I recently went to the bank to cash a check that I had. I really didn't want to go, but I knew that I had to so I decided that I would make the trip to the bank worthwhile and fun!
I grabbed this smiley pen that I had been saving and smile card and I attached it to the pen along with a post it note that said "Keep the pen, smile, and pass on the card!"
When I got my money out of the tube that the bank sends back and forth, I slipped in the pen and cards, so that the next person that came to cash their check, would get more than just money...they would get a bank smile!
I was doing some last-minute shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at ... Read Full Story >>
I was leaving my office late Saturday morning...a little bit grumpy because I had to get up early and go to work on the weekend, and was now running late for the next of my zillion obligations for the weekend...and the worst part was I had no time to eat a proper lunch. I was complaining about all of this to my husband on my cell phone, while I turned around from locking the door behind me, and then I spotted him. A man lying in the grass asleep. I said to my husband, "I'm sorry I've just been complaining. Thanks for listening. I have to go." I went back into my office, found a box, and went to my desk. I took every bag of snacks and protein bars I could and placed them in the box. Then I went to my mini fridge and put in two kinds of ... Read Full Story >>
"Do you need a vase for your purple carnations? " asked a gentle voice and I woke up in my hospital bed. It was one of those few rare moments when no one else was in the room with me and I had slipped into slumber. "Yes - these are from a special friend" I managed to say looking at her for the first time. She was a janitor and while clearing the trash can, she had chanced upon the flowers. But why would she care? And she said 'purple carnations' precisely. I asked her if she likes flowers. Her eyes lit up and she spoke in excited bursts. She LOVES flowers and in her garden, every flower that blooms each day gets a special hug and bye from her before she leaves for work. My God! I told her that I've been getting a lot of flowers and after appreciating the boquets ... Read Full Story >>
Hello. I'd like to share a bit of kindness and the use of the Smile Cards my son who is 12 got to witness and be part of.
My son and I went out to eat and there was this table of older ladies (like their once a month get together--they must have been into their
70's or more and dressed up) next to us. Well, when my son and I were leaving, I decided to do something good. I told the guy at the counter that I wanted to pay for those ladies meals. He looked at me funny. Asked me if I knew them. Nope--I certainly don't. He looked at me again, asked again and again I said nope. Don't tell them I'm doing this, just give them this "smile" card.
He said "not so many people so generous now a days" So, I paid for their meals (a whopping 20 bucks) and me and my son left.Then he asked me to see the card we left--and he wants some.
A good friend of mine... i swear she must be the happiest most loving person I've ever met, convinced me to go out with her on valentines day since we both didn't have dates or boyfriends at that time. I went to grab her at her house, and she had construction paper and markers all over. We made what must have been 200 simple valentines saying simply "happy valentines day" and "have a wonderful day"... which then we drove out to walmart. (in our little town, walmart is the place to go late nights) then we put one on everyone's car in the parking lot.
It was such a sweet thing. I imagine it brightened someones day, plus... it was so much fun making them, and running around putting them on people's cars.
Strolling down the streets of New York can be jarring reflection about the state of humanity -- a business man in suit and tie tries to optimize his time by walking and reading newspapers at the time, a thirty-something waitress zips by with her restaurant apron half off and is intently looking at that handheld blackberry; a high school girl is on her cell phone cussing at someone in her Brooklyn accent. Trying to catch my subway train to Penn Station, I felt the New York Minute rush also. Until I notice an albino man ahead of me, walking very purposefully, taking very small, slow, intentional steps. He was blind. For every step he took, he would swing his stick couple of times to get the lay of the land in front of him. I passed him in no time, like everyone else. But then, ... Read Full Story >>
About a dozen college kids gathered around me after a talk on the 'spirit of service'. The theme of the talk was small acts of selflessness; they will not only make someone smile but also shift your entire perspective on life. That instead of obliging the receiver with your act of service, it is actually your privilege to get an opportunity to be kind. For some, these are common sense ideas but college students generally don't think about these things. When you're in college, you're more worried about YOUR grades, YOUR job interviews, paying off YOUR loans, meeting YOUR significant other and so on. In our commercialized, image-driven world, it's only natural to take care of your things before you serve others. So here I am -- a dozen folks asking me how to 'Be The Change', a stack of smile cards in my left hand and a commemorative bouquet of flowers ... Read Full Story >>
I have been going through a difficult patch recently and a friend told me this story when we spoke one evening. I am sharing the story with you because it gave me a little bit of hope when I was in need of a positive perspective. I hope that the ripples of this lovely story give you some hope if you need it too. He said that he was standing at the entrance of his building that evening, on his way home from work. He was talking to the building porter, when an old couple entered to go towards their flat. They stopped to talk to the porter and since my friend was standing there too, he overheard their conversation. Earlier in the day, the old couple was trying to stop a taxi to take them somewhere. The old man was severely handicapped and could barely walk without any assistance. A taxi ... 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!
