The cashier rang up the "Life" magazine issue celebrating the 75th Anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz.." She remarked, "Oh, how I love the "Wizard of Oz!" I wish I had a copy of the movie."
We exchanged pleasantries on how we both enjoyed the classic film. "Have a blessed day!" the cashier said, handing me my packages. I thought, "Yes, I will give this kind woman my copy of the Wizard of Oz."
When I returned home and checked my DVD library, I was surprised to find that I had two copies! The cashier was delighted with my gift of the movie. I was doubly blessed in realizing the generosity of the Universe, for I was truly willing to give away my only copy.
My elderly neighbor, who is housebound, has always enjoyed watching birds. Since she is no longer able to get close to nature, I brought the birds closer by hanging a hummingbird feeder from a hook off her home's gutter edge, where she could see it well.
Now that the hummingbirds have migrated to warmer climates for the approaching winter, I will replace the hummingbird feeder with a sunflower-hearts seed feeder, designed for perching birdsonly. That way, there will be no mess and my neighbor can enjoy the various birds, such as chickadees, finches, etc. We are so blessed to be able to share these gifts with our feathered friends. Their wings uplift us to much joy!
I go to a small local gym and I heard a young mother at the front desk sharing that she is a school teacher and her husband is out of work, therefore she can't continue her membership because she needed the money to pay her bills.
Later on, I approached the front desk and asked them to sell me a gift pass for 60 days. I told the Receptionist to give it to the young woman with smile card and that I prefered to be anonymous.
In the card I wrote " Angels are watching over you". I didn't see her reaction but I hope I helped this young lady a little bit.
In our class we have formed an NGO called "Recolectando Felicidad". We decided, for our second project, to spend time with kids from different schools. Instead of bringing them toys or material things we decided to play with them because we feel that playing with them, giving them love and making them smile was way more valuable. The class formed small groups, with three or four people each, to take care of the different games Our group was in charge of the play dough modelling activities. The day before visiting "Rayo de Luz" (a local school for children with learning difficulties) we met up to make the dough. We used flour, water, salt and food coloring, to make sure the dough would be safe for children. We made 4,5 kilograms of dough in six colors: pink, teal, yellow, purple, black and white. The next day, we went to the school. We invited the ... Read Full Story >>
This is a story of kindness given to me,its simplicity, yet its depth, and my gratitude for it.
On my way home from work one afternoon, I stopped by the grocery for something to fix for supper. I'd had a trying day and was feeling down and uninspired.
As I started round the corner of an aisle, I encountered an extremely short, elderly lady who burst forth with THE most beautiful smile imaginable,as she looked directly into my eyes!
This gift was so powerful, I found myself spontaneously smiling back; my spirits were lifted! I found inspiration for what to prepare for supper AND, I tracked that little lady down to tell her how she had "made my day".
The gift of a genuine smile is POWERFUL! This happened many years ago; but I'll never forget it and it has made me generous with my smiles as I pay-it-forward.
This was actually a few days back. But I got the biggest thrill out of posting a RAK on the soda machine at my work. Who wouldn't like a free soda or water?
It was fun being sneaky to not "get caught" and even more fun imagining the person finding it. Was it the cleaning lady? Was it the grumpy guy down the hall? I enjoyed daydreaming about the mysterious recipient!
Printed out my first batch of Spanish Smile cards in Spain this week. I gave out many of the cards over the past year while living in NYC, and now that I am in Spain teaching English for the year, decided to continue spreading the love!
The first card I actually privileged a friend to give out, who put it in the pocket of an article of clothing at a popular local department store. We wont know if or when this one gets discovered!
The next card, I left today in the coffee machine of our break room. We recently got a new fancy automatic coffee machine that all the teachers love. I dont drink coffee, but I thought, "what better than to leave 60 centimos with a smile card on the coffee machine in the morning for someone else to discover?"
So, I did, and later on I checked and it was gone.. I have no clue who got it and who had a free coffee today, but I plan on spreading lots more love and kindness around my school in Southern Spain!
