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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Random Acts of Kindness (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chrystal
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I admit I'm a big sucker for those Chicken Soup for the Soul books. There's a lot to be said about the way people interact with one another especially when kindness is given to strangers or even those they know only briefly.

The other day I was in a store with my friend when we briefly seperated to do our shopping. Turning the corner my friend sees me and burst into laughter. He was laughing so hard I started to suspect something was on my face! Two elderly woman happened to walk by and one smiled and reached into her purse and pulled out a tissue (clean I should add) and gently wiped my face with it. Her touch was so tender I felt like a kid again with my mom wiping my face..and no she thankfully didn't spit on it! It turned out I had a dirt streak from my forehead to my chin..ha ha!!

My friend was still laughing when they turned to him and said "young man you have one on your face as well." She proceeded to take out another tissue and reach up and wipe his face. Turns out we had been loading cases of pet food in my cart and I suspect it was quite dusty underneath. Overall it was really touching to see this tiny elderly woman reaching up and wiping my friends face whom towered at least a foot above her.

A few minutes later I was in the parking lot unloading the things into my car. I was parked quite far from the main enterance and was searching for the nearest place to return the shopping cart. It was pouring rain. A woman walked by and said "hey I'm heading to the store I'll take it for you."

Two weeks ago at a convention a wonderful couple whom I had met a few times before as we always exhanged hellos opened up their home to myself and other magi's attending the convention. It was a great experience and they really put themselves out for all of us. In the morning she arose early and breakfast was awaiting us all! I hope I can repay them if they should ever visit my city.

So..it got me to thinking about how something even small but done so with good intentions makes both parties feel pretty good about the interaction. I'm curious to know what random acts of kindness have you done for others or vice versa. Smile
Eddini_81976
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I'm a strong believer Crystal in doing random acts of kindess for others. God Knows how many people have been so kind to me. I've put up people I have never met or just new very little for the night a couple of times (yes I know in this day and age that its dangerous, but I can usually read people pretty well). I live in a fairly big town with a bus stop close to where I perform at night on the weekends and there have been a person here and there that I've let stay at my apartment. I've also had people give me rides to places on short notice (I have a licsence, but I've never owned a car), to places. Or if I just needed someone to talk to, people have lended a kind, open ear for me. I think (not to sound cliche'), that people should treat people better in general. I mean you see on the news its mostly negative, and I think we as humans should try to change that. That is whats in our power anyway, thanks, nice post Crystal, Ed, (Eddini). Smile Smile Smile
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
Ellen Kotzin
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I remember one year helping an old woman finding her--fallen down at night near my apartment complex (in upstate NY cold)--she was way over where no one could see her. Thank god I found her and took her to safety otherwise she might have froze. Also--same apt. bdg. across the street another old woman fell down (deja vu) and split her head--I helped her put pressure on it and wait till someone came.

I've had a 70 year old director of a theatre that I was involved with help me move when I had no one. I can think of some other things that people have done unselfishlessly to me.

I agree people should be nice and help. EVER see PAY IT FORWARD, the movie. It is very life-changing and I wish everyone did that. That's MEGA scale though.

Thanks for the nice post--wish people would think of others more than they do of themselves.

Ellen Smile
Mark Williams
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I had to perform CPR on our dog in order to save his life, he's now just turned 3 years old. Perhaps if I wasn't able to revive him, I never would have gotten the biggest, most sloppiest lick from him four days after that event. That act of kindness from him, outweighs what I did for him--At least I think so.
"Once is Magic!! Twice is an Education!!"
vinsmagic
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Chrystal:
The is the reason you are our hospitalitly hostess, you are a good and kind person. Your post speaks for itself.
vinny
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
RandyStewart
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Some of you may experience, as I do during random acts of kindness, an apparent negative effect/reaction to those acts of kindness somewhere down the road. I know....I know...bare with me! I share this thought incase some of you ever decide to give up on any positive philosophy regarding acts of kindness. And no, this doesn't occur all the time with me but has happened on several occasions.

I personally know what its like to have a negative effect, apparently aimed at or affecting me personally, immediately or shortly after a random act of kindness. I'm talking about acts of kindness with no hidden motives or apparent gain/return i.e. helping a homeless person or holding a door open for a stranger you'll never see again.

If there are good and evil forces at work, the latter sure does a decent job at disuading one from even bothering with such. I say not a problem - just double the dose of kindness and move on. Smile

If this has ever happened to you, you may very well be doing something right so keep it up!
blindbo
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I have experienced wonderfully touching acts of kindness, both unto me and as witness to others.

I've no doubt that has directed me to the same giving, in a surprising (to me) spontaneous act...as if guided in some way.

What a nice topic, Chrystal. It has me reliving some very tender moments.

