Friday, December 31, 2010

A Change In Perspective

A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ’Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table.

In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.

The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.

‘It is simple,’ said the Lord. ‘It requires but one skill…

You see, they have learned to feed each other.

The greedy think only of themselves.’

Just look at the beauty of the snowflake, yet look at what they can do when they stick together! ~ May you all be blessed this coming New Year and thank you so much for your support and encouragement in 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Kindness Goes Along Way

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. --Martin Buber

Inspiration of the Day:
In 1989, while touring India, Marc Gold found himself "thunderstruck" when he realized he could save a woman from a deadly ear infection by paying the $1 for her antibiotics. "I thought you had to be wealthy to do such things," he recalls. Since then, Gold has trekked through Asia, handing out money to the needy in amounts as little as 50 cents and rarely exceeding $500. In Vietnam, a small donation was enough for a widow to buy a sewing machine and start a business. In Indonesia, a fisherman fixed his boat and returned to self-sufficiency. Compared with global aid organizations, Gold's budget is tiny. But he has touched over 50,000 lives. [ more ]

Be The Change:
The next time you travel, find opportunities to help others in small ways. It may make all the difference.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There Is A Santa!

I got this story in my email this morning which brought a tear to my eyes. Not just in what the story is about, but the grace and love of God that this woman shared through seeing her actions speak for her. I hope it touches you in the same way. Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a prosperous and blessed New Year! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

by Michael T. Smith

One of the my wife's duties at work is to go to the post office
every day and pick up the company mail.

As November rolled into December, she noticed a Salvation Army
Santa standing on the corner. Each day she saved her coins and
dropped them in his bucket. He'd smile, wish her a Merry Christmas,
and continue to ring his bell.

The second week of December came with a cold front. At night
the temperature dropped below 0 and the daytime temperatures barely
made it to 14. Santa stood in the frigid winds and continued to ring
his bell.

"You must be freezing," she said to him, as she dropped her
coins in his bucket.

"I'm so cold!" he shivered. "I can't feel the bell in my hands.
And my feet? I don't know if they're there anymore."

The next day, she dropped her coins in the bucket and handed him
several chemical hand and foot warmers. "Try these," she smiled.
"We had them in our car in case of and emergency. I think a Santa
freezing is an emergency. Don't you?"

Santa took her offering. "God bless you, ma'am. I cannot thank
you enough."

A week later, a new Santa stood ringing the bell. "What
happened to the other Santa?" she asked.

He paused his ringing to inform her, "I'm sorry to say, he's
very sick today."

She dropped her coins in the bucket and walked away with a heavy
heart. Her hand and foot warmers were not enough to prevent Santa
from getting sick. She prayed for his health.

Later that day, a co-worker came into her office in tears. "I
don't know what I'm going to do."

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"It's my ex-husband." Her co-worker wiped a tear from her eye
and continued. "I don't have any money to buy my boys anything for
Christmas. I called my ex last night and asked if he was sending
money for them. He told me times were tough and the boys would have
to suck it up and that they'd get over it." She began to cry harder.
"I don't know what to do. They're teenagers and will understand, but
it breaks my heart that they won't have anything this year."

My wife hugged her co-worker. "I'm sure everything will work
out. It's Christmas. Believe in miracles."

That evening, she sat down with me and told me about her
co-worker's situation. "Hun, I know we don't have much to help, but
I'd like to get her a gift card from Walmart or something. Maybe
fifty or a hundred dollars. We'll just get ourselves less this year.
Last year we couldn't afford to buy anything for ourselves and still
had a wonderful Christmas. It's the giving that counts."

She paused and looked at me. "I feel bad for those boys," she
continued. "I want to send it to her anonymously. She'll never know
where it came from. It will make her so happy."

I saw the look in her eyes and knew she wanted my blessing, but
I also knew she was going to do it anyway.


"Yes?" he smiled. "Give her the hundred. She needs it more than we do."

She reached up and held me. Warmth spread through my body -- a
glow like no other. I held her and realized there really is a Santa
Claus -- I married her.

Amazingly, at the same time Ginny was picking up the gift card,
my company was handing out Walmart gift cards to all of its employees.

"Give and thou shalt receive" was proven to be true today!

-- Michael T. Smith

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Contagious ~ I Dare U!

I dare you to change people around you by being a better version of YOU!

Love really is what makes the world go round.

Throughout the bible we learn how important love is.

I Corinthians 13 says: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

and Proverbs 10:12 says: Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

Kelly Rowland sings this song with a joy that can’t be denied.

It is a positive reminder that happiness is born out of love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

When Life Gets You Down, Dance!

and that's just what she did when Erica McElrath of St. Louis lost her job. Check out this video!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Smile Cards

Here's a story of how to spread kindness and how to pass it along to others. If you are interested in ordering some smile cards, click here. Enjoy this story of how someone used theirs.

My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day.

The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept!

Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. My first opportunity to help came when I was on the bus. The seat I sat on, next to the window, was soaking wet -- somehow the rain had gotten in. I scooted across to the aisle seat, and to ensure that no one else ended up with a wet bottom, I left a note on the seat, with a Smile Card, saying, "This seat is wet, sit with caution!"

I dropped my small bag of donations into the charity shop. I then proceeded to go straight to my job interview, but on the way, I found a small means to help someone: while waiting at the road crossing, I held my umbrella over the woman standing in front of me. She didn't notice but hopefully those extra moments of dryness helped!

After my interview, I'd thought up a few more ways to create smiles. I checked my purse for change and put 50 pence and a Smile Card on top of a child's automatic ride, enough for one surprising ride for a child. I also put three 20-pence pieces with a card in a phone box, enough to make a 30-minute phone call. I had to pop into the post office to collect a new passport form, and the queue was huge. I allowed an elderly gentleman to go in front of me as he was having trouble standing. At this point, I was really beginning to enjoy my day of kindness!

Before getting on the bus home, I had one more idea: I went and bought a small bag of chocolates and attached a Smile Card. When I got back to my street, I left the sweets and a Smile Card at a neighbor's door. This neighbor had taken in a parcel for me last week, so he deserved a treat.

After all this, my day of giving wasn't yet over! I collected some of my old videos that I no longer watched and gave them to an elderly neighbor because I knew that he liked this type of film. I also had a special code for 50 pence of free mobile phone credit, but instead of using it for myself, I activated it for a friend, and she had no idea it was me!!

I'm so pleased that I managed to do all these little things for others today. It didn't take much effort on my part, but I definitely had to push myself to overcome my lack of confidence, and I'm proud of myself :o)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Than Just a Backpack

I have to share this story I received in my email today that shows just how sometimes our children are the true leaders of kindness! ~ Enjoy ~ Kat

I must share a heart warming experience I enjoyed this week, both as a parent and a human being.

My daughter, Emma (in 7th grade), started back to school last week. There is a young boy in her class (call him Jake) who is quite overweight. As you might expect he is the butt of many jokes and is treated very badly by other kids (and even by the teachers). Jake gives the impression that he's not a nice guy, mostly because of the fact that he's constantly picked on.

For several nights this week Emma came home from school upset about the fact that Jake gets picked on so much. She also mentioned that he had no school supplies as his family could not afford them. He was constantly asking to borrow paper, which just gives kids even more reason to pick on him.

