About This Book
Small gestures can make a big difference in someone's day, even someone's life. This collection of 101 uplifting, true stories will help you see the beauty in small, meaningful gestures and how such acts can make a difference in someone else's life. From random acts of kindness to doing what's right, this book shows how positive attitudes and good deeds can change the world. This book shines a bright light on the widespread goodwill in our world as everyday heroes demonstrate acts of kindness, compassion and commitment to others. The stories will uplift you, inspire you, and brighten your day.
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Five ways you can lead a happy life of kindness, compassion, and paying it forward.
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness by Amy Newmark
There's a new conversation these days, and it's about getting back to kindness. Scientific studies have shown that “doing good” is not only beneficial for the recipient of the good deed, but also for the person doing it, making that person happier and healthier. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness contains many example of how performing random acts of kindness makes everyone feel better. Here are five ways you can make kindness part of how you live your life, inspired by some of the 101 stories in the book:
- Help someone ask for what they need. Alice Faye Duncan wanted to help a fellow teacher, Jean, a single mom who had just taken in two homeless teenage sisters, one of whom had a baby. Jean needed a van, but couldn't afford one. So, Alice wrote to The Oprah Winfrey Show about Jean and her growing family. A month later, Jean was surprised with a trip to attend a taping of Oprah's show and received a new van! Watching from home, Alice saw how her letter made a difference. “I learned that the simplest acts…can require a daring faith,” she says. “And nothing is impossible.”
- Look for opportunities to “pay it forward.” While waiting for a table to celebrate their anniversary, Darlene and Mike Sneden chatted with a business traveler next to them at the bar. At the end of their evening, Darlene and Mike were surprised to learn that their new friend had paid for their meal. “Nothing like that had ever happened to us before,” Darlene writes. “We never forgot his generosity.” Years later, Darlene and Mike were out to dinner and sat near an older couple who were making up after a fight. As they left the restaurant, Darlene felt inspired to pay for the older couple's dinner. When Mike asked why she did that, Darlene answered: ‘“We're paying it forward.'”
- Speak up and share your wisdom. It can make a big difference! New mom Elizabeth Moursund felt overwhelmed when she couldn't soothe her fussy baby while waiting for an appointment. But when an older woman told her: “We have all been there. It's just your turn,” she felt better. Those simple words, Elizabeth says, assured her that her current crisis would pass. “Accepting that ‘it's just your turn' and approaching those challenges with a positive attitude is what matters,” Elizabeth writes. “And, maybe too, remembering that some kind words to someone who is struggling can make a real difference.”
- Welcome a tourist or immigrant, on behalf of your countrymen. English teacher Stephanie Hunter was new to Japan and leaving the post office one day when a woman surprised her by handing her a bundle of stamps. After some initial confusion, Stephanie realized the stamps were a gift — “a present from a perfect stranger.” She used those stamps for nearly a year, putting them on every card she sent home. “She gave me more than she knew that day,” Stephanie says. “She gave me a little piece of home.”
- Treat yourself by treating others. On her 40th birthday, Aimee Mae Wiley celebrated by giving small gifts to other people throughout the day. She handed out flowers and cookies to friends, her favorite bank teller, the librarian, and the mail carrier, among others. Her children helped her with many of the deliveries. In doing all this, Aimee says, “I discovered an unprecedented joy on what could have been a difficult birthday.” She says she also noticed that for every good deed she did, another came her way. “Unlike so many birthday celebrations in my life, on this day, I made a point of being joyful and relaxed about the schedule,” Aimee shares. “Seeing the surprised and thankful looks on others' faces and sharing the fun of giving anonymously with my children made my day better than I could have hoped for.”