Do any of you remember the movie "Pass It On"?
Chrystal
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What nice heart warming stories you have told! Ellen, it was great you discovered that friendship doesn't always have to be in the same age bracket as us. Eddini, I agree we have the power to decide how to react..either in positive or negative ways towards others.

Aww Vinnie, you have a heart of gold!

Randy, I do understand what you are trying to say. Sometimes people will take advantage of generosity but I hope you realize that the majority of the time that doesn't happen and it's better not to be disillusioned over that fact that one person can change our way of thinking. Instead it's better to focus on the positive aspect!

Blindbo,It brought back lots of good memories for me too..acts bestowed apon me or other times when I have done the same for others. Not looking for a pat on the back myself, but it's nice to try to focus on people's good nature.

It doesn't matter where I have travelled in the world and it's been extensive, I have found people generally the same. Like the homeless man in NYC whom helped with my luggage in Penn Station. Yuppers can hear some of you thinking now..Yikes! she allowed someone to take her luggage! Not so he stayed right by my side and kept assuring me he would not try to run with it when he saw my initial reluctance. What made this even more amazing he refused to take any money afterwards.He said he just wanted to help. I was really torn over that one..on one hand thinking should I show I trust him and also thinking..I might get ripped off. I'm glad I chose the trust.

Same thing in Paris, which has the reputation of being a city of rude people..Nope didn't see a sign of it. Instead, I found people going out of there way to offer assistance and friendly people, when I lived there one summer. Even the fellow that ran back blocks in the pouring rain to tell me he had given me the wrong direction and then pointed out the right way.

The movie some of you spoke of Pass it On..gives that same message, it's sort of reciprical.Either way, if we are the receivers or the benefactors it's a good feeling all around.

Premiata, I loved your story too! I think animals inately sense when we have helped them and pay us back with their loyalty or a sloppy kiss!! Ha ha!
Cheshire Cat
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It would indeed be nice to be able to perform more random acts of kindness, but so many folks have a built in barrier these days. I have to admit that our acts of kindness tend not to be random anymore as when you've had your hand in the fire a few times . . .

Selective acts of kindness? Yes of course.
Margarette
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Random acts of kindness....well, believe it or not, working in a church has sort of had a negative effect on me in that respect. So many people have called or come by, and they become irate when I tell them that the church is not set up for financial aid nor does it have a food pantry. I suppose I see so many of those who think society owes them and I never know if they are telling me a true story or if it is just some sort of scam (although, most times it ends up being some sort of scam...but, that's another thread). However, this morning, something happened. I had stopped at the local quickstop to get my morning coffee and newspaper. As I pulled into the parking lot, I notice a man sitting on the walkway. He was smoking a cigarette and was drinking a cup of coffee. He was very unkempt, so I assumed he was homeless. We didn't make eye contact as I walked in the store, but I kept seeing his image while I was fixing my coffee. "What would it hurt?" I thought as I made my way to the checkout as I picked up a couple other items. As I walked to my car, I passed by him, stopped, said "good morning" to him and handed him a couple of breakfast items I picked up in the store. He was quite surprised as he took the items and gave me a very gracious "thank you." I don't know his situation, and probably never will, but my attitude for the day was different. I think it was the best two bucks I've spent in a long time! Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Cheshire Cat
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Margarette, that is absolutely the best and only way if you want to help someone begging or homeless and glad you brought it up. Give them a pound or a couple of dollars and it will end up making some brewery or tobacco company richer - or even worse some drug dealer! (many may argue tobacco manufacturers ARE drug dealers!! - get out the Café Legal Team again, Tony has said something else he shouldn't!). So much better to put something edible or a coffee or tea in their hand than money! I also see so many quite well educated young people either begging, or selling copies of the "Big Issue" (a glossy mag. sold by the homeless), or being a darn right nuisance 'employed' in street sales (time share apartments in Spain etc.), and I look at my own son, aged 18, worked hard at school, got good exam results, - decided to enter the work market, got a great job, two pay rises in 9 months, works 42 hours a week! now driving his own car and has 1000% self esteem! It seems to me there are those in life who are prepared to work . . . and then there are the other sort . . . (somewhere in the middle are the "there but for the grace of God" genuine ones who can't help themselves and do need selective acts of kindness from us all).

Tony. Smile
Beetroot
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I was in a car-park and had just paid for my pay-and-display ticket when a woman arrived and was looking in her purse for some change to use for the ticket machine. She only had a 10 pound note so asked me I've I could give her change for a tenner. I only had a few coins on me so I couldn't. Instead I asked her how long she intended to stay in the car-park. She said "a couple of hours". That would have cost her a pound so I said "here's a quid then". She looked at me dumbfounded because I'd given her a pound for no apparent gain. She said "you can't do that!". I said "I already have, it's only a pound.". I gave her a smile and walked away. She stood there utterly amazed.

