In my 5 months of stint at South Africa I met many lovely people.
One of them was Christine. She was an aged (in her 60's) house help at the hotel I was put up at. She was doing a great job helping me maintain my otherwise messy room! Although she was getting her monthly wages I thought she deserved a personal "thanks". Every morning before leaving for work I would have a colloquial chat with her about herself and her family. I learnt that she loved apples and that her grand kids loved chocolates (Not surprising!) So at least once a week I would leave an apple and some at the table with a 'Thank you' note.
The day i left SA she gave me a big hug and said "I love you and I will miss you" I had tears in my eyes as that was my 1st 'I love you' in many years. She loved the juicy apples I kept for her. I was glad I was able to provide someone something that they love! And guess what? I got loved in return! :)
"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to loose without regret, how to acquire without meanness." - George Sand Thank you, KindSpring community for who you are and all that you do. We are grateful for your presence, inspiration, and beauty that you constantly spread throughout the world, one small act of kindness at a time. We hope that you enjoy the Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2013! When I Hugged a Homeless Person I spent most of my early adult life looking through them. I was busy. I was working. I was raising a family and running errands. I had things to do. If you didn't look at them they weren't there, right? You know, those bedraggled looking people on the corner with a sign in their hand. I only wanted the light to turn green fast enough so that I wouldn't have to keep ... Read Full Story >>
A friend and I decided to go for a vegetarian dinner today. We went to a nearby restaurant run by a beautiful lady, who is really warm and kind. We ordered our food, which turned out to be delicious and light as usual, and we enjoyed our meal so much. We were being kind to ourselves by eating simple, nutritious, food cooked with care and love. However, there happened to be SMILE cards on my person and another greeting card, so we decided that this was a great opportunity to be kind to someone else too. We had a hush hush chat with one of the lovely people who were serving us, and pointed,winked,gestured at the couple sitting at the next table, and told him that we wanted to pay their bill. He agreed, and my friend wrote out a beautiful card for them, and we attached a SMILE card as ... Read Full Story >>
My friend A was dying of breast cancer. We knew it, but we didn't know she would descend so rapidly. Her husband, H, called to tell me she was in the hospital. I spent as much time with them as I could in the next couple of weeks. I held her hand and read her Rumi's poetry until she fell asleep. I swabbed out her mouth with a wet sponge and helped where I could, but my most important contribution was supporting H. This was the second wife H was losing to this horrible disease. He was valiant and selfless, but I could see that he was troubled. H is a very quiet man and isn't prone to complain. I gently probed. Near tears, finally he said, "Well, I just feel so badly that I didn't have the house ready so she could die at home. I didn't expect her to fail ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday was the birthday of a college friend of mine who passed away ten years ago to liver cancer. I took a moment to write a letter to her sister reminding her that my friend was not forgotten and that she and I had enjoyed a wonderful friendship during our college years. Though her life was relatively short, I wanted her sister to know how much she had given to me and the legacy she left.
Can I start with yesterday? I was out and about yesterday. I did my usual picking up of trash and I complimented the shift-manager at Wal-Mart on the positive changes I saw around the store after a talk we had about trash inside and outside the store. I listened to a clerk at Dollar Tree as she told me about some family problems. Then I gave her a hug! I gave my contact info to a clerk at Trader Joe's. I told him I knit and crochet. So, he's going to keep an eye out at his daughter's school for kids who need gloves, hats, or mufflers. He promised to let me know which items are needed. I will make them and he will deliver them! Then, I let two folks with fewer groceries than me cut ahead of me at check-out. I bought some greeting cards for vets at the VA Hospital hospice unit ... Read Full Story >>
I was having breakfast in a nice cafe in London last Saturday when a skinny young guy approached me asking if I had any spare spare change I could give him.
Thinking I would go one better I offered to buy him breakfast. His reaction really surprised me.
He asked, "Can you afford it?"
Well ... yes, I could. So, I did. Gratefully!
