When I was in hospital and just given birth to my first child a lady use to come in and dust and sweep. I would say 'Hello' and she would never answer. I did this repeatedly and no answer. I thought she may have been deaf. I was told that she was mute and had been because she had been in a concentration camp. She had recovered but some children threw 'crackers' at her window letting off very loud 'bangs', and she never spoke from that day on. On the day I was going home and I asked her if she would be my friend. No answer. I left her some magazines and told the staff to give them to her. I had left the hospital with my husband a new born child. Then I realized I had forgotten to ask the doctor something. I went back with my baby ... Read Full Story >>
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!
For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of going abroad to do something worthwhile, a voluntary thing, either working with kids or animals... and have been spoiled for choices with the kind of organised things you can pick, different causes, different countries. It's very expensive though. And I was puzzling over how can I be able to afford the flights and costs and everything. And impatience took over me. I thought "I can't wait to do something, I have to do something worthwhile NOW!!" So I just got up off my bed, went downstairs and started making sandwiches and put some crisps and some biscuits and an apple into about 6 little disposable picnic bags, called a couple of friends and told them my idea - "we're going into the city to give this food out to the homeless!" My friends loved the idea and we ... Read Full Story >>
I had to come on to UC Irvine's campus to accompany a friend to a meeting. In the parking lot, I enlisted him in my scheme with a Smile card and short explanation. We were each supposed to make 1 person smile, pass on the card, and meet up to share the story of what happened. He was dumbfounded and at a complete loss of ideas for what to do. To top it off, we were in an upscale shopping area of the campus surrounded by young, smiling, mostly affluent people. "No worries," I said as I pulled out my laptop to look for a wireless signal that we could use to hunt for ideas. The only problem was that there was no empty tables to sit at. That's when we spotted him: an older man by sitting by himself while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. "Excuse me sir, ... Read Full Story >>
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
I was at a business meeting, and I had to run downstairs to pick up some documents. As I was hurrying to catch the elevator back upstairs to my meeting, an elderly woman stopped me and asked me to go on the elevator downstairs with her.
She explained that she was terrified of elevators and asked/begged if I could go with her downstairs to the street level. At first, I was going to ask her why she was afraid, and the doors were opening. I canned my question, just got on the elevator and went downstairs with her, and pointed which direction she should go. I got back in the elevator and went upstairs. My colleagues were a bit inconvenienced, but our meeting proceeded without a hitch.
Sometimes it takes a little time to be kind, sometimes you have to give up your priority to help someone make it to the street.
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 >>
My wife and I were at Disneyland taking the shuttle back to the hotel, when this boy -- I guess he must've been 4 or 5 years old -- gets on the shuttle bus with his pirate sword and eye patch.
He was looking real tough in his gear so I decided to yell out to every one on the bus, "Stand back! There is a pirate on the bus."
As fast as the words came out of my mouth the boy pulls off his eye patch, drops his swords, and yells back, "No, no, no. It's just me. I am a little kid, not a real pirate." Everyone on the bus had a great laugh.
The next day his mother saw me in the hotel lobby and stopped me to thank me. She told me that I had made her son's day and that he talked about scaring the big guy on the bus all that night.
P.S. I am 6'3" 280 lbs.
We live in a small flat in Ranip (in India). While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day). During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. ... Read Full Story >>
Recently, my Mother underwent a surgery to repair a valve in her heart at UCLA Medical Center. During the first couple of days she was in the hospital, my Dad was telling me how wonderful the nurses were in the ICU and how they took such great care of my Mom and made sure she was comfortable at all times. I told him it would be great if we could think of a fun way to show our gratitude -- in the whole process of going through a major surgery, the nurses are often the people who get overlooked the most and aren't thanked enough for the compassion and care they give to each patient. My Dad had a great idea -- he asked me to bring along some cute decorative tins of chocolate from London for all of them. When I arrived at the hospital, I had my first opportunity to tag Kara, ... Read Full Story >>
She recognized my face, but didn't know my name. It didn't seem to matter though. For me, it had been more than two years since I saw her, but my guess was that this had nothing to do with me. She had gone through a lot, that much was clear. In the past, it was tough to tell if her continual distress was a result of on-going chaos or the residual mental effects of prior suffering. Not only was she not open about this, but found ways to inappropriately interject her own issues into any conversation and lead it down a negative path, which meant that most people would try and end their conversation with her in the first minute. The moment I was free, she rushed over to talk to me. We moved quickly from the opening pleasantries to heavy issues-- abuse, immigration matters, law suits, discrimination, exploitation-- that had all been a part ... 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.
