Today has been a great kindness day for me. I brought an extra banana on my drive into the office and gave it to the homeless man at the corner. I bought coffee for the hurried woman in front of me, who smiled and had a little bit better day if only for a few moments. I sent 5 thank you notes to people who have done simple things for me in the past few days. And my daughter and I made smile rocks and sent them to a special friend in need.
How does this pertain to you? Because every single one of my acts today was because of something I read here! A special friend made a difference for me today when she sent me a great note and some karmabucks. A special thank you to her for making my day today!
Your comments, stories and kind acts make all the difference, even when you don't know it. Your words touch more hearts than you know and cause others to pass it on. Keep it up everyone! I am a better person having had my life touched by you all. I plan to continue following your lead and look forward every day the inspiration you provide to me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
Sometime back our lawn mower broke down beyond repair. We got someone to mow the lawn for us from time to time but that was getting a little costly. Then a young boy used to come down to our house every so often to do some odd jobs to save up for a bike, so we gave him the job of mowing the lawn with his mum's permission & lawn mower! But, being young, the boy had more interesting things to do, especially after he saved up enough money to buy himself a new bike!
As the days went on, our lawn was getting longer & longer, even with the drought. The other day I went out to the front garden & I couldn't believe my eyes -- the lawn had been mowed! I reckoned it was our kindly neighbour, but when my hubby went to thank him, he said it wasn't me. So, it remains a mystery who was behind this anonymous act of kindness. I truly love those kinds of mysteries...
To all of you mystery helpers around the globe, bless you with love, joy, peace & everything else.
As some of you know, my 30th birthday party is coming up and I have themed it a 'Random Acts of Kindness' party where we will be doing various things to bestow kindness upon others. My best friend, who cannot attend because she lives in South Africa (I'm in Australia) has chosen to participate in the event anyway. She has given me the best present possible! I felt so good when I received her email. Not just because of the beautiful comments she made, but also to see that my random acts of kindness idea has even reached the other side of the world and will make a difference to people so far away. It's absolutely inspirational. Here is her beautiful email that I would love to share with you: To my dear friend, Jackie, Since we met in July 2003, you have been a wonderful inspiration to me and a great friend. ... Read Full Story >>
I struggled through St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport with my toddler and a heap of coats and carry-ons to catch a 6 a.m. flight. After making my way through the security line, I landed by the gate with my laptop still hanging out of my briefcase and my sock-footed son trying to make a run for it. I stared longingly at Starbucks. It was only 15 yards away, but it might as well have been 15 miles, since a loudspeaker kept warning that leaving your bags unattended was not allowed. Then I noticed a well-heeled woman observing me. As she walked toward me, I was sure she was going to reprimand me for being such a disorganized mess. But instead she leaned over and said, “How do you take it?” “Huh?” I said, confused. “Your coffee, how do you take it?” I stammered out “cream and sugar,” and watched in shock as she waited ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago a kind farmer bought a tank of gas for a stranded mom with 2 children. He wouldnt accept any money and just smiled, waved and said pass it on to someone else. And so a few weeks ago as my husband and I were filling up our car with a coupon for 99 cents a gallon, I went in to pay and got into a long line. I could see up ahead a young man who was having some kind of problem and realized he had misunderstood the coupon and thought it was 99 cents to fill his small truck. Everyone was saying, "99 cents a gallon is unbelieveable - they cant give the gas away." He was embarressed and was just calling his wife when I got to the counter. He said to his wife, "Just come down cuz I dont have that much on me." I ... Read Full Story >>
This was a story I wanted to share with you, from a woman who helps the homeless. I am a mother of three and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of ... Read Full Story >>
