Category Archives: Kind Acts

Help Wanted Inquiry Within

Help Wanted Inquiry Within


Q. Would you like to make a difference?
A. Sure you do!

Q.Does helping to change the world sound appealing?
A. We certainly hope so.

Q. Do you have a few hours a month that you would like to put to good use?
A. Yes, you do!

Q. Would you like to be on a winning team and work with people from around the globe?
A. Hey, you never know who you’ll meet.

helpwantedIf so, read on:

We are looking for a few volunteers lend a hand and not only help One Kind Act grow, but change the world at the same time!

We are currently searching for passionate people with the following skills:

  • Proficient in Photoshop or similar image editing software
  • HTML and PHP programming
  • Familiar with WordPress or eager to learn
  • Merchandising and Administrative skills

If you spare a few hours a month and are seriously interested please send us an email (onekindact at gmail dot com)… We would love to have you on the team!

Thanking you in advance,
The One Kind Act Team..

Disclaimer: One Kind Act is a NON-Profit organization. Any revenue generated from the sale of merchandise will go directly towards administrative, and operating costs. All One Kind Act team members volunteer their time and effort.

You can email us directly at kindness at onekindact dot.com, or fill out the form below…

Helping Sally Swin – A Story of Kindness

Recently, we were introduced to a site called Help Others.org which is another Kindness website that shares many of the same goals as One Kind Act.com. It’s always great to meet other organizations and people and discuss opportunities for working together to help spread the message. HelpOthers.org is a wonderful organization and they offered to allow us to post stores of kindness that have been submitted to their site… So, we decided to start with this one.

Please be sure to visit HelpOthers.org and download or order your smile cards, you can read more about them at the end of the post.

Helping Sally Swin
Posted on HelpOthers.org
by Optimist

Each year I volunteer at a camp for children with asthma. Having the condition myself, I went there myself as a camper, then became a counselor when I was of age. This camp is an wonderful place that I could spend days talking about – it does amazing things to the kids who go through the program. I’ve met a multitude of unforgettable individuals there, but one child definitely stands out.

One year, as a Senior Counselor, I was in charge of one Teams for games and activities. On the first day, the camp director came to talk to me, leading a small girl. For the purposes of this story, I will call her Sally. She was adorable, vivacious, smart, funny, and about 9 years old. And, in addition to asthma, she had sickle cell disease. This meant I had to keep a very, very close eye on her, particularly during games. Overexertion, dehydration, overheating, being too cold, not being able to breathe right: these were all things that could spell major trouble for Sally. They were things that could potentially be life threatening.

Because of her condition, Sally was not allowed to go swimming in the camp’s pool: the water had to be at least 80 degrees for her to swim, and that had never happened in the camp’s history. She wanted to SO bad, though. Then, worst heat wave ever hit camp. While this made most others miserable, Sally was in heaven; for the first time, the water temperature hit 80 degrees. She begged and pleaded, so I took her to one of the camp doctors. He gave her clearance, and Sally and I headed for the pool. It was there that I found out that Sally had rarely ever been swimming, and did not actually know how to swim.

Now, I’m not the world’s greatest swimmer, but I couldn’t take looking at her face as she watched all the other kids shooting through the water like dolphins. So we got to work. 15 minutes later, everyone in camp knew. She ran from person to person, bragging about the fact that she, who could never swim before, was now a regular little otter.

Sally will always have many more problems than the rest of us have to deal with. It may be years before she gets to swim again. But for that day, she was able to rise above the things that were holding her back and find that she could do anything. And knowing that I had helped put that smile on her face made me feel like I had really touched a life. It wasn’t just about learning how to swim; it was about rising above.

About Help Others.org:helpothers
One college student was talking to another slightly older twenty-something guy about pranks that students do for rival football teams. The older guy says, “Isn’t it interesting that students are motivated to do such incredible acts without getting any credit?” Such acts are fun, collective, creative, and incredibly challenging. But typically, they’re not all that constructive nor do they leave anything with a lasting “wow” feeling either. So the question followed –why not do the same with kind acts?

