Acts of Kindness Stories
Below are stories from the Act of KindessÂ activityÂ station at the Walk for Hope.Â
Different Worlds Meet
By Pam 8/25/2006
A few years ago, I was flying from Amsterdam to San Francisco. I was hours early for my flight and decided to just go to the departure gate and read my book. It so happened that a flight to Tehran was scheduled to leave before mine from the same gate. I was quite interested to watch all the people milling around, about to board that flight.
I became aware of a young Iranian girl of about 14 watching me quite intently. I wondered what she found interesting about me, when I realised that she and I both found each other interesting for probably the same reasons. She possibly figured I wasn’t on her flight, but on the San Francisco one and therefore associated me with America. I wondered if this made her feel resentment. Meanwhile, I was contemplating what it might be like for her heading off to Tehran – a city whose name struck some trepidation in me. As her flight was called, she got up to join her family and board, but before she left, she turned around and gave me the warmest smile and a wave. I smiled back and waved enthusiastically at her. It warmed my heart. I’ve never forgotten her and think on her every time I hear of victims of war in the Middle East.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. â€“ Seneca, philosopher (4BC)
Doing What I Can in Far Away Lands
Submitted By Al Q. 8/3/2006
My work sends me to various countries, many of them in the Third World. Often I would collect used clothing, candy, and toys to take to children in those countries. Often these donations were from friends, family and church members back in the United States. I would stuff large suitcases with such items to take to people in those countries. What a great joy it was to see people’s gratitude, which makes it all worthwhile.
In Colombia, I met a woman named Ana Luisa. She was going through hard times in her life. Problems with her ex-husband regarding custody of her two daughters, being laid off from work, debt piling up, problems with some of her family members, and a general feeling of despair on her part.
I thought about how I could help her. I came up with an idea. My work provided me generous per diem to stay in nice hotels and eat at nice restaurants. I decided that to save money, I could instead stay instead at inexpensive hotels and eat simply. On my last day in Colombia, Ana Luisa accompanied me to the airport. I then provided her the money I saved and asked her to use it to pay off some of her debt. She was embarrassed to receive it but was extremely grateful. I really hoped it helped her.
The Best portion of a good manâ€™s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. â€“ William Wordsworth
ACT OF KINDESS IN ZIMBABWE
Submitted By: Rita 5/21/2006
I was in the bus in heavy traffic going to the home for orphans to visit some children. What I saw brought tears to my eyes. There had been a terrible accident. The owner of the motorbike laid bleeding, critically injured and dying on the side of the road. Members of a church nearby called an ambulance. They were having a womenâ€™s gathering day at the church. While the man lay helpless and hurt, the women rushed to his side and around him sang beautiful hymns and prayers – some to save his body and some to save his soul. They sang like angels. The music was so sad and beautiful and the gesture was so touching at such sad and tragic moment. I shall not forget the kindness of those women being there in his hour of need.
The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention. â€“ Duguet
Â Shopping centre marks Random Acts of Kindness Week
Submitted By: Yvonne Shuttleworth 3/1/2006
Submitted By: Yvonne Shuttleworth 3/1/2006In order to mark Random Acts of Kindness week, The Centre, a shopping centre in Milton Keynes, England, decided to treat two local couples to a fabulous day out on Monday 13 February.
Age Concern helped to nominate the lucky couples – people who had been through a particularly bad time recently, and were likely to need some cheering up. The treat consisted of a shopping trip to the value of Â£75 each, donated by Marks and Spencer.
Staff from the Centre collected the couples from their homes in a luxury car and drove them to Marks and Spencer, where they were given a cup of tea in CafÃ© Revive, before embarking on their shopping trip.
“I can’t believe it, it’s a wonderful surprise; you don’t hear of this sort of thing” said Win Bonner of Crownhill.â€ Her husband Bill had been too unwell to accompany her on the trip.
The couples were overwhelmed by these sudden acts of generosity. Lilian Newton of Greenleys said “This is an experience we have never had before, and it was really out of the blue. It was very good.â€ Her husband Eric has recently undergone a triple heart bypass and is recovering after suffering a stroke.
Staff members from the Centre and Marks & Spencer walked around the store with the couples, helping them to select their groceries. They were then driven home and their shopping taken indoors for them. All they had to do was unpack and enjoy!
