This past Sunday, I was in a generous mood. I am not always like that, but it started when I went to the roadside shoe repairer. I asked him to polish my shoes, and he told me it would cost twenty rupees. When he finished polishing, I was moved to offer him 30 rupees. That's when he caught me off guard. Smilingly, he accepted only twenty rupees and lightly told me that he was content. He would not take anything extra. I was pleasantly surprised by his attitude, and also learned such a big lesson. In a world where most people try to grab as much as they can, his simplicity came across like a breath of fresh air. With the 10 rupees that the shoe polisher refused, I went and bought roses from the roadside flower seller. She happened to be a old lady. (If you are familiar with India, you will often ... Read Full Story >>
I was sitting on the front steps of a small bakery near where I live and eating some noodles. I was enjoying my meal in peace with no one around. There is a burned out house right opposite the bakery and I know a group of people live there. The house has no electricity and has very poor ventilation. I happened to glance up from my noodles and I saw a group of women gathered outside the house. They were sitting on the ground sharing a meal of some sort. Seeing them there, a thought occurred to me. I am grateful for the food I receive every day but there are also folks who may be getting one square meal a day, or less. I felt that I needed to go visit with the women who were sitting there. I bought a large packet of biscuits from the bakery and went over. The women looked slightly ... Read Full Story >>
We have five fantastic children. As they've grown older, from high school to college and so on, we found ourselves cleaning out our home of furniture only to replace it with something new. We had this one living room set consisting of a sofa, loveseat and chair. It went through a couple of the kids, hauling it up the stairs to their third floor apartments and back down again to the next apartment. Our son was the last to have the set when he finally asked for a place to store it because he was going out of town for a semester. We told him we would hold it for him in our garage. So we picked the furniture up and brought it back to the house. One day, while at work, I heard a couple of people talking in the hallway. A mother and her two children were kicked out of their ... Read Full Story >>
I've got this friend, Rachel. She's a bit older than me, with a sort of shy, but radiant smile. She's usually tan, as she loves the outdoors and spends as much time outside as possible. No matter the weather. In the winter, she'll often go for walks outside. In the summer, she'll sit in public parks strumming her guitar, reading, or napping on the grass. She has the leisure to do these things because, suffering from multiple psychological traumas, she is unable to work. Well, unable to work in a "normal" workplace, that is. Because she does work. Her vocation is 'making' candles. She buys ready-made candles, usually the slightly translucent kind where the body of the candle will radiate the light, too. Then she puts designs on them by hand, working for hours at a time in her kitchen. She literally makes hundreds--if not a thousand--of these in a year. And then, ... Read Full Story >>
I had offered to watch a friend's children so she and her husband could go out to watch a movie. She was delighted with the offer - but didn't get around to fixing a day.
So, finally, I picked a date and asked her if she was free. She was really excited and looking forward to her night out.
On the day of the babysitting her husband e-mailed me and told me it was her birthday! I hadn't known that! He told me he would bring over a cake after the movie, when they came to pick up the kids.
The kids had a great time (and so did we!) We made cookies together, played games, and so on. Then, when their parents came back we had a surprise birthday party with cake and ice cream and sparkling juice. We made music together and it was very festive! My friend said it was the most special birthday she had celebrated in a long time.
I was so happy!
How would you feel if you gifted your whole month’s paycheck to a friend in need? A) Happy B) Ecstatic C) Fortunate with loads of gratitude D) Submerged in love E) All of the above The answer is E-- at least that's how she felt when she handed a small envelope to her friend. In it, contained her month's earnings as well as a note saying how much she appreciates her friendship, and this small gift is a way to show her that she is loved and cared. This lovely soul happens to be my sister. When she joined a choir, she met a woman in her early thirties, who works day and night, teaching piano and music theory to many students. This woman receives little moral support or help from her family. She is also in school to pursue her own career in music. To make ends meet, she works several jobs, all seven days of the week. ... Read Full Story >>
While I was deciding what kind of bread to buy at Trader Joe's a young man who works there asked me how I was doing.
As usual, I told the truth.
He said, "I'll be right back."
I figured he was another one who thought I talk too much, or go on too much, and had politely excused himself. It was crazy busy in there.
I was heading to the checkout when he came back and handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers! He said, "Have a Happy New Year," gave me a hug and left.
