About This Book


More than ever, Americans are refocusing on what we are known for: kindness, tolerance and compassion. The stories in this book are not about politics but proudly serve as testimony that America is still a country filled with good people who volunteer in our community, help people who need help, and pride ourselves on doing the right thing. We are proud of our inclusive and welcoming attitude, no matter our color, our country of origin, our sexual identity, or our religion. This book is about hope and the true American spirit. It reminds us that a kind America is everyone's kind of America.

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Five reminders that we live in a KIND AMERICA
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Kind (of) America by Amy Newmark

Is America still filled with people who help each other and do the right thing? The 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Kind (of) America answer that question with a resounding “yes.” These stories about kindness and inclusiveness provide hope and perspective for everyone who’s wondering whether we are losing our way. Here are five examples from stories in the book that remind us that we do indeed live in a kind America:

  1. We respect each other’s religions. A fire destroyed retired rabbi Frank Stern’s synagogue, leaving the congregation homeless and searching for alternative places to worship. Ultimately, a neighborhood Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered use of their sanctuary for the eighteen months it would take to fix the temple. “They couldn’t have been more kind or cooperative,” Frank says. More than a year later, the temple was ready. Members of both congregations helped carry the Torah scrolls to the newly redone sanctuary. “We—temple and stake, Mormons and Jews—had discovered that a kind act is not a matter of belief,” Frank says. “It is an expression of love from one human being to another.”
  2. We realize that many people have resisted bigotry throughout our history. One story Cynthia Gary heard growing up still resonates—her mother, a young African American girl in the segregated South in the 1950s, defied the rules of the time and sat in a seat at the front of the bus. The white woman beside her said it was okay, and that was that. “It can be hard to cancel out the chaos that surrounds us, but that lady was able to focus on doing the right thing,” Cynthia says. “Every person on the bus that day, black and white, made a conscious choice to maintain peace.” Her mother’s story helps Cynthia focus on the good that exists, even in the most trying times. “It demonstrated that, regardless of how dire the circumstances,” she says, “there is hope.”
  3. We honor our military service members with random acts of kindness. While waiting for her flight, Carla Erin Wiggins saw a group of returning soldiers. All but one were greeted by family members. She moved to sit next to the lone soldier and learned his family was 200 miles away and unable to meet him at the airport. “Even though I knew he had a home to go to, I still felt sad that no one was at the airport to welcome him,” she says. Carla switched to a later flight so she could ask him to lunch. After some hesitation, the soldier agreed and they had nice couple of hours. “I thought about that soldier through the whole flight,” Carla says. “My goodwill gesture surely didn’t change the course of history, but it did change the homecoming for one soldier.”
  4. We have a strong tradition of volunteerism. After Hurricane Irene hit his area, Stephen Rusiniak volunteered to help clean up homes and deliver meals. “Our deliveries eventually became opportunities for us to have conversations with those we were serving,” he says. “Something else was happening, too.” Bringing meals to the same families allowed him to get to know them and learn their stories. And as his wife pointed out, they were no longer delivering meals to victims. “My little team served more than one thousand meals to those in need—no, wait,” Stephen writes, “we served more than one thousand dinners to friends.”
  5. We are still the land of opportunity for hardworking immigrants. A child of Indian immigrants, Kelly Bakshi’s husband Vishal started working at a young age to help his family. It started with a paper route in middle school, then a work scholarship to a premier private school. These childhood sacrifices saddened Kelly. “But,” she says, “he always assured me that they provided him with everything he needed to learn in life: hard work, the value of education, and the knowledge that there is always a way and you can never give up.” Through continued hard work, along with some gumption, Vishal earned a place at Harvard Business School. Now an investment manager, Vishal has made Barron’s “America’s Top Financial Advisors” list five times, and the Financial Times list twice!
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Story Titles and Authors