A woman on a pavement with an armful of roses-to-sell and a tired expression in her eyes. She is surrounded by people who are very not buying roses tonight. We walk past her, and then walk back. I love flowers, but roses are far from being my favorite flowers. They are too-written about. Too poeticized. Too perfect. But this was not about the roses. We buy ten buds, some tightly wrapped up in themselves, others just starting to open. Give her one, he says, just loud enough so I can hear and she can't. I pull one-long stemmed beauty out of the bunch and give it to her for the pricelessness of a sudden smile. We walk on newly-burdened, one down, nine roses to go. Do we hand them out to random strangers? Or wait to stumble across someone sad-faced and in-need-of-exactly-ten-minus-one roses? No- we decide instead to let the ... Read Full Story >>
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 was in line at the grocery store yesterday and the lady in front of me was purchasing her items and buying a treat for her grand-daughter - a bag of mini M&M's.My 3-year-old daughter started clamoring for the same thing. I only had a little bit of money with me as payday wasn't until hubby came home that night, and I tried to tell her that we couldn't get it this time, that mommy didn't have enough money.
She was fussy about it but I finally calmed her down.
Then as I started to ring up my purchases, the cashier passes me a bag of M&M's. I asked her what this was about. She said the lady in front of me bought it for my daugher while I was trying to calm her down. I didn't notice and I didn't even get to thank her because she had left while I wasn't looking.
If you're somewhere reading on this board - I say Thank You! My daughter smiled all the way home!!Since I now had one of the smile cards, I thought I better come to this site and see what it was all about.
What a great concept by the way!!
That's my story - not the grandest thing I suppose but it made my day a whole lot brighter that's for sure.
I was renewing my library card the other day, and overheard the transaction of the user being assisted by the adjacent clerk. If not outright homeless(he carried with him two large bags of possessions), the scruffy man was clearly going through an extremely hard time. It seems that he was unable to check out a book because he had an outstanding $3.00 fine on some books he had turned-back late. He told the clerk there was no possible way for him to pay the fine. I reached over and slipped the man three dollars. He paid his fine and thanked me profusely: "I don't know how I could make it through a night on the street without my science fiction." That is not the story. Here's the story. As he was getting up to leave, I was in the process of fishing through my wallet for a photo ... Read Full Story >>
The other day, I bought a homeless man lunch at Burger King and sat down and spoke with him while we ate our lunches. It seemed like he was almost as happy to chat with me as he was to have a free meal.
My Mom is visiting from India and I wanted to show her some Christmas shopping spirit! So one of these evenings, I took her to a nearby store. As we got out from the car, I noticed something blue and plastic and shining in semi-darkness. A black & white image of a cheerful, middle-aged lady smiled at me. It was a high-end Costco membership card. I figured she must live pretty close. So when we got home, I picked up the phone book and found the number that matched her name. A friendly male voice answered saying it is indeed his wife's card and she will call me back because she's busy feeding the baby. I was a little puzzled. Sure enough, the lady called me in 10 minutes and profusely thanked me for safe-keeping of her card. She lived down the same road, just a couple of blocks away! And then ... Read Full Story >>
When I go shopping for clothes, I am grateful to find the clothes hanging on the hangers and not falling off. If I come across a top or pair of pants that are not hung, I will hang them up.
I do this as an act of kindness for others who may not see the top because it is not fully on the hanger. I don't say to myself, "This is an employes job" but a nice thing I can do and I enjoy doing it!
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.
I was having a rough morning and had to go in to work, it was one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. I was waiting in a long line up for my coffee and I wondered how many other people were having rough mornings like mine.
I decided to try and do something nice to help change my mood so I paid for the order for the car behind me. It was the best $5 I have ever spent. I have no idea how the people behind me reacted but it made me feel great. I hope I was able to put a smile on someone else's face because this simple act sure did put a smile on mine. I finished my day by dropping off two bags full of toys and clothes at the womens shelter in my area. My day went from bad to great. Thank you for your website and all its great tips!!
