I got on the subway tonight after class and there wasn't a ton of room, so I stood. It's not such a big deal, since I only go one stop down anyway. A man on the train saw me standing and offered me his seat. I told him that it was ok and to stay where he was. He actually got up, told me that he was only going one more stop and once again offered me his seat. And he smiled. It was nice to see that on the subway.
A while ago, like in the fall, I went to get some dress shoes. While paying for the shoes, I found that I was one or two dollars short and was worried that I would have to go and come back a different time. The lady standing next to me saw my situation and paid the difference and I was able to get the shoes. I thanked her and she said that it's happened to her too and she knows how it feels.
A friend of mine works in a job that requires very long hours. Because of the long hours, the company will reimburse my friend monthly for cab rides home, rather than expecting a not-so-safe late-night subway ride. Lately though, money has been tight and didn't have the resources to be able to wait until being reimbursed, so my friend has been relying on a co-worker to share a cab home. Unfortunately, the co-worker has been leaving earlier than what is expected by the company, causing my friend to need to leave early as well.
My friend's supervisor inquired about the early departure and my friend explained that it was necessary to leave early in order to save the cab fare. The supervisor took my friend aside the next day and asked how much he was owed by the company. The supervisor then took out an amount of money that would cover it and handed it to my friend and said that it could be paid back when the next check comes through. The supervisor did all this in privacy without anyone else knowing about it, in order to not embarrass my friend.
This afternoon one of my co-workers came in pretty late. Upon seeing him we had the following conversation:
Me: Late night last night?
Coworker: Not really, I just had to spend some time this morning shoveling snow.
Me: Wow, your car must have been really snowed under.
Coworker: Well after a dug myself out, I noticed a few older women digging their cars out. It looked like they were having trouble with it, so I helped them out.
I thought wow, what a pleasure to work with a guy who will now have to spend a couple extra hours at the office tonight because of his good heart.
Thank goodness I am able to work from home (G-d bless wireless internet!) so I have been working from home yesterday and today. The snow plows buried my car yesterday so I went out this morning to try to dig it out. 2 different men saw me digging and helped me out. They do not know me and I'm sure they had better things to do, but they helped me get my car out. It was really nice of them. And it wasn't because I looked so cute in my sweats under my skirt and scarf and mismatched hat ;-)
Crossposted on my blog.
I was just speaking to my dad, and he told me that he is going out to dinner with his wife for Valentine's Day this evening. He then mentioned that they are having a friend join them - a friend who recently lost her husband. I was touched by that - it's very thoughful to include someone who would be alone on Valentine's Day, especially now, when I'm sure that loneliness is still very acute.
I'm going to a wedding on President's Day, and it's not in the five boroughs so it was giving me a bit of a headache trying to figure out how I was going to get there. Public transportation to this location (or lack thereof) being what it is, I had sent in my affirmative response card, but I hadn't a clue as to how I would get there.
Then, today, a coworker who is also friends with one of the baalei hasimcha called me and offered me a ride. Isn't that nice? :)
(cross-posted at Elisheva Blogs)
In honor of "Random Acts of Kindness Week", February 12-18, 2007, here are some ideas inspired by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin to help spread kindness throughout your world:
Let the people you care about know that you care. This is a kindness to yourself and to them.
Refrain from causing others pain (emotional, physical or financial).
Think before you speak and refrain from lashon hora and baseless hatred.
A true act of kindness is one in which you don't receive any thanks or anything in return. Try not to resent others who don't show appreciation. This takes your act of kindness to a new and higher level. Be sure to express appreciation and thanks when someone does something kind for you!
Be willing to forgive those who ask for forgiveness (and those who don't).
Be patient with people, don't rush them.
Be willing to change.
When you see a friend or family member do something helpful for others, point out to them how thoughtful they are and how you are so proud of them.
Judge your fellow favorably. Give the benefit of the doubt. Think of others as you would like others to think of you.
Let others help you when they offer.
In New York:
She gave him just a 30-cent tip, but a New York cabbie didn't hesitate before tracking down a passenger to return 31 diamond rings she had left behind.
"I'm not going to take someone else's money or property to make me rich. I don't want it that way," said driver Osman Chowdhury, who is from Bangladesh.