More friends joined in the conversation. Right then, we thought up a game of doing anonymous act of kindness and leaving behind a “smile card” to keep the chain going. Over the next three months, we tested out the concept. And then, we setup this anonymous website and got started.

Smile CardStarting in September of 2003, smile cards began appearing all around the world. They are markers of a newfangled game of tag, where “you’re it” because someone has done something nice for you. Then it’s your turn to do something nice for someone else and, in the process, pass the card along. This is a game of pay-it-forward: anonymously make someone smile, leave behind a card asking them to keep the ripple going. It’s easy and fun. Is kindness truly contagious? There’s only one way to find out …

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Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Practice Random Acts of Kindness
From “Practice Random Acts of Kindness
by Harold S. Kushner (Foreword)
Practice Random Acts of KIndness

Kindness Is an Attitude and an Action

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

As we move through our lives, we carry with us the accumulated experiences that mold our attitudes and our behavior. When we are young and inexperienced, we are often more vulnerable to being pulled in different directions by the events of life. One bad experience, in which our trust is betrayed, our generosity scorned, or our love rejected, can cause us to build unconscious defenses that have the unintended effect of isolating us, of making us fearful or tentative, and that can cause us to pull back from the world.

Later, as we grow in maturity and wisdom, we learn that although we cannot choose what life will deliver to us, we can choose how we will respond. As we begin to live our lives more consciously—going back and sifting through the events that helped shape us, examining how and why different emotions are triggered in our hearts—we can begin to build an entirely new framework for who we want to be, instead of simply accepting who we ended up being.

Through this deeper understanding of the events that have influenced our lives, of the values we hold most dear, and of the things we need to be happy, we can begin the exciting process of taking control of our lives. At the most fundamental level, this begins with the conscious choice of how we wish to be in the world. From that solid foundation, we can act freely and fearlessly, knowing that our actions will reflect our being out into the world.

The practices in this section focus on the intricate underpinnings of a strong foundation of kindness and will assist you in your exploration of how to release that kindness into the world through your actions.

Start Now

“I’ve decided to try to be a better person. . . . But not right away of course. . . . Maybe a few days from now.”charliebrown
~ SALLY TO CHARLIE BROWN IN A PEANUTS CARTOON

“I spent four years ‘getting ready’ to start a diet. I’d get brochures for weight-control programs and look them over while eating a pastrami sandwich. I’d buy the latest diet books and read them with a bowl of chips. My losing weight was such a topic of conversation that finally—over a substantial lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant—my best friend got so exasperated she said, ‘If you really want to lose weight, then put that damn fork down right now!’ Shocked, I dropped the fork and just sat there with my mouth hanging open. When I closed my mouth, I realized I had started my diet.”

Most of us carry around an image of ourselves as we would like to be—a little thinner or stronger, more patient and reliable. But what we want to be means nothing until we stop intending and start acting.

Like dieting, when it comes to the practice of kindness, right now is the best time to begin. It doesn’t require much work or sacrifice—no giving up desserts, no one hundred leg lifts, no pushing a rock up a steep hill. Just a commitment, right here and now, to smile at the bank teller, give a kind word to the grocery checker. Let the driver in front of you cut in. Simple, really.

Remember What’s Important

“In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”
~DAPHNE ROSE KINGMA

In the hustle and bustle of our busy days, full of faxes, phone calls, and a thousand and one errands, it’s really easy to get caught up in the daily details and forget what’s important in life. Often it takes some kind of trauma—the death of a loved one, divorce, a life-threatening illness— to wake us up to what matters. After all, no one on his or her deathbed regretted not spending more time at the office.

