Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Make An Decision to Be Happy Today!

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness. -- George Santayana

Tip of the Day:
There are mornings when we rush out of bed in a vague fog. Days that seem to spiral progressively down the drain. But sometimes, all we need to do is stop. Take a breath. And re-discover ourselves in the moment. "Being happier doesn't have to be a long-term ambition," Gretchen Rubin states. "You can start right now." She suggests that little things, like taking a walk outside, doing a good deed, ridding yourself of a nagging task, or even just acting happy can radically transform our moods, boost morale, and energize us for the rest of the day.

Be The Change:
Try out one of Rubin's tips.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alms for the Poor

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. -- David Henry Thoreau

Inspiration of the Day:
It was an unusual sight. A man in tattered clothes limping through school gates with a bundle of brand-new clothes to give away. In an age of rapid technology and rising standards of living- a world where we are told to provide for ourselves before thinking of others- Khimjibhai Prajapati sure knows how to let go. After the downfall of his tea business, Khimjibhai sought refuge as a beggar outside a Jain temple. For the past ten years, he has lived on the alms of passerby, taking just enough for a bit of food and some money to send to his ailing wife. The rest go to the poor, like the instance last Saturday, where he spent his savings to buy clothes for 11 hearing and speech-impaired girls at a nearby school. Bharat Shah, a trustee of the school exclaims, "I have never seen such philanthropy in the 35 years of career." But for Khimjibhai, the principle is simple: "Whether rich or poor, one should always try to help the needy."

Be The Change:
Give to someone in need.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Savings at an ATM

I received this email this morning from a fellow blogger, LaVoice or LV as she goes by at Thoughts From Meme's Corner, who wanted to share her lovely story of a happy ending at an ATM. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Saturday's is my sister's day off. That is our "sister quality" time together.. Last Saturday we took a little day trip to a location outside of our area. We walked the hot streets and went in and out of shops to browse and cool off. While we were strolling along the sidewalks, we passed a bank. It had an ATM machine accessible to people from the sidewalk. As we went by, I noticed a man's billfold laying on it. I picked it up and saw there was no money. It did contain a driver's license, credit cards, and other documents you would not want lost. We found an emergency number on one of the cards.

My sister used her cell phone and called it. She reached his daughter that lived a long way from where we were. My sister explained what we felt had happened. The daughter gave us her father's home phone number and said he lived just a couple of blocks from where we were. My sister called it and the gentlemen answered. He had not realized he had left it. He lost no time in coming and finding us. He is an 83 year old gentlemen that has senior moments like a lot of others. Since we did not know for sure what he looked like, we saw his birthday on the driver's license.

When he arrived, we asked him when his birthday was. We wanted to be sure he was the right person. We assured him, that we took nothing, only looked for a contact number. He said he knew we had not and was ever so grateful to us. He said the billfold I found was his filing cabinet for his cards etc. not for carrying money. Said he keeps his money in his pocket. He was one happy camper.

I regret to say, most anyone else could have used his cards, and at his age, he did not need that happen. That made our day!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rainy Day Kindness

If you are on the lookout, you can almost always find an opportunity for kindness. I filled my afternoon with small gestures today, they didn't take much time or effort, but I hope they made a small difference to the people who received them.

I was out and about because I had to do a few errands this afternoon. My first stop was the supermarket. I wanted to buy some croissants with chocolate on them for my daughter Rita. I also decided to get a few plain ones for my husband, my mum and me. Armed with the croissants, I went on to my second stop - a local charity bookshop. I wanted to see if they had any books on Unicorns, since Rita loves them (and, I have to admit, so do I).

While I was there, I struck up a conversation with the lady at the counter during which she commented on the smell of my croissants. She said that I was the second person to enter the shop that day with lovely smelling croissants. I jokingly creplied that there was only two things she could do - either avoid them (if she was on a diet) or go to the supermarket and get some. She replied that she would prefer the second option. "Even better", I said, "I will give you mine". With that, I placed them on the counter and walked straight out. I caught her surprised exclamation as I left "I thought you were joking". I hope she enjoyed them.

It had been raining cats and dogs so everyone looked quite soaked . I noticed a homeless lady selling the "Big Issue" (a magazine that supports homeless people) who looked particularly cold so I gave a packet of biscuits and all my change and asked her to keep the magazine.

