A few years ago, this southern Alabama town experienced unusually frigid weather, cold enough to knock out the power for days. My husband, braving the cold, was on the way to the grocery to resupply our perishibles, and passed a police officer. He was standing in the middle of a fairly remote and windblown intersection, directing traffic. He thought of the officer again when he'd completed his errands, thinking of how cold he must be, stopped at a convenience store and bought a large cup of hot chocolate or coffee, it escapes me now. But, when passing the officer again, he rolled down his window, passed the cup to the officer, and thanked him for his help. My husband's description of the expression on the officer's face was that he was surprised, and grateful. What a simple, easy way to practice these thoughts we have.
I was at work and it had been snowing all day. I peeked outside about an hour before leaving work and I was terrified to see that every square inch of my car had been blanketed in about 8 inches of snow. I stayed in the office a few minutes after 5 trying to figure out how I would get the snow off of my car in heals, a skirt and no window scraper! I finally sucked it up and walked outside. To my surprise as well as relief, my car was completely clean of snow. My windows were scraped, even the headlights had been cleaned off! "Who did this?" I was puzzled, but so grateful! The next day at work, I prodded everyone I knew to find the culprit, but no one could tell me....they all denied the good deed. The following day, a co-working named Brian said "So, were you wondering who cleaned off your car?" I knew then that Brian was my little snow angel. He said, "Yeah, my car was heating up, I needed something to do for 5 or 10 minutes." He brushed it off as if it was an act of boredom, but I know that he has a kind and pure heart and what he did was an act of kindness.
I have a big veggie garden and every year i plant a little more than i can handle. It's something like my eyes are bigger than my appetite. I decided to take all of my excess veggies down to the laundry mat with a sign that read "free veggies". I guess that those who use the laundry may prbably rent places and might not be able to plant a garden. I did this all summer and each time when i went to collect the box...it was empty!
My daughter's birthday is May 29. She was 6 by then. As it was Monday, we prefered to celebrate it earlier, i.e. on Saturday 27 May. This was easier for me as I'm free on Saturdays. On Thursday the entire family was busy packing the presents and putting funny pins on them. I promised my litte princess that I would wake her up early in the morning and distribute the presents to her classmates. I woke up at 05:30. After I took a bath, I planned to wake her up ... but.... as I came out from the bathroom, I realized that an earthquake struck. I screamed to wake my husband up and asked him to carry my daughter; and ran out of our house. We were watching our house swaying from outside. It happened for just 3 minutes, but... the piano thumbled down, tiles came down, some cracks appeared ... Read Full Story >>
A dear friend was only weeks away from death from cancer. She said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to see the ocean again and get her toes in the sand. We live in Central Virginia and she was unable to travel so the trip to the coast wasn't going to happen. Some of us decided the solution was pretty simple. We would surprise her and bring the beach to her. The beach included three tons of beautiful white sand dumped in her driveway, two cabanas, beach balls, pails, shovels, beach chairs, a variety of decorations and a fire pit for the bonfire on the beach at night. Of course we had s'mores on the beach. We also rented a sno-cone machine since it had gotten to the point where flavored ice was about all she was able to eat. We ... Read Full Story >>
For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of going abroad to do something worthwhile, a voluntary thing, either working with kids or animals... and have been spoiled for choices with the kind of organised things you can pick, different causes, different countries. It's very expensive though. And I was puzzling over how can I be able to afford the flights and costs and everything. And impatience took over me. I thought "I can't wait to do something, I have to do something worthwhile NOW!!" So I just got up off my bed, went downstairs and started making sandwiches and put some crisps and some biscuits and an apple into about 6 little disposable picnic bags, called a couple of friends and told them my idea - "we're going into the city to give this food out to the homeless!" My friends loved the idea and we ... Read Full Story >>
On a Saturday morning, I glanced out of our window to see our chubby, middle-aged postman huffing and puffing on his rounds. I went out with a glass of water. He refused it politely but stopped for a few minutes to chat.
He told me about how his delivery car has no air conditioning but federal law requires that he has to drive with his windows fully shut so terrorists can not get to it easily!
I wanted to offer him something cool - so while he went about his rounds, I frantically looked for something he could take with him and found a cucumber from our garden.
When he came to drop off our mails, I offered it to him and his round, chubby face lit up instantly!
He started talking about his garden and how he cares for his garden. I could sense a bit of sadness when he said that his cucumber wines didn't flourish this summer. But he immediately smiled and said "but am so happy to see healthy ones from another garden!"
As he moved on , turned back and said that sharing of this cucumber meant a lot for the gardener within him. It meant a whole lot for me too.
