Category Archives: kindness
It only takes a minute of your time, but seems to make a big difference.
Today we were at Wal-Mart. There was a lady older than I (imagine that!) who was trying to navigate one of the scooter/carts. We were walking behind her and I saw her purse fall and dump onto the floor of the car at her feet. I stopped and helped her right the purse and gather the things that had spilled.
Later we were checking out at the same time in different lines. I saw that she would finish before we did and that she would need to drive her cart past us. I stood aside and waited for her to pass me. When she got up next to me, she wiggled her finger at me, motioning me closer. She said, “THANK YOU for your kindness and courtesy.” I gave her a quick hug and smiled at her.
I wanted to adopt her so I could help her more.
I told you that I was very happy with the carpet cleaning company, ChemDry, in another post.
I went to their website yesterday and left a good review, thinking it might help them reach more people.
This morning I called the office, told the lady my name, and reminded her that I had my carpet cleaned yesterday afternoon. She said, “Yes, is there a problem?”
I went on to tell her that I couldn’t be happier with the job that Alex and Sao (spelling?) did. That they were careful, courteous, and professional. I also thanked HER for being so nice on the phone, and being so good at her job.
There were a couple of seconds of silence. She finally said, “I’m speechless. This is so nice.”
It reminded me how important it is to let people know when they do a good job, thanking them personally, and in any way you can think of to show others you’re happy with them.
I told her that she was so courteous and the company did such a good job that they stood out – particularly in this day and age where you feel like a number, or a necessary irritant in someone’s day. How NICE it is that someone calls you when they will be delayed, when the bill is what they SAID it would be, that they are super careful not to make a mess or hurt anything.
It was obvious that she was thrilled and that I had given her a much-needed boost.
After I got off the phone, I made a mental note to myself to be more conscientious in my efforts to say THANK YOU. I always try to be kind, but it only takes a few minutes to shake the workers’ hands and THANK them for a job well done. It only takes a few minutes to call and THANK the lady who is so nice and helpful when you call. It only takes a few minutes to let others know you’ve found a company worth your business.
Good job, ChemDry – and THANK YOU!
“Let’s infect the world with good.” Anneberly Andrews – AnneberlyAndrewscom.wordpress.com
One of my good, long-time friends sets a beautiful, inspiring example for me each time we’re together. She looks for opportunities to help others or to be kind every day.
She doesn’t ever say anything about it. We were spending an afternoon together and I watched in quiet amazement as she did good thing after good thing almost unconsciously. They were small things, like offering to return a cart to its place in the parking lot for an elderly lady, or opening the door for someone, or letting someone get ahead of her in line. She returned abandoned carts to the store. She retrieved the lid of a trash can and put it on the can so it wouldn’t blow away again. I realized, after watching her, that it was an attitude, a habit developed by lots of practice, and an unconscious recognition of what she personally could do to make the world a better, kinder place.
When I asked her about it, she looked surprised and then said she had been doing it for years. This discussion happened several years ago. I’ll never be as good as it as she, or get to the place where I do it unconsciously, as she does, but I’m really trying to emulate her wonderful example. She makes people feel special – like always greeting me with a huge grin and open arms for a wonderful hug. She makes people’s loads a bit lighter. She brings out smiles wherever she goes.
She’s not perfect. None of us is. But she’s one of the best people I know on the planet and I’m so lucky to know her. I’ll continue to try to look for opportunities each day to do what I can do to brighten someone’s day.
The Salvation Army has a program called the Angel Tree program at Christmas time each year. The trees go up in your local town and people who qualify come and asked for their child to be added to the tickets on the tree. People choose a ticket and go and try to buy as many things on the list as possible for that child. The gifts are returned unwrapped by Dec. 7th to the people handling the Angel Tree and they and the Salvation Army handle the rest.
The child’s name, age, and gender are listed at the top of each ticket. Practical gifts, such as clothes (with sizes) are listed, plus a few ‘fun’ gifts on the wish list.
Each year we peruse the tickets and decide which one fits well with our ability to buy the things on the list. We have visions of an ‘idyllic’ beautiful boy or girl happily opening all the gifts, ecstatically happy with the choices with a wide open grin and whoops of joy. Reality is far different, probably, but we LOVE the idea of brightening a local child’s Christmas each year.
Last year we didn’t know where the tree was in time to participate. We were both really disappointed, so I wrote on my calendar this year to call City Hall in Greenwood to see if they were sponsoring the tree this year and when the tree would be up.
This year our choice was “Braden,” a 10-year-old boy. We got clothes – pants (jeans) , a shirt (Flash), a puffy blue coat, boots, and then a remote control car and batteries. He’s into “paleontology stuff,” so we got him a big fierce-looking dinosaur. The “pokemon” cards he listed featured dinosaurs. We also got “Jurassic” hat, scarf and gloves set.
We took all the bags and the ticket, plus the receipt so that the mother would be able to exchange anything that wasn’t right back to City Hall and left them with the nice lady from the water department who is handling things.
It seems weird that we’re doing the Angel Tree before Thanksgiving. I guess that’s why we missed out last year. I guess they need the time to post all the tickets, gather the gifts, deliver them wherever they go, etc.
I love that the Salvation Army thought of this program and runs it, making it easy for local banks or government offices to administer it. I love that families can provide for their kids at Christmas will a bit of a boost from folks in the community. I love our ‘visions of sugarplums’ and the chance to give.
My husband and I are getting over the cold I brought home from my trip and graciously gave to him. :0) Each day we’re stronger, though we both still feel we’ve been run over by a truck.