Here's a story my mom recently emailed our family. I thought I'd share with the group! Per your invitation card instructions, I decided to do my first truly anonymous act of kindness as my baby-shower offering. For Junior, I wanted to crochet a receiving blanket and I just learned crocheting. Then I realized what you had asked for was an anonymous act of kindness. I decided to do it for someone unknown. I got white yarn and started crocheting with as much good wishes and blessings as possible for an unknown baby. It came out beautifully with a center area of shaded blue. And I myself felt a little bit attached to it by the time it was completed! But I remembered what you had asked for. So I asked a friend to accompany me. She had no experience of this sort either. First, we decided to ... Read Full Story >>
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
Being in the high school Band isn't always easy. Hours of practice go into making the show(s) perfect! (Not including if your football team makes it to districts, and so on.) You need a lot of dedication and I realize that because I am in the band. Every day in August from 8am-12pm we have 'band camp' practicing for the upcoming football season. This past week was one of our last regular season football games and it was COLD! During our break, I was standing in line at the concession stand for a hot chocolate when a band member from the other team approched me and told me how nice our band looked, and then began telling me about how cold she was and how she's not used to being this cold during football season because their team never went far into the season. Being next in line, I ordered ... Read Full Story >>
I was doing some volunteer work at a homeless shelter, and decided to document it with photography. I took shots of the residents which came out really well, but I also gave some of the residents a disposable camera.I then developed the film and printed them up. When I gave back the images, I had enlarged and framed the best photo, which was of a little girl. The man who took it was so happy because it was the first photo he'd ever owned of his daughter!
His smile was the biggest smile I've ever seen in my life (even bigger than his daughters smile in the photo)!
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!
I frequent a small postal outlet that is always busy at Christmas. (Aren't they all?) There are only 4 staff members and they work HARD at Christmas time.
Not all the customers smile at them. The day before Christmas, I take in small gift bags. This year, the bag had a single serving of flavoured hot chocolate, a mug, a scratch ticket, one yummy chocolate and a really silly fridge magnet. I sign the gift tag with my postal box number! One of the girls actually scratched her ticket and won $3!!! I got 4 smiles that day. The gifts cost me a total of $10 and was worth the time and effort to assemble.
While I don't get any special rates on postage during the year, I do get return smiles all year long.
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!
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 >>
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 ran out of gas less than one block from the local gas station. While waiting in line to ask if they had a gas can I could use, I was watching the new cashier trainee. I was judging his appearance and demeanor: prison tattoos up his neck and down his arms, not making eye contact with the customers nor thanking anyone, insecure about what he was doing...
When my turn came and I asked if they had a gas can. The girl training him (who is familiar with me) said, "No, but we have one you can buy." I like to think that I live in a small town where everyone is able to help one another ... but sometimes not.
The new cashier, however, looked up at me and said, "I have one in the back of my truck you can use, if you'll bring it back."
I thanked him profusely. I was ashamed of how I had been judging and, at the same time, delighted that, once again, the universe had provided me with another lesson in kindness!
One day I went to work wearing this wooden necklace and earring set. One of my colleagues commented on the set and asked me if I would get the same exact set for her. "Absolutely," I said.
When I went to the store, I thought of another teacher who might like the set too and another who might like a wooden braclet that I saw. I took the items to work and gave each of them the item, when I saw them individually.
When I presented the item to each of them, they each wanted to know the cost, and I said it was no cost. It was so amazing to see the smile come to each of their faces when I gave them the item. I smiled too, as it made me feel good to see them smile and to have done something good.
I also learned a valuable lesson that value is not always measured in how expensive or how much or how little you pay for something -- these wooden items were purchased in a super dollar store.
