I was at the airport enroute to visit my parents over the holidays and was on the train heading to my terminal resting easy knowing that there was plenty of time before my flight. On the train I noticed that there was a gentleman helping a young mother who was travelling alone with a baby and didn't seem to know where she needed to go. The man asked me which gate I was going to and after realizing I was headed in the opposite direction decided he would help the mother. At our stop I realized the man had two young boys and his own share of carry on baggage to deal with, but he was still trying to help the mother so I offered to take her from there. The mother showed me her ticket and I noticed that her flight departed in 10 minutes and she had a ... Read Full Story >>
Got on the plane in Minneapolis for the two hour and nine minute flight to NY. Spent the first nine minutes of it talking to the young curly-brown-haired passenger with long sideburns. In the first three minutes of talking to him I noticed on the back of his hand a ball-point-pen tattoo. One word. "Lost". And for some reason that touched me. In the same inexplicable way that "Help Wanted" signs in store windows do sometimes. That people would be so honest, so open about their vulnerability. I wonder what he is going through. This fellow passenger with his friendly manner who freelances for the magazine "Popular Photography" and moved back to his hometown in Lawrence, Kansas from NY- because even though there's a lot you can do in NY there's a lot that you can't do there when you're broke. And now he's learning how to do video editing and trying to ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, I was running a little late on my way to my first day at a new job in East London. I had injured my achilles heal a couple of days before and didn't want to put too much pressure on it by running to the tube station so I decided to jump in a cab just to get to the station. The cab driver was really warm and friendly and happened to ask me where I was off to. So, I told him how I was on my way to start a new job and was running a little late to get to the tube station. En route, about half way there, he realized that the road was closed ahead and told me that as a result this is as far as he'll be able to take me. Of course I said no ... Read Full Story >>
What better way to start a journey than to tag the passengers on my flight? What to tag them with was the next question. The kids were easy. I went out to a party supply store and picked up a variety of goodies- bubbles, mini mazes, cards, candy, notebooks and pens. It was perfect, the store had smiley face bouncy balls and smiley face bags. But what of the adults, the day before my trip, I realized the perfect solution was in front of my eyes for weeks. For graduation, I had received a bag of smile stones. If you haven't had the pleasure of finding a smile stone, I hope you come across one. Smooth glass stones in a myriad of colours with smiley faces drawn on in permanent black. Mid-flight a child behind came crying to her family, it was time to begin. I pulled ... Read Full Story >>
I was in the bus in heavy traffic going to an orphanage to visit some children. What I saw brought tears to my eyes.
There had been a terrible accident. The owner of the motorbike laid bleeding, critically injured and dying on the side of the road. Members of a church nearby called an ambulance. They were having a women’s gathering day at the church.
While the man lay helpless and hurt, the women rushed to his side and around him sang beautiful hymns and prayers - some to save his body and some to save his soul. They sang like angels. The music was so sad and beautiful and the gesture was so touching at such sad and tragic moment. I shall not forget the kindness of those women being there in his hour of need.
I have been using the smile cards for quite a while, and I try to get my family members to do it with me. It is a lot of fun.
Recently, my grandparents went on a trip to New Mexico, and on their way home they stopped at an IHOP to eat breakfast. When they had finished, the guy came over with the bill, but when my grandfather opened up the folder containing the bill, there was nothing!
The waiter said the a young man had paid for their breakfast! They were so suprised! My grandmother called me and told me the story and said that "wasn't it like those cards that I used!" And I said yes, it was. She thought that it was awesome and now she wants some cards!
It just goes to prove that if you do nice things for others, nice things will happen to you!
