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.
Sometimes the people who are noticed the least can do the most to lift us up... On Thanksgiving morning I got up early to run in the local 5K, figuring it would give me the motivation to get back into running. It was barely above freezing that morning so everyone getting ready to run was hopping around trying to stay warm. On the side of the road, sitting in the grass, was a man wrapped in a blanket. It was pretty obvious he was homeless and as usual, most people pretended not to see him. I went over and talked with him for a few minutes before the race. In the midst of the idle chit-chat, he told me that he was a veteran and had hoped he might be able to earn a few dollars that morning to be able to go buy a Thanksgiving dinner. He had a glimmer ... Read Full Story >>
There are a few people who have passed through my life who I say I would never be able to repay. One of them who left the most impact was my art teacher Mr. Cataldo.
I went to a very rough middle school and that is a difficult age to be in an unsafe environment. I was bullied and mistreated on a regular basis. Perhaps the other students could see the victim in me, but all of that changed the day that I came into art class.
Mr. Cataldo let every student of his know that this was a safe zone and no bullying or bad behavior could happen on his watch. He fostered a good environment for learning and growing. It was only an hour a day, but it saved my life at the time. So thanks, Mr.C for giving me a little haven of peace in an otherwise dark and disturbing middle school experience. I think about you often!
"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 >>
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.
It's hard to ask for help. It's uncomfortable to admit that you need something or that your life would be a lot easier if you could lean on someone else to do a little thing that you always assumed as your responsibility.
I've learned that people won't ask for help, but they sure will appreciate it if you jump in and do something helpful. Before you jump in, however, you have to really understand their circumstance and figure out what act or deed would be most helpful.
Out of habit, we often bring casseroles to the sick. Sure it is helpful, but they get too many and their kids don't like what they get so they have to make something else anyway.
So, instead I try to fill in where others aren't - doing laundry, picking up kids from school, including kids in activities etc. I hope I never forget that silence does not mean someone is ok, it just might mean that they don't want to ask for help.
I went into a coffee shop for coffee and a bagel. I noticed the woman in front of me ordered coffee and a bagel and asked how much it cost and then said just coffee please.
I thought about it after I sat down and went over to the woman and gave her some money and asked her to get what she wanted. She got it and gave me the extra money back with a note saying she was a massage therapist and she wanted me to call her for a free message.
She said she hoped I called her because she wanted to see me again and that I had made her day. She made my day too.
Almost every day, during our breaks, an older man who is my colleague closes himself off from the noise in the break room by focusing on a cryptogram puzzle in the newspaper instead. One day I decided to help him solve the puzzle and he told me he has tinnitus. Imagine working in a busy school when you are so sensitive to noisy surroundings! I also still have a problem with busy, loud environments, so I decided to join him in solving those puzzles. Every day we sit at the crowded table, fixing today's puzzle. We are still there, in the moment and talking to the people around us, but at times we tune out and puzzle for a bit. Occasionally other colleagues start helping us with the puzzle as well. I am very grateful that my colleague, who is really struggling with his hearing, has taught me how to zone yourself out when the ... Read Full Story >>
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.
My neighbor, who is a young man with special needs knocked on my door one Friday evening. I've known him nearly twenty years. Occasionally, he will help me with odd jobs in the summer. When he came to my door, he humbly asked if I could possibly lend him five or ten dollars until his parents got back into town later in the week. Given our relationship over the years, I know asking must have been very difficult for him. I quickly handed him twenty dollars. He then said he'd gladly work it off or pay me back as quickly as he could. To which I replied: "let's put it on account for spring clean-up." However, it kept me awake all night wondering how many groceries one could buy with twenty bucks. The next morning, I headed off to the grocery store and filled two bags with non-perishable food and some bread. ... Read Full Story >>
A friend of mine is struggling with Lyme disease. I'm aware that because of it, my friend has a restrictive eating plan. To help heal her immune system, I came up with an idea for an advent calendar for her to enjoy - a new seasonal tea bag every day, plus a puzzle/doodle or idea/affirmation to do or share. And I enjoyed putting it together for her - it felt good to be doing something to support her recovery :)
I am knitting some Christmas coasters for my fellow volunteers and paid employees at the British Heart Foundation shop, just for fun. I was hoping to finish them today but they are taking longer than I expected. I have done three of the ten I wanted to, as I was hoping to give them out tomorrow. But any day is good for a Random Act of Kindness :) I feel shy about handing them out but I will try and be courageous as I would like them to have them. :)
I feel like my cousin is my 'soulmate' because we seem to be so connected. She is always so supportive with her time, laughter and her love. She is always smiling joyfully and loves to laugh.
