Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Simple Yet Unforgettable Lesson In Helping Others

--by nirvjennymj, posted Mar 24, 2010

It's the middle of the night and I find writing this blog nothing short of imperative. As I've been sitting on the floor in my disheveled room, I began to recall such an important moment in my life. Some might pass it off as "dumb" or "unimportant", but for me, it has held a great magnitude of power over my mind and how I live my life. Something so simple, yet so precious has lingered inside my mind for years now. 

It was a very cold winter evening when a friend of mine had attempted suicide and was rushed to Westchester Medical Center where she stayed, unconscious for quite a while. FINALLY she awoke. A friend of mine and I decided to visit her, so we picked up some picturesque flowers and were on our way. We reached the hospital and dashed madly across the freezing parking lot through the hospitals automatic doors. After signing in, up and away in the elevator we went. We reached her room and only minutes were allowed with her, this beautiful, talented young girl, hardly able to speak and breathe, and probably so perplexed as to why she is alive and why we are sitting on her hospital bed holding a bouquet of fresh flowers. Pretty soon after our arrival, we were ushered to leave by the nurses.

We hopped back in the elevator and headed out to the car. Little did we know, being unprepared high-schoolers at the time and quite emotional considering the circumstances, that we had to pay for parking. We had no money aside from a spare dollar or two most likely left over from our lunch money that day. We had no idea what to do, so I attempted to run inside and try to pay with whatever money we had, but of course, I was way off.

A very sweet hearted, generous person cleared her throat and said "Excuse me" in order to grab my attention. She handed me a $20 bill. I pleaded with her that I couldn't take her money, or to give me her name and address and I will certainly pay her back. She persistently refused. I thanked her a million times over for her generosity and let her know how much it was appreciated. She turned to me and replied with one sentence, that will forever enforce my belief that there is good in all people, "Don't worry about it. Just help someone else out the next time you see they need it". 

It is a beautiful idea to "Pay it Forward". What she did might be considered a small act of kindness, but it is something I will never forget because I know that not many people would help someone out, even with something that minor.  I'm not a hippie that will sit here and preach peace to you, but I will be a human being preaching kindness. Put yourself in other people's shoes. Whether you would ever want to admit it or not, if you were in some other people's situations in this world, you'd want the help too.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen people walk past homeless people in New York City. Yes, I'm fully aware of the stereotype associated with homeless people asking for money and buying booze with it, and that there is some truth to that.  But there are some people that just might have had a stroke of bad luck. For instance, a couple of friends and I were leisurely hanging out in NYC one day and saw this helpless homeless woman on the street forcing her pelvic area against a heater on the side of a building to relieve her pain. She was blatantly in pain and stopped us, and with eyes filled with embarrassment and helplessness, she asked if we had any spare money so she could run into the store nextdoor for some feminine products because she had her period. When I have my period, I think about how I have the luxury of soaking in a hot bath, or using a heating pad to alleviate my monthly pain. I don't have to find a heater on the side of a building in NYC. Imagining how she must have felt, we handed her some money. Do you know what she did with that money?  She went into the store and bought just what she said she needed. 

We have to have faith in people. Sometimes we will be wronged, but there's never a good enough reason to stop believing. It's the little things that count. One day you might be helped out in a big way when you really need it.

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Readers Comments

iferlamb wrote: Thank you very much for sharing this touching story!

AnonYMous1st wrote: I always look for the lessons in life wherever they may be found; thank you for reminding us that our responsibility of a gift end when it is given, and becomes the repsonsibility of the one who has been given. What they do with it becomes their responsibility. I use to worry (for lack of a better word) that what i'd given away would not be used or appreciated as i would like. . . Until i understood that it was not up to me to carry out the reason for it. Mine was to give and pray for the one who was in need. Thank you again for this very basic lesson.
AndaLii wrote: Thanks for the wonderful, moving story. It's heartwarming and encouraging to be reminded that good is everywhere, right now and always, no matter what the external picture presents. Love & hugs, anda
Eve wrote: Thanks for your story, it was really revealing how important is daily kindness.
dushyant wrote: It is great think to help the person without thinking that any one reaily required or not because it gives great satisifaction and pleasure.

So every one should do this.
Liisa wrote: What a great reminder to all of us. I befriended a homeless man in the early '80s in la. Sharing coffee, pastries, tears and listening to his stories (he was attorney who succumbed to the pressures of success), until one day he was no longer at his usual spot. I think of him often and pray he is well and have never "looked over those" who are surviving life on the streets. Everyone has a story.
DebraE wrote: In your sharing, the person who helped you, has now helped all who read.

Thank you!
akunne wrote: We live in a world where a greater percentage of individuals are in desperate need of someone's help. Give aid to someone around you and the world's burden is reduced to a greater percentage
Terri wrote: I am currently homeless and having my period, and it's so horrible. I stay in a shelter but my flow is so heavy that i bleed through my clothes and i am not allowed in the shelter during the day to clean up, so i have been sitting in a coffee shop all day where they are kind enough not to say anything. I have people i care about in this town but i don't think they care about me at all to leave me like in this situation. I thank you for being kind to a homeless person. I have been homeless for 10 yrs and i never asked anyone on the street for money because i just assume they will say no. I find other ways to make money on my own, but can never make what i made before i became homeless.
nirvjennymj wrote: Thank you everyone for your kind words, and sharing of your own experiences.

Reading all that you have wrote has brought me much joy today. :-)

Always remember how easy it is to help so many of those around us. Never forget to view things from another's shoes.

There is good somewhere in everyone.

Never give up! :-)

I send much love and happiness to all of you!

Have a beautiful day!

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