It’s surprising how easily and often humanity inspires you when you’re working in a coffee shop. I’ve heard people complain how working with customers makes them bitter at the world. But in my few months at Starbucks, I saw random acts of kindness preformed almost daily. And one act was so large and unexpected, I’ll simply never forget it. If you’re a regular reader, you know how obsessed I am with random acts of kindness. However, please don’t mistake me for a good person just because of my strange set of hobbies. I enjoy surprising drive-thru workers with candy, dressing like a superhero, leaving flowers on people’s doorways, and scattering smiley-faces all over Raleigh in much the same way I enjoy collecting comics and video games. It gives me an odd thrill. Tingles. The sweet terror of getting caught. Like ringing a doorbell and running. So it’s not really altruistic. I totally do it ... Read Full Story >>
I requested forty Smile cards for an up-coming milestone. When they arrived I spent the first part of the day preparing for forty acts of kindness. On my very first stop, at the local frozen yogurt shop, I purchased a few gift cards to give to any kids we met. When the woman behind the counter heard my plan she gave me two extra gift cards for free! Next I headed over to the florist and picked up eighteen roses. Then I went to the supermarket to pick up some Starbucks and iTunes gift cards as well as some chocolate, gum, and candy. I brought the loot home and my husband and I attached Smile cards to each item. Then we grabbed the kids and we were off! The first stop was a busy supermarket parking lot. My kids and I handed out eighteen roses to women we met coming out of the store. ... Read Full Story >>
Today I had the thrill of giving someone the shirt off my back! For the past four days I have been participating in a disability arts festival as a member of a choir set up specifically to perform at this festival. Yesterday, after our performance, I was feeling a bit sad thinking that this might be the last time I would sing with this amazing group of people. I was putting on an oversize, custom-made, raw silk shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons that I have been enjoying wearing when it occurred to me to give the shirt to the first person who said they liked it. After our performance, as choir members were winding down and changing, the director of the procession said she loved my shirt. So, I happily took if off and gave it to her. She immediately put it on, saying, "Can I give you some money for it?" and "Why ... Read Full Story >>
There are summers that pass by quickly and with hardly any major events to remember. This summer, on the other hand, it will be a summer to be remembered for doing what makes my heart happy - being of service to others!
I made new friends, sent love letters to strangers, gave surprise presents, baked cakes to give away, looked after babies and teenage girls, listen with my heart to the life challenges some friends are going through, helped others in need of a helping hand ... The summer is not over yet and I expect many more kindness adventures.
I like to start my day asking the Universe " How can I be of service today?" and then I go with the flow.
At my workplace there is not much opportunity to be different. We administer care to others and, in the process, sometimes we forget to care for ourselves and each other. So, I print inspirational messages, happy pictures, quotes, etc, and post them on a blank space I've found in one of our utility rooms. I also print stories from this site, and some others I subscribe to, and leave them in the staff room. I believe it adds to our "emotional education." One person asked me, "Why do you do this? Why do you try to help these people, they are not very nice?" My response was, "If it affects one person then it's a good thing." Often that one person is me, because I know I have done a kind thing, a good thing. It doesn't matter if it doesn't affect anyone else. What matters is that I'm the best person I can ... Read Full Story >>
Someone posted a note on the vending machine at work about the change they lost in the machine. I believe they were hoping the vending maintenance person might give them this amount back when they come to fill the machine.
So, I preempted the vending guy, took a Smile card, taped the "lost" money to it, and then taped the card to the note on the machine.
It may be a small thing, but I believe every good effort adds beauty and kindness to the world - like a little sprinkle of glitter!