One night Emma was extremely upset about this situation, not only because Jake was picked on but that he also had no supplies. We sat together that evening and discussed the situation in great detail. We devised a plan for Emma to engage Jake in a conversation and for her to ask Jake what he needed for supplies.

The next day Emma spent some time with Jake and really came to realize that this young man had a heart of gold, but rarely was able to show it because he was always on the defensive. Emma asked Jake if he needed supplies and if he could make a list for her for she would bring in extra supplies that she had at home for him. He put together a small list, 3 ring binders, paper, pens, pencils and a pencil sharpener. Emma told him she would help and he was most appreciative.

That evening Emma and I made a pilgrimage to the store where we bought everything on his list and then some! Emma mentioned that he needed a new pencil box for the one he had got destroyed when one of his pens exploded - so we added that to the list. When we got home, we put all the supplies into a brand new gray back pack - because Jake did not have a back pack either.

The next day, I brought the bag to the school principal and explained the situation. I asked the principal to give the bag to Jake discreetly so that he did not have to feel embarrassed.

Later that day I picked Emma after school and she was all smiles. The principal had called Jake down to his office and gave him the bag. Jake read the little note that Emma had put inside hoping that he had everything that he needed and to enjoy the supplies. As Jake walked into the classroom - he winked at Emma and later thanked her very much for all the stuff. He loved it all!

Emma said that is was so cute to see him take out his new pencil box and to start arranging his pencils and pens. He seemed very happy.

This was a great experience for my daughter but I can't tell you the joy it brought to me to see a young kid acting upon something that was truly bothersome to her. Blossoming kindness and the willingness to take action are wonderful things to see.

I encourage all the youth of this world to keep your hearts open and never be afraid to show random acts of kindness to those in need. No matter what your friends say. Act upon what's in your heart, you never know it may create a ripple effect for others to do the same!

As for Jake ... I saw him walking home yesterday with his new back pack. It was a good feeling to know we had made a difference in his life!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blessings In The Most Unexpected Places

When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place. --C.S. Lewis

Inspiration of the Day:
On the way back from work every evening, a homeless man would often be at the exit of the freeway. His eyes were brown and had a sparkle, like an inside light beaming out of his eyes. He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing. A feeling of joy would come over me every time I saw him, as I came off the ramp. He had that effect. Then one day, I was laid off due to the economy. With no job and no savings, I worried about providing for my four amazing kids. On my drive home, I did not prepare the usual change and did not feel the joy approaching the off-ramp. Yet there he was, as always, as I turned the ramp. And he taught me to count my blessings. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Really look into a stranger's eye today to spot that "inside light beaming out of [their] eyes."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God Will Always Find A Way!

Here's a great way to show just how much faith this person had in God. We could all use that much faith everyday! Enjoy ~ Kat

Opportunity knocked on my door last January when I was given a chance to work in an other country. It's really such a blessing! At first, it was really scary living life on my own. But, I soon met lots of new people. Some were good and some were bad. It was a true challenge!

I met a group of friends, six boys and one girl. They were really nice. I loved their company and they were so funny! We hung out most weekends. We cooked, watched movies, chatted and shared jokes! It was amazing - until something unexpected happened!

One of our group was diagnosed with kidney stones which had to be removed surgically as soon as possible. But it was not as simple as that! Our friend could not afford the surgery. He tried to get help from our other friends but they refused to help. My heart cried for him! Our friends abandoned him just when he needed them most.

I didn't know how to help him because I didn't have any money either. But, I never lost hope. Instead I tried to think of other options. I told him not to worry because everything will be all right. "Just leave it to God," I said. He will find a way!

Before I left the hospital I talked to the surgeon. I asked him to do the surgery and said I would pay the expenses the next day. (As if I had that kind of money!) Well, I must have been convincing because the surgeon agreed to do it! Now, how was I going to get that much money? Aaarrggh!

All I knew was that I needed to help my friend! I tried to borrow money from other friends but I failed. I tried selling my things but no one wanted them. Then I had the idea to talk to my boss. I asked him if I could have my next two months salary in advance - without even thinking on how I would survive for two months with no money.

He was surprised and asked me why. I told him that I had a friend who was really in need. Luckily, I convinced him too. He gave my two months salary without any hesitation! As soon as I had the money I ran to the hospital and paid all the bills.

My friend didn't know how to thank me. I just said, "Come on! Give me a hug! Every problem has its own solution. You just have to believe. God will never leave you!"

Friendship may not only found in happy moments. Sometimes you can find it on the toughest time in your life!

Oh, and if you are wondering how I survived for the next two months, well, I simply tell you guys that if anyone is in need there will always be someone who will help. God will find a way!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Passion for Giving

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.
--Hindu Proverb

Good News of the Day:
'A Passion For Giving' is a stylish, powerful and beautifully shot film with great music and compelling interviews with fascinating people, some famous some not, who inspire the viewer to give and help other people, animals and the planet. It reinforces the notion that anyone has the capacity to give, not just those with disposable income. From a Tibetan monk to a New York City street artist, this film excerpt demonstrates various methods by which a seemingly effortless gesture can prove very beneficial to society. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Practice giving! For the next 30 days, make a promise to yourself that you'll give something away (doesn't have to be material!) without expecting ANYTHING in return.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Giving Away More Than Kindness!

There are people who have money and people who are rich. --Coco Chanel

Good News of the Day:
What would you do if you won 11.3 million dollars? If you're Allen and Violet Large, you give it away. The couple discovered they had won the jackpot last July, while Violet was undergoing chemotherapy therapy for cancer. "That money we won was nothing," Allen explains with tears in his eyes. "We have each other." Since July, they've given almost all of it away, first taking care of a family in need, and then donating to two-pages' worth of groups like the Salvation Army. Their rationale? The money was a "headache". It brought anxiety that people would take advantage of them. But more than that, "Money can't buy you health or happiness." Violet smiles. [ more ]

Be The Change:
Spend extra time with those you love today.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Raising Kindness

I found this wonderful email this morning I just had to share. What a wonderful way to encourage our kids to begin their own acts of kindness. We can learn so much from them. Enjoy ~ Kat

My wonderful grand daughter just turned five. We always have a party for her with all of our friends and family. I am often a little embarrassed by all the riches received by her. I thought that this year, with her parents blessing, we could do something different.

A nearby elementary school was devastated by fire over the summer and lost nineteen classrooms and the library. I thought we could use this birthday to create an opportunity for Lily, even at the young age of five, to understand service to others.

The day before her party we drove to the school and took her on a tour of the devastation. Since Lily has been attending nursery she understood the concept of school and seeing the burned buildings helped her understand why we wanted to help.

We asked the party-goers to bring donations of books for the school instead of a present. Of course people still brought Lily gifts (isn’t that always the way?) but she also collected three boxes of books for the library.

