well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.
The Japanese man points to my airplane seat, right as I head to the bathroom. He didn't speak much English, so I just signal that I'll be back in couple minutes. When I return, we play charades to see if he wants to swap his aisle seat with my window seat. "Yes, yes," he says with a child-like glee. I am more than happy to oblige. My window shutter has been down for couple hours of the flight already and I am hardly planning on making any further use of it. Right before he changes seats, he folds his hands and bows as a gesture of gratitude. It's touching when someone is thankful for something that takes almost no effort on your part. Before he can even get settled in, he slides up the window shutter and curiously looks outside at the clouds. He's happy. I can just tell. And that he's happy, ... Read Full Story >>
Recently my wife and I were in Maui, and we went to enjoy one of its gorgeous sunsets by the beach. While sitting there a nice lady saw us and asked, "Do you have a camera?". I replied, "Yeah", and then she offered to take a picture of us. So we stood up, got into our 'standard' arm around each other pose. Then she asked us to lie down on the ground to make the shot more interesting, and asked how to set the manual flash on my camera. My wife asked her if she was a photographer, and she replied, "Yes, but I don't have any jobs tonight."
She took some great photos of us, far better than the cheesy ones that we normally take. We thanked her, and she then walked off and asked the next group nearby if they had a camera. What a nice thing to do!
I knew my neighbor and her husband had recently separated and she was struggling. She hadn't shared with me her struggles, but I just knew it couldn't be easy money wise as they had 4 children, one being blind, and they were struggling financially before the separation. She had not been working before they separated as her youngest child was blind and not yet in school. It was summer time and school was about to start. As I was shopping for items for my granddaughters, I began thinking about her children and how she would be able to get them items they needed that year. I went to the store and bought a gift card and sent it anonymously to her address. When I checked my mail a couple of days later, I saw her down the street as she checked hers and opened the envelope. I couldn't tell her reaction because of the distance between our ... Read Full Story >>
I work in media and often get some pretty great perks in my job. I wanted to share one of them with you - probably one of the hardest acts of kindness I have done yet!!! But it was worth it!!! I was at work yesterday and was about to leave when my supervisor walked into my office and handed me an envelope. She had two tickets to the U2 concert that was playing that night in her hand and said they were mine if I wanted them. I LOVE U2, they are my favourite band, and I quickly said yes very excited about the night ahead of me! Then I wondered who to take with me. My boyfriend is a big fan and would have loved to go, but 2 of my sisters are massive fans and I know they had been trying to get tickets (with no luck). So... ... Read Full Story >>
In the store where I work there are many customers who have kids, but hardly any money. This past weekend the employees were given coupons for 20 percent off any Christmas merchandise. We could give them to whoever we wanted.
I gave most of mine out and saved a few.
While I was working I had a lot of fun giving the coupons to parents with kids who saw all the toys we had out but knew that they wouldn't get any of them. The parents really had a ball buying toys for their kids that they wouldn't have been able to buy without these coupons.
It was so nice to see their eyes light up as they began to understand what the coupons were, and how they could help (A lot of the parents either do not speak english, or very little of it).
I am having fun now imagining the happiness of some of those kids as they get toys that they 'knew' they wouldn't get :-)
It was late one night when I got an email from the states. It was my friend John who, as usual, had an idea. This one was about the power of connectedness. John was taken with the notion that he could, by sitting at his computer, with only a few small movements of his fingers, could affect change on the other side of the world. “In ten seconds,” he wrote, “I sent an email to my friend in Boston, asking him to go down to the street and give a watermelon to the first person he saw. And he did.” John, of course, wanted to illustrate the power of connectivity with a more compassionate experiment. “Please go find a needy person and give them $20 [1,000 Indian rupees, at the time]. If you can, try to see how it changes their life and let me know.” On our last afternoon in Ahmedabad, ... Read Full Story >>
My Mom is visiting from India and I wanted to show her some Christmas shopping spirit! So one of these evenings, I took her to a nearby store. As we got out from the car, I noticed something blue and plastic and shining in semi-darkness. A black & white image of a cheerful, middle-aged lady smiled at me. It was a high-end Costco membership card. I figured she must live pretty close. So when we got home, I picked up the phone book and found the number that matched her name. A friendly male voice answered saying it is indeed his wife's card and she will call me back because she's busy feeding the baby. I was a little puzzled. Sure enough, the lady called me in 10 minutes and profusely thanked me for safe-keeping of her card. She lived down the same road, just a couple of blocks away! And then ... Read Full Story >>
Over the Christmas holidays my young boys were driving everyone in the house bonkers with their fighting, usually it's worst just before bedtime. Yesterday, at separate times of the day, I sat with each of my sons and told him "I love you". A few hours later, I realised those words had been missing from my regular vocalbulary since the holidays started. I felt guilty.