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 >>
On an unassuming weekday evening, Jane was at home… as usual. As her thoughts swung between what she was going to do with her life and their dinner plans for the evening, she was unexpectedly interrupted by an urgent call from her sister “get over here! Turn on NBC and check these guys out, they are just like you…” One facebook message and a phone interview later, Jane found herself on a bus with 8 strangers in the middle of the sweltering desert heat of Utah, picking up trash and raising awareness about zero-waste and climate change. Armed with a deep love of the environment and a desire to make a difference, Jane, Davey, and a group of self described “environmental pick-up artists” went on a coast to coast road side trash pick-up. As they walked, sometimes only covering 0.9 miles in an entire day, they slowly and steadily made their ... Read Full Story >>
I had been waiting in the doctor's reception area for more than an hour and was getting little restless!
I saw this frail lady trying to open the door to leave. I got up right away, opened the door, and took her out to the bus stop. As I was helping her climb the steps onto the bus the driver asked for a dollar. She was ready with the money in her hand but, before he could take it, I handed him a dollar of mine!
The lady looked puzzled at first but then her eyes showed her gratitude. She thanked me several times. I just gave her a big hug and big smile!
The driver just looked at me - and then smiled too.
I returned to my seat in the reception area, smiling, and waited for my turn like a good patient ... patiently!
After polio, Raghu Makwana lost his legs. He had to walk with the support of his hands. A long time back, a few friends took a walk on the street with the inspiration to do a small act of kindness. After some searching, two of them saw Raghu arranging the shoes that people had left outside the temple. Given his condition, their first impulse was to do something for him, but when they conversed with him, they quickly realized that they were actually receiving a lot more than they could give him. Raghu's big-hearted devotion coupled with a sharp and street-smart intellect profoundly impressed them, so much so that they spoke about him to their nonprofit mentor Jayeshbhai, and ended up making him financially self-reliant. Raghu's impluse of kindness is ever-present. One of his many kindness endeavors is the Tulsi project. Whenever he learns of a family (mostly in the slums nearby, the largest in ... Read Full Story >>
I live in a beautiful village. An ancient, but small, river slowly winds its way through the heart of the village.
Visitors come from all over England to enjoy our village and the neighboring countryside. But, lately, people have been tossing their rubbish into the river, leaving it looking sad and neglected.
So, I found my longest pair of gum-boots, a pair of elbow-length rubber gloves, a hefty rubbish sack, and waded down into the river. I cleaned out all the plastic bottles, potato-crisp packets, broken beer bottles, takeaway cartons, and all the plastic I could find.
My refuse sack was filled, the river was cleared, and I got to enjoyed my home town from a whole new perspective!
Too often, I think that small things in our everyday lives get taken for granted. When a long-lost friend calls to say a random hello, it can definitely make your day. Knowing that people care and do nice things for your family when you're living far away... they probably have no idea how much that means to you. Or, what about the child you used to nanny for that checks-in once in a while to keep you posted on how they are doing, even though they are full-grown adults now? These are all things that give me something to look forward to, and make a huge difference in my day, but all of a sudden feared that they had no idea how much those things meant to me, so wanted to do a "random act of kindness" to make them realize. I slightly changed my original idea, of being a two-step process, ... Read Full Story >>
My friend/new found kindness buddy and I were walking down a familiar street near our university and we stopped by an ATM to withdraw some money. We were in the queue when we noticed a young girl helping a blind girl on her way home, by holding her and not letting her come in contact with any danger. My friend H and I felt we needed to thank her for the immense act of kindness that she was doing. So, we decided to make a balloon animal for her to express our gratitude. We created a balloon giraffe and handed it over to her when she stopped by a pharmacy next to the ATM and told her that we were touched by what she was doing to help someone else who is disabled. A connection emerged so strong out of this interaction that we had that she wanted to join us ... Read Full Story >>
I went to pick up my dry clean and paid for my bill. Then, I kindly said, I wanted to pay for someone else’s bill as an act of kindness today. The lady said you what? I repeated myself. Keep in mind she had a smile on her face and she was saying that is so nice of you to do. I started to tell her about Helpothers.org and showed her the Smile card. She just starts beaming with smiles. She said is this money from the website? I said no, the website gives us a place to share our stories and ideas with other people. She asked if this was a religious site. I said it’s a site for anyone that wishes to share acts of kindness with people all around the world. She said should I pick someone I know? I said that would be fine because I do not know them. She ... Read Full Story >>
Dear friends, I hope that all is well. One of the things I know is that it is human nature to want things. We all want more money, better homes, better cars, and better relationships and so on. So what is the secret to getting all that we want? I have been looking for that answer for a while and if you have it I pray you will share. Here is what I would like to share, I started tithing last year and I made the minimum amount based on my income. This past Sunday as I reflected in all that is going well in my life I realized that I was not giving back at the rate to which I am being given. This made me think of life in general and how we want so much from life but we are willing to give so little. We often agonize about ... 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 woke up today with a lot of excitement.. I'm currently traveling and am staying at my dad's sister's place. And I travel from her place today evening, so I was sure I will get opportunities to practice kindness on my way but as soon as I woke up I decided to water her plants in the morning which her maid usually does in the afternoon after finishing all her work. Watering plants in the morning helps save water as little gets evaporated in the afternoon sun.
