knew him from a long time. Soon, the other 5 rough guys recognized him for being a lawyer and left the youth alone. He thanked my dad and said he could not express how he felt.
My niece was away from home for a student camp, which was part of preparation for our country's Republic Day celebration. The camp was conducted at a local school and children were put together to stay in groups of 10 in each room for their stay until the completion of the camp. It was the rainy season, which brought a lot of infections and health ailments. Some children suffered from fever due to the chillness, some got throat infections and just one had the most odd infection - an eye infection. While fever, cough and cold were not too contagious, the eye infection was. This was one of the roommates of my niece. All the children left the room -they just vacated and got into their other friends room to save themselves from an eye infection. Only two of them remained in one room- my niece and the roommate with the eye infection. And ... Read Full Story >>
I have always believed that people come into your life for a reason. With this in mind I met a man at work who had a drug problem. I knew because I used to.
Over the next 2 years we became closer and had long talks about his addiction. I knew I was supposed to help him, but I didn't know how. I had talked him into rehab and even took him to the center but every time he got out he would relapse. I thought long and hard until "IT" came to me.
I had to give more of myself, go on a leap of faith. I convinced him to try rehab one more time and when he got out I moved him into to my apartment, against the advice of those around me. Getting him out of his earlier environment was the key. He never relapsed again. We just celebrated his 2 year clean date in January, after 23 years of abuse. He is still my roommate and has since helped me more than any friend I have ever had.
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 >>
Hello, my name is David G. Nadeau and I am from Monroe, Michigan, hometown of General Armstrong Custer. I am a paid-on-call Firefighter for Monroe Township Fire Department and I was at Ground Zero for one week starting September 12, 2001. Some of my hundred or so pictures from Ground Zero have been published in EMS magazines. Newspaper reporters from Cooperstown, New York and Lexington, Kentucky call me wanting to publish this story. That is because someone from the family of the business card I found at Ground Zero told the reporters this story – a story about a business card which is just one of a thousand stories to tell. I arrived at Ground Zero on September 12, 2001 with another Firefighter. After several hours of working at the front of a bucket brigade on Friday, September 14 – just one of many bucket brigades -- there came an opening ... Read Full Story >>
I am a recovering alcoholic. Years ago I went into a hospital because of depression. My life was a mess, my husband wanted a divorce. My daughter was doing drugs. Everything in my life was coming apart including me. My girlfriend's father came to see me. He was a big, barrel chested Irishman, who loved wearing Nike sweatshirts that said "JUST DO IT". Upon my release from the hospital, he began to take me to AA meetings, and we would meet for coffee, or go to his house where he and his Alcoholics Anonymous member wife slowly helped me back to life. They gave me a homework assignment. I was to stand in front of my mirror and look into my eyes and say, "you are a beautiful person, you deserve a good life, I care about you, I love you". He said, "JUST DO IT". Every night he would call at ... Read Full Story >>
My son's day care provider experienced a tragic sudden death of a friend. She had just met this fellow and had sensed a deep connection before dropping him off at his car. He had a car accident that night, and was killed. Deeply moved by the sadness that my friend was experiencing, I was compelled to write her some comforting words about being able to see the positives of how her friend had influenced her life and suggested that he possibly came to her as an angel of change for her life. This trajedy, impacted her deeply and encouraged her to reevaluate her life, as tragedy often does. I encouraged her to look past the normal conditionings that would have us concentrate on the drama of a trajedy and suggested she instead reflect on the positive message this friend's life gave her and the people around her. This approach would ... Read Full Story >>
Sometimes you read a story that just takes root in your heart. Many stories on the helpothers.org website have been like that for me: "I Wish You Enough" by BrightEyes and "An Unforgettable Fishing Experience" by Mike Delyria to name just two. Well this story I'm about to share with you has been growing in the heart of many people on Cape Ann, where I live. It is the story of Jude, a young deaf man with green thumbs and a big heart who recently opened a plant store in our community called The Silent Seed. I first heard about him from my friend Nana who had noticed the new store during one of her walks and was so inspired by the owner that she felt called to draw the whole neighborhood's attention to his work. A few days later, my friend Loretta who lives in a totally different part of ... Read Full Story >>