You think everyone would have something they dislike about their job - with the notable exception of the people at State Bank and Trust in Fargo, N.D., CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports. "What do you hate about this company?" Hartman asked some workers. One said: "I haven't found anything yet." Another: "No, this is a good place to work? "What do I hate about management? They're just too nice!" One worker said. Another worker said, "They care about their employees." The conclusion: Take this job and love it! Another worker's reaction to Hartman's question, what do you hate about working here, was: "I have to go home." State Bank chief operating officer Michael Solberg said, "That's our mission statement: happy employees, happy customer." What, is this McDonalds? To accomplish the company's mission, Solberg says the bank gives a year-end bonus of about 5 percent of salary. They contribute 15 percent of salary to the 401-K, and do a full ... Read Full Story >>
While shopping at my local Walmart I noticed a young girl ahead of me. She had with her what looked like a newborn infant in the cart along with diapers, formula, and other food items. This young mother wasn't the average mom shopping at Walmart. The pierced nose and tongue might have discouraged others from helping her. The cashier rung up her items and the girl gave the cashier her credit card. The credit card was declined and the girl looked at the cashier embarassed and horrified. The cashier gave the girl the option of keeping her items in the cart while the girl went to get the necessary money. I wasn't sure if this was the person I was supposed to help, after all there seemed to be a lot of stuff in her cart, and I am a single parent myself. The girl left, supposedly to go get ... Read Full Story >>
This is a random act of kindness that happened to me on Sunday morning, as five of us got off of the 19 MUNI at Hyde and Fulton Street in San Francisco. It was at two in the morning, and we had just finished clubbing it up at a Persian Club and were trying to find our way back to Berkeley. There must have been this look of fear on our faces and in our voices as we were trying to figure out where the AC Transit stop was. As we nervously chattered amongst ourselves, a homeless man a little ways away yelled at us, “What you lookin’ for?” Ignoring him, our voices trying to figure out what to do got a little more frantic. “Excuse me!, what are you looking for? Powell is up one street.” I finally said, after much internal debating, “No, we’re looking for the AC ... Read Full Story >>
I was on my school's campus the other day and there was an ice cream truck parked right in front of one of the main common areas of the school. Since I had primarily seen ice cream men drive their musical trucks around neighborhoods for elementary school kids, I never thought an ice cream man would circle our campus and come for us, overgrown kids, such as myself. I was intrigued and was prompted to investigate further. I was quite surprised when the sweet and rather chubby man in the truck called out, "free ice cream!". I questioned him just to confirm his words saying, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" "Free ice cream, you have your choice of these four frozen treats: the rocket pop, the chocolate eclair, the strawberry shortcake, or the drumstick ." After I got the confirmation that this guy is just giving away free ice cream, I talked with the man for a while. He told me that his dream had always ... Read Full Story >>
On a recent Sunday morning, my daughter and I went the the local bagel shop for a treat. Upon leaving, we saw a wallet on the ground. I picked it up, and figured out how to contact the owner. My daughter wondered if we’d get a reward, and I said it was just right to return the wallet and that we shouldn’t return it expecting a reward. We returned the wallet, and the person was grateful, leaving a wonderful halloween pumpkin on our porch. Only 5 days later, I took a business trip and had a very pleasant cab ride with a cab rider whose home country is very distant from ours. We talked of our cultures, sharing our common experiences in our different worlds. We talked of how difficult being a cab driver has become with the slowing economy. I tipped more than usual, just seemed like the right thing ... Read Full Story >>
I work in a casino and deal with customers everyday. Unfortunately the majority of the time that means dealing with negativity as people are losing money and not generally happy.
Well last night I was working the grave shift and stopped to give change to a customer. He said I looked like I needed a hug. I just smiled. He opened up his jacket and pulled out a ziplock bag. Inside were a bunch of "hugs."
They were the word "hug" carved out of wood and attached to a pin. He had obviously made them himself. He handed me one as well as a card that goes with it (talking about the benefit of hugs and the low, low cost).
He made my day and I attached the hug to my ID badge so I could be reminded of how good a hug feels, especially when you least expect it.
