Don’t discount the “small change”

A pile of gold coins

Image courtesy of cosmic_flurk

There was a news story in my local paper about a homeless man a few weeks ago. Due to his mental illness he couldn’t live at home, so he wanders the local area accepting small change from strangers or begging for help. While I was at the local shopping centre waiting in my car I saw him walking by my car so I jumped out and I called out for him to stop then just because it felt like the right thing to do.

I gave him some small change so he could buy himself either a coffee or something to eat from the nearest McDonalds. I have never seen anyone so very grateful for something so small as a few dollars from a stranger and I didn’t think it was that big a deal until he said that it was one for him.

I try and do one random act of kindness a day not for any acknowledgement just because that is how I was raised by my Mum and that is what I teach my children as well: Compassion and Kindness. Because even though we are not well off there is always someone worse off than you so if you can help in a small way to brighten their day it makes you feel better bringing a smile to their face. With so many bad things going on around us we don’t hear about the good things anymore the news is full of bad news I wish there was more good news instead so I make my own good news and try to even out the world one small step at a time.

I am not a religious person but I do believe in Karma and I try to see the best in everyone.

Vanessa Hay
Mandurah Perth W.A.

Kind Strangers save my sanity

Focus on a man's smile, nose and chinI’m a barista and work mostly in the middle of the weekday.

This means you get all crying toddlers, the babychinos that take forever to make and the mothers who will only drink half skim, half soy, decaf, quarter strength, extra hot cappuccinos. (Sometimes I wish I could scream as loud at some of those babies without being fired.)

I was sweeping up after an especially excruciating shift when I found my internal monologue turning into my own personal speech about how I hate the world (I say this internally, out loud of course; 10 hour shifts make you go a little crazy) WHEN SUDDENLY I look up and a stranger working in the Newsagent next to me is just finishing sweeping up my dirt pile about 2 metres away.

I stop panicking about closing on time and the preschool kid  running around screaming behind me and smile back. For a second; that young man has made my world beautiful. We both continued on with our lives probably never to make eye contact again.

Thank you kind stranger.

Samb Bowles

Thank you eperales for sharing this photo.

Stumped at the petrol pump

A gas (petrol) pump showing the sale

Image courtesy of Andrew Taylor

Travelling home from Brisbane one day, I had my petrol light on. I think I had left my wallet at home or spent all my pay (pretty sure it was the day before pay day) and all I could fathom was a handful of change only making up a few dollars.

I asked the man at the counter whether it would be enough to get me home to Palm Beach. He said ‘probably not’ and tried to explain the shortest route to get there (from Nerang – in peak traffic). Meanwhile, a man had appeared in line behind me, disappeared, and come back again. He gave me another $5 and said, ‘that should be enough to get you home.’

It wasn’t much, but I’ve been forever appreciative and have wished for him plenty of good karma. Thank you kind stranger!

Danielle
Palm Beach, Qld, Australia

It’s a Short Drive to Kindness

A couple months ago – in January I believe, it was pretty cold and harsh. I was running a few errands at the grocery store that is pretty close to me and was on my way home, just leaving the parking lot of the store. I saw a lady walking along with a bag of groceries.

I checked to be sure it was a lady – and I stopped and offered her a lift. Turned out she didn’t live very much further down the road from me and was ever so grateful for the ride on a bitter cold day. It was a small but easy thing to do – something I’d hope someone might do for me if I had to walk on a cold day carrying a heavy bag.

As it turned out I had the opportunity to do this again the next week for another woman. She, too was very grateful and we had a nice chat for the 5 minutes I had her in the car. Both these ladies lived fairly near to me, so they were, in truth my neighbors and I was glad I could help them out.

I think too often we are afraid to do little things like this, but the times that I have, it’s turned out to be a good thing and I’m happy I reached out.

Pam

Small gesture = Great Feel Good Reward

Last evening while in the checkout line at Walmart I had my things on the conveyor for checkout, waiting for the person ahead of me to finish paying for their purchase.

I noticed the guy behind me only had one item – little Debbie oatmeal pies – it took me several moments (I was quite tired) for it to dawn on me to let him go ahead of me – he only had one thing after all. I told him cheerfully to go ahead – and he was quite surprised and hesitant. I assured him it was fine – he only had the one thing – I didn’t mind.

He thanked me several times and was obviously pleasantly surprised to have such a kindness done. He had an accent and I assume he may have been originally from another country. He was very polite and pleasant and very appreciative. It made me feel good to do such a small thing that made his day a little better.

Pam