Fortunately, we don’t have to be facing a personal tragedy to make our relationships our number one priority. No project, no deadline, no clean kitchen is as important as the quality of your relationship with the person sitting across from you at the breakfast table, as the child who needs your attention right this second, as the mother who is alone in the nursing home. Remembering what’s important gives us the graciousness to take the time, make the phone call, send the card, not say the bitter retort on the tip of our tongue. When we remember what’s important, we generate more loving kindness in our lives.

Take the Risk

“In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving.”
~ SHELDON KOPP

“When I was in second grade, a new boy, Derrick showed up halfway through the year. He had a bad leg, and all the kids teased him. I never teased him, but I was afraid of being too nice to him because I didn’t want the other kids to think I was a sissy or whatever second-graders think.

“That summer my mom made me take swimming lessons at the city pool and Derrick was always there. He was a great swimmer, and I found out later that he swam every day to build up strength in his legs. One day during a break in lessons, I was sitting on the side of the pool and he swam up and said hi and thanked me for not teasing him at school. I said something like, ‘Oh, no big deal,’ but inside I felt like a jerk for being afraid to be friendly with him. Now I’m in fourth grade and Derrick is my best friend. In fact, he’s the best friend anyone could ever want.”

So many of us are so afraid of one another—of having our hearts crushed (again), our spirits broken—that we miss out on the love and connection that is available if we would only take the risk. Acts of love and kindness are risky—we risk looking foolish or being rejected; we risk being laughed at or ignored. But if we don’t act, we risk losing even more— the potential for love, for friendship, for communion with another soul. Today, take a risk with just one person.

Accent the Positive

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. . . . Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
~ THICH NHAT HANH

“I had one of those days when everything went wrong. It started when I was late for work, wound its way through a mountain of irritated customers, computer breakdowns, short-tempered colleagues, car trouble on the interstate which found me walking to a telephone in a drenching thunderstorm without my umbrella, and ended in a totally irrational and emotionally bruising fight with my husband.

“I ran out of the house, trying somehow to outrun all my problems, but the dark cloud just hung over me. As I walked through our neighborhood remembering all the bad things that had happened that day, the storm that had so rudely soaked me earlier began to clear. I came around a corner that overlooked a valley and was treated to one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen: The clouds had thinned to long, tailing wisps and were floating gracefully apart like some kind of celestial doorway, and the biggest full moon I had ever seen was slowly moving into view. I watched as the light from the moon passed like a hand over the valley, turning the entire rain—soaked valley into a kaleidoscope of reflected light. I just started laughing and crying at the same time. Here I was mired in my own little dirt clod and was being so magnificently reminded by the night sky that there was much more to life than what I was feeling in the moment.”

We are very clever at finding everything that is wrong. And once discovered, we get stuck, like a deer caught in the headlights, intensely focusing on it. In order to be kind to ourselves, we need to learn to see our problems in their real context-to open our eyes and hearts wide enough to drink in all the beauty and joy that is always around us, no matter what is going on.

“Don’t Let Fear Stand in Your Way. Do not be afraid.”
~ JESUS

Several decades ago, sociologist Pitirim Sorokin, who founded the Institute for Creative Altruism at Harvard, identified five obstacles to love: fear, stress, limitations, self-devaluation, and tribal altruism. Not surprisingly, they are also the obstacles to kindness.

When we are afraid, we contract—our muscles tighten, our vision narrows, we physically pull away. In other words, we retreat into a private world, cut off from human connection.

When we are stressed, we operate like an robot on the fritz—twitching physically and emotionally, obsessively focused on the narrow issues that are causing our stress, unable to see, much less reach out to, others. When we believe that we are limited, ineffectual, we seal ourselves in a cocoon of apathy. When we see ourselves as “not good enough,” we constantly re-create a lonely and self-limiting world.

The last obstacle to love and kindness is the most complex: tribal altruism—the sense that the small group is more important than the whole. Tribal altruism is the driving force behind racial conflict, religious intolerance, and war. It is also the dangerous halfway house we can become stuck in when practicing kindness.