It was her first building block towards what I hope will be a life filled with service and I hope it has a lifelong effect on her.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Miracle Accident

Please wait 10 seconds for the video to begin playing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Future and A Hope

This is a moving and tearful story of hope I just had to share with all of you. It was in my email this morning and I hope it changes you as much as it moved me! Enjoy! ~ Kat


I was waiting to pick up a friend at the airport when I had one of those life changing experiences, the kind that you sometimes hear other people talk about, the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

As I was straining to locate my friend amongst the line of passengers exiting, I noticed a man coming towards me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe 6 years old) as he laid down his bags. He crouched down and they gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each others face, I heard the father say, "Its too good to see you, son I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly,"Me too dad!"

Then the man stood up and gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe 9 or 10 years old) and while cupping his son face in his hands said," You are already quite the young man. I love you very much." They too shared a very loving and tender hug.

While this was happining a baby girl was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said "hi baby girl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to her chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his eldest son and declared, "I have saved the best until last!" and proceeded to give his wife, the longest and most loving kiss I ever remember seeing.

He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed "I love you so much." They started looking into each others eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't possibly be.

I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in this wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask,"Wow! How long have you two been married?" "We've been together 14 years in total and married for 12 of those." he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face."Well then how long have you been away?" I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his smile."Two whole days".

Two days?! I was stunned by the intensity of greeting, I had assumed he had been gone for at least several weeks - If not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace, "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after 12 years!"

The man suddenly stopped smiling and looked straight into my eyes and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he said something that just left me a different person. He said, "Don't hope...friend...Decide!" Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said "God Bless!" With that he and his family turned and strode away together.

I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walking away when my friend came up to me and asked," What are you looking at?" Without hesitating, and a with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, "My future!" "I wish I could be such a wonderful wife of such wonderful man."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kindness Times 2

Here's another great example of just how simple it is to spread kindness and love in so many unique ways. I found this in my email and had to share it with you. The author is unknown. Enjoy! ~ Kat

Having experienced the joys of giving small gifts to others through regular random acts of kindness, I have increasingly questioned whether I was truly being generous or whether I was seeking ego-gratification or some sort of karmic credit to justify living an otherwise ordinary life. To test this concept, I asked myself if I would be just as generous if the acts were truly anonymous, and I would receive no credit.

In seeking out those opportunities, an even more interesting challenge arose - providing random strangers with the opportunity to gift acts of kindness.

The first experience was as a restaurant in Times Square with a pre-fix lunch that included dessert. I did not want any dessert, so I asked the waiter to find another customer and tell the customer that he was offering a free dessert as a random act of kindness. I specifically made sure he did not mention me or the circumstances, as I wanted him to receive full credit (after all, he could have simply eaten the dessert himself). We got to see him make the offer to a group that looked like tourists, who were clearly shocked, and the smile on his face afterward was priceless. We left a generous tip and departed.

The second experience was at an airport in Minneapolis. I was traveling with my girlfriend, and we had been delayed on two separate flights, which had led to significant scrambling and inconvenience. The airline gave us two $20 food vouchers, but we had already bought food as we ran through the airport trying to make the connection. We decided to enjoy a bottle of wine during our four-hour delay, only to discover that the vouchers could not be used for wine. So switching into generosity mode, we asked the waitress to find some other customers and offer them the vouchers, without mentioning who the vouchers came from. She came back so inspired by the experience that she wanted to give us complementary glasses of wine. We promptly invited her to gift those as well, and departed for our flight!

Sadly, I can not report that I have found a way to *not* feel gratified about these acts, so perhaps I am still acting with selfish motivations. That said, it is interesting to see that the act of giving is a gift in and of itself, and by adding a "surrogate giver" into the chain, the resulting good feelings have effectively doubled with no additional "costs"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Finding Hope In A Loss

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you." -- John Southard

Idea of the Week

"I work within an assisted living complex, and I truly love it! One afternoon, one of my residents's told me a story that really moved me and I wanted to share it. She said that she had lost her wallet many years ago but that a young woman called her a few days later to say that she had found it. When she went to the woman's house to collect it, she saw that the woman, who had three young children, was struggling to make ends meet. From then on, every Christmas for many years, she sent this woman Christmas gifts for her and each of her children - anonymously! I was amazed! Firstly, that the wallet was returned by someone in such a difficult situation. And secondly, by the resident's gesture - which just seemed so thoughtful and kind. And to do it anonymously, no less!"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sharing Kindness

I think this is a great tip that we can use to incorporate not only the gift of kindness to those around us but give them the desire to pass it along as well. Enjoy this wonderful tip from ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

I submitted a kindness idea to $100 kindness contest and I won. Armed with $100 and a mission - WOW! What an amazing week I just had! It started out last weekend - the first goal was to fill 20 “Smile Baggies” to give out.

I had so much fun all Saturday picking out the items to buy. I'm a single mom of a teenager, so the opportunity to buy something without worrying about whether it would hurt our monthly budget made me feel like I had won the lottery!

I picked out some practical items – a post-it note pad, pen, hand sanitizer wipes, and breath mints. But since it was a “smile baggie”, I also got some fun stuff too – microwave popcorn, hot cocoa, bubble gum, a smile stamp, and a small bottle of bubble bath.

I spent Sunday night bagging all the goodies and attached the following letter to each bag:

"HI! This “Smile Bag” is just for you. I hope it brings a smile to your face. It brought many smiles to my face as I picked them out for you. The Smile Bag was inspired by – which is dedicated to small acts of kindness. The idea is to make someone smile, to do something for someone (without expecting anything in return) – making the world a better place – one act of kindness at a time, one community at a time.

The second bag (with the Smile Card) is for you to give a smile to someone else. It could be someone you know - a friend, a co-worker, or a neighbor. Or someone you don’t – like the cashier at the store, the teller at the bank, or the lady that sits next to you on the bus. You will be amazed at how great it feels to bring a smile to someone else.

And I encourage you to keep the spirit a live. Go to for ideas, stories, and inspiration. Kindness is contagious!"

Because I wanted to remain anonymous I decided to bring 4 “smile baggies” (2 sets) to work each day (I figured it would be too hard to hide 20 smile bags). Then I set off “planting” them around the hospital I worked at. I left a set in the employee lunchroom near the microwave, in the employee locker room, in the nursing medical supply room, on a cleaning supply cart, in the copy machine room, etc. I woke each morning excited and had fun thinking of where to leave the next smile bag. It felt like Christmas!

Thank you for allowing me to experience such an amazing week. I hope that I was able to make a big splash and that the ripples from this week flow far and wide and never end. WOW!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Filled With Generosity

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. -- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When Your Gift Comes Back To You

Here's another great heartwarming story I found in my email. Enjoy and see what you can do everyday to make someone's day. ~ Kat

My husband and I were at a discount grocery store waiting in line.

We were behind a mother and her boy who was probably about seven years old. She had a beautiful purple bouquet in her basket. The flowers brought a smile to my face. I remarked to the lady how lovely her flowers were and she said her son picked them out. He just beamed at the compliment so I asked if he would like to pick some out for me.

He was off like a shot down the aisle to pick out a bouquet for me. When he returned he was so obviously pleased at having done a two-fold good job: picking out nice flowers and helping an "old lady."

When I thanked him, he said a very loud and clear "You're welcome." So, by then Mama is beaming at her helpful polite son who feels great about doing a good deed. They're feeling great and I'm feeling great about getting to be a part of this exchange.