"Kindness, I've discovered, is everything in life." - Isaac Singer Sometimes, all it takes is a small reminder to open our eyes to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. Lucky for us, we get those reminders every day! For the last 365 days, we have been inspired by innumerable acts of kindness that have touched the lives of thousands of people all over the world. The following stories are some of our favorites from this year. Enjoy! 3,762 Miles Walked and 100 Tons of Trash 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, ... Read Full Story >>
For my 60th birthday, I challenged myself to do 60 very deliberate acts of kindness for 60 consecutive days and write about my experiences each day. Now I am no stranger to going out and doing things, but this is the first time I have ever been focused and paid attention to 'Kindness Acts' to the degree that was required in coming up with what I was going to do each day, preparing for it when I needed to, and then writing about it for 60 days Here is what I want to share. In my experience, there is no such thing as a 'kindness act' There is no separate 'act' that can be called Kindness. I believe our true nature IS kindness and that when we are not acting out of fear( which is what manifests as self interest, greed, material competition, and not- enoughness) we act out of love. In ... Read Full Story >>
I helped a lady today. I saw her get up from where she was sitting and struggle to walk. She was heading towards the supermarket where I was with my trolley and my youngest son. Seeing her made me stop. It made me realise how grateful I am to have my mobility and health. Seeing her struggle to walk I wanted to help but didn’t know how. What can I do? I thought. I had no idea, so I asked her. I went up to her and said ‘Can I help you in any way?. Her whole face lit up. Someone cared. She asked me if I could get her a trolley and bring it to her which I did and she was ever so grateful. Couldn’t stop thanking me. I wanted to do more and would have done her whole shop for her if I could have. So all I could ... Read Full Story >>
On Christmas eve and Christmas day I found myself alone. This was a first for me. I am 63 years old and had never been alone for any holiday, especially not Christmas. It was my mother's favorite day of the year and she died 2 years ago. I had created bags of necessities for homeless people days before with the idea of giving them out during the cold weather we are experiencing. But, on Christmas eve I ventured out to find folks who needed something to give them hope for their lives. My zip lock plastic bags contained protein bars, tooth brush and paste and hair brush and candy and tissues and baby wipes and candles and razors and shaving cream and lotion and lip balm and shampoo and a Christmas card which read "No matter how bad things get, Remember that somebody loves you". I had about 35 of these bags ... Read Full Story >>
My family comes first - not work. Why? Because no matter how long you live, life is short. And people, especially family, are precious.
My mum in law died last week at the grand age of 88 and she clung to life (despite having advanced cancer) with every fibre of her being. One of her last days, she sat, even though she could barely move, outside, in the really strong gusty wind, just being alive. She just plain refused to go inside. Stubborn, yes. Breathing, yes. Alive - absolutely.
When it comes down to it, no-one cares about your work achievements at the end of your life (really, they don't), they care about how kind you were, how you made them laugh, how you listened or were there for them, what you did for others and those quirky little things that you didn't realise people noticed about you that made you special to them.
The last week has been a huge eye-opener for me. I hope it's changed me forever.
I wanted to share with you all a little something I have been doing.
These notes you see here I have been writing and then folding up to place into jean and pant pockets in clothing stores.
The notes say things like ..." Your beautiful, look amazing and that these pants will be damn lucky to be worn by you." I tell the recipient of the note that the beauty she holds is within in her and shines always, whether or not she wears and buys the pants.
I love doing this, its so simple. I love being all sneaky and slipping these notes into the pockets of brand new pants!
I was on my way to teach my yoga class at a shelter one day, when I saw a homeless youth on the street. I felt an impulse to give all my one dollar bills. Shortly thereafter, I noticed another youth, also homeless. At that time all I could give was a smile and a connection.
When I reached the shelter there none who wanted to partake
in the yoga class. However, I did bring with me some baked goods like donuts, cinnamon rolls etc, which I was able to give away. One the way back to my car from the shelter, I noticed I had time left on my parking ticket. I also felts inspired to give that away to a person I connected with a person on the street who needed it.