I then went back to my car. I had to pay for two hours of parking instead of one because I didn't have the correct change, so I still had an hour left on my parking. I waited until I saw a young couple drive in and gave it to them before I left. They were a little surprised and quite pleased.

Then I went home with a smile on my face :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Are You A Duck Or An Eagle?

No one can make you serve customers well....that's because great service is a choice.

One man, Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment...

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.' My friend said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.' Wally smiled and said, 'No problem.. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice...' Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.'

Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' my amazed friend asked the driver, 'Have you always served customers like this?'

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard a personal growth expert on the radio one day.
He had just written a book and said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.

'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two that I know of took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

Today's Tip: How will you act today like a duck or an eagle?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Clown Nose Club

Clown Nose Club

Penn State Students Get Social to Spread Kindness
A student run group called the Clown Nose Club at Penn State organized this spring with the intent to spread happiness through unconventional, positive, social risk taking. Clowns are NOT involved while symbols of joy (e.g., a clown nose) ARE used to spread smiles! Student life can be stressful, especially around finals time. Students in the Clown Nose Club are dedicated to making life on campus more joyful by acting with kindness and giving a morale boost to their classmates. While CNC is a growing organization, they already have over 1300 friends on their facebook page sharing amazing stories about doing good deeds.

Here’s one we liked: Over spring break, my friend and I were on a little road trip and made a sign reading "Smile! You are alive!" We wore our clown noses, held the sign up to passing cars on the highway and recorded how many positive reactions vs. negative reactions we got. In 15 minutes we proudly spread 22 smiles receiving only one neutral reaction from an elderly fellow who I'm convinced couldn't read the sign. (One woman even started laughing and clapping inside her car). Cheers to spreading happiness while enjoying life :o) Visit their site to learn more:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise

This is a wonderful way to surprise even the most unsuspecting of people we see everyday. See what happens in Denmark to an ordinary bus driver on his birthday. Beware! Tears may just fall.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Service Dog to Surfice Dog

Trust me, this will make you smile, and cry. It's a message of hope for all of us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Making a Difference in Greece

I got this in my email this morning and find it fits in perfectly with the blog theme. Enjoy!

In 2000, I was on holiday with my friends on the island of Corfu, Greece. One night we were walking along the main road that was lined on both sides with bars and nightclubs and it was very late maybe 11:30pm. I noticed that there were children walking along in front of me and I thought, "It is late for children to be up and about," but then I noticed that they were gypsy children, young girls and boys selling roses, or trying to sell roses to drunk tourists and gangs of girls out for the night!

I felt sad when I saw one boy, probably no older than 8 or 9, trying to sell theflowers to the passers by and getting polite and sometimes agressive responses from the people that thronged the street. "Where were his parents and what was he doing out at this time," I thought. I just felt really sad for him, but then you move on, another bar....drink some more and forget.

A little while later the same little boy walked into the bar I was in and walked around offering the flowers to the people in the bar. He wasn't being a nuisance, he was just asking; I declined and the boy moved on to the next table. Just as the boy was leaving the bar the barman snatched the roses off the boy and tore them up! The boy looked stunned and then stared at the barman with a look that I have never seen from a child and I hope I never have to see again! The barman thought it was funny at first but the boy just stared at him and he stopped laughing and tried to give the boy some Coca Cola. The boy just ignored the drink and looked at the barman with a look that was far too old and spoke of the hard life he must have had.

The boy then picked up what was left of the flowers in his bucket and made his way out of the bar. I thought, "He is going to be in trouble now. He may come back without the money and may get beaten." So, I got up and followed the lad out of the bar, tapped him on the shoulder and put a 20,000 drachma ($50) note in his hand. He just looked at me gobsmacked and then I turned and walked back into the bar sat down and took a drink of my beer and smiled to myself. Maybe in that moment the boy realized that not everyone was cruel and I wonder sometimes if he remembers the stranger who paid for the ripped flowers? But it doesn't matter because I remember and it still makes me smile!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A New Kind of Life Insurance

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform to love and to be greater than our suffering. -- Ben Okri

Inspiration of the Day:
Don Ritchie lives across the street from the most famous suicide spot in Australia: A cliff know as "The Gap." Every week there, one person will leap to their death. While most people would move from such a foreboding place, Ritchie and his wife Moya view their life there as a blessing: "I think, 'Isn't it wonderful that we live here and can help people?'" Throughout their residence of almost 50 years, the Ritchies have saved an estimated 160 people from suicide. How do they do it? It's simple, really. Every morning, Ritchie wakes up and looks out the window for anyone standing alone too close to the precipice. If he sees someone who looks ready to jump, he walks over and strikes up a conversation. "I'm offering them an alternative, really," he says. "I always act in a friendly manner. I smile." And for a humble 84 year-old man battling cancer, Ritchie sure knows the value of being alive.