With so much time to do things together, it's inevitable that friction happens. It was kind of like coming up for air, when I said "I love you". My sons are more affectionate and calmer when they are around me now. I know it won't last, but if I keep positive, patient and loving, then life will be a lot more peaceful.
I work in a medical building right next door to a lab whose primary mission is to draw blood from all ages of patients.
Our walls are really thin and I can hear babies and young children crying, wailing the most desperate, betrayed kind of wail. It really gets to me.
So I went to The Dollar Tree store & bought cuddly, soft Teddy Bears in different colors. When I hear the lab office door open, I walk out and hand the teddy bear to the traumatized baby or child and tell them, "We are so PROUD of you! What a brave boy/girl you are!"
Some kids, believe it or not, don't trust another human being coming out of an office so don't want the bear. Some hug it right away. Most stop crying...I'm not sure who appreciates it more - the child or the parent!
After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said I love you but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you. The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. "What's wrong, are you well?" she asked. My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news."I thought that it would be pleasant to be with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, ... Read Full Story >>
A man named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shining new car admiring it. "Is this your car, Mister?" he asked. Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what this lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels. "I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that." Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?" "Oh yes, I'd love that." After a ... Read Full Story >>
On April 28 2001, my youngest sister was killed in a random drive by shooting. Her 3 youngest sons went to live with my surviving sister but were never happy there; I wanted to gain the gaurdianship options from my sister but didn't want to risk fracturing our family even more. A couple of weekends ago, though, my sister called and said the boys (17 yrs & 15 yrs) could no longer live with her and that their only options was either foster care or living with me. There is no way I was going to miss this chance. Still, my nephews were accustomed to living in the big city and I live in a suburb, 45 minutes from the city and I knew that convincing them was going to take some negotiating. But I did it. Today, they have been with me going on two weeks and they are more relaxed. ... Read Full Story >>
This is the story of Robby. He was a young boy who lived with his elderly mother. His mother wanted him to learn how to play the piano because she longed to hear her son play for her. She sent her son to a piano teacher who took Robby in under her guidance. However, there was one small problem because Robby was not musically inclined and therefore was very slow in learning. The teacher did not have much faith in the boy because of his weakness. The mother was very enthusiastic and every week she would send Robby to the teacher. One day Robby stopped attending the piano lessons. The teacher thought that he had given up and in fact she was quite pleased since she did not give much hope to Robby. Not long after, the piano teacher was given the task to organize a piano concert in town. ... Read Full Story >>
I was just in France to visit my grand-mother who is very dear to me. I don’t get to cross the Atlantic very often, and she’s now 96 year old, so every time I go visit, the two of us are very aware that it might be the last time we see each other. Last time I visited her in December of 2004, I did a series of short video interviews about her life. I asked her what it was like to grow up with her father in the 1910s (her mother died during labor), to live through the German occupation alone with two young children with a husband away in a prisoners' camp in Germany. I asked her about her greatest memories and life learnings so far, her favorite books, foods, stories. I also asked her about her spirituality and her thoughts about death. I learned a lot of amazing ... Read Full Story >>
Everyday I walk down the mall to get a cup of cappuccino, and every day I get hit up for spare change. Every day. The panhandlers all have these wonderful stories but you never know what to believe. After a while it gets to be an irritation, and then I find myself getting upset that I'm so irritated over what is really just spare change.
One day this person came up to me and said, "I just ran out of gas. My car is about six blocks away from here, I have two kids in the car and I'm just trying to get back home."
I said to myself, "Here we go again," but for some reason I gave him $10. Then I went on and got my cappuccino. As I was walking back to my office, I again saw the man standing by his car, which had run out of gas right in front of my office. Seeing me, he came over and said, "Thank you, but I don't need the full ten," and handed me $2.
Now I find that being asked for money no longer bothers me and I give whatever I can everytime I get the chance.