All that little giving made me more aware of the abundance and the opportunity to connect and give.
When trimming our hedge, I noticed that our neighbor had still not cut his half back. He often works away from home and is not all that interested in gardening.
The snow could come any time now and would split the hedge if it is heavy. Rather than being annoyed I decided to go round to his side and trim it as well (the houses have a connected path along the back) . I put the trimmings into his compost bin together with the leaves that were smothering his lawn.
Hope he is happy with this rather than annoyed that I did stuff in his garden without his permission ;-)
In my church class we talked about the tender mercies that happen every day to ordinary people. My young women leader talked about smile cards and told us about the opportunities they give us to do simple acts of service. I took on a challenge to do 3 acts of anonymous kindness each day and leave a smile card with them. It has been so fun to think of the endless reactions the people could have when they find my acts of kindness. I have enjoyed sticking quotes in lockers, treats on desks, and many more surprises. Every time I do service it makes me smile.
My sushi shop has got loyalty cards, each pack of sushi gets a stamp, nine stamps and the next one is free. This afternoon I felt like brown rice vegetarian sushi for lunch, and got my 9th stamp. I then passed my sushi card along with a smile card to the person behind me in line so her sushi was free :-) she thanked me about three times, everyone was happy!
An "adopted" mother treated me to lunch today :) I much enjoyed the little attached gift shop nearby!
They had a special deal on reusable bags, so I bought some and gave one to woman behind me line (tucked a SMILE card in too).
I'll bring an extra bag wherever I go shopping to share, being mindful of the Smile Deck's prompt of handing out reusable bags this week :))).
Today a colleague admitted he has an operation coming up and is feeling apprehensive. I didn't have much in my treats drawer at work (I'd just given all the smiley stickers to our cleaner) but I wrapped up a few things I thought would make him smile. I got a nice laugh from him :-)
I have created and printed what I call my "Hero Cards" and give them out to veterans that I see in public places, thanking them for their service to our country, or I place them on the driver's side window of cars with veterans plates. I don't usually see the drivers find them but on occasion I do, and love the expressions on their faces. My cards read "My Heartfelt Thanks to You, Veteran. In a world where there seems to be fewer heroes please know that you will always be one in my eyes. From a Fellow American."
There is always inspiration just around the corner! A little girl in my class has been away all week, so the kids made her a book of things she loves to cheer her up (lots of dinosaurs). I put together a little care package for her.
When I went at lunch today to drop off our parcel, I had to go down the stairs to a basement apartment. When I got there, this beautiful message was chalked on the wall beside the door. It was made by the little girl's mom. It makesme want to have an inspiring message by my door because I sure walked away with a big smile on my face after seeing it!
I am taking a piece of my husband's birthday cake to my dad. My father, known for his sweet tooth, always has dessert. I remember when he would take all his grandchildren out for breakfast and order them each a piece of their favorite pie for their breakfast dessert! I don't think our daughter ever quite understood why we didn't do that at home. :)
I was coming back from home late at night in a 'Sharing' mini van. In Hyderabad, India, it is a cheap and quick mode of transport. The van drivers ply as many as 13 people at times in a vehicle which is built for the transport of 8 people. Our van was over crowded as well. People were getting off and on at many places. One girl signaled the driver to stop. She wriggled herself out of the van. While getting down, she tripped and fell. None of us noticed it, as it was dark. The driver was waiting for her to pay. It was then we saw that the girl was on her knees by the side of the road. Another passenger and I got down and held her up. Even in pain, she held up a note and asked us to pay the driver. The other passenger took the note ... Read Full Story >>
"How can you stand that display of Girl Scout cookies facing you all day?" I asked the cashier, motioning to the table of temptation a few feet away.
"Oh, that's why I have my back to them!" she laughed, as she rang up our purchases.
"What's your favorite?"
"Mmmm...probably the shortbread cookies," cashier sighed.
With that I gifted the cashier a box of her favorites along with a SMILE card!!!
