It was a usual day at the hospital. I was running around doing what I needed to get done for my patients. Then I stopped in my tracks because I could feel my cell phone vibrating in my pocket. I almost always keep my phone on. In the event of an emergency my family and friends can that way get in touch with me. It was an emergency. There was a death in my family. I couldn't move. I couldn't think. I was excused early from work that day, but came home to an empty apartment and didn't know what to do next. I cried. I didn't know if I wanted to be alone or phone my close friend. I didn't know if I should have bothered my friend. Death is a sensitive subject for some people. Different people handle it in different ways. What does one say? What does one do? After deliberating for a ... Read Full Story >>
It was early on a cold December morning. I was making a quick trip to the post office, and along the way, I saw a man riding his bicycle through the dirty, heavy slush, left over from last night's snowfall.
He was dressed in a tattered, old black coat. A knit beanie cap covered his head. As he parked his bike on the sidewalk and went inside (to warm up, I assumed), I noticed that his hands were bare.
While he was out of sight, I reached to my back seat and grabbed a pair of thick leather gloves that belonged to one of my boys. Then, quickly, I ran to his bicycle and placed them in the basket that he had tied with twine to his handlebars. I hurried back to the warmth of my car and waited. Even though I had been in a hurry, I couldn't leave without seeing that he got them. About twenty minutes passed.
I watched as he returned to his bike, picked up the gloves, looked around for a moment. Then, he put them on and slowly rode away.
One late winter's evening I was standing at a bus stop in gloomy, wet and windy London. Then I noticed a young man running as fast as he could and just behind him there was a number eight bus.
Ethan is six and three quarters and Emily just turned seven, and they are best friends. Their pre-school teacher, Kathleen Albert, has been teaching them about kindness. So, for their graduation project, Ethan and Emily decided to raise money to help feed hungry people by collecting cans. When they were done, they had raised 5,304 dollars for the San Francisco Food Bank - enough money for 15,912 meals!
Last night was date night with my little girl. She wanted to conduct another Kindness "Special Ops" Mission for our evening. That afternoon, we made up some kindness envelopes full of a smile cards, a few dollars and a special note. She decorated the outside of the envelopes with smiley stickers and the words "Open me, I’m a gift for you!" She wanted to go to the mall and secretly place envelopes around to spread some Christmas smiles. When we dropped our first one and walked off without being seen, the look on my daughter's face was priceless. She was beaming and had a joyful kick in her step. I love how she loves our kindness missions! For the next one, we sat down at a table for a minute, ready to scurry off and leave our envelope behind. The heavy sea of people around us made it challenging. My daughter is ... Read Full Story >>
Every month, I write letters to two Marines serving in Afghanistan who I don't know. I thank them for their service to our nation. While I don't know them, I hope that they know how much I appreciate them.
I recently moved to a new town in a new state. It's hard to learn where everything is. I have this really nice man putting in hardwood floors and stairs in my new house. He has been working very hard. His hands are all blistered from removing the tiles and preparing the floor for the hardwood - but he never complains. I was at the house yesterday while he was hard at work. I thought to myself that he might like a yummy lunch but I don't live in the house yet and so I don't have anything to cook with. So, I asked him if you would like a Subway sandwich as a treat from me. A huge smile came across his face and he said, "I would love one!" Being new to the area I didn't know where to go. He told me exactly how to get to the right place! I ... Read Full Story >>
Twenty years ago I lost my son. My friends decided that I needed to get out at least once a week and so we started going for coffee. Those friends helped me get through that terrible first year and still continue to help me. We decided that we would try and help people when we could. So, we take a collection each week and then decide what to do with it. We have paid for breakfasts, helped an elderly man fill his oil tank, bought Christmas gifts for needy families , helped fire victims, and sometimes just sent flowers to someone who was feeling blue. We usually do this in a way that no one knows and that makes it even better. We also have a yearly tea at my house the first Saturday in December to start the Christmas season. We have been Secret Santa to three people and each ... Read Full Story >>
Our neighbor grows the most amazing gardens! They are real works of art. The beauty she creates spills out even to her neighbor's yards with amazing displays of color.
It brings me such joy to serve her and others. I hope my happiness spills out in love and joy to others who, in turn, pay if forward with goodness all around our beautiful town.