When we first overcome our fear, stress, sense of limitation, and self-devaluation to extend kindness to others, we often start with what is near to us—our family, our “tribe,” our religious group, our local community, our nation. But if we stop there, we risk the danger of perpetuating greater harm to the whole of humanity in the name of love for our smaller group. It is only when we can move beyond all five obstacles, when we can see every man, woman, and child as a precious and indispensable part of humanity, that we bring the practice of kindness to its fruition.

What obstacles to kindness do you most often experience? Today, just notice what blocks the free flow of kindness in your own life.

Just Act

Where we’ve gotten mixed up is that we believe actions follow belief. But experience creates belief.
~ THE REVEREND CECIL WILLIAMS

“I’ve always thought of myself as a good person who wanted to do something to make a positive difference in the world. But for years I was paralyzed by the sheer scope of the world’s problems: they seemed so overwhelming to me. In the midst of my private despair, I happened to have lunch with a friend who mentioned that he had been volunteering at a local food project, and he asked if I would be interested in helping out occasionally. His request surprised me. I realized that I wanted to help, but at the same time it just seemed to be so futile. I asked him how he managed to keep his spirits up when the lines of hungry people kept growing.

“He smiled and said, ‘I have to confess, part of the reason I do this is because it is what keeps my spirits up. I can’t solve the problem of hunger in the world, but when I am working in that kitchen, knowing that every plate of food I prepare is going to feed someone who really needs it, I feel more alive, more like the man I want to be.”

It is so easy to get lost in the circular motion of our own thoughts that we forget that it is our actions that set everything— including our thoughts—in motion. Even the most insignificant-seeming action reverberates out into the world, setting off a continuously self-perpetuating chain reaction.

We don’t have to believe that what we are doing will have a significant impact or even make a tiny difference. All we need to do is act—to begin and watch what happens.

raokbookBook Description
A course in compassion from the creators of Random Acts of Kindness, Practice Random Acts of Kindness is a compilation of inspiring meditations, affirmations, and true stories collected from the growing number of “kindness experts” in the world. Contributors include Cecil Williams, Billy Graham, Rosalyn Carter, the Dalai Lama, presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and a once-homeless millionaire in Los Angeles whose life was transformed by an anonymous act of generosity.

Kindness is a revolution whose time has come and, while most people sincerely want to be more caring, Practice Random Acts of Kindness brings it all home with simple suggestions of how to be kinder and why. From the wake of Hurricane Katrina to the tragedy of the tsunami to troops in Iraq performing acts of daily compassion, we see many glimpses of what a more benevolent world might look like. In Practice Random Acts of Kindness, the editors who flamed the spark of kindness tell us exactly how we can create this future and effect REAL change through kindness. To get your copy you can click on the book cover or CLICK HERE..

Giving The Gift Of You

Giving The Gift Of You
Serving Your Community

To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive and helpful to all people, creatures, and plant life that share this earth with us. While “being of service” is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for others in service, without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.

There are many ways to be of service to our community.

There are the obvious and much needed volunteer opportunities, such as serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, mentoring our youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then, there is the kind of service that we may not even think of as being acts of service. Learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who isn’t motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give of yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter all are simple ways to offer your services to your community.

giftofyouThere are many ways that you can serve the world. Imagine the impact we would have on the environment if we picked up one piece of trash off the street everyday and chose not to drive our car once a week. Even gardening tactics such as throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others – including the lives of birds and insects. Everyday, you can do something to make this world a better place. During meditation, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching your neighborhood kids how to whistle will impact someone’s day or even their life. Giving of yourself is the best gift that you can give.


About this Articledailyom-small
Reprinted with permission from DailyOM.com – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day. Register for free at www.dailyom.com © 2004-2007 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved.