It's nice to think I made a difference to her day with such a small gesture. But it's also worrying that the act itself was viewed as utterly extraordinary.

On a more comical note, when I was still living with my parents (I was ~20 years old at the time), I was watching TV with my Dad when my Mum came in through the front door and said "there's a car on fire outside". I said "What? Right outside?". "Yes". I went into action mode and ran out the back door to get the fire extinguisher from my car. I retrieved the extinguisher and ran with it in hand out to the road at the front of the house to put the fire out (you could almost hear the "A-Team" music playing in the background). What my Mum neglected to tell me was, not only was the car on fire, but there was also a fire engine there in the process of putting the fire out.

I got some funny looks from the firemen and onlookers, I can tell you.
sdgiu
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Chrystal,
Growing up my Dad taught me, that God wants us to help others, with no expectation of reward.

Well, that Thanksgiving Day around 1978, that was the farthest thing from my mind, as I walked to the Bus terminal in Terre Haute, Indiana.

I had been driving from Germantown Ohio to Cape Girardeau Missouri, when my engine siezed and threw a rod.

It seems the mechanic who did the oil change on my car just before I left, didn't tighten the oil plug when he put it back in, and it jiggled loose almost exactly at the halfway point of my trip.

Thanksgiving/giving thanks was not at the top of my to do list that day. But I still had to get home, so I called Mom & Dad, and told them I was taking the Bus home & I'd be late.

Thanksgiving lunch at a diner, Turkey hotshots. Yummy!!! Well, I was about as deep in self pity as you can get.

I bought my ticket, and boarded the bus (Hmmm, a bus was just getting ready to go, where I was going, when I got there, coincidence Smile ...)

I had only taken my heavy/favorite sweatshirt, a sweater and a book to read on the bus when I left the car, I had to come get the car later anyway, why lug everything all the way home.

I get situated on the bus, front seat, right behind the driver, best seat on the bus to me.(another coincidence Smile ...) I make small talk with the driver (they make a fortune working holidays), and the other guy in the front seat across the aisle. Of course, we being about the same age, apprx 23, exchange stories, I'm going home to see my parents for Thanksgiving, yada, yada, yada. He says he has been working in the Ringling Brothers Circus Blue team for the last year(he then has my full attention), and is going home to his family during the off season.

The only way he could get from Sarasota Fla to Taos New Mexico, was Through New York City. (very strange)
He had saved all his money,apprx. $9000 and was going home for the holidays to see his wife and young son who were living with his parents.

He got off the Bus at the terminal in NYC to get something to eat, and got mugged. They even took his coat. When he told me this I no longer felt sorry for myself, then I realized that he was shivering, and kicked myself for not noticing earlier, took off my sweatshirt, stuffed half my money, about $40, in the front pocket, and gave it to him. I felt so sorry for him and really felt ashamed of my little Pity party. God sure has a way of turning things around, and showing us there's always a reason to be thankful. I only wish I could have done something significant to help him. My prayers went, and still do at times go out for him.

I haven't seen "Pay it Forward", but that's my idea of it, because God does repay the kindness that we do, I've seen it personally, hundreds of times, but don't worry, I try to only do one epic per month. Smile
Godspeed
Steve
troppobob
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Giday Chrystal

I was just winding up and decided to have look at the end of the list. Thankyou all for for your reflections, it has brought to mind a wide variety of situations I have been involved in over the years. I reckon that some of those had made a big impact on my own moral development.

It is possible that some parts of Australia (out of the cities)and it's supposedly egalitarian social system (it is not real but it is common for people to sit in the front seat of the taxi cab) mean that there is a special sense of community where there is greater consideration for each other. This is often the case in theory and we have lots of songs and poems that celebrate what we call "mateship". But the reality is that it is just as dangerous to offer assistance here as otehr parts of the world.

However I think that it is that element of danger that gives an edge of excitement to randome acts of kindness.

As I read all the contributions I found myself remembering lots of different occasions when I have gone out of my way and put myself at risk to assist someone in strife.

You know I might have rescued about 10 people out of the surf over the years and I can only remeber who one of them was.

Any way I have enjoyed this reminisence in an unlikely place.

Troppo Bob Smile
Chrystal
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Awesome stories everyone!

It seems to be the general consensus that acts of kindness seem to be the best when they are random. When the receiver or giver didn't ask or expect it from another person. When one of the parties wasn't seeking to have "strings attached", that the act was genuine. Then both walk away with a good feeling or in Beetroot's case...well your heart was in the right place!!! :O)

I really can't think of anything else to say but thanks for sharing your stories. Smile
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