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 >>
A few days ago I was really frustrated because no one seemed to be free for some random acts of kindness. I had wanted to go out and do something big and was about to give up all together when I realized that I could easily do something just as meaningful right from my computer in about 15 minutes. I logged on to Facebook (which is an utterly addictive yet pointless website :)) and sent a message to each one of my friends. Most of them were along the lines of, "Hi! I'm having a random acts of kindness day and I'd just like to wish you a beautiful day!" I had been a bit nervous that it would look corny but after I did it, I felt great! And I felt even better still when I came back that night to find an unexpected 70 or so replies! They ... Read Full Story >>
A long time ago, I was a waitress in a pancake house that stayed open til midnight. One evening around 11:30, a couple came in. There was no one else in the restaurant, so I started chatting as I poured the coffee. It turns out that the womans mother was in the hospital and it was only a matter of time before she passed. We talked how hard it was to watch a parent die and how we both hoped that she wouldn't be in pain for too much longer. She asked if the restaurant would be open the following evening and I assured her that it would and I would be waiting for them with a hot pot of coffee. For 5 more evenings, they retured. I wouldn't let the cook turn off the grill until they showed up. He wasn't happy about it, but after I told him the ... Read Full Story >>
As I was walking along the river this evening, enjoying some hot chocolate with the sun shining down on me on this nice spring day, I was in the mood to do something nice for a stranger and started to look around for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness. Two minutes later I was approached from across the pathway by a complete stranger. I wasn't sure why he was approaching me, when from out of nowhere he started talking to me really aggressively and harrassing me. I could tell he was probably drunk or high or who-knows-what so I just stayed calm and kept walking ahead. There were hundreds of people sitting on benches nearby and walking along the South Bank with me, so I wasn't really worried. As I tried to walk along he kept saying offensive things to me and trying to get my attention. ... Read Full Story >>
What would it be this morning -- a warm Blueberry Lemon? Banana Nut? Cranberry Orange? Oatmeal Raisin? There is always a warm muffin or two tucked into a white napkin and placed next to the morning newspaper, waiting for me once I open my front door. Who is the Mystery Muffin Giver? I try to wake up early to see if I can catch him/her in the act so far I've been unsuccessful. But no matter what, I've got those goodies and a good read to dwell on! [Now for the background story!] My Mom lives in a Retirement community and she moved in after my Dad passed. She loves it. Most of her neighbors in the apartments are widows just like her and they keep each other good company. In this community, though, while lunches and dinners are prepared in the dining room, there's no breakfast. Now, my mom is an early -- and ... 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 >>
[An Invitation From 2004] It's that time of the year again. Yup, V-real's birthday ... this Friday, January 9th. As you probably know, V-real isn't much into celebration of particular days more than others. But we have a creative way to bend the rules for his 25th. First of all, can you make it to our house this Friday at 7:30PM? I know it's really short notice but hey. ;) Secondly, in the spirit of thankfulness for your friendship with V-real, would you be willing to do an act of random kindness for someone, somewhere, somehow? Then, on his birthday, we'll blow some candles, eat cake and share stories of our experiences ... as a gift to him. It's a unique request, but V-real's a unique guy. Because of my unending gratitude for having him as a brother, right after I got my first job, I used to get him everything ... Read Full Story >>
Last month it was my nurse's birthday. She has been caring for me since August 2006. Through the months, we have built an amazing bond. She has been there for me, and has helped me over so many hurdles its unbelievable. She's my rock in every way. I wanted to do something special for her birthday, to show her how much she means to me. Being confined to my bed, I can't go out shopping for a gift. So I was left to use my imagination and the materials in my room. But I was determined to make an unforgettable gift. I found an old shoe box, and got a bunch of my old girlie magazines, and spent 4 days cutting and pasting carefully selected items onto the box, creating an intricate collage. Each piece reflected in some way or another, our friendship. To finish it off, I put a photo of us ... Read Full Story >>
This past weekend my daughter and I were at a grocery store shopping for some goodies in preparation for visiting my mom and grandmother.
As we were standing at rack trying to decide what to get, I looked up an saw an elderly gentleman pick up a tomato and weigh it. He then began counting coins in his hand to see if he had enough.
My daughter and I both looked at each other. We understood and smiled. She said, "How much?" I said, "Um, about 20?" She agreed, so I pulled out a $20 bill, walked over put in the gentleman's hand and closed his fingers.
He looked at me astonished and speechless, as his eyes began to water.
I looked him and gently said, "Enjoy. And have a pie on us."
We picked up our shopping goodies, left the store with big smiles, and felt blessed to have run into that old man.
Last week, I was out at the beach with my friend and her sister. We had a great time wading right into the ocean, going on the merry-go-rounds, shooting water balloons and eating popcorn and cotton candy. It was like being back in one of our high school carnivals! That was when I saw two little boys in grubby shirts. They didn't have shoes on and their hair looked totally dishevelled. Most likely they were popcorn of candy vendors, but one can't be sure. I saw them emptying their pockets, looking at some food stalls, starting to count the spare change in their pockets. Something about this scene really went straight to my heart. Just across the beach is this really big mall where people spend thousands of rupees buying branded goods. Man, the inequality in the world is enormous. I didn't want to offend the small boys by handing them money. So I ... Read Full Story >>
Being a single mother, working a few jobs and trying to finish my schooling leaves very little time for a social life. So when I had a date with a guy I had met, I was super excited! I had a sitter who my daughter loved to play with and kissed her goodbye. I started off in my jalopy of a car. The thought to get gas crossed my mind, but I ignored it, wanting to be punctual. I was cruising down the freeway when I realized there was no way I would make it and should pull off at the next exit to get gas. Well that next exit was quite a few miles and as I got off my car sputtered to a stop. I restarted it and it went another block, so I could see the station now! With the car dead in the lane I became ... Read Full Story >>