Today my son and I drove to a town just over from our own. We had errands to run there. He wanted to buy a game for all the hard work he put in this year in school. He was diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder but still managed to be on the A/B Honor Roll for half the school year. We are so incredibly proud of him! This child of mine has the most loving heart. Off we went to the mall. We got lunch in the food court and just enjoyed talking to each other. He looked over and saw a young man in an Army uniform. He asked me if he could give him a smile card. We had made our own. All they say is "Smile... Pay it forward." So he marched right up to that young man and said, "Thank you!" and handed him the ... Read Full Story >>
Grocery shopping has never been my favorite activity, but yesterday's trip was different. I decided, before I even left the house, to make this a RAOK "event".
I was determined to sow seeds of kindness in as many areas as I could. Smiling and acknowledging the gentleman who brings the carts in from outside; assisting a mother and baby with her cart; quietly reminding myself, "slow down and take your time" (as I am a notorious rush shopper:-); and giving people the right of way in the aisles -- these small acts don't seem like much, but when your attitude is to make people happy - even on the smallest level - there are such benefits.
Letting shoppers with smaller baskets ahead; making sure to place the divider for the person behind me; and making pleasant, positive and encouraging conversation with the cashier all contribute to sowing seeds of joy. You can create a mini garden of joy and contentment that extends beyond yourself.
Attitudes are so contagious and what a gift to be able to spread a happy one!
Acts of kindness and generosity come in many different forms: Giving food to a hungry stranger, donating one's time to aid homeless people or helping a fellow tenant make the rent. But it's their ability to touch us and stick in our memories that makes sometimes even small gestures a powerful and lasting force in our lives. A couple years ago, NPR invited listeners to share stories about "good deeds" they had witnessed or heard about. The original audio program highlighted some of the stories, but there were many more that couldn't be fit into the short time slot. Below are some of those gems: After the Storm Beverly Jordan witnessed an extraordinary act of generosity after Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida in 1992, leaving a wide path of destruction in its path. Jordan, a nurse, volunteered to go door to door in Miami delivering emergency relief. Her relief van pulled up to ... Read Full Story >>
We live in challenging times. Fear and frustration seep into our soul, infecting our passion, our productivity, and the people around us. Our joy is diminished, our light is dimmed. We repress our compassion for others and soon our behavior changes as we become less patient, less generous, less kind. Good people share fewer smiles, words, and favors which causes other good people to experience fewer smiles, words, and favors. And on it goes. The good news: even though we live in a world where frustrating and scary things happen, we also live in a world where one person can improve your day with a single act of kindness. A colleague’s thoughtful comment, a neighbor’s quick favor, or even a passerby’s warm smile can jolt you from your busy day and remind you, oh yeah, life is good. You realize that this Thing you’re worried about isn’t so awful after all, ... Read Full Story >>
A couple weeks ago I was standing out on a cold evening in New York City waiting for a cab to come take me to a nightclub. After about 5 minutes of waiting, I was picked up by a middle-eastern gentleman in his 30's, and he was clearly angry. Swear words left and right about how horrible New Yorkers were. I knew my cab ride would only be about 10 minutes and there was a part of me that wanted to be silent and just move on with my life, but I also wanted to try and connect. I asked the man what the issue was, and after some beating around the bush, he told me that he had just come from JFK airport without a customer. For those that don't know, this is basically $70 in lost fare, which is a fairly big deal. I tried my best to commisserate ... Read Full Story >>
California town decides to put kindness on the agenda By Susan Herendeen Wednesday, April 22, 2009 WATERFORD, Calif. — This little town in eastern Stanislaus County may be known for the orchards and dairies that dot its rolling hills, but this week city officials are reminding the 8,100 residents to pass on some good cheer by doing something thoughtful for a stranger, mentoring a youngster or simply being a good neighbor. Thanks to a push from the Waterford Ministerial Association, the city has declared "Random Acts of Kindness" week, which began Sunday and ends Saturday, at the close of a community clean-up day. City leaders may not find a cure for the ills of modern life, like road rage or bullying or the angry remarks that can demoralize a community. But they hope to remind people that kindness can turn strangers into friends. "It's a goodwill kind of thing, to draw attention to the fact ... Read Full Story >>