Friday, June 18, 2010

You Must Become Like Children To Enter the Gates of Heaven

Yesterday while I was busy doing my housework, my daughter ran up to me and said, "Mommy there's someone at the gate." I told her to ask who it was. It was an old man beggar. I heard my daughter yelling, "Mommy he wants money." For a second I ignored her, but then it hit me what she just said.

I found my daughter taking out money from her Dad's wallet. Instead of stopping her, I stood there amazed at her action and the realization: kids give without hesitation and their kindness is impulsive.

Then I murmured a little prayer to myself, "God, let my kids never outgrow such a value and let that value grow on us adults."

Sure, we all want to do kindness acts as much as we can, but let's also be honest -- how many times have we acted on it in reality? How many times have we restrained ourselves from being kind? How many times have we chosen only to be kind to some?

As I witnessed yesterday, kindness and generosity requires no thought. Kindness should be impulsive, when you feel it, act on it at that very moment.

I know it might sound impossible to be kind all the time, to not think twice, to hold back because in our minds we think kindness should be given to those who deserve it and need it.

But really, who deserves and needs kindness?


"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." ~AMELIA EARHART

Thursday, June 17, 2010

True Life Test

This was in my email this morning and I had to share it. It really drives home the differences we can all make in the lives of the many people we come into contact with daily.

I was taking some time last night to reflect on family because my son recently showed up unexpectedly from out-of-town to surprise us with his presence!

I realized that sometimes I get so caught up in life and business that I forget the people who make a difference in my life are not the ones with the most money, the greatest credentials, or the biggest awards.

They are the ones who genuinely care. If you agree please take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions, and then pass this along to the people you love:

The people who make a difference…

-Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
-Name the last five recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
-Name the last five winners of the Miss World contest.
-Name ten people who have won an Olympic Gold Medal.
-Name the last five Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

How did you do?

Who cares – the point is that none of us remember this stuff. These people are the best in their fields and yet the applause dies, awards sit on the shelf and achievements are forgotten.

Here's another set of questions.

See how you do with these:

-Name two friends who have helped you through a tough time.
-Name five people who have taught you something meaningful.
-Name a teacher or mentor who made a difference in your life.
-Think of a few people who always make you feel appreciated.
-Name a couple of people whose stories have inspired you.
-Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Was this a little easier to complete?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most money, the greatest credentials, or the biggest awards. They are the ones who genuinely care and remain in your heart and memory always.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Reminder from Gandhi

Here's a reminder that our lives matter everyday and we can be the spark that ignites that change in others.

I love this story about Gandhi and how to deal with losses in our lives. And these days we’re all experiencing losses in some form as a result of the economic downturn, including me.

The story goes something like this: Gandhi stepped onto a train one day and one of his shoes fell off and landed on the track.

He was unable to retrieve it because the train had started rolling. To the dismay of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it out onto the track where it landed close to his first shoe.

When asked by a fellow passenger why he did that Gandhi replied, 'when a poor man finds my shoe lying on the track he will now have a pair that he can use.' How can you use this story to your benefit?

The past 2 years have left our country in a state of loss and anxiety. Every day we hear of more people losing their jobs, their homes, their possessions, and even their families due to the stress. Everyone talks about the tragedies instead of the triumphs. Everyone talks about their losses instead of having gratitude for what they have.

I’ve reflected, as have many others, on the fact that we are all facing these problems in unity. Yes, there are still many who have not been adversely impacted. But, the majority have been deeply and painfully affected and it is bringing us all to our knees in many ways.

I am making the choice, in spite of my own major obstacles and losses over the past two years, to be grateful for the good in my life. I am making the choice to still “give back”. I am making the choice to have faith that there is a silver lining. I am making the choice to keep my family together and to tighten our bond instead of destroy it. I am making the choice to discover wealth in my financial losses.