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
A few months ago, while driving home from work, I was thinking about my long tiring day at work and worrying about my other half, and would he be OK when I got home. My partner of 6 years, was lying in bed at home, sick and facing a long illness and possibly death. That day several clients had paid for thier jobs and one of them even paid extra, since he was very pleased with our graphics & photography work. On the way, I stopped at a gas station (slightly out of my way) to gas up my car before heading home. When I went in to pre-pay for my gas, I saw a man with his his son ahead of me in the line. They were a little dirty from working & painting at a local job site. The clerk behind the counter seemed annoyed and not interested in ... Read Full Story >>
Being in the high school Band isn't always easy. Hours of practice go into making the show(s) perfect! (Not including if your football team makes it to districts, and so on.) You need a lot of dedication and I realize that because I am in the band. Every day in August from 8am-12pm we have 'band camp' practicing for the upcoming football season. This past week was one of our last regular season football games and it was COLD! During our break, I was standing in line at the concession stand for a hot chocolate when a band member from the other team approched me and told me how nice our band looked, and then began telling me about how cold she was and how she's not used to being this cold during football season because their team never went far into the season. Being next in line, I ordered ... Read Full Story >>
Good day, I was recently traveling and bad weather had surrounded the airport, causing many flights to get canceled or delayed. I was sitting by the gate, having changed my flight to another one already and was watching the unfortunate airline rep at the gate counter. She was being bombarded by a number of people who seemed to assume that the poor weather, flight cancellations and everything else causing them grief was her fault and each one in turn laid all of their grief on her and I could see she was being pushed to the brink. A little ah-ha light bulb flashed in my mind and since I am apt to follow my instinct, I stood up and took my place in the line of people intent on sharing their bad day with her. I patiently waited my turn and when I was finally standing in front of her, her weary ... Read Full Story >>
We have many people in my area who walk everywhere. Today it was raining, and I had a thought. I would go to the dollar store, and buy a bunch of umbrellas. If I see someone walking in the rain, I could stop and give them an umbrella to use.
My daughter works in a drive-thru coffee shop downtown. Our town is small, so we know just about everyone that goes by.
Gena is a less-abled mom who always walks with two crutches and her son, Sam, rides his bike along with her. They don't have a car. The other day a tremendous storm hit and my daughter called to tell me that Gena and Sam were walking in the freezing rain.
I stopped what I was doing and went to pick them up. They were so cold, wet and grateful.
I was so proud of my daughter for taking the initiative to help others!
This has really been the perfect day, not to hot, not cold, so I decided I would use it to work in my yard. I love sitting on the earth, pulling weeds and keeping my little space clean, somewhere in my mind I feel that it comforts the weary souls who pass by . Today, two special things happened today that really birghtened my day. Since I am getting older now and have slowed down, I decided early what I was going to accomplish today and started out with a lot of energy, but about half way thru my muscles cramped and I decided to stretch out on the lawn for a minute. Much to my surprise, I heard a voice ask me, "Are you alright?" A stranger saw me and was concerned. What a beautiful soul! I had the wheel barrow with me to put the weeds in and just ... Read Full Story >>
Next fall, when you see Geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in V formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going, more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone ... and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago, I worked for a trucking outfit as a driver. It was my habit to go in on Saturday and spend a couple hours maintaining my truck. As I was under the truck greasing it, I noticed the owner's elderly father making his way over to his grandson's truck next to mine. The old man was in his high eighties, had been an avid fisherman all his life, and had come out to ask the kid to take him fishing after work. The grandson told him all about how much he would love to do that, but, he just couldn't that day due to prior commitments. The old man accepted the answer and hobbled off to the house. A few minutes later, the father came out and asked his son what the old man had wanted. After telling the story, the kid ended it with telling his dad, ... Read Full Story >>
He almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson." Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old ... Read Full Story >>
I recently moved back to my home State of Florida after being gone for 28 years. I am 29 with an additional 18 years experience. In Florida, this time of the year, one thing is certain -- rain. As I got older, I started to think of it as a bother if I had to go somewhere but otherwise, it was a joyful event in my mind. Two and a half years ago, I had cervical spine surgery that was damaged and cannot be fixed. I suffer from daily neck aches, headaches and sometimes migraines. Last week, I awoke and it was raining -- no thunder and lightening, just rain. I love to go to sleep when it is raining and as a kid, I would beg and plead to just go play in the rain. I was usually allowed as long as it was just raining. I would spend ... Read Full Story >>
Today, a friend and I were returning from volunteering at Camp Quality, a great nonprofit that gives cancer-kids a chance to be kids! We spent two days there, and on our way back decided to make a stop for some junk food -- yes, Taco Bell! It was 10:45PM and one of the fiercest storms of the year had hit when we arrived at a local Taco Bell. Half way out of the entrance, a car appeared to be stuck; so while my friend ran inside to see if TB was open, I went over to the car to offer help. The lady -- with her young child, no more than a few months old -- was feeling a bit helpless. My friend had borrowed his Dad's Lexus for our weekend trip, so I asked her to get transfered to our car to keep herself and her child warm. As my ... Read Full Story >>
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, ... Read Full Story >>
A reporter once asked a farmer to divulge the secret behind his corn, which won the state fair contest year after year. The farmer confessed it was all because he shared his seed with his neighbors.