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 >>
I keep scissors handy on my sofa side table to clip interesting articles and coupons that my friends & family may like. Once a week, I sort them into different piles and send it thru the mail to distribute. I received many thank you's for the interesting articles, so I started to clip out funny cartoons, inspirational stories, share poems and pick up stick-um's and other surprise goodies too! I stuff them into the letters especially if I know the person needs a pick-me-up ... it's fun and not expensive at all ... and everyone loves the "snail mail surprises." Lastly, when I sort thru the mail, I pull out the Two for One coupon restaurant deals, additional savings coupon or certificates from department stores, etc. I keep them in a envelope and if I don't need it, I make sure to pass out to other friends and co-workers for their use before expiration dates. I recently snail-mail ... 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 >>
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 >>
A young woman went to her mother and told her how hard her life was. She said she wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. So, her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes 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 asked, “Tell me what you ... Read Full Story >>
I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, 'I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.' After hurriedly completing ... Read Full Story >>
For years I had always taken my change out of my pocket each night and placed it in one of those water cooler jars. I would use the change every so often when it got full. As nature would have it, I got older and the glass jar got fuller. I changed my process to taking the change and putting it in a small container. Then every so often I would take the change to my bank and have it put on a visa card which is what I carry around in my wallet for "Smile Emergencies". So the other day I was in line at Home Depot and a lady with way too many kids for one person to watch at one time was in front of me. She was buying some curtains and various plants and house hold items. She was telling the kids to stand still, be ... Read Full Story >>
A very close friend of mine has two older parents who have been very sick and in the hospital. Her Mom has alzheimers and her Dad has diabetes and just had surgery on his legs. She was able to make arrangements for them to come to her house when they left the hospital, but this is now an additional responsibility for her in addition to her own family.
A bunch of us (9 friends) got together and came up with a calendar of dates for us to take turns making dinner and delivering it to her house. (Thank goodness for email!) It'll be one less thing she will have to worry about while she establishes a routine and things settle down for her. This way she will know they are eating healthy foods and she can tend to her parents needs. I'm so happy to be part of this effort.
MANY HANDS make LIGHT WORK. If we all do our part, it's easy!
Very recently, I have had to move from my home and have been living in a hotel room with my son who is 17, my sister and her two children ages 4 and 8.
Times have been hard and I have been still going to work and pretending every day that it is no big deal, that we will get through this. But today I was really down until I logged on to this site .... and read everyone's stories! It just brightened up my day.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and everyone for their acts of kindness.
Even though times are hard for me right now, I am still going everyday to help my mother who has colon cancer and try to help others with their problems. Compared to some others, my problems are not so terrible.
Thanks for reminding me.
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!
It was a very hot, late August day when I took my 8 year old grand daughter out to lunch at a beautiful, fancy restaurant, because she enjoyed feeling like a princess.
As we sat out on the lovely deck with many other diners around us, she reached out to point to the flowers on the table and accidentally tipped my ice water glass into my lap.
She gasped, her eyes grew large, the people at the next table peered to see my reaction. I simply smiled and said, "Oh, that is so refreshing."
We can make a split second decision to have a different-than-expected reaction to happenings that, in their smallness, make the world a better place and teach our children at the same time.
It was five in the morning. The room smelt weird. I saw him, next to me, deep in slumber. I went up to the bathroom and got my answer to the stench. He had had a few extra drinks last night, must have puked all over the wash basin. The basin was clogged and the stench inside was unbearable. A little angry I came back in the room with half a mind to wake him up and ask him to clean up. I could hear his soft snores and knew that he needs that sleep to be normal the next morning. This happened when we were vacationing in Dubai during Diwali holidays. I called up the reception and in an embarrassed tone explained my problem. It was a five star property and the receptionist promised to send someone over within a minute. Before hanging up, I requested him to send ... Read Full Story >>
Today, I am feeling for my father. Its been 11 years since I've been married, since I left home. I want to confess that I have had a very troubled childhood. Though born in an educated family, I had to survive my mother's sudden death when I was five and the temper of my father. My father was a very very short tempered man, though by heart he was not bad. I had one big brother (two years elder), and my father used to beat us very badly for very small things. After a year of mother's accident, he remarried. My second mother also had two children of her own, and she controlled the whole house and my father. Though she was not that bad, she was partial with me ... may be because I was not that good looking. Even if my younger step-sister would abuse me, my father would ... Read Full Story >>