I will never give up on seeing good in people and I will never change who I am in order to make people like me.
The kindness of this young man, a complete stranger, moved me to tears. It had been an exceptionally difficult day. My heart was hurt and an angel on earth gifted me with kindness. My healing begins.
I do a lot of kind things on an impulse, mostly because I know that if I think about them I will probably will let my head get in front of my heart and then regret not having acted.
Today I woke up with the clear idea that I had to send a certain amount of cash to someone I know who is indirectly related to me. The amount was exactly half of what I had in my already very slim bank account.
As you can imagine all sorts of thoughts went through my head but - I can't explain - I just knew I have to do it and do it anonymously.
All I know is that this person has three children around the same age as my daughter and her husband is an alcoholic with an autistic personality, which makes her life very difficult.
Why I had to do this now and not another time I might never know. But I feel it was the right thing to do.
A few of us friends got together for a random acts of kindness event at a flea market in Dubai.
We collected items from our homes, our neighbors, and our friends, which could make good gifts. Then we put up a bright and chirpy stall at the market, put all our gifts on display, and took a lot of people by surprise!
We had a gratitude board too, where people pinned up their answers to the question, "What are you grateful for?"
And we had a basket full of kindness ideas for people to pick up and, hopefully, put into practice!
It was a beautiful, beautiful day!
When I was little I wondered why neighborhoods didn’t invest in edible landscaping to build community, promote health, and promote collaboration. As adults, my husband and I decided the right way to answer this question was to do it ourselves, so we transformed our front yard with edibles, adding blueberries, strawberries, limes, pomegranates, and oranges. Every crop brought us closer to neighbors and strangers. The food was an excuse to commune. Kids in the neighborhood (including our sons) learned patience and gentle timing. When we had extra, we'd share it. Then, we received a powerful lesson; a gift hidden as a loss. Our first-ever crop of pomegranates had ripened. But at harvest, they were all gone, stolen in the middle of the night. We were shocked, sad and angry. Friends had fun suggesting deterrents. One even suggested we post a sign to curse thieves who stole our fruit. And suddenly, the lesson ... Read Full Story >>
As a customer rep for a financial account of one of US' supermarket, its a daily shift of hundred phone calls regarding their prepaid debit cards. Calls that are sometimes degrading, calls that make you cringe at how the caller speaks and calls that are just purely racist. what make it different is how my mindset is. Everyday I wake up and declare myself as a helper of my callers. I go beyond our protocols in dealing with my customers. Though phone interaction is only limited to 4 minutes 45 seconds, i strive to make it as meaningful and as uplifting for someone in need. One of my callers is panicking on how she made the wrong insurance payment that will lead to his son in college not receiving any pay outs thereby leaving him without any food for a week or two. The mom said she can live going over ... Read Full Story >>
I was in a shopping mall recently, so I decided to go and get a cup of tea. As I was making my way to the coffee shop, I noticed an older gentleman rather poorly dressed sitting on a bench nearby. I knew from first sight that he was in need of some kind of help. He had a little lunch stretched out in front of him and was wholeheartedly enjoying it. It was also rather evident that he had a problem with his right eye and probably couldn't see out of it. I then joined the line and waited to be served. Then it happened. One of the most beautiful gestures I have ever seen in my life. There was a young man in front of me in the line who was also waiting to be served. Next thing I know the young man hands the server a twenty dollar bill ... Read Full Story >>
I found myself in the city for work today. On my lunch break I decided to walk around the public gardens. It was one of those unusually warm September days, 90+ degrees and humid, but it felt good after being in the air-conditioning all morning. That is until I walked past two individuals, sweaty and asleep, on a park bench together. What appeared to be all their belongings were in a few bags scattered around them. I continued walking but kept thinking about the pair on the bench. So, I went to Starbucks and purchased five bottles of cold water. Then I returned to the park. First stop was the couple on the bench. I woke the gentleman up and asked if they were ok. Sleepily, he assured me they were fine, but he gratefully accepted two bottles of water. The third bottle went to a man playing his violin by the remembrance garden. ... Read Full Story >>
I took some time this morning to write a gratitude mind map.