I am making the choice to throw my other shoe out onto the track for someone even less fortunate than me to enjoy… what choices are YOU making during difficult times that will become the most incredible life-altering events that you’ll look back on and cherish?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lost and Found, A True Story

Honest hearts produce honest actions. --Brigham Young

Inspiration of the Day:
When hotel housekeeper Jeanne Mydil stumbled upon $6,000 left behind in a room she was cleaning, she immediately brought it to her supervisor. Little did she know, her honest act of kindness would explode exponentially! It turns out that the money had been fund raised by a missionary group on their way to assist in Haiti earthquake relief. After word spread of Mydil's good deed, the phones at Miami International Airport Hotel went haywire: everyone wanted to give her money. One anonymous individual insisted on donating $6,000! "It's a spiritual law of the universe," said the anonymous donor, "The way you receive is by sharing, and just like gravity, it affects everyone the same way." The humble and grateful housekeeper, who earns a little over minimum wage, plans to use the donations to pay off money she borrowe to bury her husband, who died suddenly on May 23 from diabetes complications. She will also send a portion to her sister, whose husband died in the Haiti earthquake on January 12. [ more ]

Submitted by: Mali

Be The Change:
Cultivate an honest heart today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Food For Thought

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. --Willie Nelson

Inspiration of the Day:
When I worked in a busy office, most of my co-workers kept jars of candy on their desks to enjoy and share with others. Constantly battling the "bulge," I hated these temptations, but nevertheless often gave in to them. Finally, I decided to put out a jar of my own "feel good" stuff, with no calories. I bought a beautiful jar and spent one whole weekend at home cutting up colorful strips of paper and writing inspiring quotes on them. I filled the jar with quotes and placed it on my desk for people to help themselves to. It took a while to catch on, but soon, everyone was stopping by for my "food for thought" jar to fill up on something much better than empty calories! [ more ]

Be The Change:
Start a "Food for Thought" Jar in your workplace.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Spirit of Giving

Here's a modern day parable for the life of a little girl who changed the world with one small act. Enjoy this story I had in my morning email. ~ Kat

I was traveling in China a couple of years ago. We were touring some very rural areas - the particular location was the Ancient City about 40 miles outside of Wenzhou. I was the only brown skinned person in sight. People where quite fascinated with me, and would stare, and sometimes photograph me. I was getting a little annoyed, but I thought why not send my fellow traveller's love in my thoughts. As we walked through this village we came upon a family making rice wine. They appeared to have very little but had such radiant smiles.

As we got closer, I saw a small little figure dart into their little home and dart back out. Their little toddler, all of 3 years old, approached me. She was an adorable little thing. She wore quite tattered clothes and had dirt smudges on her face. As I bent down, she reached out and gave me a little ragged and tattered doll. Her grandmother explained that she only has a few toys but that she wanted to give this doll to me because as she saw me approaching she believed that I was an angel coming to bring her luck.

I was in tears that this little baby girl felt that I was a symbol of goodness because I appeared different than others she had seen. She hugged me without fear, trepidation or concern. I felt that I couldn't possibly walk away with her doll, but I also understood the law of giving, and that what you give with all your heart, returns to you blessed and multiplied.

That little girl and that sweet little hug will stay in my heart forever. Any time I feel uncertain about giving, especially when my resources seem stretched I remember her ability to give without a second thought. Who knows, she may grow up to be a Head of State, but to me she was an angel that walks this Earth as a constant reminder of love and compassion.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bystanders Who Come To The Aid

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good News of the Day:
"It was pure adrenaline, I didn't think about it. I knew if the car stayed on him, he was going to die." And just like that, a life was saved. Off-duty Wayland Police Officer Tyler Castagno was in his truck in traffic when he saw a cyclist go by. Suddenly a car ahead turned to the right to enter a driveway, knocking the cyclist over and pulling him under the car. While his fiancee called 911, Castagno tried to lift the car from on top of the cyclist, and succeeded after some other bystanders joined the Herculean effort.... [ more ]

Today's Tip: Be prepared to take on the role of a good Samaritan if called.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Paying It Forward