But it didn't end there. You see, among the whole line of people watching as they waited to check out was a woman I had overheard saying that she live alone. As we were leaving the store a little voice inside said, "Give the flowers to that woman." In the parking lot I went up to her and explained that the little voice had said I was to give her the flowers.

In our brief exchange she said that she really couldn't take the flowers but that the gesture was truly moving. She thanked me for the kind offer.

So, this bouquet touched the hearts of a mother and son, me and my husband, the line of shoppers and, our special stranger in the parking lot. And my bonus? I got to go home with the flowers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flowers of Kindness

"I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow." -- Abraham Lincoln

Idea of the Week

"I cut some flowers growing in my yard, wrapped them up nicely and left them on the doorstep of some random house in my neighborhood. I rang the door bell and quickly ran off. A while later I walked by and saw the flowers still there. I went and picked them up because I didn't know how long the people who lived there would be away for and by the time they got back, the flowers could be wilting. I went to find another house. I saw an elderly couple leaving from their home on a walk. It was the perfect place! Once they were out of view I dropped the flowers off. I was riding back when I saw them again. They were on their way back home. I can't help but wonder what their expressions would be when they discovered the flowers. It was an awesome thrill and I loved it! I'm excited to do other acts of kindness!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Lesson in Homeless Compassion

Even some homeless stories have happy endings. I found this one in my mailbox and hope you enjoy it. ~ Kat

It was my birthday so my wife, my brother and my child treated ourselves to dinner in a restaurant that we had never been to before. As we walked back to our car a very thin man approached my brother saying he hadn't eaten in a while and asking for money. Usually my wife and I treat such requests with suspicion but my brother took a different approach and he started talking with the man.

The man said he was a singer and had come to Dubai from Pakistan to find work. His visa was expiring in three or four days. He had no friends here, couldn't land a singing job, and was surviving hand to mouth. He had a return ticket that had to be confirmed. To do this he needed 70 Dirhams.

My brother gave him 20 Dirhams for food and asked the man to give him a call from the airline's ticket office the next day. He also gave the man a travel card for the Dubai metro.

Later, I found out that my brother went to the ticket office the next day and had this man's ticket confirmed. There were some extra fees, plus the man had 300 Dirhams room rent to be paid. Having done all that my brother then helped the man get some chocolates and gifts to take back home to his family.

The man was so touched. He kept in touch and even called my brother from Pakistan later, thanking him for all his help.

Well, it was a valuable lesson in human kindness that I learned from my younger brother on my birthday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Long Distance Acts of Kindness

This Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching us and between now and next Thursday, let us all pay extra special attention to those around us and people we come into contact with to see what their plans are. This year especially families all around us have been hit by this horrible economy and may find themselves just thankful to have a roof over their heads but no feast for the table.

Let us all be a little more generous this year and take note of the little things we can do to make a difference for one person this Thanksgiving. Perhaps it's inviting a whole family over for dinner with yours, perhaps it's taking them a gift card from a local grocery store or restaurant for dinner, or even making a dinner and making an extra special delivery. There are so many ways if we only are will to look and see them. Here's a special story that will help illustrate that point in a great way:

I work with a warm, fun-loving woman named Heather. This year our boss asked a group of us to join his family on Thanksgiving. Seated around the table, Heather said something had totally changed her the day before -- like she was walking in a new direction. I listened and watched as her eyes welled with tears.

Heather deals daily with people on the telephone. She was speaking with a Veteran and asked if he was looking forward to Thanksgiving. She was surprised when he said no, and asked why.

He had been let go from his job more than a month before and was having a tough time making ends meet. He shared how hard it was to feel powerless to provide a Thanksgiving meal for his wife and children. She wished him a happy holiday and good luck. There was nothing to do but say good-bye and hang-up.

But I must do something, she thought. She knew the man’s address and started calling restaurants in California (we’re in Florida), asking if they could prepare and deliver a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Over and over she was told no, it was too late or no, we don’t do that or no, we don’t deliver on holidays.

Running out of options, she called a delicatessen and relayed what she wanted to do. The man at the Deli Man agreed to help -- If Heather would pay, he would shop for everything, prepare the meal and deliver it to the family on Thanksgiving.

And so it was, with a warm (anonymous) wish for a joyous Thanksgiving from someone who cared.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kindness Goes Around

Here's another heartwarming story from an email I received. I hope you enjoy and it brings warmness to your life today and bringing a sunny smile! ~ Love Kat

My wonderful Aunt Helen Louise recently passed away very unexpectedly. I have been trying to stay positive during this time. Today was an especially emotional day, so I decided to try and keep myself busy by doing a little 'treasure hunting' at my local Goodwill store.

Whilst I was browsing, I saw a young girl trying to ride a bicycle. Her grandmother and grandfather were steadying it for her. Her grandmother was very encouraging and it made me smile to see the look of determination on the little girl's face.

I browsed through the racks but didn't find anything I wanted to buy. I was on my way out of the store, when I noticed the bicycle parked at the checkout counter. A light bulb went off right away in my mind, and I asked the clerk if the bicycle had been paid for. She told me that the little girl's grandparents were going to buy it after they were done looking around.I quickly searched my purse for a Smile Card I told the clerk I wanted to buy the bicycle for the girl. I paid, got the receipt and handed it, along with the Smile Card, to the girl's grandmother. I told her that the bicycle was paid for. The looks on that family's faces were priceless and I could feel my Aunt Helen's approval shining upon me.

I miss my Aunt Helen every day, but I will continue to honor her legacy of generosity by doing random acts of kindness.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Gift of Laughter

My religion is kindness. -- Dalai Lama

Inspiration of the Day:
"I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laughter." So begins an excerpt by Dalai Lama on why he laughs:

Be The Change:
Laugh, smile, be happy. Today is World Kindness Day. Do an act of kindness and share it with others.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Passing along Thanksgiving Blessings

"You have not lived a perfect day... unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." -- Ruth Smeltzer

Idea of the Week

"As I was getting ready to do my grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, I had a thought - why not pick up an extra item or two to donate to a food bank? My library has big barrels for collecting food - maybe yours does too? Or maybe somewhere else in your town you can drop off canned goods? I filled up some bags with the canned/ nonperishable food items that I had bought and dropped them off at the library today and I wanted to share this idea with all of you... While we are doing all the "have to do" things for ourselves (like grocery shopping, dropping off library books, etc.) why not use that same time to do something for someone else too?"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sharing Hearts

I found a website that sells tiny pewter hearts which are not too expensive, so, I bought a batch and I keep a couple in my pocket most of the time.

Whenever I find the opportunity, when I am out in stores, at a yard sale or at work or anywhere really, I will ask the person I am speaking with to give me their hand. I put two of those little hearts in the palm of their hand saying, "Keep one and pass the other one on."

The responses I get are amazing! If I had won the Lottery there would not be bigger smiles or more excitement. Everyone immediately wants to tell me who is getting the other heart; someone with cancer, their child who was grumpy this morning, and so on.

A little sharing really makes people happy!

