I was shopping at the local department store and noticed this young man in his late 20's looking carefully for children's clothing and putting together really cute outfits to buy. This is a small store and when I went to the checkout counters, they were closed and the courtesy desk called me over there to check out. Wouldn't you know the young man was checking out there too. We were Side by Side and I could see and hear his conversation with the cashier. When the total appeared on the cash register he looked down and said I don't have enough money. He put back a shirt, and he was still short for money. Now, I myself, am not overflowing with money because my hubby is unemployed, but when I saw this guy putting back underwear and socks, I was heartbroken. Here he was trying to buy some nice clothing and needed items for ... Read Full Story >>
I have been blessed with opportunity in my life, and it took the near-death of my dad to make me realize that my purpose in life is to help others. My dad was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998 and watching the pain and treatment that he endured inspired me to be a more kind and giving person. It was like a smack in the face as I woke up one morning and realized life is just too short and it was time for me to make some changes – do the things in life that I wanted to do without making excuses why I couldn’t do them, or telling myself that I had plenty of time to do things. Well, you never know when your hourglass will run out of sand. The time was now. My dad needed a bone marrow transplant. He was given a procedure in which he was able to reuse ... 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.
I was staying with a friend of mine recently because my parents where out of town. On one of the days, my friend and I went out on an activity day, which was lots of fun and I had the chance to meet a bunch of new people. I was talking with a few guys, and during the course of the conversation, it came up that they where from a town that I was going to move to in just one week. One of the guys was very interested in when my family and I where moving and asked if we where going to have any help moving in. He insisted on getting my information so he could help out. I thought that was quite funny but didn’t really give it much thought. Well, sure enough, he called me the day we were moving in, and when my family arrived, there was a big group of people outside our new house. These people didn’t even know us and ... Read Full Story >>
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 >>
Something happened today to make me realise just how much love I have in my house and I am so thankful for that. My husband used to work in a bank but during the credit crunch he lost his job. The economy wasn't looking good and he didn't have too many options to get another bank job. It was incredibly difficult to see him go to the warehouse to look for work, hoping and praying that he would be offered a position (where he would be paid even less than his own teenage children were making). Someone dear to me encouraged him to keep on "keeping on" and I was right behind them. I told him to just "go for it". He got the job and it brought us such a feeling of pride. With his new job we were still able to pay our mortgage and buy our groceries. But money ... Read Full Story >>
I was recently on a vacation to Disney World with some of my friends. I never expected to find a chance to exercise my kindness muscles. My friends were going on a scary water ride that I did not want to go on. I waited outside the ride with their camera so that I could take pictures. While I was doing this, I noticed two small children who were alone. It looked like the older one, about 7, seemed to be searching for something, while the younger boy, around 3, was crying uncontrollably. I waited for some time, slightly afraid to approach them in case they would be scared by a stranger. After watching this scene for about 10 minutes, I decided that I needed to find out what was the matter. The older boy explained that they were standing at the exact same spot with their parents just an hour ago and ... Read Full Story >>
I had been feeling a bit blue and alone, so I thought I'd treat myself to something I wanted. I went to the grocery store to pick up some items I needed to make some chili bean soup. I had a hankering for it and felt like I'd treat myself to something I wanted. I could almost taste the soup. I had the beans the onions, the ground beef, my mouth was watering. Then out of nowhere a thought of my sister came to mind. We had spoken via email just the day before. She told me that she and my 13-month-old nephew had been battling a virus all week and feeling pretty tired. As I thought of this, I thought that I should bring something over for dinner. She loves my Mexican meatball soup (Albondigas), but I wanted Chili soup, and so the battle within began. I already had everything for ... Read Full Story >>
Last month my kindness idea allowed me to meet some new people in my community. When I delivered their food, I also gave each my phone number so they could keep in touch if they wanted. All of them have called me since.
Having a bad spell with MS has left me pretty much in bed the last two or three weeks and feeling nearly helpless.
Yesterday, the young mother I had helped showed up at my house with a casserole. While she was here, she washed my dishes and carried out my trash. The young gentleman I had helped has been here twice, just to check on me. He has no transportation so he had to walk the several miles to where I live.
In helping others, I have made new friends . What a blessing.