I sent her a thank you card last week just to let her know how much I appreciate her presence in my life.
My husband and I were serving in Peace Corps in a remote village in northern Thailand. There were many challenges and difficulties, particularly around our housing. We moved into our house this past June. Shortly thereafter, while we were away at a Peace Corps training, the owner ripped out all the surrounding banana groves and the lush undergrowth in order to raise the ground level--she had planned on tearing down our house and building a new one after we left. She brought in literally tons of dirt. This left our house in a kind of moat, and when the heavy rains came, our house flooded. This, needless to say, was upsetting, but it turned into a blessing, because when he became aware of it, the principal at my school got my eighth-grade class to come help clean up. The boys dug into the moat to drain the water, and built a concrete path ... Read Full Story >>
As I walk my dogs in the park to pray and meditate I regularly run into other people. Some are the faces of regular's; some have an occasional face; some I see for the 1st time.
I try in each case to do one or all of the following: make eye contact, smile, say an encouraging or positive word, and give a friendly wave of the hand. I find that doing some or all of this makes them at a minimum smile back.
When I see them smile I know that I have touched a nerve of love inside of them, if only for a second. A smile is the universal sign of love. Therefore, I try my best to always make everyone I encounter smile as much as possible. I hope that this meme has made you too smile. Have a wonderful day!
Had to call a repair man for my oven. I was totally lost without it. He worked endlessly to find the problem and managed to save me money. We exchanged stories about life, sons, learning, technology through the hours he committed to fixing my oven. I got so joyous when it worked, I hugged him and gave him a big smile with my many thanks.I think he may have been somewhat embarrassed initially, but as he left he said his work is worth more than his paycheck as he gets to meet really special people. I may have been one.....Smiles!
Right before leaving for a gathering one night I saw a post in my email about someone in our community who is collecting funds to help the flood-displaced in South India ( A state of emergency in the state of Tamil Nadu). As I was walking to my friends' gathering this evening my feet started to take a detour, even though I was late. I walked in the opposite direction in order to deliver whatever money I had in my wallet to the person taking the donations. I am glad that my feet followed my heart! It was as if they knew what I wanted to do, even though my head was chiding me for being late :-)
I'm glad I didn't wait to do it.
While driving, today I passed a man holding a sign, begging for donations. I had two dollars in my wallet. I decided I wasn't going to give because money is so tight right now. Then, it felt wrong of me not to give, so I decided to give him half of what I had. I rolled down my window and handed him one dollar. He said, "God Bless You!" and I said, "You too." It was not a full exchange. As I drove away, I wished I spoken more to him, and I wished I had given him all that I had, but instead I was too afraid to give more of myself. Driving home I wondered if I had neglected a powerful universal law, the law of giving from my heart instead of my head, a law that perhaps creates boomerangs of abundance?! By not giving it all from my heart, perhaps ... Read Full Story >>
December kindness for today. I visited the mall, went into ladies' fitting rooms and bathroom, left positive messages on heart post-its. One of my favorite RAKS (random acts of kindness) to do! Our words matter. They can encourage and build people up, or shame and tear them down.
When I was putting the hearts on the bathroom mirror a little girl saw me and kept saying, "hearts, hearts, I love hearts!" :)
I left a stack of blank post-its and a pen behind in the bathroom for others to add messages if they'd like. ♡
I run a small thrift store to help support our small food bank. A mother stopped by with her ten year old son and asked if we could help her family out with a few groceries. I said yes and gathered up several bags of groceries for her.
When I returned to her vehicle where her son was, I asked if he could go into the food bank and select a few of his favorite foods. She said yes. He chose his favorite cereal and fruit roll ups.
I wanted to make his visit special and even though we had made only $32.00 in the thrift store that day I gave him $20.00 of it. I asked him to surprise his mother and buy her and his lunch on the way home. I wanted him to remember this day as more than a trip to the food bank. I wanted him to be blessed with the possibility of acting on this moment for the rest of his life.