Got a few extra boxes of cookies as well....I wonder where they will be gifted? :)))
We took the kids for dinner at Pizza Express. There was a very friendly lady dining alone at the next table who clearly had special needs. When the time came for her to pay the bill, her bank card was declined. The waitress told to her, in a very kind way, that there was a problem but that she would call her manager for help. Jeremy, my husband, immediately leapt up and told the waiting staff that we would pay for the lady's meal. However, when the manager arrived, he explained to the lady that she couldn't use her bank card to pay, but that there was no need to worry. Pizza Express authorizes the restaurant to give away two free meals per month. On this occasion, they would like to provide her with a free meal. She was extremely grateful and apologetic that she had been unable to pay. We ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I got a visit from a friend I haven't seen in awhile. When he was on his way over to my house, he was saying how his phone might die. I knew then, as a great friend, it would be a very good thing to give a prized possession of mine to him, as he needed it at the time more than I do.
I have this battery pack that will charge up your phone when you are out and about, and it lasts all day. So, when he got here I offered my charger for him to use, and when he was leaving, I asked him if he would like to have my battery pack and the cord that came with it, so he wouldn't have a dead cell phone the whole hour drive back home.
I really loved that thing, but at the moment I knew what I needed to do as he needed a charge more than I did, since I am always around electricity and have a other car charger for when I am out! Sometimes it is the little things! :) He was very grateful!
First, some acts of kindness my fiancee and I have done recently: One sweltering hot day, we were on our way into Sam's Club to pick up something, and saw a homeless man and his dog sitting on the curb at the exit. When we left, he was walking away, but we stopped him and asked if he would like a water for himself and his pooch. He seemed so grateful for the offer, I wasn't completely sure if it was because he (or his dog) was thirsty for water, or just thirsty for compassion... it is my sincerest hope that our two measly little bottles of water helped with both that day. On another occasion, we heard through the grapevine that a friend of a friend, who happened to be a single mother of three (one of them a newborn) were displaced out of their home due to a fire in ... Read Full Story >>
I got smile cards in the mail yesterday and I already used 3 of them just yesterday!! I carry them everywhere I go, just in case I need them. I will also be printing out some more, :) Because I am using them super fast. I went to 2 different stores yesterday, and I used the first one when I was in the pet aisle, getting my dogs some treats. A man walked up to look at the collars and asked if I worked there, I told him no, but that I would be more than happy to help him if I could. He asked if I knew anything about dogs and collars, I told him I had 2 dogs one is a puppy and one is a big dog so I know collars as far as sizes goes, and he told me the collar he bought his dog was too ... Read Full Story >>
Today I went to this weekly market. I eagerly wait for the delicious street food stalls, and as usual, I went to the coupon guy and asked for one coupon (which I then have to hand over to another guy who will hand me the food).
As I was standing in the queue when I saw a lady with her two kids. The kids were so excited to enjoy the food I noticed however that she only asked for one coupon. I was little sad to notice that...so I asked for 2 coupons, one for myself and the other for the lady. I went up to her and asked her to take the coupon, handing it to her with a smile.
I walked towards the food court, and just as I was going to hand my coupon over to the food guy, a kid came to me and looked straight into my eyes. I asked him.."are you okay kid?" and he replied.."I also want to eat, can I please also get a coupon?" Well...no need to guess, he got the coupon. I will have to wait for another week to enjoy those delicacies. Their smiling faces extinguished my hunger.
I was on vacation with my husband, my brother, his wife and daughter. We were not familiar with the area and hopped onto a bus, thinking it would be a nice way to see the downtown's old town area. Well, until visiting with the bus driver, we found out we were on the neighborhood route which picks up school children and delivers commuters to various neighborhood places, with a route of well over about 2 hours. That was a surprise and a concern because we had parked our vehicle in a timed parking area and it was going to expire. We shared this with the bus driver only to let her know we were not from the area and apologized for getting on her bus in error. Then she surprised us further saying, "I get off shift after a few more blocks, and if you don't mind a tight squeeze in ... Read Full Story >>