I knew a friend of mine was struggling with work, adult children moving back into the home, and a health concern about his wife.
Last week I called him and left him a voicemail letting him know that I was thinking of him and focusing on a positive outcome for him.
I spoke to him today and he told me that my voicemail brought him so much comfort that he saved it and when things get rough, he listens to it and cheers up.
I'm so humbled by his words and so very grateful that I took a moment to leave him that voicemail. It got me thinking how sometimes we have impulses to reach out to another. At times we follow through, sometimes we get busy and forget.
After hearing his gratitude for my message, I realized I need to pay more attention to those impulses.
Everyday, I read the stories on this website and I am so warmed by all the generous giving and grateful receiving.
Thank you for the inspiration!
"We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we're frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We'll certainly be happy when they're out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D. Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that ... Read Full Story >>
While getting ready for school today, my 16-year-old daughter made a point of coming into my room to give me a big hug and kiss. When I asked her the proverbial question, "What do you want?" she replied, "Nothing momma. You always tell us to have a good day before we leave the house, but I was thinking about who tells you to have a good day and lets you know how much you are loved." I am so touched by the capacity of love and understanding that comes from my children. My 15-year-old son asked me last night if there was a way for him to get a summer job this year in order to help us pay our bills. Unfortunately, in our area, he must be 16. When telling him "no," he said that was ok because he had a lawn mower and as long as the grass grows, he ... Read Full Story >>
I wanted to share some of my reflections on kindness..... Acts of kindness are a wonderful way to reach across time and space to touch the life of another being and they undoubtedly make the world a better place. At every step along the path of expanding our awareness there is the opportunity to go deeper; to explore more of the potential of our divine humanness. So it is with kindness. Acts of kindness are really not difficult. An intention is formed, and you carry it out. It makes you feel good. Holding kindness and compassion in our hearts, and integrating them into the complexity and stresses of daily life, every day -- now there is a deep challenge! Parents can learn to discipline kindly, remaining firm, yet doing so with love and warmth. Teachers can learn to remain patient and forgiving, no matter how frustrated they might feel with a particular student. ... Read Full Story >>
Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. Try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend." Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be ... Read Full Story >>
One Year for Christmas, my brother Chris and and his wife Julie gave each of us siblings a very thoughtful gift. Inspired by the book: "The Christmas Jar", by Jason F. Wright, they gave each sibling's family an empty quart size Mason Jar. A slot was cut in the plastic lid, and inside were a number of stickers and ribbons to decorate the jar with. In the book: The Christmas Jar, Hope Jensen, in a moment of great grief and monetary loss, is anonymously gifted a small jar of Money. Moved, humbled, and transformed by this gift, her own faith in humanity is resurrected, as she searches for and ultimately finds the donors. When we opened the package from my brother, inside, along with the jar and a copy of the book, was a note which read: " In honor of the spirit of giving we were taught by Mama Rose and Papa ... Read Full Story >>
"I'm the eldest among us, so you have to let me pay for these tickets! Besides, just one ticket in the States cost more than all three tonight!!" My cousin's wallet hand was faster than mine, pulling out Rs. 520 for three opening night seats to 'Angels and Demons' before I could make good on my intention. "Naaah! Come on- don't worry about it," came the answer. "Ok, but then we have to use this 500 rupees to do something good," I say as I pull out a crisp note. We immediately start trying to figure it out while slowly walking away from the theater. I spot an ice cream vendor selling 10 rupees soft serves not far from us. "Hey, what about ice cream! We could give 50 strangers a cool surprise with this bill. Just random people walking by." "NO! Why?! We should give to someone in need," protested one of my cousins, with ... Read Full Story >>
A Night With The Homeless by: Ellis Moore (Age 10) Every Saturday or Sunday night my family and I go out and feed the homeless people in the city of Orlando. There are thousands of people across The United States without any food or shelter. My family and I have been doing this for several months. We wanted to see what it was like in the life of a homeless person. One special thing I like to mention is, my family and I do not eat before we begin our journey so we know how it feels to be hungry. All of the areas we go to are very dangerous. We go on streets such as, Orange blossom trail, Parramore, Gore street, Colonial Dr, and down town Orlando. We all get together in the kitchen and prepare the food. Some of the meals are sandwiches and cookies and a bottle of water. ... Read Full Story >>