A year ago while I was living in Dublin, I was in a supermarket waiting in the line to pay for my items after a long and tiresome day at work.
Since the line was long my eyes were wandering everywhere. When I was getting nearer until I noticed an elderly lady around in her late 80's just joined the last line of the another line opposite to where I was standing. Without any thought I went to her and told her that she can take my spot.
First she didn't accept saying that, "Oh! dear. It's a long line. I don't want to trouble you." I said, "No worries mam. It is not a problem for me." and I just smiled at her. Then she thanked me and I helped her to my spot then joined the line in the very last.
Within few seconds a couple of people standing in the line where I was standing started to offer me their spot and I ended up standing next to that elderly lady. For a moment it felt like that place was filled with kindness. Which was so beautiful to experience.
There was a wonderful nun when I was a junior in high school. Her name was Sr. Clare Lentz. I often wonder what she would be doing today. She is probably only ten or so years older than I am! She was a very kind person. Her kindness has always stayed with me. Here is what happened. I was in her trigonometry class. I was not a stellar student because I was not that interested in working too hard, but I did get B's and Cs and would have been mortified to fail anything. I failed one of the trigonometry tests. Really failed - a 30% or something worse. She had just passed the papers back and walked by me, smiled and whispered quietly - "Don't worry - you just mixed up sine and cosine - no big deal. You will do fine next time." That made me feel so much better! I have ... Read Full Story >>
I walk my goats daily, basically just following them about to make sure they don't eat any of the young trees or break into the farm. At this time of year, it can be cold and damp. For the last couple of days, after about 40 minutes, when my fingers are freezing, my husband has shown up with a nice hot mug of tea for me. He then hangs around to chat until it's time to take them in. Little gestures are as special as big ones.
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!
A friend's mother recently told me how she has been going through some hard times lately. She knows I practice a feminine yoga called "tigress" and often asks about it. I told her about an upcoming trial taster class. She told me that if finances permit, she would attend.
So tonight as I was thinking about her and about Tigress yoga, I heard a voice in my head say, "Pay for her Nicole." And so I did!
I told her I would love to pay for her class and asked her if it were ok. To which she instantly replied, "Yes!" I love a woman who can so easily and graciously receive as I was nervous asking because I don't know her too well.
I wrote two more letters/cards to prisoners tonight. Included in the card, as they always are, will be peace doves.
But not only do I always include doves, but there is something else I always do. I write an inspirational quote or uplifting words on the back of the envelope.
Tonight I had the bible near and decided to open randomly to any page. Before I did I said a little prayer and asked if there is a verse for this prisoner that I be led to it. I was blown away. Of everything it says in the bible or could have said I opened to this page and my finger landed on Ezekiel 36:26 which reads.
"And I give you a new heart, with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new obedient heart".
The last sentence I left out on back of card as I didn't want to emphasise or use the word sin.
I know this quote was divinely chosen especially for the recipient ♡
We had to run out to buy more food for the feral cats who frequent our "restaurant"..we are in the midst of a cold snap with increasing bitter temperatures & high winds & they need to eat more frequently to stay warm.
The Universe was so kind, we were able to get a break on the cost per bag...a $3 savings per bag! Awesome.
We used some of the savings to buy a basket of strawberries for our 90 year old friend who had shared with me yesterday that she loved strawberries but couldn't see spending $7 a basket (the off-season price we are being charged here now).
Knowing she'd insist on paying us (she's very proud), we dropped them off with her son (she lives w/him) , told him we didn't want any payment & to tell her he paid us for them. Lol. When she called us later to thank us & asked us how much they cost, I told a "white lie" & said $3. She said she was going to give her son the money he laid out....I was chuckling as we said our good-byes 🍓
My friend phoned me last night to thank me for helping her with some housework. She said her husband came home and was going to tackle the ironing pile, but saw that there were less clothes to iron, and was very happy to find some of his shirts ironed and put away. Really, it was a small thing to do for a busy friend.
Recently I was helped by some men on duty (guards and cops) when my car broke down. A week later I wanted to thank them and bought some coffee. They refused and said the macho stuff like "It was my job" etc. But I insisted and they accepted :). And I could see big smiles emerge and left them to it. It felt great!