As I continued to add items, I found my fingers almost couldn't keep pace with all things I tried to write. I sent emails to a few people on the map to tell them how much I appreciate them!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward
My mom only had one eye. I hated her... she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell... anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me. I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it ... Read Full Story >>
Left a Dunkin' Donuts gift card for our mail-carrier today, with a note on a smile card -
"Just a show of gratitude, because among the bills and things we'd rather not receive, you bring us smiles in form of cards from family and friends, and magazines with articles we enjoy.
"There is always happiness inside our mailbox because of you. So here is a smile for you, hope it brings you some happiness, and a thank you for all you do!"
I came home from the kids' soccer practice to find our card gone, and a note inside the mailbox -
"Thank you for the kindness, your note brought a smile to my face.and that was gift enough. So to pay it forward I will use this gift card to buy donuts for the Post Office break room. Have a great day."
It was a busy day at the grocery store and two young ladies were in line behind me with birthday balloons. They appeared to be stressed and in a hurry so I asked if they wanted to go ahead of me. They were very appreciative. I asked what the balloons were for and one girl said they were for her nephew's second birthday. She said it was a difficult day for her with lots of family drama and that her nephew had a twin and something bad happened to the baby at birth. I noticed she had a small heart shaped tattoo on her neck with the a date in it. The date was exactly two years ago. So, I knew it had to be a significant day. They were chatting together about their rush to get ready for the party, all the things left to do, and how nobody offered to ... Read Full Story >>
It is raining very heavily and roads are flooded. I know an elderly couple who stay in a tent made of plastic sheets. The old man begs and old lady cooks from whatever he gets home. I thought about their plight and went to their tent carrying some food with me. they both gratefully accepted it.
The old lady asked me, "How did you come in such rains? Are you alright?" I was touched by her concern for me when she and her family are in such danger and facing hunger. Later my friends and I went with supplies to last them for sometime in case rain does not stop.
On my hands and knees on the floor of the airplane, searching for an old lady’s missing hearing aid during the flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, it occurred to me that this may not be the most dignified posture for a Buddhist nun. (With shaven head & long flowing orange robes, I stand out.) I had seen the old lady from the seat in front of me as she tottered up and down the aisle with a flashlight. I asked a few times what was wrong, but she didn’t answer at first — she couldn’t hear me. She spoke with a thick eastern European accent, wearing a vintage plaid tweed woolen coat. Do you know what hearing aids cost? Thousands, especially for the new tiny hidden-in-the ear type she described. It takes a long time for an appointment to make a new one, and many doctor visits to get the thing ... Read Full Story >>
I have always been quick to judge or to stress about a slow driver or someone who is walking slowly in the mall etc. Since the Sandy Hook shooting I have been making an active effort to Be Kind.
It started with Ben's Bells than continues with pages like this. Now I stop and rethink - maybe a person is lost in thought or having a bad day.
I try to reach out to strangers more and to be more aware of people around me and what they may be going through. I try to pay attention more. To sit back to breathe and to just Be.
To reach out and make sure to perform an act of kindness, whether it's holding the door or giving a pack of stickers to a little boy in a store. In the end, I feel good about myself and the world around me.
I notice more people being kind to each other. The world moves a bit slower and is filled with more compassion and love. I hope I continue to grow in this direction.
It's hard to ask for help. It's uncomfortable to admit that you need something or that your life would be a lot easier if you could lean on someone else to do a little thing that you always assumed as your responsibility.
I've learned that people won't ask for help, but they sure will appreciate it if you jump in and do something helpful. Before you jump in, however, you have to really understand their circumstance and figure out what act or deed would be most helpful.
Out of habit, we often bring casseroles to the sick. Sure it is helpful, but they get too many and their kids don't like what they get so they have to make something else anyway.
So, instead I try to fill in where others aren't - doing laundry, picking up kids from school, including kids in activities etc. I hope I never forget that silence does not mean someone is ok, it just might mean that they don't want to ask for help.
It was me who received kindness today. I was buying some flowers after doing my grocery shopping and the lady at the shop asked if I'd like some free flowers.
Then she handed me a bunch of yellow chrysanthemums.
I had to hold back tears, as I was feeling worn out and poorly. So I'm spoiled - I have one bouquet of flowers in my bedroom and one in my lounge room. Her kindness meant so much!