How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it. â€“ George Alliston
Â The Price of a Meal
Submitted By: Anonymous 2/1/2006
I saw him at the intersection as I drove past. He was a tall, skinny, bearded man asking for aid. â€œHomeless, please help,â€ read his sign. â€œHmm… Is he really homeless?â€ I thought to myself as I continued on my way. The manâ€™s image kept lingering in my head. I saw his lanky figure, his fatigued skin worn under the hot summer sun. â€œHomeless or not,â€ I told myself, â€œI know Iâ€™m much better off than he is.â€ I started to imagine how he would feel if I gave him five hundred dollars, or one hundred! How anybody would react to that. But being the poor college student that I was, I knew it wouldnâ€™t be possible. I checked the contents of my wallet; twenty dollars. That might still create somewhat of the same effect.
Submitted By: Anonymous 2/1/2006I saw him at the intersection as I drove past. He was a tall, skinny, bearded man asking for aid. â€œHomeless, please help,â€ read his sign. â€œHmm… Is he really homeless?â€ I thought to myself as I continued on my way. The manâ€™s image kept lingering in my head. I saw his lanky figure, his fatigued skin worn under the hot summer sun. â€œHomeless or not,â€ I told myself, â€œI know Iâ€™m much better off than he is.â€ I started to imagine how he would feel if I gave him five hundred dollars, or one hundred! How anybody would react to that. But being the poor college student that I was, I knew it wouldnâ€™t be possible. I checked the contents of my wallet; twenty dollars. That might still create somewhat of the same effect.I told myself if I saw that man again, I would give him all I had. Driving around the same corner again, the intersection pulled into sight, and so did the man.
My car was stopped at the light just at where he was standing. I rolled down the window and handed him my money. He took it from me and held it in his hands for a bit, holding and examining it. He seemed shock, momentarily in a different state. He then looked up at me with his clear, sparkling blue eyes, and smiled at me most sincerely. Time seemed to suspend then, as a connection was forged between two human beings. He stood smiling at me from his stance, nodding and thanking me in my car.
Suddenly, he dashed across the street towards the stretch of grassy lawnâ€¦ and for the first time, I noticed his wife and child, sitting under a tree by the road. The man was nearly jumping out of his skin, waving the bill in front of his wife and kid. He suddenly looked like a little child again who had just received a big piece of candy.
My heart melted as I watched the family get up and walk towards a restaurant to eat. After a hard dayâ€™s work, their daddy could finally provide them a meal.
Help your brotherâ€™s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. Hindu Proverb
Â A small contribution brings waves of appreciation
Submitted By: Jonathan Petko 9/11/2006
Submitted By: Jonathan Petko 9/11/2006I have worked in Africa for the past 25 years, working with people who earn less than $1 a week! I have been struck by their ability to show warmth and kindness to total strangers, often sharing a bowl of rice or meat even though they have so little. I have been inspired by their acts of kindness. Once a month, I gather my used cloths and travel through the countryside – when I spot a person who is wearing clothing that is torn and tattered, I stop to chat with the person and give them a piece of clothing such as a shirt, pants etc. I must say that I have been overjoyed by the happiness and gratefulness they express in their faces. I often feel that the happiness is not in what they were given but rather because a total stranger stopped and took the time to care for them.
Seek not good from without; see it within yourselves or you will never find it. â€“ Epictetus (2nd century)
All You Need is Little Bit of Love
By hpotter on Sep 6, 2006
With the recent floods in Gujarat, India, I’ve been busy with flood relief work in the affected slums.Â We distribute medicines, food, clothing, etc. but what is the most important thing to give is love.
There are countless stories of how love makes a difference.Â One important part of our work is going out, cutting fingernails, combing hair and playing with kids.Â There is no particular incidence that strikes me but rather the power of simply giving love.Â The magnetic force that drew kids to the volunteers was love, pure and simple.Â As we talked to the kids, they seemed to blossom, basking in the attention that each was receiving.
At one point, a bunch of kids had gathered around me, while I was watching over some pots of food, while others were going house to house for distribution.Â Soon I was teaching head and shoulders, knees and toes and Simon says.Â After 15 minutes, we had a mini talent show going right off of the main street.Â The kids performed different songs and dances they knew for a growing audience of adults and kids.Â Looking on, you would not be able to believe that the performers were people who just had their home flooded and belongings washed away.
A little bit of love, no presents or material things, is all it takes.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. â€“ Buddhist Saying
I was really touched by all these stories. It is amazing how much goodness there is in the world and how we don’t always hear about the stories that truly matter in life.
A lot of people have been asking for smile cards after they went through this activity station at the Walk. Thanks for putting together an amazing activity and for inspiring so many people.
It was so wonderful to finally meet you face-to-face… it feels like we’ve known you forever! Thank you for blessing everyone that you come in contact with. You have a beautiful, sweet, compassionate and kind spirit. My daughter Brittany and I will never forget you.
Take good care and keep up the great work in Houston. May God continue to bless you always.
Lots of Love & Hugs, :)
Laura & Brittany