I read an article in my local paper a while ago, and it really stuck with me. There was a couple in my neighbourhood whose house had been badly damaged in a hail storm we had earlier in the year. I remember it well and so did my car, hailstones almost the size of baseballs. Anyway I read this article a few months after the storm that this couple didn't have insurance and they had just bought their first home, they had been saving for five years to get their home. They were a fairly young couple and unfortunately their home was badly damaged in the hail. They had most of their house damaged, not only by the hail but a tree outside their house had fallen and destroyed a a section of the house. They didn't have money to repair because all their money was going into just buying the place, and ... Read Full Story >>
Today I did one small random act of kindness. A few days ago, I read about RAK and felt an urge to do something...today I did it! I paid for the person behind me in the drive thru line at Taco Bell. His/her bill was less than $5. And I felt like I should pay it. It took some time for me to make sure that I did not feel ashamed. Even doing a kind deed, I felt people will laugh at me and I felt self-concisous. And then I thought no I should really do it. So, I did it. Now that I am thinking about it... I feel really happy. It is a different feeling which comes after you do something different. I think there is more behind the feeling I have right now. It is a feeling of unknown. When you help somebody randomly, you do not know what the outcome will be. ... Read Full Story >>
My Flower Power give started with a trip to the flower store. I purchased 48 long-stem roses. I chose 4-Dozen because I was heading into round 4 of my giving for the 29-Day Giving Challenge (give something everyday for 29 days!). The manager gave me a discount and gifted me a bunch of those little water-holding do-hickeys that you can put on the ends of the stems to keep the flowers alive. If I lived in a place where it was possible to go pick wild flowers… or if I had a garden to pick from, I would have taken that route. I considered giving a few other types of flowers like daisies, or little rooted plants that people could keep longer or plant outside, but roses have spiritual significance for me. The rose is a symbol of protection that I often use in my meditations. I carefully chose the colors ... Read Full Story >>
I recently came across 15 Ways to Love Your Neighbor, by Joanne Brokaw. Wonderful ideas! Loving your neighbor doesn't require a huge bank account or selling your possessions and moving to the desert (unless, of course, God is calling you to do that). Here are practical ways you can love your neighbors: 1. Write a note. In these days of electronic communication, receiving a handwritten note is a rare treat. Today, ask God to bring to mind someone who could use a little encouragement. Then take a few minutes to jot a quick note or postcard and drop it in the mail, just letting that person know you're thinking about them. 2. Recycle. If we love God, then we love his creation, and taking care of the earth is one way you can be a good neighbor. You don't have to hug a tree or buy a hybrid, but you should follow your ... Read Full Story >>
August 19, 2009 -- LONDON (Reuters) - Visitors to London always have to be on the look out for pickpockets, but now there's another, more positive phenomenon on the loose -- putpockets. Aware that people are suffering in the economic crisis, 20 former pickpockets have turned over a new leaf and are now trawling London's tourist sites slipping money back into unsuspecting pockets. Anything from 5 pounds ($8) to 20 pound notes is being surreptitiously deposited in unguarded pockets or open handbags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and other busy spots. The initiative, which runs until the end of August in London before being rolled out countrywide, is being funded by a broadbrand provider, which says it wants to brighten up people's lives in unusual ways. "It feels good to give something back for a change -- and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate," said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket who ... Read Full Story >>
One evening in July, a few friends and I decided we would get together to brainstorm an idea for a local Smile Card event in London -- something we could do as a group to share smiles anonymously and cultivate kindness in our hearts. We came up with a few suggestions and then picked an idea that got everyone excited and moved ahead with planning it – we were going to bake and decorate 200 cupcakes, buy a bunch of sweets, make some fun smile posters and give it all away at Hyde Park! Our little team of 6 people spent a month planning every fine detail from inviting friends to get involved, baking cupcakes ahead of time, buying supplies, getting t-shirts that say SMILE and a banner with a giant Smile Card on it and visiting the park ahead of time to find the perfect spot for the event. A special thanks ... Read Full Story >>
