A good samaritan keeps family together during crisis

When our home had been hit by lightening and burned the roof and parts of the second story, we found ourselves living in an extended-stay hotel for the next several days as I looked for a suitable rental home that we would need for the next 5 to 6 months as ours was being rebuilt. “We” consisted of my husband and I, our 3 children (ages 11, 9 and 7 years old) and two large Black Labrador retrievers in a two-bedroom Holiday Inn. At first, I thought we might be able to live out the next few months in this setting, but after only 3 or 4 days (and my male Black Lab’s trip to the Sunday breakfast bar!), it became obvious we desperately needed more room and a place for our dogs. As I was signing my children into school late the following week during a rainstorm, the school secretary was questioning me as to where we were staying, how we were doing, etc. as the school year had only begun 2 weeks before. Another parent was signing his children in late that morning also and was listening to what had happened. He never said a word, just signed in his children, kissed them goodbye and left. I left the school very shortly thereafter and returned to my former home to go over the details of the rebuilding process and look over more rental possibilities with the insurance agent, not having much luck with the rental allowance in finding a place. An hour later, I received a phone call from the school secretary asking me to call the gentleman I had noticed at the school earlier. Apparently, he had gone to his car, sat and thought a while and then came back inside the school to talk with them, asking who I was and what exactly had happened. He then asked them to call me and gave them his cell phone number. When I called him back, he told me he had a 4 bedroom rental home that had just been painted and renovated only a mile down the road in the same school district! It had a large yard and he was willing to have our dogs come live with us (as well as our two cats who were currently residing with a neighbor). When I told him what our rental allowance was, I was amazed when he told me not to worry, he would work with the insurance company to keep it within their allotment. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, but still questioned him as to why he would offer this beautiful home at an incredibly low rental price for our area to a total stranger AND allow it to be overrun with our pets when he could have rented it again immediately for twice what we would pay? He replied, “because I have 3 children and two dogs and I cannot imagine being in your position trying to keep your family together and calm, worrying about where we would live.” I called my husband at work and within 24 hours, we were moved into our new home and all back together. I think about this gentleman often and bless him always for the extreme kindness he showed to us ——– he truly was a good Samaritan.

~Amy, Carmel, IN USA

Flowers Bring Smiles

As I was standing at the cashier in the grocery store, I noticed the man behind me had a big, beautiful bunch of fresh daisies in his hand, along with more items to be purchased. I teasingly said, “Oh! You shouldn’t have! We don’t even know each other! You’re so sweet! Everyone in the store is touched by your kindness!” The cashier piped in, “Even I am moved by your generosity!” We then went on and on, praising him for picking the best flowers to give, and what a smart move it is to give his woman such perfect flowers.

I finished paying for my purchases and gathered my bags, when suddenly a bunch of daisies was thrust in my face! He had taken some of the daisies and given them to me, with a big smile on his face. I beamed, as I gushed my thank-you’s, and gave the cashier a flower for her lapel, which only made her smile even bigger. I left the store walking on air, grinning from ear to ear, loving human kindness and daisies. I still have the daisies THREE WEEKS later, still inspiring me to be happy and kind to everyone around me. Life is sweet!

~Susan Phariss, Oklahama, USA

The Post Office Comes Through

The other day we received an item from the post office, carefully packaged in an envelope with an apology for the delay and the poor condition of the item. Included in this envelope was a 3rd class item that didn’t even meet the rules for forwarding! What kind person at the post office took the time to carefully put this item in the envelope and make sure it got to my home?

Gil, Wauconda, Illinois, USA

An Opportunity to Be Kind or Fearful

A few weeks ago I was traveling and had returned to Chicago O’Hare airport at 1:00 in the morning, after my flight had been delayed over 3 hours. I was chafing at the lateness of the hour, knowing I had about a 1 hour drive home. I was thinking how nice my warm bed would be and working to keep the kindness showing in my demeanor. And I wasn’t being very successful…I was feeling tired and grumpy and irritated, OK, I’ll admit it. I was pissed off!

I passed by the night guard, who shared a wonderful smile, great warmth, and reminded me to have a nice, safe drive home. As I was trudging along with all the junk I seem to “need” when I travel, I was, at one and the same time, thinking about getting home AND how I could share the guard’s act of kindness with someone else. Since no one else was about, I figured I was off the hook (how is that for being a grump, eh)!

Besides that I had every reason to be scared, right? That is what my mind was telling me. It was dark, it was late, I was at Chicago O’Hare Airport, I was by myself, I was female…And the monkey mind went on and on with all the reasons for me to be scared. And they were all perfectly justifiable reasons to be scared, thank you very much! I heard the voice in my head say “Anything could happen, just keep to yourself, walk like you know what you’re doing…remember all those articles you’ve read? Those articles that tell you why to protect yourself and take care?”

I trudged on to the elevator, found the tram out to the nether reaches of O’Hare’s parking lot, pulled my luggage down the broken elevator, paid for the ticket, and trudged through the slushy snow to find a car covered with snow. Crud! Now it was going to take me even longer to get home. Crud, crud, crud! I cleaned off the car, found the elusive ticket (I just had it, where did it go?), and wound my way through the huge parking lot to the exit. When I got to the exit, there was some sort of hold up…the person at the gate was taking forever. Crud again! As I sat reminding myself of patience and kindness, the person moved their car and I thought “great, now we can get going”. But nooooo, she moved her car, dug around and came up with a checkbook (where was her debit card anyway!).

At that moment, I looked in the mirror and saw a man running towards my car…a momentary flash of “oh no, this doesn’t look good” went through my thoughts. The fears I had been harboring and nursing like some sort of open wound since I knew I would arrive late popped into my head.

And then I got one of those gentle nudges…”this man needs your help, and he won’t harm you, you’re safe. You’re OK.” The man, horribly out of breath, got to my window and said “Mam, is there any chance you could help me start my car? The battery is dead. I have cables if I could just attach them to your car.”

Talk about getting what you ask for! I wanted a way to pay it forward and I got it, almost immediately! He jumped in the car and off we went to start his car on this oh-so-frigid night. When we got to his car, his cables wouldn’t reach because of the position of the other cars in the lot. Fortunately (thanks to a kindness of a former boyfriend), I had cables and we were able to hook the two together and get his car started so he pick up his wife, who was waiting inside the train area, and could be on his way to his nice warm bed too.

As we each went our own way, he said “I knew you were kind when you smiled at me while we were on the tram”. And I didn’t even realize I *had* smiled at him.

The smile and kind words from the guard started a chain of events that reminded me why kindness is so important in this world. And he doesn’t even know what he did and how much he changed my life. I know in my heart that I wouldn’t have done helped this man without that smile! I was too busy being tired and ready to be home to pay attention. That simple smile softened my heart and my attitude.

So what do you think? Have you had one of these opportunities too? Yes? Then share it with the world and take one step toward a peaceful loving place in which to live.

~Jerilynne, Wauconda, IL USA

Kind Stranger Returns Note

Last May my husband and I went to Hilton Head Island for a week’s vacation. While there, we went grocery shopping at one of the local supermarkets, something we usually do when we’re staying at a timeshare resort. About a week after our return home an envelope showed up in the mail with a Hilton Head return address and a name we did not recognize. Inside the envelope was a smaller envelope containing a note my mother-in-law had sent to us from Iowa. I had opened the note and read it but my husband had not had a chance to do so before our departure. He had taken it with him to read on vacation. It had obviously fallen out of the car in the parking lot at the supermarket. A complete stranger had found it, picked it up, read the address and returned it. Such a random act of kindness brought tears to our eyes.

~Evelin, Alexandria, VA USA