I work as a contractor at a senior center and absolutely love it. My days are spent coordinating rides for seniors from volunteer drivers. Today, a lady called saying she was unable to get her medication from the pharmacy. Usually, our center requires a three-day advance notice for local rides. We also require folks to fill out an application and a waiver. With these things in mind, I decided that this was my opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty. I filled out the application and told her I would come pick her up. "You will?" she asked, slightly shocked. "Yup." I sent an email to my manager and off I went. It was a nice day to be out. We had a pleasant ride, and along the way, I found out she has cancer. Despite the illness, she still embraces life with a lot of faith. After arriving back at her home, I gave her ... Read Full Story >>
This is a simple story. I was driving along one day when I saw a young couple running, frantically, for a bus. The bus pulled away from the stop just as they arrived! I slowed down and noticed how upset they looked. So, I stopped and said, "Jump in! I'll overtake the bus and you can catch it at the next stop." They looked amazed at the offer, but got into my car. We followed the bus but we just couldn't overtake far enough to ensure they would get on. It's surprising how difficult it is to overtake a bus that doesn't stop often! After a while and some chat with my new passengers it became clear that they were new to the area. They were visiting friends and had to get another bus to the house they were going to. That's when I asked, "Where are you going, exactly," and decided to ... Read Full Story >>
My friends and I recently returned from our annual week at the beach. While we were there, a couple of us needed to pick up a few items at the grocery store. As we were checking out, the cashier complimented me on my necklace. I thanked her, and she asked where I bought it. I had gotten it at the department store just down the street, and told her that it was on sale for 40% off. My friend suggested that she should walk over and purchase one during her break. But the cashier said she couldn't afford it right now. As we left the grocery store, I told my friend I was tempted to buy one for her. She agreed, and offered to pay for half. So we went back to the department store and picked out a matching necklace for the cashier. As we paid for it, the sales ... Read Full Story >>
On an overcast morning a couple of days ago, I was walking through the city center of my home town in central Germany. The gray sky didn't bother me because trees were finally putting on their green spring dress, and flowers strew gentle touches of color here and there. I was on my way to catch a bus, walking quickly, and easily outpaced a man whose stumbling gait had already caught my eye. While passing him by, I cast a glance towards him, and saw that his head was hanging so low, his chin touched his chest. He was holding a bottle of beer in his left hand. The cap was on, but the bottle was already missing a third of its content. He looked like he could fall over any minute, and hurt himself. I stopped a couple of yards ahead of him, wanting to offer him my help to ... Read Full Story >>
I had gone to my bank (in Nigeria) to withdraw some money and was given a beautiful, blue, customized watch as a free gift. As I left there, I thought to myself that I didn't need the watch. I was already wearing one! I thought that there were people who needed that watch more than me, people who had never worn one before. My sister came around and I handed her the watch to give any of the boys who go around begging with their physically-disabled parents. My sister's hostel is very close to where they usually stay. A few days later one of the boys, about 14 years old, came around my sister's lecture hall with his blind mother to beg for money as usual. My sister then walked up to him and asked him if he had a watch. He said, "No." And my sister gave the watch to him. She ... Read Full Story >>
A few weeks ago I was blessed to spend four days with some of the kindest people I have ever seen. It was an amazing experience on so many levels and I am a kinder person for having my life touched by them all. One of the great things I noticed with them was the power of some non-verbal techniques is sharing love and compassion. So much love was shared through warm hugs, deep gazes and attentive listening. It was a great reminder for me that those small kindnesses can be powerful and make a huge difference to others, many times more than anything I could say. So now that I am back in the real world I have been trying harder to incorporate those non-verbal kindnesses in my life. I can see it making a difference wherever I try them out. I have been hugging a little more and can see that it ... Read Full Story >>
Leaving the supermarket earlier today I saw an elderly man with mobility problems. He was struggling to open the boot/trunk of his car and it was starting to rain.
Today I was blessed to turn forty-five years young. I enjoy reading all of the awesome ideas from this wonderful site about people giving on their birthday, so, I decided this would be my chance to experience the joy of giving on my special day. My husband took me to the Olive Garden, and our waitress was very nice. We had a great dinner experience and then I tried a warm apple crostata that was scrumptious. Then the waitress, Carlini, brought our bill. When she came back to the table to get our credit card I knew it was my time to give. I sat the gift bag on the edge of the table and simply said, "In honor of my birthday, I want to bless you with a gift." Ohh, the shock on her face! She said, "No, not for me! It’s your birthday!" Then she said, "Can I open it in front of you?" ... Read Full Story >>
After three months of working weekends I had my first full weekend off work and a beautiful sunny day to spend how I wanted. I found myself awake early and decided to wander down-town, have breakfast, catch a bus to the markets, go to the beach, and just genearally relax. I made it to the bus stop at about 8.30am and was waiting with another passenger who was dressed for business when an elderly women slowly wandered up to the bus stop. She was dressed a little eccentrically and peering around happily. "Hello. How are you today?" she asked. I glanced at the business man waiting at the stop thinking she may know him but found him looking at me, obviously thinking the same thing. "I am fine thanks," I said, half turning to her while trying to see the number on the bus that was approaching. "How are you?" "I am fine. It's ... Read Full Story >>
Recently I was on a retreat in a foreign country with some friends, some strangers, and many strangers who became friends! We were all given duties to perform, such as cleaning and cooking. I was in the team serving meals. On the first day I tried hard to please everyone, but it was hard to know how. Some people liked it when you were fast and just gave them their food, some people preferred it slow and steady so that they could choose exactly how much they wanted, some wanted, for example, stew without the carrots in it, some didn't know what I was serving and didn't speak English. If they weren't served in the way they wanted some grew irritable. As you can imagine, after an hour of this it started to get old. So the next day, we tried a different tactic. I learnt how to say "Would you like ..." in ... Read Full Story >>
As I was leaving the health club the other day, I overheard some older women talking about going to a nearby restaurant for lunch with some friends.