There I was, a sole-parent, walking down the street. The week had been hard and today was full with bill paying and running errangs. As I walked the street, with my head down deep in thought, I noticed something unusual in the gutter. Moving towards the object, I realised it was a wallet. I picked it up and immediately looked up and around for the first time that day. The street was bare with only one shop -- Guidedogs for the Blind. Standing there, my first thought was that perhaps someone would return to claim the wallet. But after a while, I realized I needed to be proactive. I opened the wallet to find a name or some identification. While looking through it, I noticed something like $400, all neatly stacked in fifty dollar notes! I eventually found a name but no phone number or address. My only clue was ... Read Full Story >>
I know that the title is little curious. But the scary homeless man is even more curious. I have lived in Mayport Florida for about three years. Every day, leaving work, coming home and running errands, I pass this homeless man with two shopping baskets full of his treasures. Except for about 2-3 months of the year (and I'm not sure where he goes during that time), he is always around, never to be missed. Anyhow, the reason I call him a scary man is because my son and I are often together when we see this man and he's always talkin to him self and staring at people with an awkward look. He talks loud and much of what he says does not make sense. With his two carts filled to the top, he's there just talking away. It's intimidating. My wife and I are always talking about his misfortune and how ... Read Full Story >>
While eating lunch with my 4 year old daughter this afternoon at a fast food restaurant, i noticed an old man walking to the table with a cane. The manager kindly carried his food for him. During the meal I overheard the man tell a woman it was his birthday. So I whispered what I heard to my daughter. She loves when people have birthdays. I told her it was ok for her to wish him a happy birthday. He obviously was spending this special day alone. At first she was shy and decided against it. No problem. As I was emptying our tray into the trash she turned to him and quietly wished him a Happy Birthday. I could tell he was touched by the way he looked at her. I came up behind her and gave him my own wishes. He was grateful. As we walked away he called my daughter back ... Read Full Story >>
Another glorious Saturday afternoon in Central Park found six members of our Lemonade Brigade ready to collect more smiles and give out some just-because lemonade! Week one of our experiment in kindness went so well that we decided to set up our gift-economy lemonade stand at the exact same spot as we did last week. As usual, our blown-up smile card poster started drawing in the crowds before the lemonade was ready to be served. Pavitra has become a seasoned professional in the art of lemonade-making after just one week, and worked tirelessly to make sure the mouthwatering lemonade kept flowing. Ria, our 2.5-year-old Ambassador of Smiles, had on another one of her adorable outfits and this time came armed with a bubble-making gun to entertain the passersby – who could resist that? And the rest of us were brimming with energy and the anticipation of connecting ... Read Full Story >>
Today it was raining really hard. When I went to the grocery store, all of the Shopping Carts were dripping wet. I managed to find a paper towel and wipe it down and off I went to do my shopping.
I only picked up a few items and was on my way out of the store. As I walked out I noticed a Mom struggling as she came through the store doors with a baby in her arms. It was raining so hard outside she was running in. I quickly said she could use my cart as it was dry and she could put the baby in right away instead of looking for something to dry a cart off with. I just grabbed my bags of groceries out of the cart -- they were light -- and I ran off to my car without a cart. The mom was very grateful to me for helping her out.
I felt happy knowing I was able to offer her my shopping cart and was able to help her with her little baby.
Be on the look out for opportunities. They're everywhere, even when you're grocery shopping in the rain!
Many years ago, when I was in high school and working weekends to pay for the extras that my folks couldn't really afford (like a school ring, class trip, etc.), I lost my wallet. My old car required putting gas in the back (remember that?). I had prepaid and then put my wallet on the bumper, and drove off. I hadn't even had time to miss it when our phone rang and a man asked me if I had lost my wallet. I checked my purse and to my horror, I had. He asked me to tell him how much $$ was in it, and I told him. He then told me where to pickup my wallet. As I pulled into his driveway, I noticed his handicapped van and the ramp going up to the house. I was thinking that there is no way this man easily got out of his van ... Read Full Story >>
This week I felt I wanted to treat myself to some ‘beautician treatment’. I am house bound, so knew that I’d have to pay for the beautician to travel to our place, but that was okay by me, after all this was a treat. That day I had an appointment made, and was expecting at least a 2 week wait, but to my surprise, was told she’d be here at 3:30 that same day. She came by, and spent an hour with me, when she was finished, I handed her $50; $30 for treatment, $20 for petrol and traveling time. She turned to me, and handed me back the $20 and said ‘don’t worry about the travel’. I am unable to talk, so was left to convey my gratefulness and appreciation with my eyes and a warm smile. She politely left, smiling, but I didn’t feel satisfied. Did she really know how grateful I was ... Read Full Story >>