P.S. In my other pocket I carry dog biscuits so even their canine friends can be happy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Strong Urge To Say Thank You

I went through some old emails to find the right kind of inspiration this morning and happened across this one. I hope you enjoy it. I am not the author of this story but it bears things that can happen to any of us. Enjoy ~ Kat

All the money I had on me yesterday was some loose change, so I went without lunch (I had a freezer full of food back home but I was out and about) and well, hey, I could stand to miss a meal or ten! Luckily, it was the end of a little financial lean period. That evening a sizable payment for some work I had done arrived in my bank account. Great! Which bills to pay first?

But before dealing with any of that I had the strong urge to say thank you for my blessings. (Oh, it wasn't as clean-cut as that. I had more than a little mental turmoil about giving away money I could be reducing our overdraft with.) I decided to give a percentage of my payment to a young woman I know who works with abandoned children in Romania - so I electronically zapped the money over.

This morning I had a message from her. She said they had been having a meeting last night around the same time as I sent the money. They had been asked to try and find long term sponsorship for an abandoned family, a woman and six kids. They thought they could do that, but it would take a couple of months. How could they keep that family fed until then?

How much money did they need for that? Exactly the amount I was sending at that very moment!


But this story isn't about me giving money, because as poor as I thought I was yesterday I am so rich in blessing it sometimes makes me cry. It's about how God works things out. We need to put love out there, whether it be money, hugs, prayers, whatever. Then He'll take it and do wonderful things with it.

Give it a try. Ignore those little voices telling you why you shouldn't. Put the love you have out into the world in whatever way works for you. Then stand back and prepare to be amazed at how often it's exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.


A few hours after I posted this story to HelpOthers, I got an e mail from an editor I do a lot of work for. She apologized for their bad book-keeping and said they hadn't paid me for some work I sent them a year ago. I hadn't noticed but the payment is now on the way. How much? Three times what I sent to Romania.!

I'm lost for words ... so, I'll just say, "Thank you!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meeting Anger with Kindness

Here's another great story to show just another reason to share kindness. This came in my email last week and wanted to share it with you. Author unknown.

From 1993 through 1998 I was a vendor for Chevrolet dealerships. Each week I would take a look at their used cars that were for sale. I would fix cracks in leather, cigarette burns in fabric, re-color carpets that had stains, repair windshields that had been hit by a rock, etc.

Every week I would walk into this specific Chevrolet dealer's used car lot to see what the used cars needed in the way of repairs. The general manager's wife was named Cindy. Cindy was always very rude, treating me like I was below her or that she was better than me. I was always upbeat, positive and kind, but that never seemed to work with her.

One day she accused me of charging her to dye the carpet in a mini-van that had a stain in the carpet. She had driven the van for the weekend and said the stain was not there. Just trying to continually be aggressive, and negative without cause, she accused me in front of all her peers that day, and because I have always been an honest person who I finally took offense.

However, instead of being angry at being looked upon as someone that was not honest or had no integrity, I went to a florist and bought almost $100.00 in red roses with angels breath and had them put in this nice basket. I picked out a card, and stated that I was sorry for the misunderstanding and that I did not ever have the intention of making her angry.

The following week, I walked into her office like I did every week with my list of used cars that needed some attention before they were sold and said, "Hi Cindy," with my usual happy and up beat attitude. She gave me this big smile and said, "You bought me flowers." Every week thereafter she would always make a point to say, "Hey Mike, how ya doin?" or "Nice to see you, how are you?"

This woman began to change, perhaps because of this small act of kindness. It was actually so nice to see Cindy's whole way of being - change with me. She was always very kind, and would always have a big smile when I walked into her office.

I guess people can change with a little bit of kindness!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cookie Kindness

Some of the women at my work had been hit up to buy cookies from some Girl Scouts they knew. We wanted to support the young girls but we were all working on losing weight. We were wondering what to do when we got the idea to send the cookies to the troops overseas.

My daughter was serving in Iraq when this happened. I packaged them up in a care package and sent them out to my daughter's unit. My daughters unit enjoyed them so much and we got lots of appreciative letters and emails from them. It was so lovely to receive all of those and see what an impact a small gesture on our part had had.

They were flying a flag at their unit and told us they were going to bring it home for us to fly here.

What a blessing was brought out by wanting to support one cause by buying cookies and bringing smiles and love to another cause!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mysterious Gift Giver

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. -- Pierre Corneille

Inspiration of the Day:
What would it be this morning- a warm Blueberry Lemon? Banana Nut? Cranberry Orange? Oatmeal Raisin? There is always a warm muffin or two tucked into a white napkin and placed next to the morning newspaper, waiting for me once I open my front door. Who is the Mystery Muffin Giver? I try to wake up early to see if I can catch him or her in the act. So far, I've been unsuccessful. But no matter what, the muffin-giving has taken on a life of its own...

Be The Change:
Leave an anonymous gift on a neighbor's doorstep.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Living On Less

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. -- Henry David Thoreau

Inspiration of the Day:
By choice, Mark Boyle basically doesn't have a cent- or, more accurately, a pence- to his name. Boyle lives in rural England in a trailer he spotted on He feeds himself by growing everything from barley to potatoes, foraging wild edibles like berries and nettles, and occasionally dumpster-diving for luxuries like margarine and bread. He brushes his teeth with homemade toothpaste and barters labor for rent, internet service, and whatever else he can't find, grow, or make. Inspired by watching a film on Gandhi in 2008, Boyle decided to spend a year without money. He liked it so much, he's still doing it. And he even released a book about the experience, entitled, "Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living".

Be The Change:
Dedicate one day this week to simplicity.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drive Thru Smiles

I just got this in my email and had to pass it along. What a nice way to let someone know they are making a difference! Enjoy ~ Kat

Last night my husband and I were on the way to a show. We were both hungry and wanted to grab a quick bite on our way there, so we swung through a Jack-N-the Box drive-thru and placed our order.

When we got up to the window the lady smiled at me (which is sometimes rare) and asked how I was doing while she was collected our money for the food. I replied, "Fine, and how are you?"

She went to get our order ready and I asked my husband to pass me my "Drive-thru Smile" bag. He handed it to me and watched in amazement as I gathered together a "You make a difference" paper, a Smile card, a smiley stamper and a smile button.

She came back to the window almost before I finished putting it all together. Without looking too closely she passed the bag and said, "Thank you. Have a good day."

I said, "Wait! This is for you." As I placed the little smile gifts in her hand a smile spread across her face. As she looked at the items it got a little bigger but when I thanked her for her smile there was no holding back. She gave the biggest smile and she was laughing. It was very heartwarming.

My husband was very impressed by it. It made him smile too. It just takes a little effort to connect in a human way to everyone we have dealings with, even with something as small as a drive-thru transaction.

Remember, We all make a difference!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Truck Stop Kindness

"Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts." -- Author Unknown

Idea of the Week

"A little bit of kindness can stay with a person for a long time... Five years ago, our family pulled into a truck stop to use the restroom. While we were there, my daughter saw a small toy kitty cat. Oh, she wanted it so badly! I could see the longing in her eyes but we simply couldn't afford to spend $10 on a toy. She was standing there looking at when a trucker walked up and asked if it he might be allowed to buy that kitty for my daughter. My daughter was so happy she started to cry. To this day, the kitty still sits on my daughter's shelf. She still talks about the man at the truck stop. We will never know the man's name. We probably wouldn't recognize him if we saw him again. But, the $10 he spent that day bought years of joy. Probably way more than he ever could have imagined!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kindness Happens Everywhere

I found this online while browsing this morning and wanted to share it with you. Just another easy way to follow Jesus by doing one Act of Random Kindness at a time. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

As I stood in a busy lunch line at Arby's I was becoming increasingly worried I would be late getting back to the office. A grandmother and her grandson were keeping the only available cashier busy. The woman had difficulty with all the choices and, after finally placing the order, became very flustered trying to find her cash or her credit card.