Giving To Receive – Generosity

Giving To Receive
Generosity

The most difficult time to be generous is when we ourselves are feeling poor. While some of us have experienced actually being in the red financially, there are those of us who would feel broke even if we had a million dollars in the bank. Either way, as the old adage goes, it is always in giving that we receive. Meaning that when we are living in a state of lack, the very gesture we may least want to give is the very act that could help us create the abundance that we seek. One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed. Giving money to a cause or person in need is one way to give energy. Giving attention, love, or a smile to another person are other acts of giving that we can offer. After all, there are people all over the world that are hungry for love.

Sometimes when we practice generosity, we practice it conditionally. We might be expecting to “receive back” from the person to whom we gave. We might even become angry or resentful if that person doesn’t reciprocate. However, trust in the natural flow of energy, and you will find yourself practicing generosity with no strings attached.

generosityThis is the purest form of giving. Remember that what you send out will always come back you. Selflessly help a friend in need without expecting them to return the same favor in the same way, and know that you, too, will receive that support from the universe when you need it. Besides, while giving conditionally creates stress (because we are waiting with an invisible balance sheet to receive our due), giving unconditionally creates and generates abundance. We give freely, because we trust that there is always an unlimited supply.

Being aware of how much we are always supported by the universe is one of the keys to abundance and generosity. Consciously remember the times you’ve received support from expected and unexpected sources. Remember anyone who has helped you when you’ve needed it most, and bless all situations that come into your life for the lessons and gifts they bring you. Remember that all things given and received emanate from generosity. Giving is an act of gratitude. Plant the seeds of generosity through your acts of giving,
and you will grow the fruits of abundance for yourself and those around you.

About this Article
Reprinted with permission from DailyOM.com – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day. Register for free at www.dailyom.com © 2004-2007 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved.

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Joy Through Generosity

Joy Through Generosity
by CeeCi Giardino

Something happened Monday which put me into a bit of an emotional tailspin. Right now, I’m not ready to write about it. I don’t want to give it any more time or thought than I already have. In a few days perhaps, but not right now.

Monday is the day I set aside to accomplish my errands. I rush around town, going to the bank, the post office, and the grocery store. This past Monday, I added a couple of extra stops to my list. When I left the house, I was not in the best frame of mind. I was introspective and dwelling, okay, I was pissed and ruminating. Oh and distracted.

My first stop was the bank. The tellers there are friendly and we’ve enjoyed many good interactions over the years. It’s funny how other people see you and recognize when you don’t seem to be your normal self. The teller asked me if I was alright, I assured her I was then went on my way.

I drove to the post office to drop off my mail in a curbside box. The man in front of me really ticked me off and I found myself saying some rather unkind things to him about his driving skills, the car he was in and his intelligence. Yep, I was being quite the ray of sunshine.

Next I headed to the gym. That’s right, the gym. I’ve been feeling rather lumpy and my energy level has been waning to say the least. I stopped working out regularly about six months ago and I’m very sorry I did. I decided it was time to get my butt back in gear.

It’s the young man who helped me enroll who is prompting me to write. He was courteous, in the way a salesman is trained to be. He asked me my reasons for joining and seemed surprised when I told him I wanted to re-gain my strength and energy. We discussed my options and I startled him again when he asked if I wanted to be measured and weighed so I could check my progress. I declined, weight loss is not my motivation, I explained.ceeci-oka

As we talked, we both began to relax. I learned he was a musician. He’d moved to the area from 90 miles north recently in search of a place to land to ‘take a break.’ He was a high school teacher. I didn’t ask for any details, his demeanor was telling me he was here as part of a healing process.

We continued talking about music. He told me he’s writing and recording his own music. “I’m classically trained, but I’m doing a folk/alternative kinda’ thing.” I asked him to elaborate. After listening to him for a bit we began talking about music we like. We share a love for AfroCelts and agreed, popular music went south in the late 90’s. I asked him if he’d heard of Alexi Murdoch (the artist I featured on Monday). He hadn’t.