I had an errand to do in Saltcoats today. I arrived early so I decided to go for a walk by the harbourside. It was pouring down with rain but I had my new waterproof jacket on so I didn't really mind. As I was walking along, I met someone who wasn't so lucky. He had swept back salt 'n' pepper hair, a bushy gray beard, sky blue eyes - and he was soaked through and through. "Could you do me a favour?" He held his hand out. "Probably not," I replied. Things had been tight financially and for the past fortnight I'd been telling my kids we can't do this and we can't afford that. "I've been trying to chase up the price of a beer," he continued. Well, I admired his honesty. If I'd been living on the street like he obviously had, a beer might have been important to me too. I ... Read Full Story >>
When I was a young girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who lived in a community especially for the elderly and near to an old people's home. I remember when my sister and I played our instruments for them, which was something my grandparents had encouraged. They used to tell me that if someone elderly engages you in conversation, to make time for them, as you might be the only person they got to talk to that day. I've never forgotten this and still spare time to chat with an elderly person if they do engage me in conversation. So, when I saw the "make a suggestion for how your community would benefit from a $100" idea on this website, I immediately thought of the elderly! As one of the lucky people to win the $100 dollar kindness contest for my community (it converted to £56 in the UK), I then contacted my local community centre, and ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I noticed a young woman, very close to my own age, walking by the store front. I thought she was a student at the local college, mainly due to the fact that she was carrying her books and supplies. She stopped and looked through the window with a somewhat sad look on her face. The next day, around the same time, she stopped by again, the same thing as the day previous. I came to the cafe this morning, after having made a comment of how cold it was outside. The region experienced a drastic drop in temperature last night to around 27 degrees Fahrenheit. I noticed the time was getting close to be around the same time as the previous two days when I had seen the young woman, so I looked for her. I saw her slowly approach the store. She looked as cold as ever. ... Read Full Story >>
Aikido, translated as “the way of spiritual harmony”, is a Japanese martial art. While it is a powerful system of self defense, the greatest benefit of Aikido training is that it provides a means to better yourself and become a happier, more balanced person. There is a piece of calligraphy authored by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, that reads “True victory is victory over oneself”. This concept and Aikido itself is suitable for people of all ages. For the last year or so, I have had the privilege of being an assistant instructor for the “Kid's Self Mastery” classes at my dojo; helping to teach children ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old. The classes themselves consist mostly of games and exercises allowing the students to learn Aikido, teamwork, respect, kindness, and other skills in a way that's fun to them. They also have “Mat Chats” in which ... Read Full Story >>
A mother and daughter living in my complex are two of the most unfriendly people I have ever come across in my life. They are totally withdrawn, mixing with no one. As they drive past neighbors they keep their eyes averted and make no sign of acknowledgement. The only fame they have is making a nuisance of themselves to the local police station by reporting music played too loud, dogs barking more than once a day and any other petty little gripe. On moving into this neighborhood, I was warned about these two but decided I would make up my own mind. This proved quite a challenge to me as more than once either the mother or the daughter would knock on my door and blast me with some complaint or other. My warfare? I always answered politely and made sure I waved as they went past my place and also made ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago while living in Pittsburgh, PA my husband and I decided to buy a new couch. We put the old one in the truck to take to the GoodWill.
On the way, we came upon a woman with a flat tire. She had just come upon part of the bridge system so her vehicle was against a high wall just a few feet away from rushing traffic.
We stopped. She and I stood so traffic would not hit my husband as he changed the tire. She offered us some money as he put her flat back into her vehicle. We told her to give it to the Salvation Army and went on our way.
We took the couch to the donation site, drove up to purchase our new couch and were attempting to move the (much heavier) couch into the house. An off-duty volunteer fireman saw us struggling in the house with it and helped us.
None of us knew each other that day but I'm sure we made each others' day!