While this was going on, the cashier had the most gentle and benevolent expression on his face, never once making the woman feel under pressure. His mood transformed my own. I caught his eye and quietly indicated I would pay for the order. He understood and took care of it without embarrassing the woman.

Then when I eventually placed my order he paid for my lunch! As I stood aside waiting for my order two other customers spoke to me about what had happened and said they would also "pay it forward" as a result of witnessing the scene.

The experience was transformative for me! I will never forget that young cashier who set such an inspiring example that his spirit of kindness and generosity created a cascading group of random acts of kindness.

Given a little inspiration, people are wonderfully generous!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kindness To Go

I got this in my email this morning and wanted to share it with all of you. Just another random act of kindness brought about in a most unusual way! Enjoy ~ Kat

As a substitute teacher, my daily routine invoves driving to a new school almost every day so I'm usually unable to anticipate the days events, good or bad!

On one particular day, I was teaching in a very difficult classroom. I was managing behavior all morning and by lunch time, I knew I needed a coffee to even consider surviving the afternoon. So on my lunch break, I drove to a nearby plaza to get a coffee. Upon returning to the car I realized I had locked my keys and my phone inside! I had about 15 minutes to get back to the school which was a good four or five-minute drive away. I contemplated sprinting back, but it being winter, I thought a nasty fall on ice would only make the situation that much worse.

So I ran into a McDonald's which was in the same plaza and asked the man at the counter, who happened to be the manager, to please call me a cab. I briefly explained my situation to him, and I could tell by the look in his eyes, that he empathized. He hurried to the back to use the phone while I paced the restaurant. I had under 10 minutes to get back to my school at this point.

The manager returned only to tell me that the cab company had put him on hold and then the line got disconnected, and that he was now on hold again, but had not yet been able to request the cab yet. My expression, I assume, began to resemble some combination of hopelessness and fear.

Without a thought, he grabbed his coat and offered to drive me to the school. Without hesitation, I followed him into his car and made it back into my classroom with two minutes to spare before the bell!

Upon arriving at the school, I thanked this man endlessly. His calm demeanor and kind nature made me think he is probably a wonderful manager to work for, and also a wonderful human being to have on this earth. This experience made me realize that out of every seemingly hopeless situation, there is the opportunity for acts of kindness to transpire, which can have an unimaginable impact on those who receive them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Passing an Opportunity for Kindness

I had to share this mornings email post today as it really touched me and I hope it touches you too. May we never be too busy to see the needs of others today. ~ Love Kat

I came across Help Others one afternoon at work and I left my office that day filled with inspiration, wondering how I could make a difference in someone's life, even if only for a moment. I'm in a period of transition moving to a new home as a single parent with three children, finances are tight, my mom is fighting ovarian cancer, my sister has been laid off, my ex-husband is out of work. Life is less than rosy for me right now and I was eager for an opportunity, quite honestly just to feel better about life and make someone else feel better. I was eager to give.

As I left the parking lot, I made my way down the street towards my home. It was an especially hot day even at this late hour of the afternoon. I stopped at an intersection and idly watched a young woman make her way through the heat. I noticed she was limping and that the weight of the sun and the distance that lay ahead were visible on her face.

I realized that I knew her from work and figured out that she must be walking home. I also knew why she was limping she had had a bad car crash with a fatality with much time required for her and her family for recovery. I debated whether to honk and at least say hello, but I didn't want to startle her. Still, I was overwhelmed with the desire to reach out to her. I lightly tapped my horn and she slightly moved her head my way, but then kept walking without looking up. I had just seconds before my light would turn green and I would have to go and she would be gone…so this would be the opportunity. I recalled from some of the stories I read earlier that day that so much can change for the good in just one moment, and when you least expect it, you have a chance to reach out to someone else. So I grabbed it.

I made an unexpected right turn to follow her. Even as I pulled up next to her, I felt strange doing something so completely unplanned and something that was perhaps, by her, unwanted.

She stopped and turned to look as I came near, squinting, unsure, until she recognized me, smiled and said hello. I offered her a ride and she at first declined, it seemed more in an attempt to avoid being a burden. What she didn't know is that I wanted to do this, to take my mind off of what burdened me. I guess I needed to give her a ride as much or more than she actually needed one!

When she accepted, I felt grateful that she did. We chit-chatted on the way to her house, and I offered her rides whenever she needed them in the future, knowing she no longer had use of a car.

She smiled, looking slightly surprised and appreciative of the offer. As I did this, I remember feeling that this shouldn't feel so strange -- reaching out to someone you otherwise don't really see or talk to -- and I was glad to be exercising this kindness "muscle." I realized that it's much easier helping others when directly asked and takes real effort to help unasked, to grab that moment before it passes. It would have been much "easier" to just keep driving that day and go about my business...

I'm glad I didn't.

I wonder if she realized how much she was helping me by letting me be of service. A simple ride home was much more than that for me. She thanked me for the ride when she stepped out of my car and wished me a good day. But in my mind, she was the one who needed to be thanked.

Who knows if I'll ever be in a position to give her a ride again, but how nice it was to simply open that door, literally, and just let someone know that I care. And how very odd that when you set your mind to helping, within minutes...the opportunity "presents" itself. What a gift.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Notes Left Behind

Here is amazing act of kindness that Elena Desserich did for her family while she was still alive living with inoperable brain cancer. What a great message of hope for so many that are hurting and worried about things in their everyday life that more than likely will never happen. There are so many things we worry about and stress over, while moments like this one slip away. Make sure you tell people you love them everyday. Don't live a life of regrets and live for today, not looking back at yesterday or what tomorrow may bring.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Lesson in Generosity

Here's an interesting way to incorporate learning in with acts of random kindness, I hope you enjoy it. ~ Kat

My friend and I had an assignment for one of our classes to do a random act of kindness and write and essay about the experience. We were inspired to take the assignment even farther and turned it in to a kindness project to recognize people who serve our community.

We scoped out a number of places where people serve the community in out town. Then we baked (and baked) for 6 hours: cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and brownies.

When we were done backing, we began dropping them off. We went to two fire-stations, a hospital, the post office, the police department, and we even chased down some bus drivers for three blocks :)

Everyone's reactions were just amazing. The bus drivers hugged us and were on the verge of tears. Everybody was so thankful when it was us thanking them for what they do.

Policemen and women, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, firefighters - these are the people who serve communities and they deserve to get recognized and appreciated!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Miracle Staircase

Dear Friend,

I hope you will enjoy learning about a hidden gem in the Southwestern U.S.

Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Due to a formidable error, it was built with no access to the choir loft twenty-two feet above. A ladder was suggested as a means to access the choir loft but that seemed far too impractical to the nuns. Several expert carpenters were consulted and the verdict was the same "building a staircase would take up too much room in the small church due to the height of the choir loft".