My neighbor, who is a young man with special needs knocked on my door one Friday evening. I've known him nearly twenty years. Occasionally, he will help me with odd jobs in the summer. When he came to my door, he humbly asked if I could possibly lend him five or ten dollars until his parents got back into town later in the week. Given our relationship over the years, I know asking must have been very difficult for him. I quickly handed him twenty dollars. He then said he'd gladly work it off or pay me back as quickly as he could. To which I replied: "let's put it on account for spring clean-up." However, it kept me awake all night wondering how many groceries one could buy with twenty bucks. The next morning, I headed off to the grocery store and filled two bags with non-perishable food and some bread. ... Read Full Story >>
My husband and I were serving in Peace Corps in a remote village in northern Thailand. There were many challenges and difficulties, particularly around our housing. We moved into our house this past June. Shortly thereafter, while we were away at a Peace Corps training, the owner ripped out all the surrounding banana groves and the lush undergrowth in order to raise the ground level--she had planned on tearing down our house and building a new one after we left. She brought in literally tons of dirt. This left our house in a kind of moat, and when the heavy rains came, our house flooded. This, needless to say, was upsetting, but it turned into a blessing, because when he became aware of it, the principal at my school got my eighth-grade class to come help clean up. The boys dug into the moat to drain the water, and built a concrete path ... Read Full Story >>
Made a big pot of homemade soup that filled the house with a wonderful aroma. It was cold here and good day for hot soup. I have lots left for the coming week and will bring some over to my sweet 80-something next door neighbor tomorrow. Thanks to Waving for sharing the recipe for the split pea with yam soup.
Today, I was at the grocery store buying a few items when the lady in front of me couldn't find the change to complete her bill and was short 78 cents. She was all frazzled trying to find change to finish paying.
I then gave her a dollar to finish paying her bill. She was so grateful she kind of just stared at me surprised. She thanked me over and over again and apologized for not having the extra 78 cents. I told her not to worry about it and really it was only a dollar.
She kept smiling and thanking me for the littlest act of kindness and it felt really nice to help her out in a little way to keep her day running smoothly
With the winter weather kicking in the homeless are having a tough time. I see them every day sitting on cardboard with a sleeping bag and or dog to keep them warm. Usually, I buy them a hot drink or hot food, hoping that will help warm them.
This year I prepared some small packages as well. Each has a pair of gloves, because I see many with bare hands in such cold weather. I also included the small hand warmers you get in the 99 cent stores. Then I add snacks, hygiene products and for those with a dog, some dried dog food.
While I feel so saddened by the world and the mean-spirited people my husband and my son especially have had to deal with this week, I still believe in being kind to everyone. The little kindness I did for the elderly lady at the grocery store, and the assistance I gave someone else at the local yarn store, are moments that make my days better. Making cookies for a neighbor who got laid off was a small gesture that made him smile.
Sometimes I would prefer to give back the meanness I get from some people, but have learned that just makes it worse. The hard part is not lashing out at those who hurt my family. That has happened too often this week to my son in particular.
Nothing to be gain by striking back, but still it saddens my heart and life at time can be wear your spirit down.
Tomorrow is another day. And another chance to make some one smile
Yesterday a housemate asked if I'd join him with dinner, he just felt like cooking and sharing. So I got treated! I was just passing him in the kitchen, on my way to next door to the supermarket, and thought it would be nice to get some Tiramisu as dessert (I almost never do dessert, but hey it felt good!)We had a great conversation too; he knows I am into spiritual things, so it got interesting. He shared he liked Jason Upton and shared this amazing song called Beautiful People.
We had to run out to buy more food for the feral cats who frequent our "restaurant"..we are in the midst of a cold snap with increasing bitter temperatures & high winds & they need to eat more frequently to stay warm.
The Universe was so kind, we were able to get a break on the cost per bag...a $3 savings per bag! Awesome.
We used some of the savings to buy a basket of strawberries for our 90 year old friend who had shared with me yesterday that she loved strawberries but couldn't see spending $7 a basket (the off-season price we are being charged here now).
Knowing she'd insist on paying us (she's very proud), we dropped them off with her son (she lives w/him) , told him we didn't want any payment & to tell her he paid us for them. Lol. When she called us later to thank us & asked us how much they cost, I told a "white lie" & said $3. She said she was going to give her son the money he laid out....I was chuckling as we said our good-byes 🍓