My four grown children were all home visiting this weekend so we decided to go out for brunch. The centre of attention was my toddler granddaughter. She had never had pancakes before so we were excited about her trying them. We always try to make our family meals special so this time we decided to order every kind of pancake they had and asked that they be served on one big family-style platter! We each took turns digging in and also feeding it to the baby, who loved them. There was a lovely environment at the table and lots of smiles. As I was looking around the table, enjoying this wonderful scene, a gentleman at a nearby table caught my eye. He was eating his breakfast alone quietly, in the corner. He frequently looked over and smiled as my granddaughter continued to entertain us all. Suddenly, I had a great idea. I dug ... Read Full Story >>
Last winter I was going through a rough patch in my life. I had a bunch of terrible things going on around me. I felt very distant and became quite selfish. I hated the way I was feeling and one day I woke up and told myself, “You are above this, stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Then, I tried out an experiment, and it has DEFINITELY changed me for the better. Every day I would do at least one act of kindness - It could be anything… Bringing the trash down to the trash compactor for my 80 year old neighbor, Going into the store to buy something for myself (like a bit of makeup) and coming out with something for someone else (like candy for my boyfriend) Sitting down with my sister or a friend and just simply listening. And I can ... Read Full Story >>
Once a year my Great Aunt Glenna (both in relation and in just plain greatness) gets all the ladies in the family together for a weekend at a cabin set in the woods. There are no distractions like television or radio. It is a time to commune with nature and to draw close to one another. We always have the MOST wonderful time! At the most recent of these get-togethers, I decided it would be a lot of fun to get a smile card going. I envisioned it would be passed from lady to lady with one kind act after another the whole weekend. The first morning I put a bag of mini M&M's in my Great Aunt Dorris' shoe related to a precious story she told about her grandson. It started a string of questions aimed at uncovering the doer of the ANONYMOUS act of kindness. I was suspect number one but I would never admit to it. It did ... Read Full Story >>
Last night after reading some inspirational posts on HelpOthers I decided it was getting a little late so I decided to go to bed. As I was lying there I was thinking about the stories I had just read. For some reason my mind flashed back to my first day at College (High School). The head girl was standing up on the stage giving us a speech about your life and your life journey being a vase full of flowers. Now that may seem a strange context but that speech has stayed with me for many years. I would like to share it with you all! It went something along the lines of… Imagine a big vase of flowers being your life. Each person has a vase of flowers but it is their opportunity to fill it in the way they decide. You could fill your vase with a few flowers ... Read Full Story >>
I heard a great story this morning about a young girl with a very big heart. A friend was telling me a story about her customer's daughter. The daughter goes to an expensive private school where she has a friend, who is on a full scholarship at this school. This friend has very limited means and her mother is an immigrant from China and her father is an alcholic. Although the girl's mother works very hard, they can barely make ends meet. This girl is very bright and gifted at music and that's how she got the scholarship from this school. The stipend also includes an allowance for things like lunch, school uniform and music lessons. The daughter became friends with this girl and would secretly talk to her at lunch (secretly, in order to avoid the other kids teasing her). On her birthday last month, she invited her new friend to her birthday ... Read Full Story >>
I recently got a new version of an old camera that I used to adore... Polaroid instant film! This one is a Fuji, which takes credit card sized instant photos. I named my camera "J5", (after Johnny #5 the Robot, from the '80's films "Short Circuit", mainly because it looks like him :) In J5's short career (this past month), he has blasted off about 80 photographs, and 60+ have been given away to complete strangers. Each photograph is unique, simple, imperfect and beautiful, as those captured within the photos had a story to tell. So far, one story stands out above them all. Last Wednesday, I was in the play area of the Harrisburg Mall. I sat next to a woman who was there with her son. She was very classy, seemed to have it all together. I would have assumed that she had a sweet, upper-middle class life. As it turned ... Read Full Story >>