I began explaining who Alexi Murdoch is and why I like his music so much. I could tell it was as interesting as listening to the plot of someone’s dream is to me, he had no frame of reference. Then an idea hit me…give him the CD! It was in my car. I’d been listening to it as I was running around town.

“I have his CD in my car,” I told him. “Would you like to have it?”

He looked at me like he hadn’t heard me correctly. “You want to give me your CD?” he asked.

I assured him I did. I’ve copied it onto my computer, I can easily burn another one. I really wanted him to hear this wonderful musician.

We finished the registration process and then he walked to my car with me. I popped the CD out of the player and slipped it into the case and handed it to him. I told him the first song made me cry the very first time I’d listened to it. He was nearly speechless as he examined the tri-fold paper case.

“This is what I’d like my first CD to look like. Simple, clean, look he’s included the lyrics. Thanks, wow, thanks so much!” he said.

I told him it was my pleasure and I hoped he’d enjoy it as much as I did.

Driving away, my mood did a complete shift. I went from fretful and rather morose to feeling light and bountiful. I’d just given someone I’d never laid eyes on until 30 minutes before something I really enjoyed and I did it for no reason other than I wanted to!

When I came home from the rest of my errands there was a message waiting for me on my machine from him. He told me he’d only had a chance to listen to the first song and like me, it had brought tears to his eyes. He went on to say he was anticipating listening to the rest of it. Then he thanked me again and said he’d see me when I go to the gym.

Thinking about what transpired between us, I realized something…we both received a gift on Monday. He got some new music to listen to and perhaps be inspired by. I was shown how profoundly a simple gesture can affect me..I found joy through generosity.

About the Author:
gdp-ceeci-mainCeeCi, is a fellow blogger who was kind enough to allow us to re-print here story here. Her Blog, Giardino del Piacere is filled with heart warming stories and ideas. She was instrumental in getting One Kind Act Wednesday’s started and has been the push behind other special days.

When she is not running her business, (12 Years – Happy Anniversary) 🙂 she’s in the garden or playing music, most likely both… Be sure to stop by and visit her blog, you’ll be glad you did.

Sharing Your Gift With Others

Living Potential – Sharing Your Gift With Others

The gifts we are born with and those that we work to develop throughout our lives vary in form and function. Some we find use for every day while others are only useful in specific circumstances. Yet many times we overlook opportunities to share our unique gifts with others. It may be fear of criticism that holds us back or the paralyzing weight of uncertainty. Ultimately, we doubt that our innate talents and practiced skills can truly add value to others’ lives. But it is the world as a whole that benefits when we willingly share our gifts. Whether you have been blessed with the ability to awaken beautiful emotions in others through art or industry, or your aptitudes transmit more practical advantages, your gifts are a part of who you are. As you make use of those gifts as best you can, be assured that your contribution to worldly well-being will not be overlooked.

kindness-imageYour personal power is defined in part by your gifts. To use your talents is to demonstrate to the world that you understand yourself and are truly attuned to your capabilities. Your earthly existence provides you with ample opportunity to explore your purpose, to utilize your skills in a life-affirming way, and to positively touch the lives of others while doing so. Yet you may feel that your gifts are not as valuable or worthy of attention as those of others and thus hide them away. However, every gift lying dormant in your soul has the potential to fill a void in someone else’s life. Just as your existence is made richer by the love, support, friendship, aid, and compassion of others, so, too, can you add richness to their lives. Your natural ability to soothe hurt, inspire compassion, bake, dance, knit, organize, or think outside the box can be a boon to someone in need.

 

As you embrace your gifts and allow their light to shine, you will discover that more and more opportunities to make use of them arise. This is because your gifts are a channel through which the universe operates. By simply doing what you are good at and also love to do, you make a positive difference. The recognition you receive for your efforts will pale in comparison to the satisfaction you feel when fulfilling your innate potential.

About this Article
Reprinted with permission from DailyOM.com – Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day. Register for free at www.dailyom.com © 2004-2007 DailyOM – All Rights Reserved.

 

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