The only two alternatives were to climb to the loft via a ladder or tear the entire balcony down and rebuild it. Legend has it that the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena (a devotion consisting of nine separate days of prayers) to St. Joseph (the father of Jesus), the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work.

Months later, the elegant circular staircase which had two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.

To this day questions surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Over the years many have flocked to the Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kindness at the Drive Thru

"Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever." -- Margaret Cho

Idea of the Week

"I had a wonderful surprise when I was at the drive-thru today. When I reached up to pay for my lunch, I found out that the person in front of me had already paid for it and left me a SMILE CARD! I made the decision to pass the Smile Card on to someone else and paid for the person behind me in the drive-thru. It turns out that she passed it on as well! That's the way it works - at least three people cheered up by the ripples from a single unexpected act of kindness!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Real Birthday Gift

Here's another heartwarming idea to show just how far you can stretch your kindness in a variety of ways. I got this in my email this morning and couldn't wait to share it. Enjoy ~ Kat

I recently went to a meditation session. At the end of the visit our host told us the following Monday was his birthday. He asked if, as a gift to him, we would do something kind for someone else on that day.

I thought that was an awesome birthday idea!

The following Monday, I saw my neighbor, a new mother, in the yard with her baby. I went outside to say 'hello'. In the course of the conversation, she told me, not in a complaining way but just as a matter of circumstance, about the sleeplessness and the challenges to get anything done with a baby in tow.

I remembered my meditation host's request and said, "Hey! Why don't I watch your baby for an hour. I'll just hang out with him here in the back yard and you go in and take an hour to yourself."

She was so surprised she almost cried. "Are you serious? Really? Would you be able to do that?" "Of course!" I said. "I'd be happy to!" (This neighbor knows me so it wasn't like she was leaving her baby with a total stranger.)

An hour later she came outside with a smile on her face. "I got so much done!" I had sang every kid's song I knew and had a good time hanging out with the baby too. And I was so happy to see her smiling like that.

It was one of the best birthday presents I've ever given, and it has inspired me to ask the same from all my friends this year. It's not like I need any more stuff and I know it will make me feel great to know my friends are out there sharing their talents and time with people who can really use it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kindness One Hug At A Time

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. -- Seneca

Fact of the Day:
For two years, University of Miami student Kemy Joseph has been wearing signs around his neck with uplifting messages like "U R Awesome," and "Persevere." He recently celebrated his second anniversary of spreading goodwill by spending 15 hours on campus giving high-fives and hugs. His goal: to make 800 people feel a little bit better in one day. "I tell them they are not alone. We go through the same turbulent times, and the most important thing is that we are all in this together," Joseph remarks. Despite a hectic schedule, the humble grad student still makes time for high-fives, hugs, and handing out chocolates on a Thursday night. His family calls him "Mr. Awesome".

Be The Change:
Go out of your way to make someone's day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kindness in the Aisles

I got this in my email and had to share it. Just giving you ideas on the many ways we can make a difference in the lives of people every day. Enjoy!

Last week I was in the store getting my weekly groceries. As I shopped I noticed one couple in particular. Our paths seemed to cross in a few aisles. Once, my cart got in their way and the woman was surprisingly annoyed.

As I walked on through the store I couldn't help but wonder why she had been so upset with me.

That same couple ended up ahead of me in the check-out queue. I could tell they were adding up the price of their groceries very carefully. They kept checking to see if they had gone over their price limit, which was quite low for a couple with a small baby.

Once they had got to their limit and had to return some of the groceries I realized it probably wasn't me the woman was upset with. Buying groceries for her family on such a strict budget was probably stressing her out.

I ran out to the parking lot after them and told them they forgot something. I handed them a grocery gift card and, as tears welled up in the woman's eyes, I was reminded that things aren't always what they seem, and how lucky I am for the things I do have in life.

I will never forget that moment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cubicle Kindness

The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. -- John Burroughs

Fact of the Day:
There are certain kinds of creative, off beat ideas that are simply obvious when you hear them. Tarak Shah and Sabina Nieto came up with one. With the economic downturn, every office building in the country probably has unrecognized resources: vacant cubicles. No doubt many are utilized as storage spaces for disabled copy machines, extra office supplies and the like, but here's an inspired possibility: how about the vacant cubicle as art gallery? Now after you read that last sentence, didn't you immediately smile?

Be The Change:
Are there resources nearby that you're not seeing? Try looking around again with this question in mind.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hotel Kindness

Here's another great idea that showcases that anyone can find ways to incorporate some kindness in their jobs if they are willing to look and try! This was an email idea I received and I hope you enjoy it~ Kat

About nine years ago I worked at a large downtown hotel. Since we were connected to a mall and a public parking garage, anyone could just pretty much walk into the hotel area.

We started having a big problem with homeless youth living in our stairwells at night. The stairwells went largely unused because of their hidden nature and the fact that once inside, you could only go down and exit to the street, all the doors locked behind you and you could not travel between levels and exit back into the hotel. As night manager, I ended up being the one to evict these youth, night after night after night.

One night there were seven homeless young people and a puppy, in a total of three locations. I hated to do it on rainy nights, but it was my job, and some guests felt threatened when encountering tattooed and pierced youth late at night. They never gave me any trouble though, they always just moved on when asked. One guy in particular stood out. He was over 6 ft. tall and 200 lbs, and a tall mohawk. We'd find him everywhere, asleep sitting on a toilet stall in our banquet floor or sleeping on the stairs up to the roof, for instance.

One early morning on my rounds I opened an emergency exit and found him face down snoring in the little exit cavity by the fire hose. I started to yet again wake him and send him on his way, but for some reason, I couldn't do it that day. Maybe I was tired. I stepped back out, closed the door quietly and left. What I did next I don't know if I will ever understand. I went downstairs and bought a large coffee and a chocolate donut, went back upstairs, opened the emergency door and set the package by his feet. When I closed the door this time I let it slam so he would wake up. I wish I could have been there to see him wake up to hot coffee and a donut, dropped off by magic.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sidewalk Kindness

"Genuine kindness is no ordinary act, but a gift of rare beauty." -- Sylvia Rossetti

Idea of the Week

"I was taking a walk one sunny day near my home in Montreal, when I saw a little old lady, about 70 yrs old, laying by the side of the street. I went over and asked if she was okay. I asked her if she needed me to call 911? She said she wasn't ill but that she just felt weak. "All I need is maybe a cracker and water," she said. For some reason, I decided to take her to my apartment, something I would never normally do. I sat with for a long time until she began to feel much better. She told me her life story and afterwards, I asked if I could take her home. She declined but asked if I could drive her to the metro station. I never did give it much thought after that. Then, one day, a letter was pushed under my front door addressed to, "The Lady In The Little Red Car". She thanked me for my kindness and the time that I spent with her. She said she was fine and that she had really enjoyed my company. I really made my day to get that note."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kindness in the Checkout Line

I had received this heartwarming story in an email awhile back and wanted to share some ideas with you on ways to make a difference in the lives of people we see everyday but may not know. Here's another great one and enjoy ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

I was at the grocery store one evening. I had finished shopping and was looking for a line to get in to. I chose a line that had one woman who just about through and ready to pay, and another woman behind her who didn’t have very much.