Today my husband spent much of the day talking to a Level 3 Microsoft person, trying to get Windows Office installed on his computer. This is a computer guru having trouble with something that is supposed to be so easy, but in truth took the EXPERT much of the day to do it. He finally said it was Windows’ problem, making my husband feel better about the need to ask for help. My husband has a LOT of important files in Word and Excel, so it was crucial that he get the program installed and working.
My SIL was kind enough to send me ‘cards’ on my phone, listing some contact information. I had trouble getting the files to ‘open,’ then FINALLY got the idea to check my gmail account online and see if they showed up in my contacts. After a LOT of fiddling around (I am NOT a computer guru and technology is basically ‘magic’ to me) I finally got my contacts to show. I found numerous duplication, due to my ineptness, and then went on to correct some outdated information, add more contacts, etc. so that now I have ONE list that also shows up on my phone. I feel empowered!!!!
I also have finally made it through the maze of getting the Visa gift cards promised to us when we installed the ADT security system in our home recently. It started with each of the people involved pointing to the other, but FINALLY I now have the certificates and codes needed to fill out the application forms. My husband was threatening to tear out the whole system, but I managed with firmness, rather than threats, to get what we needed.
I was contacted yesterday by a relative we haven’t seen in years, reaching out to us to let us know one of my relatives is having serious health issues. I can’t believe his kindness in essentially reaching out to a stranger, and in an incredibly kind way, letting us know what was happening in his family. I wrote back, thanking him profusely, asking more questions. He answered me today, again making me feel glad he reached out. Sometimes people can make you tear up with their generosity.
So, we’ve had a productive, good day and are getting ready to relax for a bit.
I hope YOU had a good day, too.
It was suggested years ago that a good experiment was to consciously give a big smile to each person you met during the day and to see their reaction. I did this when my husband and I went to one of the shopping malls in Fort Smith.
I told my husband a corny joke. He groaned and I laughed, holding the smile as we passed several people. They smiled in return and my husband asked, “Who were they?” I replied. “I have no idea.” He said, “You don’t know them? Why were they smiling at you?”
This continued the whole time we were shopping. The thing that surprised me was that “I” felt good. My spirits were up. I was happy. I started the experiment – apparently brightening some other people’s’ lives – and had a happy day in return. I now remind myself to SMILE, even if I don’t feel like it.
A great lesson.
I’ve told you our son lives and works in Thailand. We chat most every day, thanks to a secure program he set up for us, so it doesn’t seem that he’s halfway across the world from us most of the time.
This morning, he had left this message – “i saw a guy sleeping under a bridge on my walk into town so i got a sandwich and bananas and water and brought it back and gave it to him.”
I don’t know where he got this, but I’m proud to know him.
This story was sent to me by my good friend, Marsha Koenig. I still have tears in my eyes.
“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 fatherIalso 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 thePlate, 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 team mates.
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!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.
You now have two choices:
May your day be a Shay Day.
MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO DECIDES TO PASS THIS ON IN MEMORY OF SHAY”
Our son wrote to tell us that an “American tourist” had stolen all of the donation money from the donation box in a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand recently. They had a picture of the man inside the temple, but hadn’t apprehended him. Our son has always tried to overcome the bad image of American tourists in whatever country he is in. He tries to learn their language and speak to them. He tries to be kind and thoughtful of the culture and the people. He is angry and embarrassed that the behavior of Americans abroad has been so rude, thoughtless, downright crude, and even – to THIS news – criminal.
This feeling of being upset at the behavior of others reflecting on him goes back to when he was a young toddler. We would take him to a restaurant and someone would come over to our table and say something like, “We are SO impressed by the behavior of your son! He’s been a real little gentleman.” We would thank them and they would leave. Our son’s face would turn red as he said, “Other kids are giving me a bad name. They make it so that all people expect ME to act bad.” We told him that we understood his feelings, but that the only thing he could control was how HE acted. It didn’t seem to help much.
He told us he made a donation to the temple that was robbed.
You wouldn’t think a guy coming to fill the propane tanks would be fun, would you. We had the best time two days ago when the man came up the driveway.
First, he made sure we wanted fill-ups on both tanks (we have a 1,000 gallon tank for the house and a 250 gallon tank for the shop). Then he turned to his truck to get started and stopped, and started to laugh. He looked at us delightedly and said, “Oh, this is wonderful! I wish all my customers were so creative!”
We told him that it wasn’t OUR creativity, that we had seen this on the Internet and decided we wanted to try it. He said he didn’t care, he thought it was GREAT.
We’re still walking around about 3 inches off the ground from his nice pat on our heads. :0)
My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.
If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network. We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.
When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR. He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.
My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.
Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”
We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.
We are very grateful, indeed.
Last evening our Fedex man brought us a delivery.
He jumped out of the truck with a serious look on his face. He looked at me and said, “You should sell this stuff.” When I looked a bit blank, he added, “My wife and I just joined an artists group and they’re going to have shows. You and your husband should bring your artwork and sell it. I bet it would sell really well.”
Well, THAT made our day! :0)
We discovered that his wife is into interior design and furniture, and apparently has a real gift for decorating. But then he started talking about our critters again. I told him that it was harder and harder to find scrap metal. We used to be able to go to a junk yard and prowl around, gathering things that looked interesting. We did that at auto salvage places, too. Now, due to liability issues, no one will let you prowl around anymore. Sometimes we luck into things, but it really has limited our critter making.
He told us he would be on the lookout for interesting scraps and would bring them to us when he found them.
Isn’t he wonderful?