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live. --Jackie Windspear

Inspiration of the Day:
The day Mary Cook's fiance fell to his death, it started to snow. "It snowed almost every day for the next four months, while I sat on the couch and watched it pile up," she reflects. When friends and community members insisted on helping her, Cook finds herself struck with feelings of guilt, pride, and helplessness. "One morning, I shuffled downstairs and was startled to see a snowplow clearing my driveway and the bent back of a woman shoveling my walk. I dropped to my knees and crawled through the living room and back upstairs so those good Samaritans would not see me. I was mortified. My first thought was: How will I ever repay them?" Through surrendering, to both her grief and the kindness of others, Cook shares how she learned to receive, recover, and give- with grace and humility. [ < target="_blank" href="">more ]

Be The Change:
Accept the next thing that comes your way with grace and humility.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yard Sales

Here's another great story to share the meaning of making a difference in the smallest of ways.

I stopped at a huge yard sale and was looking for that hidden treasure. A blouse caught my eye, and as I approached the "cashier" I heard her say, "Well, can't you get some more money from someone?" I looked over and saw that her comment was directed at a child holding a nice looking pair of shoes in one hand, his other outstretched palm displaying a few coins. I was instantly annoyed that the lady was withholding a pair of unwanted shoes for a few more cents. I remembered my smile cards, and asked "how much are they?" . "Two dollars" she replied. "Oh, here ya go," I said, handing the boy two dollars and a smile card.

As I walked away I heard her say to the boy, "Can I see your card?" I decided to buy the blouse and when I went to pay the lady was clearly chagrined. "Where did you get the cards?" she asked. I gave one to her and directed her attention to the web address on the back. "There is goodness in the world," she said.

I was reminded that there are many people everywhere I go who have forgotten the kindness in the world. Thanks for allowing me to be a tiny element in returning compassion into three lives that day: a young boy, an older woman and myself.

Today's Tip: Support a child's fun raising, buy the cookies, the lemonade or whatever you see a child selling. Make their day and simply say, "Yes!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spare Change

Just another heartwarming story to challenge you today to make a difference.
Jun 5, 2010

"It is not the shilling I give you that counts, but the warmth that it carries with it from my hand." -- Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo

Idea of the Week

"I was running late for my sign language class, so I skipped dinner. Instead, I stopped at my local corner shop to pick up a snack. As I was waiting for the bus, I noticed a homeless man sitting under a doorway. It was really cold and it was raining and as I looked at him, I realized how lucky I am to know I can head home and have hot food and a warm bed and a hug from my mum... I'm not sure why, but I decided I wanted to go talk to to him. I went up to him and we talked a little while and I gave him my chocolate, drink and the other stuff I had just picked up at the corner shop. It wasn't a massive donation, but it was pretty cool to be able to give something to this warm and friendly man that wasn't the last few pennies at the bottom of my pocket. And it was great to have a smile to return."

Today's Tip: Find a way to really make someone's day, perhaps even letting someone go in front of you at the grocery store, or fill up someone's tank of gas or even take out the trash for an elderly neighbor. The point is do something today, and please come back here and share.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Call That Changed It All

What a great email I received this morning that shared what one phone call did to change two lives forever. Enjoy!

My first full time job after high school was selling vacation packages via telephone for a well known company. One day, the dialer connected me to a man that answered the phone and sounded a bit out of breath. I started with my normal pitch, and expecting to hear the normal, "I don't want any," and be hung up on.

Instead he spoke in a faint, weak voice and began to tell me how he wished he could take a vacation like the one I was offering, but couldn't because he was dying of emphysema. He explained how he was on oxygen, and it took almost all his energy just to get to the phone to answer the call. I apologized, and my heart fell into my stomach. He asked me if I smoked, which I did, and then begged me to stop. He told me smoking is what was killing him, and how horrible it was. He told me to spend every day with my loved ones, and tell them all the time how much I love them. At this point, I was in tears, and couldn't control myself, and he could tell. We ended the call, and I put my phone on hold to prevent another call from comming in so I could collect myself.

After a few moments, I deceided to write down his name and address, and just send him a card telling him that I appreciated his advice and that I would pray for him and his family. Shortly after, I received a nice letter back from Frank, along with a picture of him and his wife. We continued to write back and forth over the next few months or so, and became very fond of each other. He was old enough to be my grandfather, and in many ways, I felt as if he was.