I often walk from work (near Pier 39 in San Francisco) to the Embarcadero BART station, where I catch a train back to the East Bay. Several times, I passed a gentleman who I presumed was homeless. He had a lot of his possessions tied down to his bike and held a cardboard sign that said he was a vet who doesn't drink or do drugs, but would appreciate anything that could be given. He usually has headphones on and is listening to the radio. He is always minding his own business, often reading as well. I've never seen him actively "panhandling." Several times, while I was passing him, I realized I had some food with me, so I turned around and offered him that food (most recently, a blueberry muffin). He took off his headphones, and said "Umm, blueberry muffins are my favorite!" with a big smile and a gleam in his eye. ... Read Full Story >>
When I was in South Africa in February this year visiting, my mum and I used to do our shopping together. One day we went to this big shopping centre and I decided to stay with the car while she ran in to get some stuff. I noticed there are a lot of guys who help people find car spots and help guide them in. They also watch your car to make sure it doesn't get broken into while you're shopping in order to make some money for their families. When we got there this gentlemen came up and asked if he could keep an eye on our car. I said there was no need as I was staying in the car. These guys only get given money and change if people choose to give it. I remember standing there watching him help about 8 people, who had come and gone ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a lovely little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare life threatening disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had somehow survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?".
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
There was once a skinny young boy who loved football. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other boys, all his heart and effort couldn't make up for his physical shortcomings. At every game, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever got to play. However, the determined young man decided to hang in there. He hoped that maybe his body would grow to match his heart and dedication. All through high school, he never missed a practice nor game, but he remined a bench a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him . When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a " walk on.". Everyone doubted that he would make the team, but he did. The coach ... Read Full Story >>
Whether a person likes animals, reptiles or not, this really is amazing, just goes to show what some human kindness can achieve. Rather than trying to tame wild stallions, fearless Costa Rican fisherman Chito prefers a playful wrestle in the water with his best pal Pocho -- a deadly 17ft crocodile. The 52-year-old daredevil draws gasps of amazement from onlookers by wading chest-deep into the water, then whistling for his 980lb buddy -- and giving him an affectionate hug. Crazy Chito says: "Pocho is my best friend. This is a very dangerous routine but we have a good relationship. He will look me in the eye and not attack me. "It is too dangerous for anyone else to come in the water. It is only ever the two of us." Chito made friends with the crocodile after finding him with a gunshot wound on the banks of the Central American state's Parismina ... Read Full Story >>
As I sat down to dinner yesterday the phone rang. It was a child's voice on the other end that I didn't recognise. He explained that they had found the phone he was calling me on. They had looked up "Home" in the contacts file and so they were phoning the number that turned out to be me. From their description I recognised my step-son's phone. He'd left it at the football pitch where he'd been playing. I asked them to wait a few minutes, put my dinner in the oven, and headed over to the location they had given me. When I arrived I saw a group of five children, aged about 7-9 years old. They came running over to meet me and were just charming and well-spoken kids. They told me how and where they'd found the phone. They also told me some bigger kids had tried to take it but they hadn't let ... Read Full Story >>
A few years ago I was an employee of an international company that sold computer devices. I had to travel a lot as part of my work. I remember that I was at a stage of my life where I only cared about how to make more money and how to solve technical problems. I was locked in my own world living as a robot that only worked in a mechanical way. On one of my work trips, I came to the airport to take a bus to downtown, as usual. It was the same routine: get into the city, take the bus to the hotel, check in, visit the client, work late, take the bus back to the airport and fly back out... That day, for some reason, something was different. I decided not to take the same exit in the airport and took the stairs down to a different exit and ... Read Full Story >>
Six Words That Changed a Life Six words - "Smile...it can't be that bad." - changed Judy's life. Judy is a young woman I worked with some years ago. She was in her late twenties, maybe early thirties, more than a little overweight, and not the most stylish dresser. What was most striking about her appearance was her smile; it was always there. Anyone passing Judy in the hallway was greeted with that smile and a soft, "Hello," or, "Good Morning," in her gentle, Minnesota accent. ... Read Full Story >>