Then a few days ago I had sent some handmade message cards and bookmarks to a girl in Assam who saw pictures of them on my website and asked if she could buy them from me! I simply told her they are gifts made with love with no price tag and that I will send her some soon. They reached her last evening and her's was the first email in my inbox telling how she wasn't feeling too well yesterday and the cards courier just made her day! Her email is the perfect start to my kindness challenge! :)
I remember that particular Monday morning well. Having signed up for a new website dedicated to random kindness (KindSpring.org), I suddenly received an email which stated that my idea had won. My idea had... won? Wait, were they talking about my idea for 'Green Smiles'? Green Smiles had always seemed more like a wishful daydream, some sort of fantasy which was inspired by the lack of green in my neighborhood. I wanted to make the neighborhood more 'green' in the broadest sense of the word. For example, I wanted to plant pretty flowers and even herbs in the small patches near the trees. Perhaps even transform the larger and often messy plots of 'green' near the parking lots. Put up insect-hotels so that children (and adults too of course ;)) would be able to enjoy the sight of a pretty butterfly more often. Or look in wonder at at a buzzing ... 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 went along with the Kindness Suggestion today and gave someone a surprise treat!
I stopped at Starbucks, bought a $5 gift card and asked the barista to use it on whoever came in next.
I was still waiting for my drink when the next customer arrived. The gentleman thanked me so much for the card and said nothing like that had ever happened to him before. He was so thankful!
He thanked me again as I left, and said, "God bless."
Lying in a hospital bed placed in the giraffe habitat at Rotterdam's Diergaarde Blijdorp, the 54-year-old man, identified as only Mario, waited for the animals to approach.
"You could see him totally light up," said Kees Veldboer, founder and director of Ambulance Wish Foundation, which arranged the farewell. "It's very special to see that those animals A dying cancer patient who worked at a Dutch zoo returned to say goodbye on Wednesday. recognize him, and sense that he isn't doing well," he told Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
Mario, who has a mental disability, spent nearly his entire life as a maintenance man at the zoo, according to the paper.
After the touching encounter, he then bid farewell to his colleagues.
May this precious man's last day be filled with hugs, love, and sloppy giraffe kisses!
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 >>
Several years ago I was at an informal business meeting/luncheon with my manager. She paid for her meal and went to find us a table. When I attempted to pay for mine, the card declined was declined twice.
I was mortified, so I took my items and stepped to the side while others got their meals. I didn't have enough cash to pay for anything other than a drink, so I went back to the cashier to at least get that. Before I could say anything, she smiled kindly and said that someone (who just left) had already paid for my lunch.
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I was for that small act of kindness. I tried to catch them, but they were gone. I've never forgot it. So when I came across the opportunity to help someone last year in the same way, it made me feel really good. Just paying it forward.