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 >>
As I waited for the bus, a shuttle rickshaw came by. It was headed towards my destination,and since it was pretty much the same price as the bus I jumped in. Inside, I found a mother sitting with her daughter. The little girl was absolutely precious. She was all dressed up in a new outfit, her hair done, new shoes and a purse on her lap. I've been taking lessons from a lot of inspiring sources and knew this was the perfect time to meet some strangers. I began talking to the little girl. They were headed to her aunt's house to celebrate the holidays. She happily pointed out her school on route and told me about her shoes that squeek when she walks. Her enthusiasm and smile were heartwarming. While conversing, I noticed something unusual. The driver wasn't stopping at the bus stops en route to pick up more passengers. In my ... Read Full Story >>
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 >>
I was pumping gas today at a Rotten Robbie and a construction-worker type of a guy walked near me and asked, "Mind filling a gallon?" Well, that is a new one for me! Just when he asked, my tank was full. I took his small container, filled it and gave it back to him. He said, "Thanks, man" and walked to his old pickup.
I then turned, hooked up the pump to the machine and in the display it asked, "Receipt?" and I pressed "No". Suddenly I started laughing. I always say yes when asked if I want a receipt because I use it for tax purposes (I am a consultant and I can tax deduct my official use of my car). But today I said no for no reason - and I realized that the last gallon makes the whole transaction anonymous!
I was recently at a conference in Barcelona, Spain (home of Gaudi) when I thought, wouldn't it be great to do a little act of kindness in a far away city? I went through the lively La Rambla street - enjoying the scene and (in the back of my mind) looking for an opportunity of kindness. But I couldn't find anything right away. It was mostly tourists and street vendors.
Finally, I returned to the hotel past midnight when a haggardly old man came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a rose. He had not sold one all day and was tired and hungry. I had a friend with me. She warned me that this could be simply a 'line' to rope me in. But I knew what to do. I bought 2 roses, gave her one and walked inside the hotel lobby and surprised someone with the second rose.
Ultimately it was really just a couple of Euros but at the end of it, at least 4 people were smiling on their way back to the bed.
I'm having chemo at the moment and got on the bus feeling rather weak and sick. A little old lady got up to let me sit down saying "I know what it's like." She was glancing at my headscarf which covers my baldy head. Full marks to her for consideration and KINDNESS XXX
Today I went to the city, having a bunch of appointments all over town. In my front coat pocket, I put 20 single dolar bills, a $20, a $10 & a $5, all folded separately and mixed up. Everytime anyone asked me for help, money, a donation to their cause, I would reach in my pocket and hand them whatever bill I touched first, not even looking myself.
New York is a big, needy city, and by the end of the day as I headed to the train I felt in my pocket that there was only one bill left. I had to look and sure enough, it was the twenty. One block from the station, a woman was standing on a corner asking: "does anyone have anything to eat? Does anyone have any leftover food I could have?" Without hesitation, I gave her the last bill and rushed off to my train, but not before I heard her stunned words "Oh My God! Thank you, thank you, thank you...."
The wife had an appointment after work and as she doesn't like to drive she asked me when I picked her up from work if I could take her.
She said she'd take about an hour and she'd understand if I didn't want to wait and I said sure I'll drive. Our downtown, small as it is, can get crowded at times especially this time of the year.
While sitting in a parking spot reading my book, I had noticed this one car had made two trips past me looking for parking. I thought how lucky I was to have a spot and then a few minutes later I see this same car at the corner scanning for a spot. Knowing I could just drive around as the wife should be back soon, I put the Echo in reverse and the look of relief on the lady's face was priceless.
People are pretty polite driving-wise here in Hawaii anyways but along with the shaka she flashed the smile she gave me made my day. It only took a few trips round the block before the wife showed up and I thought about how easy it is to be polite and thoughtful. What if everyone cared? Imagine!