I'm sort of new to this small acts of kindness game, so I'm not sure how people feel about picking up hitchhikers. I've always felt that as long as you don't put your self in a completely unsafe position, it is an OK thing to do. But I'd never done it before until this week. It was about 9pm and I was walking in my school's campus from my office to my car. On the way, I ran into an fellow who was obviously lost. He asked me for directions, saying he needed to get to East Palo Alto. But the problem was he was walking in the complete opposite direction! I pointed him in the correct direction, but warned him it was a long ways off. He didn't speak English very well, and generally seemed disoriented. I quickly felt like helping him. Though he was a big guy, the vibe I ... Read Full Story >>
This is a true story that happened to my friend Rekha... Rekha maintains an exercise regime that includes a brisk walk every morning around some gardens in our neighbourhood. One morning, she was walking earlier then usual, daybreak was only just beginning to set in and it was still relatively dark. As she was walking, a cyclist came up to her, snatched her handbag (containing her keys, phone and credit cards) and sped off with it! She ran after him shouting "thief - thief". A man further ahead must have heard her, or seen what had happened. He was washing a car and had a bucket of water with him. He grabbed the bucket and threw the water on to the cyclist. The cyclist, caught off guard, drove off the pavement and his bike fell over. The other people in the park rushed over and surrounded him. My friend Rekha was worried that the people would ... Read Full Story >>
It's the middle of the night and I find writing this blog nothing short of imperative. As I've been sitting on the floor in my disheveled room, I began to recall such an important moment in my life. Some might pass it off as "dumb" or "unimportant", but for me, it has held a great magnitude of power over my mind and how I live my life. Something so simple, yet so precious has lingered inside my mind for years now. It was a very cold winter evening when a friend of mine had attempted suicide and was rushed to Westchester Medical Center where she stayed, unconscious for quite a while. FINALLY she awoke. A friend of mine and I decided to visit her, so we picked up some picturesque flowers and were on our way. We reached the hospital and dashed madly across the freezing parking lot through the hospitals automatic doors. After signing in, up ... Read Full Story >>
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if as soon as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. The mother filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots. In the second she placed eggs. And the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. About twenty minutes later, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she said, "Tell me what you ... Read Full Story >>
I work at a Care Center where most of the people are elderly. About a year and a half ago a 59 year-old lady came to us who had cancer. She had to have her right leg amputated and she didn't have a family to take care of her after the operation. This lady was a quiet lady who mostly stayed to herself. But in the afternoons, when she was feeling well, she would go visit the other residents in the home. She would visit a lady who was blind and read to her. She would go into the room of a young girl with severe cerebral palsy and sing to her. In her quiet gentle way, she would go about the Care Center doing good. She passed away last Wednesday and after her passing, stories are coming forward of her quiet acts of kindness in her own hour of sorrow. We never know what impact ... Read Full Story >>
Arriving in a new city last Thursday, I had the strangest first week of graduate school. I fell and broke my leg within 48 hours of arriving there! I was really amazed by the kindness shown by my new roommmate, someone who I had only just met. "We are family now", she said when she found me lying in my room with a swollen leg, unable to move, in a strange city with no family except across three oceans. She took me to the student health center by cab to get my leg examined. The cab driver was so nice and said to me how lucky I was to have a friend like that. After that, my roommate didn't stop helping me - she made me amazing meals and brought them to and made me comfortable despite my insistence that I could do things on my own. When I protested, "I really like helping people", she said , "I believe ... Read Full Story >>
My scheduled day of kindness this week is tomorrow (yes, I’m still doing it each week, just haven’t written about them all!) but I was not sure what I would do. While catching up on some of the stories here today, I decided I will make it Free Hug Friday! My catch phrase tomorrow any time I see someone a little down or frustrated is to say to them “Looks like someone could use a hug!” and then let them have it! I’ll certainly have to be a little careful so I don’t scare some of the people inmy office. Most of them think I am a little off anyway, so they will just add this to the list of strange things they’ve seen me do. I have noticed how much a touch or hug can mean to people, even if they don’t realize it at the time so I’m going ... Read Full Story >>
