Friday, July 29, 2011

You Never Know Who's Watching

Today’s video is a charmer, a sweet moment of kindness from one young boy to another. You just don’t see it that often.

And then it goes to a whole ‘nother level as the kind young man is recognized. It simply shows you the value of kindness in more ways than one. This just goes to show that you never know who's watching you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seeing Your Way Through Kindness

Here's yet another great idea to inspire us to reach out in kindness in unique ways. Hope this inspires you! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

My husband and I have always been friendly with the clerks at the local convenience store where we often get gasoline. I don't think people appreciate what a difficult job these folks have sometimes. They work for a little over minimum wage and I often wonder how they make ends meet.

One of the clerks, "Charlie," was missing her glasses one day. I commented on it and she said they'd been broken and that she couldn't afford a new pair. It was obvious that she was having a difficult time.

We wondered how we could help, so turned to our own eye doctor for assistance with a plan. We had his secretary contact her, asking her to come in for an eye exam free of charge. We told the doctor to let her order whatever glasses she wanted and that we would pay for them. Although Charlie questioned what was going on, the doctor just told her that someone had anonymously donated the money for her new glasses. When we went in to pay the bill, the doctor told us he was so touched by our idea that he waived the exam fee and only charged us for half the price of the glasses!!

It was so wonderful to see Charlie in her new glasses and she enjoyed telling all the regular customers how it came about. I'm sure that upon hearing her story, ideas of kindness may have sprouted in the minds of many. She will never know who the gift was from and I hope the idea that good guys really do get a break sometimes was planted for her.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kindness On An Island

Here's an email I received today showing another unique way we can help out when we are able. What kindness did you share today with someone? Please share by leaving a comment below:

Just recently, there was a man standing near the islands in the gas station when I pulled in. I had recognized him from before, when I saw him trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic with crutches. He still had his crutches with him.

When I got out of the car he politely asked me if he could pump my gas. I said, no thank you and continued on. I started to notice he asked other people the same question, and I realized he was doing it for money, but he wasn't getting any. As I looked at him, he seemed genuinely worn out and running low on energy.

As I passed by him to go inside, he smiled and commented on how hot it was. I agreed, and asked him if he had walked here. He said yes, he is trying to get donations to be able to keep him and his sick wife in a hotel, because that's the only place left for them, besides the street. I went inside the gas station grabbed a couple of cold waters, and went back outside.

As I approached him and handed him the water, he looked at me with teary eyes, then I handed him the change from a twenty. He looked back at me and said, "God Bless You."

My heart felt so good!

I really couldn't afford to give him what I did, but by golly, at least I have the luxury of knowing where I'll be every night. Most people will call me a sucker and I gave into a bum.

I don't believe that. I did what I thought was right.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Grand Slam Story

What would you do? You make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their
team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I
guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting
winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all teammates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ways To Help Out on the 4th of July

Harvest of kindness -- of kindredness -- is winnowed down to a precious few grains. For at the center of all spiritual traditions is the beacon of a truly radical proposal: Open your heart to everybody. Everybody.--Marc Barasach

Idea of the Week

Collection of ideas from Smile Groups this week ... "This lady was walking through my neighborhood on such an extremely hot day, realizing there are no bus stops within 5 miles, I made a u-turn and gave her a ride to her destination." "A man held the door for me at a local coffee shop, he was so perky,I bought him a cup of tea." "Forwarded a letter that had gone astray and paid the extra postage!" "Emptied the house -- books, DVDs, etc. Advertised to come and take what you want and leave a donation in the bucket for a local charity." "I heard of a competition that I knew I would definitely get a prize so I entered and put down a friends name and address so that they will get the prize. And it's chocolate!" "Encouraged a guy to come out of his love failure. :)" "I picked lemons from my moms lemon tree and gave them away .. someone going to have delicious fresh lemonade for fathers day!" "Took senior citizen grocery shopping; she was not feeling well enough to drive herself." "Last night I helped some foreigners exchange some money into my country's currency and then my sister and I led them to a hotel. They were lost and didn't speak the language." "Lending out a very expensive canopy to someone in need." "I replaced a drummer in a band that needed one! :)" "Put a dollar inside a book I returned to the library ... for either the library people or the next reader to find."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Faith in the Form of A Gift

Akiane Kramarik began drawing when she was only 4 and began painting when she was only 6. She told her mother that her drawings were inspired by God and that her visions were of a special place. The place was called Heaven and what is most ironic is that both of her parents, at the time, were atheists and neither God nor Heaven had been discussed with her before!

I hope you will share this most amazing story.