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 >>
In 1971 a young man who grew up very poor was traveling across the country, trying to make a new start for himself. Along the way he had completely run out of money and was forced to spend the night in his car. This continued until one morning, after a week of sleeping in his car, he walked nervously into a diner and ordered a big breakfast. After eating his first good meal in weeks, he found himself lying to the waiter, telling him he had ’lost his wallet.‘ The waiter, who was also the owner, walked behind the stool where the young man had been sitting. He bent down, and came up with a $20 bill that looked as if it had fallen on the floor. ’Son, you must have dropped this,‘ the owner said. The young man couldn’t believe his luck! He quickly paid for the breakfast, left a tip, ... Read Full Story >>
My friend, Gayla and I were traveling to Phoenix from Chicago. I misread the ticket, and we missed our flight. I was busy being upset about my failed plans when Gayla suggested we just fly wherever we want instead, since we had the time. I think about missing my flight to Phoenix and going to San Francisco instead. It taught me a lot about being open to what is, not attached to what I want, and how things unexpected can happen. Long story but while Gayla and I were in San Fran, this strange thing happened. It made me think maybe I should start to trust the natural course of things more, instead of always thinking I know what is best and trying to control things. Did I see an angel or go or santa while in San Francisco? I don’t know what he was, but he was not of this ... Read Full Story >>
A bunch of us carpooled in a van to go to the holiday prayer at the convention center and the celebrations afterwards.
After visiting for hours, we were on our way home late that evening. (We live about an hour away from where we were going.) Before we dropped off someone, we noticed he didn't have enough money for the bus. He only needed 50 cents, so he kindly asked if anyone could spare some change.
While everyone looked in their wallets, I remembered I had 5 dollars in my purse I was saving for coffee. I wanted to help, so I gave him all 5 dollars. And it made me happier than coffee does. :)
Where I live, it is highly unsafe to drink water from taps; so most people buy packaged water when they run out of their own.
The other day I did a really tiny kind act: this lady who seemed kind of poor (she wasn't wearing shoes) sat next to me on the bus home. She mumbled something to herself in a cross way about not having water, how the bus fare has been increased, and about how she needs to buy water now.
Generally passengers never interact with each other, but I thought I could make an exception. I reached into my bag and gave her a packet of mineral water I had bought.
After receiving this unexpected gift, she looked quite happy. We chatted for a while and before I left, she gave me some grapes that she was carrying with her. She wouldn't let me leave the bus until I took the grapes!
It reminded me that sometimes those who have less are so much more generous than those who have a lot. :)
About a month ago I learned about “smile cards,” which can be found at www.helpothers.org. Smile cards are “an experiment in anonymous kindness,” as stated on each card. Each card, when used in the spirit intended, serves at least two immediate purposes. One, it becomes the physical marker of an event of anonymous kindness. This is important because, physically persisting, it can serve as the template for the perpetuation of the idea of itself: new acts of anonymous kindness. As an object carrying an explanation of itself, it also will serve as a reference point for the recipient of the anonymous act of kindness who, besides being grateful may well be befuddled. Anonymous acts of kindness verge on the incomprehensible to most of us in this culture. The mere idea remains a little shocking. Imagine how disorienting it might be to receive an anonymous act ... Read Full Story >>
I think that while some acts of kindness are easy to do or are done in a sort of planned way, there are other moments that test you. In the face of hunger, suffering and misery, my mind begins to rationalise and justify why I shouldn't be helping. However, sometimes after the good fight, a sense of compassions wins and I do something. Otherwise my laziness or fear wins over and I just walk away. Today I faced this kind of choice. I had walked a bit of a distance from my University Campus to my bus stop. I did not have all that much money to spend and wanted to catch the train which was a cheaper form of transport, after which I would have to change to another train and then a bus. I also needed to cross two national highways to reach the stop-places with fast cars and huge trucks ... Read Full Story >>
Well.....I just couldnt WAIT to try out my smile cards. Last week I set out on my nightly outing -- to a meeting, and then to spend some time with my best friend. I told him I wanted to use my smile cards. First stop, the Dollar Store. I bought 2 nice candle jars with thoughtful things written on them. Next up, 7 Eleven. We parked and looked for someone to give a candle and card to. A woman had just gotten gas and was walking into the store. I hurriedly got out and ran over to her car, put the candle and card on top where she couldn't miss it, and ran back to my truck and waited. When she came out, she saw it, looked around, and acted like she was afraid to touch it! Another man getting ... Read Full Story >>
I was just starting my duty for the evening shift of driving a cab. As I pulled into a service station to get gas, I waved at the people, a local musical duet, who were pulling off. When I got ready to gas up, the pump would not work. I went into the store to figure out why and they said that the person ahead of me drove off without paying. "Oh no, I know them, they would not knowingly do that.". The clerk told me that she would reset the pump for me but asked me if I would just give them the names of the people that drove off so she could make a police report. I asked how much was their gas bill, she said it was $10. I gave her a twenty and said that I want $10 in gas for myself and pay the other tab ... Read Full Story >>
I was walking from my office to my car during rush hour at the end of work day in San Francisco. As I waited at the corner of 3rd and Folsum for the light to change, I noticed a car about to go through the intersection. The driver looked harried and was talking on his cell phone.