He was even reluctant to accept the $100 check the passenger offered as a reward, eventually accepting it to cover the fares he lost while trying to locate her. But the 41-year-old cabbie did have a message: "I'm proud of what I did so that people know New York taxi drivers are honest."
The cheapskate New York Jewler is not identified, but I'd hate for it to turn out to be an Orthodox Jew. We used to have a corner on kindness, honesty, and integrity. I wonder if the the crown has been passed on.
I especially like the tagline:
He said he didn't mind the meager tip, and it never occurred to him to keep the diamonds.
"All my life, I tried to be honest," the soft-spoken cabbie said. "Today is no different."
[cross-posted at SerandEz]
(Hat tip: Michael B) This is pretty cool, and interesting:
With its blood-red walls and black leather sofas, Kirkland's Terra Bite Lounge looks like any other coffee shop — until you get to the menu. There are no prices listed. Terra Bite doesn't have them.I wonder if - and hope - it will be successful. I think it may be for the reasons illustrated in this comment [the very first comment] on a Kirkland blog:
You read that right: No prices. Customers pay what and when they like, or not at all — it makes no difference to the cafe employees, who are instructed not to peek when people put money in the metal lock box.
I went down to Terra Bite randomly on a Sunday with my best friend because Janis had told me about it. Katie and I had this plan to just go in, get coffee and not pay because we wanted to see how it felt to just not pay. We ended up feeling so guilty that we drove back paid double what we would have and I offered to put a bumper sticker on my car to help advertise...it's a crazy mind game they have going there.This is much better than similar ideas from the past - say, communism or other policies that distribute wealth, for a simple reason given by the next comment:
My initial excitement was later tempered by the thought that we've done this before and it has failed miserably (pick any communist state that has tried to force economic equality by spreading wealth). But then I realized that this was fundamentally different. It's not a government forcing us to distribute wealth. It's about relative worth measured by US. It forces US to look at the larger economic picture and assess how we fit in.It's really brilliant, and I'd love to see how it goes. Hopefully it will show that people really are kind, honest, and fair. My guess? A high enough percentage of people really are, and that will make this be at least moderately successful.
I received this story on a Yahoo! Group that I am part of and thought it needed to be shared:
Two leaders of the Persian community of New York took it upon themselves recently to visit 12 grocery shops in S'derot requesting their credit lists. They paid off all the debts to the tune of $28,000. The store owners were in shock and couldn't thank them enough ! One of them said, "Only through people like this can we expect to survive here." If only stories like this made the headlines!
I was in a drug store earlier, buying some make-up. They didn't have everything I wanted, but I did find an eye shadow that I decided to purchase. I went to the check-out counter, had my purchase rung up and was about to leave. All of a sudden, the clerk offered me some chocolate. I was shocked by this. I wasn't sure if it was kosher, so I declined it, telling her that I try to stay away from sweets. She told me it was her favorite. I thought it was so sweet of her to share. You never know who will show some small kindness.
I spent last week in court, testifying at a trial.
The whole experience was very stressful, but there were two instances of kindness that really stood out.
To start off with, this was the first time I had been in court to testify for any reason, and I was nervous about that.
Add to that that the original situation was stressful to begin with, and I knew I was going to have to deal with the defendant's squirrely attorney coming up with every lie in the book in order to get his client off, and it made for a not too pleasant situation.
Before the trial started, I made it a point to call my boyfriend.
I was hoping to get in touch with him, but wasn't sure I would because his schedule has been extremely packed with work for the last couple of months.
He spends a lot of time out of town, and he spends all hours cooped up in data centers, so although I hoped for a reply to my voice mail, I wouldn't have been surprised if he hadn't replied until much later, or not at all.
Not only did he reply, but it was prompt, and he made it a point to inject his urual reassurance and confidence into the message.
That made quite a difference in my day, and it made it a lot easier to go ahead.
The next bit of kindness involves the detective who investigated the case we were now trying.
He had to testify as well, and I didn't expect that he'd do much more than that.
But he made it a point to let me know that I did well on the stand, and not to worry about the attorney grasping at straws, and he also made it a point to congradulate me after the guilty verdict was handed down three days later.
He was very diligent when investigating the case, and he made it a point to keep me informed.
For that, and his kindness last week, I'm extremely grateful.