I need to share a powerful and strangely wonderful event in my life that involves death and cancer. I am certain you are struggling with the fact that I am using the words wonderful, cancer and death in the same sentence. I think that after you hear this story you will agree that in this case it is an appropriate combination of words. A dear friend of mine was dying of cancer. Shortly before she died she shared with me that she was very sad that she would never get to go to the beach again. She grew up near the ocean and it was a special place for her. The cancer had made her too weak to travel the 4-5 hours from her home to the ocean. I shared this with several of her friends and we decided we had to do something about it. On a Saturday afternoon in June, while her family kept her distracted ... Read Full Story >>
Mandy was the kind of girl I was blessed to have as a daughter, the kind of friend everyone wanted to have, the kind of spirit that radiated joy and happiness when ever she entered a room. Mandy left this world to go be with her Lord on November 15, 2008 in a tragic car accident. Since then, I have tried to live each day of my life living up to her expectations. I started the Kindness Revolution on Mother's day 2009 and gave out over 100 flowers to random women throughout the weekend along with a card letting them know to pay the kindness forward. I have given away jewelry, paid for coffee and tolls, paid for groceries, cleaned off car windows trying to spread the kindness and to do as she instructed. I know that each time I do a kind act, I get back 100 times more than I gave. The feeling ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, I wasn't having the greatest day. I lost my wallet, and luckily I found it, but the whole mishap messed up the rest of my day. In the evening, I was reading stories on My Life is Average, and then switched to Gives Me Hope. Reading about so many positive experiences and contributions to society from so many different people made me feel very cheerful. After reading, I was getting ready for bed in an altogether happy mood, and as I was getting out of the shower, I had a wonderful idea. I had this profoud urge to do something outrageously nice for someone whom I don't feel like I've ever done anything explicitly nice, my mother. That's not to say that I don't love her and tell her as such, but doing the little acts of kindness, those usually escape me. And it's not just me that forgets to do ... Read Full Story >>
A social worker played a huge role in my life when I was young. It's a field where the pay is low and many are at ground zero of humanity's dark sides. I wanted to share a letter I wrote thanking them. This was sent out to over 80 agencies across the midwest. If you know someone who could use this please do send it. It does matter. Dear Social Workers, The work you do matters. On the days when you are burnt out, and questioning if it does, take a few moments to read this letter. I was 12-years old when I first met Dale. I was lost in a world of institutions and dormitories for the last few years. The reasons why I didn’t understand. At the time I thought I was broken and no good. I later learned it was my home that was broken. My father was an abusive ... Read Full Story >>
About a year ago, my husband had just come back from a 7 month tour in Iraq. My daughter and I had gone up to see him get off the bus at 6am, and he didn't get there until about 7-7:30am. After a couple hours of work he had to do, we were ready to go home. On the way home, my husband suggested that we go to International House of Pancakes (IHoP) to grab something to eat. We didn't have that much money left, as it was right before payday, but I decided it would be worth it anyway, since he hadn't gotten to eat anything like that for months. We went in and sat down in a crowded resturant. He was still wearing his ACU's (his army clothes) and I was clinging to him and still crying a little bit, just so happy to have him home. We sat ... Read Full Story >>
Our family has had many different pets over the years: Dogs, cats, frogs, lizards, turtles, and even a snake once. CC (our 7-year old grandchild) has always had a compassionate heart for all of them. When we learned about a shelter in the area that was ran by just volunteers she couldn’t wait to get involved. This was an excellent opportunity for her to learn and care for many different animals. What made this shelter different than most is their policy to never have any of the animals put to sleep. The animals they tended to would live at the center until they were adopted. If it took a week or a year for them to find a home, it didn’t matter. When CC learned that many of the animals were there because they had no home, it really bothered her. She couldn’t understand how that could be. When she ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday while I was busy doing my housework, my daughter ran up to me and said, "Mommy there's someone at the gate." I told her to ask who it was. It was an old man beggar. I heard my daughter yelling, "Mommy he wants money." For a second I ignored her, but then it hit me what she just said. I found my daughter taking out money from her Dad's wallet. Instead of stopping her, I stood there amazed at her action and the realization: kids give without hesitation and their kindness is impulsive. Then I murmured a little prayer to myself, "God, let my kids never outgrow such a value and let that value grow on us adults." Sure, we all want to do kindness acts as much as we can, but let's also be honest -- how many times have we acted on it in reality? How many times have we ... Read Full Story >>