As he accelerated through the intersection, papers and a manilla folder began swirling and flying out the window. The driver was clearly dismayed, but given the traffic and the one-way street, he simply pulled over a few blocks down.
As the light changed, other pedestrians stomped the papers into mud puddles in their rush to cross the street. Looking at the drivers panic stricken face, I decided to try to pickup as many papers as possible before the light turned and cars started running them over. I noticed these paper looked like the papers I signed when I bought my house.
As the driver came up to me to get the papers he said "You are an angel, You are an angel."
Hearing that made me feel better than I had in weeks.
As a waitress you meet and see all types of people. I guess you could call it the melting pot of the highway because the food connects us all. I was about to end my shift one afternoon when a group of people came in. As they sat down, they explained that they were trying to make it home and just had enough to buy their children a small snack and that all they needed was water. So I showed them a few things on the menu and asked them what they would like. As I walked away to turn in their order, I just couldn't see this family leaving hungry with a snack and some water! So I asked some friends to join me in helping this family and they agreed because they know how I am when it comes to helping others and it gives them the fuzzy feeling of ... Read Full Story >>
A few years ago, I was attending a friend's graduation at the University of Oaklahoma. While she was giving me a tour of the campus, she stopped by the student travel office to pick up her tickets.
While we were waiting, I listened in on a student from Australia trying to fix a problem with her itinerary. The agent told her that it would cost an additional $300 over what she had already paid to get an itinerary that did not include a ten hour overnight layover in LA. She didn't have the money and I heard her say she would just have to sleep in the airport.
I walked up and told the clerk to give her the straight itinerary and I'd pay the difference. The student started to decline, probably wondering why a 41 year old man she didn't know was making the offer. The friend I was with stepped up and told her she should feel free to take it, that I did this sort of thing all the time and it was a genuine goodwill gesture.
She thanked me and asked fo my email address. I gave her my business card and I ended up getting thank you cards from her and her mother.
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.
Hello, my name is David G. Nadeau and I am from Monroe, Michigan, hometown of General Armstrong Custer. I am a paid-on-call Firefighter for Monroe Township Fire Department and I was at Ground Zero for one week starting September 12, 2001. Some of my hundred or so pictures from Ground Zero have been published in EMS magazines. Newspaper reporters from Cooperstown, New York and Lexington, Kentucky call me wanting to publish this story. That is because someone from the family of the business card I found at Ground Zero told the reporters this story – a story about a business card which is just one of a thousand stories to tell. I arrived at Ground Zero on September 12, 2001 with another Firefighter. After several hours of working at the front of a bucket brigade on Friday, September 14 – just one of many bucket brigades -- there came an opening ... Read Full Story >>
"Where to?" the rickshaw driver asks me with his mouth full of tobacco. "Vijay Char Rasta," I say. I'm headed to meet a few friends to talk about the purpose of life and things like that. :) After some light conversation, the rickshaw driver and I quickly become friends. "Are you from Ahmedabad?" he asks me. "No, I'm just visiting a friend." "Just a visit?" "Yeah, he's opening a restaurant and he wanted my parents to inaugurate it. I'm helping him launch the café." "Café? You mean, it's like a Barista?" he asks showing his knowledge about the trendy coffee joints in town. "No, not quite like Barista. It's called the Seva Café." "Oh, what's that?" "Well, it's a place where most everyone is a volunteer, and no one gets charged for their food. It's going back to our cultural roots, where each person is treated as a ... Read Full Story >>