It was about a year later I received a letter from his wife, and when I started to read it, my eyes filled with tears. She told me how Frank's battle with the disease had finally come to an end, and he passed shortly before Christmas. She wanted to thank me for the letters I had written to Frank, and then explained how Frank touched many lives over the years. At his funeral, to show just that, they read the 1st letter I had written to Frank to show how he affected a 19 year old he had never even met.

I will never forget how much that meant to me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lost and Found

Inspiration of the Day:
In 1952, while on leave from the Navy in Norfolk, VA, George Wanish stopped for gas only to discover that he had lost his wallet. About a day later, he received a phone call from a person in Ohio, stating that his son had found my wallet while walking to school. He returned the wallet by mail, with all identification cards and all of the $80 that it contained, completely intact. In gratitude, George sent him a thank you card. This October, after 57 years, David Immler of Norton, Ohio, now a 73-year-old retired businessman, found that thank you card and contacted George. [ more ]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Do Something Outrageous!

Here's another story that speaks volumes of just what our simple acts of kindness can bring.

Yesterday, I wasn't having the greatest day. I lost my wallet, and luckily I found it, but the whole mishap messed up the rest of my day. In the evening, I was reading stories on My Life is Average, and then switched to Gives Me Hope. Reading about so many positive experiences and contributions to society from so many different people made me feel very cheerful.

After reading, I was getting ready for bed in an altogether happy mood, and as I was getting out of the shower, I had a wonderful idea. I had this profound urge to do something outrageously nice for someone whom I don't feel like I've ever done anything explicitly nice, my mother.

That's not to say that I don't love her and tell her as such, but doing the little acts of kindness, those usually escape me. And it's not just me that forgets to do these kinds of things for her, either. My dad doesn't usually buy her flowers (he's gotten better lately... a little), and he never buys her jewelry or anything. And it's not like she's ever said that she cares, but she's a woman, of course she does.

So, late last night, I ordered flowers to be sent to my mother. Never before have I felt so cheerful and excited to see someone's reaction. The flowers should arrive at her house any time now, and I just can't wait for the text message she'll send me after she gets over the shock that I sent her flowers.

I love her so much.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Ultimate Homecoming

Here's a great heartwarming story I got in my email this morning. Let it inspire you and bring you a smile!

About a year ago, my husband had just come back from a 7 month tour in Iraq. My daughter and I had gone up to see him get off the bus at 6am, and he didn't get there until about 7-7:30am.

After a couple hours of work he had to do, we were ready to go home. On the way home, my husband suggested that we go to International House of Pancakes (IHoP) to grab something to eat. We didn't have that much money left, as it was right before payday, but I decided it would be worth it anyway, since he hadn't gotten to eat anything like that for months.

We went in and sat down in a crowded resturant. He was still wearing his ACU's (his army clothes) and I was clinging to him and still crying a little bit, just so happy to have him home. We sat there and ate a wonderful meal, all of us just enjoying each other's company.

When it got time for us to get ready to leave, we asked our server for our check. He informed us that it had already been taken care of.

I just looked at my husband, astonished, and started crying even more. I tried to figure out who it was, and there were a couple people who had just left prior to us asking for our check.

It made my heart just swell up to think that someone could be that gracious to pay for our meal and I was so incredibly happy to know that they did it on such a special day. I have no idea if they knew my husband had just come home from the war, but it made my day better than it already was.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Man Walking From NY to West Coast

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. --Raymond Lindquist

Inspiration of the Day:
I don't suppose you've watched 'Forest Gump,' Ron Struzynski chuckles as he watches 30-year-old Matt Green set up a tent for the evening. Green, previously an New York City civil engineer, finds himself in Wisconsin tonight, after embarking on a 6-month walk across the U.S. in late March. In these uncertain times, most of us cling to the things that make us feel secure. Those who have jobs give thanks. We hug our children a little tighter. We wait - and hope - for better times. So when someone like Matt Green comes along, we shake our heads a little and wonder. Who is this young man, bearded and weather-worn, pushing a cart down a country road, mile after mile? And why would he abandon a solid career to walk all the way across the United States? "Good question," Green agrees, and he goes on to note, "Playing i safe isn't really that safe. If you do that, you miss out on a lot of the great things life has to offer." [ more ]

Be The Change:
Inspired? Send Matt a note of encouragement! [ more ]