"Why do you share your best seed corn with your neighbors when you're entering the same contest each year?" asked the reporter.
"Why sir," said the farmer, "Didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination would steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbor do the same."
And so it is with other situations in our lives. Those who want to be successful must help their neighbors, friends, relatives to be successful.
Those who choose to live well must help others live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.
There is an elderly man who lives up the street from us. He has no one to shovel his driveway. He is a bit of a miser so most people aren't so inclined to help. One day, I don't know who did it, but someone used the sticky snow on his driveway to make a whole bunch of snowmen on his lawn facing his front window. They were all smiling and waving and his driveway got cleared in the making of them. As my son and I were walking by, I could hear him grumbling under his breath. "What's the problem?" I asked him. He complained that someone had trespassed on his lawn and made a bunch of snowmen. My son, not knowing what trespass meant, assumed this was a good thing. He said "Wow, sir, that's the biggest bestest present I've ever seen!!" Innocently, he then turned to me asked, ... Read Full Story >>
If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours ... Read Full Story >>
After seeing so many folks are caught by the unexpected rain -- people waiting by bus stops, waiting under awnings of stores, and so on.
So I decided to stock my car up with "Smile Umbrellas." Oh, they're quite ordinary; in fact, I bought the cheapest ones I could find at the dollar stores. The idea is not that they will last any great length of time, but that they will give someone an unexpected kindness.
I came home wetter than drowned rat, but happy as a clam. :)
Almost forty years ago, back on 12th Street between 8th Ave and Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, a group of people decided to hold a block party. The money raised was for planting trees on each side of the street.
And so we planted some trees. The trees were so small, they were almost comical! Still, they meant a lot to a small group of teenagers who lived on the block. Teenagers like me.
Fast forward some years, and the last time I went back to Brooklyn, I actually saw those little saplings turn into beautiful, full grown, majestic trees!
I looked up to the sky and thanked God for such a creation, for giving life to such a small seed planted in the hearts of a few people so many years ago!
I have a good friend, Tom, who keeps extra umbrellas in his car. On rainy days he drives by bus stops and hands free umbrellas to anyone who needs one. Yesterday, a young man knocked on my door. He was canvasing the neighborhood setting up appointments for free window replacement estimates. He stood far from my door and spoke carefully. I knew why. Despite much progress, stereotypes are still very real. I knew this young African-American man was not getting a whole lot of doors opened in my neighborhood. I opened my door wide and we chatted for a few minutes. He visibly relaxed. Before he turned around to leave, I noticed it was about to rain. I asked him if he would be okay in the rain. He told me that he needed to finish out the block before he could return to his car which was parked several blocks ... Read Full Story >>
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, 'Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.' I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead 'I will come next Tuesday', I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. 'Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!' My daughter smiled calmly and said, 'We drive in this all the time, Mother.' 'Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, ... Read Full Story >>
She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. "Hello," she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. I'm building," she said. "I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring. "Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand." That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. "That's a joy," the child said. "It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy." The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. ... Read Full Story >>
The train was not working that night as I was heading home. I had to catch a bus and 2 hours later was dropped off in the middle of the town I was staying in. The ice storm froze the ground and it was very difficult to walk. I asked three people for directions, but they were too hurried to help.
Then I saw an old lady holding onto the corner post with her packages, afraid to move. I asked her where she was going and it was at least 3 miles away. I tried to find a cab or police car but I was told they do not stop in this neighborhood.
So, we proceeded to walk along, holding onto each other for dear life. The roads were layered with a sheet of ice. Then and there I decided that I could not leave this old lady alone like this. So, I decided to walk her home, hand in hand, for a good 2 hours. Later that evening, I finally reached my destination wet and exhausted but filled with joy and love for life.
Kim Tucker was heading home to West Sacramento last week and saw a sight that can't rightly be ignored. There, by the side of the road, was a remarkably agitated duck, pacing the pavement and flapping in fear. Her ducklings, Tucker learned on subsequent inspection, had fallen through a drainage grate and were desperately treading water in the filthy bog below. She looked for help, eventually enlisting a burly construction worker (to pry off the grate), a slew of onlookers and, she was surprised to note, a teenage boy, who whipped off his shoes and, without hesitation, slipped into the drain and started retrieving the ducklings in distress, one by one. "He was right on it," an impressed Tucker said. "It was (a very) human moment." But not all 13-year-olds are so human, judging by the number of like-aged boys who passed by the scene with little more than a glance. What made this particular kid ... Read Full Story >>