I've been so inspired by everyone's thoughts and reflections that I thought I'd take the plunge and continue a recent practice of stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing this story. Last Friday, I was coming home late after spending time with friends andthought I'd go down to the $.99 cent pizza place. On the way, I saw a man sitting on a random stoop. I'd seen him before, panhandling on the stairs I walk up every day as I leave the subway running late to work, but this time I had no place to rush off to. There was something about him, a quiet and serene demeanor, different from many of the other homeless people I had seen in NYC. I walked past him, went to the pizza place, and those 10 seconds waiting in line was enough to practice stepping outside of my usual, familiar flow. So with a few ... Read Full Story >>
It's 5:15am at the local Starbucks. I'm standing in line and the person ahead of me in line is putting together what seems to be a large order. "Can I have some bagels, donuts, oh and some brownies too, along with this coffee order." My curiosity is peaked, and she chimes to the counter person, "Thank you, the order is for the nurses at Sloan-Kettering Cancer society because they've been doing a great job taking care of my Dad." I tend to believe that people share things in order to be self expressed, and to be heard, to have their expression recognized. Standing in line, fiddling with my book bag, the possibility of her wanting to be heard flashed by. I, stopped, and asked her how her father was doing. "He's in a coma, he fell into a coma yesterday and my sister and I have been taking shifts being there with ... Read Full Story >>
Opportunity knocked on my door last January when I was given a chance to work in an other country. It's really such a blessing! At first, it was really scary living life on my own. But, I soon met .lots of new people. Some were good and some were bad. It was a true challenge! I met a group of friends, six boys and one girl. They were really nice. I loved their company and they were so funny! We hung out most weekends. We cooked, watched movies, chatted and shared jokes! It was amazing - until something unexpected happened! One of our group was diagnosed with kidney stones which had to be removed surgically as soon as possible. But it was not as simple as that! Our friend could not afford the surgery. He tried to get help from our other friends but they refused to help. My heart cried for him! Our friends abandoned him just when he ... Read Full Story >>
My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day. The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept! Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. ... Read Full Story >>
My Daughter and I recently encountered, as we often do, in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, a Homeless man, who was hunkered down for the night, under a few sleeping bags with his book and all of his belongings. We encountered him as we were walking home after dinner. We had been so hungry at dinner, after a day of touring colleges, that our eyes were too big for our stomachs and we ordered too much. The appetizer ended up being enormous, and ravenous as we were, we ate it hungrily. There was still some to spare. When our meals arrived, we picked at them, out of obligation, but decided to take the whole portions home, although we were staying in a hotel, and leaving early the next morning, and likely wouldn't have even eaten it. As we were walking home from dinner, we passed the homeless man and he made some gesture to us, ... Read Full Story >>
The shuttle bus service I take to the airport is famously bad at customer service, but they are the only option for lots of travelers. I was sitting on the bus one day feeling disappointed by their shoddy service when a young soldier got on. He was in full uniform with his duffle bag across his shoulder and a ticket in his hand. But, guess what? The driver wouldn't accept his ticket! Apparently it was "the wrong format." It was probably a military issue travel pass but because the driver didn't recognise it or it hadn't been made out properly he was not going to let the soldier travel. The soldier did not have any cash and, unbelievably, the shuttle company (via radio) would not authorize a voucher. I was sitting pretty near the back but I could hear what was going on and I had heard enough. I stomped down to the ... Read Full Story >>
In June 2009 the New Jersey Star-Ledger ran a series called "The Chain of Life" about kidney donation chains. These are enabled by one non-related donor giving a kidney to a recipient whose donor (usually a relative) was not compatible. That non-compatible donor then donates to someone else in the same position and thus four or six people could receive new kidneys. I decided I could do that. I contacted the National Kidney Registry and started a six month process that ended with my donating a kidney to a doctor who had been on home dialysis for two years. I didn't know his identity until several months later when we had a very meaningful and emotional introduction. His wife donated her kidney, the same day as our surgery, to someone else, whose donor donated theirs to someone else on the other side of the country! The surgery lasted two hours; I was ... Read Full Story >>