As I was standing there waiting for my turn, I noticed the woman directly in front of me. She looked as if she had just had some kind of medical treatment. She was wearing a bandana along with a hat. Her face looked as if she had known a lot of pain and was tired of everything. She had a back pack to carry her groceries in and she had bought everything that one would need to care for one’s self at home. She kept glancing at her groceries and kept counting the money in her hand. I kept thinking to myself, I wish I had money to pay for her groceries. What can I do to help her out?

To my surprise, as these thoughts were going through my head, the woman ahead of her (in the front of the line) softly whispered to the woman who didn’t look well, "Put your money away, this one is on me."

The woman shook her head a few times and the front woman kept insisting until it happened. There is no way I would have witnessed this if I hadn’t been paying attention myself. I just remember looking up in awe and saying, "Thank You."

As I walked outside the woman who didn’t feel well was right there, putting her groceries in her back pack. I gently approached her, introduced myself, told her the direction I was heading in and asked if she would like a ride. She said it wasn’t necessary. I told her I had plenty of room in my car and she was more than welcome if she wanted to come along.

She introduced herself and accepted. As she got out of my car she said to me, “God Bless you,” and I said the same. I just keep thinking, maybe I put it out there and the thing I couldn’t do someone else did but, in turn, I was presented with some other way to help her out - and that I could do!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Grocery Store Hug

I got this in an email from Heartwarmers this morning and it brought such a smile to me, you just know I had to share it. Enjoy ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

by Michael T. Smith

She was 80 years young and still very active.

In this small town in southwest Virginia, not much happened. It was just another empty day for a senior citizen who lived by herself. Although she has four children, five grandchildren and several great grandchildren, she was often alone.

In need of a few small things at the grocery store and a desire to just get out of the house and be among people, she took a trip to the local Kroger's. Since there were only her own needs to satisfy, she walked up and down the aisles with a small cart. With just six items, she headed to the checkout.

He wandered the store. He'd come for a cup of hot soup and perhaps someone to talk to. The soup was good, it always was, but no one wanted to talk to an old man. Disappointed, he was about to leave when he saw her.

"Good morning, Ma'am," He smiled, "You can't leave yet."

She turned toward the voice. A well dressed man smiled at her. "Excuse me?" she asked.

He pointed to the six items she'd selected. "Your basket is not full."

"There's no need to buy a lot." she replied. "There's no one to eat it."

He stared at her for a moment and said, "I'm so lonely!"
"I know what that's like."

In the middle of an aisle, in a large grocery store, at 11:30am, they stood and talked.

"My wife and daughter died," he said. "They died too young."

His eyes softened as he spoke briefly of them and then added, "I just recently lost my little Pomeranian. She was all I had left. Now I'm alone."

"I'm so sorry." She felt her own eyes moisten. He was as alone as she was.

"It's OK," he said bravely. "I hope I can find another dog like her. She was such a joy. At least someone needed me. She gave me purpose. Now I have none. Perhaps I'll get another, but at my age, I don't want to leave her alone when my time comes. Then again, I have this big house. A dog would be happy there. I've lived in it for fifty years. It has big rooms."

"Oh, the homes were built big back then. It was a time when people had large families." She smiled and wondered where the conversation was going.

"They sure did . This old place has four bedrooms. Three of them are empty. It's just me now," he sighed. "There's not much to do. My days are empty. I do get out as often as I can. In fact,
every morning I go to McDonalds for breakfast."

"Good for you!" she said. "I try to get out as much as I can myself."

"Those kids at McDonalds are very nice to me. They always greet me with a smile and make such a fuss over me. T hey're almost like having grandkids. And you know what?"


He leaned close and whispered. "They let me have my coffee for free. What do you think of that?"

"That's wonderful." She knew the joy it must give him to feel welcomed.

They chatted for perhaps twenty minutes.

"Well," she looked into his eyes, which now sparkled with pride over the family he had at McDonalds. "I must be getting home."

"I understand." The sparkle faded. "It was nice talking to you."

"It was nice talking to you too." She touched his hand. "I mean it."

He looked back at her and asked softly, "Can I give you a hug?"

A bit taken by his request, but fully understanding his need, she said, "Yes!"

There they stood, in a warm embrace, in the middle of a busy store, on a normal day, that was made special by a simple hug.

That evening, she reflected on her encounter with the man. She felt like he did, alone in the world.

How many others her age feel the same loneliness? How many seniors just need a kind ear and
perhaps a simple hug?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paper Bag Kindness

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Inspiration of the Day:
For years, Marcia Merrick began her day making lunches for her two children. Her kids are grown up now, but Ms. Merrick still makes lunches every morning - 400 of them. Each decorated paper bag contains a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich or a bean burrito, chips, fruit, and two homemade cookies. She also includes a note of encouragement - and then distributes them to the homeless of Kansas City, Missouri. For Merrick, it's not just about feeding and clothing the homeless. "Really, the food and clothing I give them is just a way to get into their hearts," she says. "A lot of them want to change, but they don't have ... the knowledge and the emotional support to do that."

Be The Change:
Share lunch with someone who seems to be struggling. Offer your support in whatever way you can.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Town Kindness

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." -- William Wordsworth

Idea of the Week

"Next week I will be moving out of my home town, so, I decided to show my appreciation for the people who work there before I leave. I bought a bouquet of ten white tulips and gave them out, along with Smile Cards, to ten people working in different locations in the town. The reactions I received were on the whole very positive. A coffee shop employee joked that the flowers in my hand must have been for her. Imagine her surprise when I presented her with one of them! The man in the bagel shop was surprised and delighted. I expect most people walking into his shop want something from him but this time was different. Two ice-cream parlor workers had ear-to-ear smiles after receiving their flowers. In the end happiness was spread all around. I felt highly energized and uplifted by carrying out these little acts of appreciation. A lovely way to say goodbye to a home town, don't you think?"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lesson in Kindness

I found this in an email I had some time ago and wanted to share with you. I am not the author of the story but a firm believer in making things like this a reality in our everyday lives when possible. Enjoy ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

My seven year old son Nicholas came home from school one day and in the context of our usual "How was school?" chat he told me about one of his classmates who had asked him to share his snack with him in a somewhat forceful way.

After this chat, as a room mother, I had the chance to better observe the boy concerned. I saw he never had a snack and was often dirty, so I understood a bit more his situation.

From that point on I sent extra crackers, etc., everyday and Nicholas made a point of sitting next to the boy at snack time so he could share - telling the boy I always gave him too much.

After this we realized he was unable to pay for field trips and the teacher was doing this for him. We secretly got involved with that also, making sure he was in our group for the times we knew there would be a visit to the gift shop.

We were told by the teacher that this boy began to blossom, in part due to our "adoption" of him and in part from Nicholas' friendship.

Unfortunately his mother moved before the year-end, resulting in him going to another school. We were heartbroken when he just didn't show up one day.

We hope our care for him helped him in some way at his new school. My son also learned a nice lesson and that is we never know what a person is living with to make them act a certain way.

You sometimes just have to dig a little deeper.