I happened to have a $25 gift card to that restaurant, and had been holding on to it for a long time. It just happened that I had the gift card in my car, so I ran over, picked it up, and ran back over to the women in their car.
After I assured them I wasn't carj-acking them, they rolled down the window.
I handed them the card, and told them to enjoy their lunch on me! It was the best meal I never had!
I often take the bus for my daily commutes, and one of the drivers on the route to my house isn't known to be very nice. In fact, not many people like him at all. It doesn't take much for him to turn up his nose, or to ignore members of the community who are stranded when he drives by. That didn't bother me, though. I decided that, no matter what his mood is on a given day, I would continue to greet and smile at him. Unconditionally. Now, after awhile of doing this, I've noticed that his overall demeanor towards me has changed. He not only smiles at me, but he cracks jokes, too! One time, I fell asleep on his bus, and when I woke, I said, jokingly, "Why didn't you wake me? You know where I live!" We both laughed hard, and since then it has been an on-going joke ... Read Full Story >>
Today, I stopped at the store to return a couple of things. Sure enough, I ended up in line behind an older woman who was questioning all the pricing on her purchases and moving rather slowly. I made up my mind to think compassionately; to be patient and wait with a smile on my face. The older woman glanced at me and acknowledged that it must be heavy to keep holding all my items while waiting for her to finish checking out. I told her I was young enough to hold them all, and that I needed the exercise anyway. She commented that she was too old for exercise, but needed it. Then she turned to me and said, "I just lost my husband on the 20th." He had died of cancer, just two weeks after the doctor had told him he had about six weeks to live. She explained that they were both diagnosed ... Read Full Story >>
After church this Sunday morning, my daughter and I went to a local restaurant for late breakfast.. An older woman was seated next to us at an adjoining booth. What drew my attention is that when she came in and seated herself , she walked straight toward us with a smile, as though she was going to sit with us and knew us, but then turned to her table and took a seat by herself. I thought to myself that I should have invited her to sit with us. When we were done with our food, my daughter and I left our booth (the woman was still seated at her table) and whispered to the waitress to put the woman's breakfast on our tab. The waitress seemed surprised at what I was doing for a stranger. So I told her of a card I had received the previous day from a complete stranger, ... Read Full Story >>
This year, instead of birthday presents, dinners, etc, my husband and I decided to pool our resources and request acts of kindness, compassion and generosity be done on our behalf.
My favorite so far involves my girlfriend's 12 year old daughter who got so inspired that she's currently brainstorming things she can do to be kind and generous.
My kids had been on holiday from school for almost two weeks and it was getting a bit much for me. (If you are a parent you will understand!) I was getting a little impatient with them and I don't like being like that. So, I decided I needed a pick-me-up and the best way I've found to feel happier is to do random acts of kindness! While I was grabbing some last minute dinner items at the store I picked up a candy bar and asked the cashier what her favorite candy bar was. She thought I just couldn't decide what to get and named one she liked. I picked up one of those and bought it with the rest of my groceries. After I had paid and was ready to leave I gave her the one she picked out and wished her a good day. The other candy bar I gave ... Read Full Story >>
I recently wrote two letter of appreciation. One was to a vehicle rental company and the other was to a vehicle dealership. Both companies treated me with a lot of respect and made me feel like a person of value. They were very professional and caring.
I wrote long letters of appreciation mentioning all the employees and the wonderful jobs the were doing to their bosses. I made sure I left the letters open so the employees could read them first.
I feel when employees are kind and treat people the way I have been treated the deserve to be told what a good job they are doing. This will, hopefully, continue to motivate them to keep being the good people they are and encourage them to be the best they can be.
A little appreciation goes a long way. I appreciate all they have done. Lets all continue to motivate each other to be kind loving people!
It has been very cold and snowy here, so it felt like a good time to get out and spread some kindness! Me and my friend "Hennie" went out with four cards. We like to write out cards and put a Smile card inside with a little gift, so we had two with chocolate and two with lotto cards. It was freezing cold but we thought the good feeling would outweigh the coldness! I felt a bit shy so when we called at one local shop I asked the server to pass one of our cards to a customer. He seemed a bit confused but was happy to do so. Next we found a lady looking very cold and walking home in the snow. I noticed she smiled at our dog so we gave her one of the cards. Then, as the streets were a bit quiet, we went to another shop and gave ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, I took my brother's puppy to the pet store to spread some kindness. My mom and sister have been watching him while my brother is at work and when I went to pick him up to go to the store my mom gave me money in case I saw something cute to buy him. As we walked around the store, I looked at various options but started to feel uncomfortable. Here was a whole store devoted to pets with everything you could imagine, while some humans struggle to survive and others die for lack of basic necessities. The puppy and my family's other dogs already have plenty of toys and everything else they'd ever need. I decided not to buy anything. When I told my mom, she said to save the money for myself. She won't take "no" for an answer so I graciously accepted and decided to use the money ... Read Full Story >>
My husband was away on detachment with the Royal Air Force. My parents were away too and although I have some good friends on this particular day I felt totally alone.