Top 10 Kindness Stories of 2014
--by KindSpring, posted Jan 1, 2015
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, Jane found herself on a bus with 8 strangers in the middle of the sweltering desert heat of Utah, picking up trash and raising awareness about zero-waste and climate change... [More]
What I Learned from 60 Acts of Kindness for My 60th Birthday
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 that act of love, we are moved towards compassion and giving, and that is an endless and seamless stream- not an isolated act... â€‹[More]
Kindness Contest Bears Fruit for All
When I was little I wondered why neighborhoods didn’t invest in edible landscaping to build community, promote health, and promote collaboration. As adults, my husband and I decided the right way to answer this question was to do it ourselves, so we transformed our front yard with edibles, adding blueberries, strawberries, limes, pomegranates, and oranges. Every crop brought us closer to neighbors and strangers. The food was an excuse to commune. Kids in the neighborhood (including our sons) learned patience and gentle timing. When we had extra, we'd share it. Then, we received a powerful lesson; a gift hidden as a loss...[More]
Hotel Door Tag!
A couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I had an opportunity to attend a dear friend’s wedding in New York.
After the wedding and reception, rather serendipitously four of us gathered in a hotel room and began to explore the deeper meaning of life and death. What does it mean to live authentically? If we are all getting closer to death, is all the material accumulation worth it? Not exactly the type of conversations one has at a wedding! While the answers varied from person to person, I was left with more questions than answers and a feeling of gratefulness to be surrounded by friends who were asking the ‘right’ questions...[More]
Today, I went downtown to play music with my new singing friend. We sang songs we have not practiced, and though I was nervous, it felt so good, I kept singing. At the end, a woman who had been close, thanked me. She said her dad passed a few years back and today was his birthday. Every year on this day, she walks around open to whatever needs to happen. This time, she said, it was us. I did not realize I was being kind to anyone...[More]
A Rainy Evening at the Gas Station
One rainy evening I went to fill up at the gas station. A pre-teen boy approached my car with a thick hoodie pulled around his face. He asked me for money to help him and his mother stay in their hotel for an additional week. He stated that if they did not come up with $25 they would be evicted that same evening. Having worked in social services before, and being a little skeptical, I asked how come his mother hadn't sought out social services for assistance. The boy said that they needed to remain in their hotel for one more week until his grandmother, who lived out of town, could take them in. I gave the boy what I had - $5. He thanked me and continued to wander the parking lot asking for help. I got my gas and drove away...I thought about it, felt ashamed at my skepticism and went looking for the boy to give him a dollar. But it seemed that he had disappeared into thin air. "This time," I thought, "I'll do it differently." ... [More]
Those New York City Moments
At a local bakery/restaurant I gave the cashier some money along with a Smile card. "Please surprise someone by taking care of their order with this today," I said, "and give them this card." Her mouth dropped open. "Really?" she asked. "Really." I replied. "Why are you doing this?" she asked. "To spread a little bit of kindness," I said, "It feels like a good day to share a little bit of extra love." Her face broke into the biggest grin. "This is so beautiful!" ... [More]
At my workplace there is not much opportunity to be different. We administer care to others and, in the process, sometimes we forget to care for ourselves and each other. So, I print inspirational messages, happy pictures, quotes, etc, and post them on a blank space I've found in one of our utility rooms. I also print stories from this site, and some others I subscribe to, and leave them in the staff room. I believe it adds to our "emotional education." One person asked me, "Why do you do this? Why do you try to help these people, they are not very nice?" My response was, "If it affects one person then it's a good thing." [More]
My First Ever Random Act of Kindness
I stumbled across Kindspring.org two days ago, and read the stories posted here for hours. They moved and inspired me so much that I just knew I had to be a part of this. I am a college student and work at the library here on campus, so I was able to print out dozens of Smile Cards and I spent over an hour cutting them all out. One of my "primary targets" that I came up with during my brainstorming was McDonald's, because the area around my college is economically depressed and I figured most of the people going to the McDonald's were probably strapped for cash. Unfortunately I don't have a car and I didn't know when I'd be able to have the opportunity to do some random acts of kindness there. As luck would have it that very night one of my friends asked me to go to McDonald's and get her some chicken nuggets and another friend offered to drive me! [More]
If I Can't Donate Money I Donate Love!
I wanted to share with you all a little something I do. I do this often, well as often as I can. I love to write. I love to make others feel happy, loved and special because lets face it; that is exactly what we all are. So what I do is put the two things together, writing and love. I often write letters of love to strangers and leave them in places hoping that the person who needs it most will stumble upon the letter and find it. However lately I've started to post letters to organizations and even random people whose addresses I stumble upon. I am often sent letters asking for donations and to help contribute to various charities and organizations. I contribute the best I can but as we all know, we can't contribute and donate to them all. Included in these letters of request for donations, are reply paid envelopes. I love getting the reply paid envelopes because when I can't make a donation, I write them a letter of love and make a donation of a different kind instead. A Donation of love. [More]