By Daneen James
Kindness is a game changer. Be inspired by these stories about the life-changing impact of kindness (https://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/kindness-strangers/). Then brighten someone's day with one of the 20 random acts of kindness, listed below, that take 2 minutes or less and don't cost a penny(https://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/free-random-acts-of-kindness/).
When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, I was short $12. I began to remove items from the bags, when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.” – Leslie Wagner, Peel, Arkansas.
Waiting in the Wings
I'm a middle school teacher. After four weeks of recovering from the devasting loss of my first child. I walked into my empty classroom and turned on the lights. Glued to the wall were a hundred colored paper butterflies, each with a handwritten message on it from current and past students. All of them had encouraging messages: “Keep moving forward,” “Don’t give up on God,” and “Know that we love you.” It was exactly what I needed. – Jennifer Garcia-Esquivel, San Benito, Texas
Lost and Found
I forgot about the rules on liquids in carry-on luggage, so when I hit security at the airport, I had to give up all my painting supplies. When I returned a week later, an attendant greeted me at the baggage area with my paints. He'd kept them for me and he had looked up my return date and time in order to meet. – Marilyn Kinsella, Canmore, Canada.
I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said. Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug. – Stacy Lee, Columbia, Maryland
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Children were playing at the recreation area of an IKEA store when my five-year-old granddaughter motioned for a small boy to stop. She knelt down before him and retied his flopping shoelaces—she had only just learned to tie her own. No words were spoken, but after she finished, both smiled shyly, then turned to race off in different directions. – Sheela Mayes, Olla, Louisiana.
A Healing Touch
When my husband died unexpectedly, a coworker took me under her wing. Every week for an entire year, she would send me a card saying “Just Thinking of You” or “Hang in There.” She saved my life.
– Jerilynn Collette, Burnsville, Minnesota
It only takes a moment to make an impact. 20 random acts of kindness that take 2 minutes or less and don't cost a cent:
Inspired? Try some of your own.
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Daneen James is an inspirational author, speaker and develops uplifting
products and media through her company, SPARKSAFLAME.