Friday, February 01, 2008

Kindness makes YOU feel good!

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Thank you all so much for the very touching comments yesterday! I loved reading every one of them! I'm sorry to say that I don't have any updates on Helen other than what I added to the bottom of my post yesterday. There were a lot of details I left out of that post because I was trying to not ramble on about the whole 2 hours or so I spent with her. I just wanted to let you know that I did offer to take her to the train station and get her on a train back to Modesto but she said she had things she needed to get here before she went back. Her mother had a home here so I'm assuming she wanted to get some of her things. I didn't question her any further about it but I did offer her help in getting home. I even told her that I might be able to drive her home if she didn't want to take the train. I have no doubt at all that Helen needed help. If you saw her I know you would agree!

Also, I just wanted to say that I really think I got more out of this experience than she did. I can't even begin to tell you how good it made me feel to reach out to someone in need. I've never done anything like that before but now I know I will go out of my way to help another person if they need it. Giving really is better than receiving!

I've had a few experiences in my life, both good and bad that have influenced the way I feel about helping someone in need. The first is just a little something that happened to me personally. I was with my daughter in Target and I slipped on some water on the floor. My feet flew out in front of me and I crashed down to the floor on my back. Usually if I fall (yes I've done this before) I jump right up before I realize what happened because I'm so embarrassed. This time it was different. I couldn't get up. People were walking around me but not one person stopped to ask if I was okay or if I needed help. I was finally able to get up and I was okay. I told my daughter right there after I got up that if she ever sees anyone fall to see if they need help. Even if she doesn't feel comfortable she could go get a store manager but she should do SOMETHING! I will never forget how horrible it felt to have those people walk by me and not offer any help!

Another situation happened to my son when he was younger. His dad I divorced when he was two years old. His dad moved to San Francisco and for years we would share visitation by driving back and forth the one hour drive each way from San Jose to San Francisco. When Vince was about 12 we decided (actually, I was coerced into it) that he could take the train between the two cities. I always made sure I was at the train station early so I would be there when he arrived. One day he got off the train and I could tell the moment I saw the look on his face that something was wrong. I think he was about 12 or 13 years old. This is what happened on that train ride: The train conductor would come around and collect your ticket once the train left the station. Vince's dad had given him a promotional free train ticket that he had. When Vince gave it to the conductor he told Vince that it had expired the day before and that he needed to buy a ticket. Unfortunately Vince didn't have any money so the conductor told him that he would have to get off at the next stop! Vince pleaded with him and told him that I was waiting for him and that I would pay for the train ride when he arrived. He told him NO and was ready to throw him off the train at the next stop. The next stop was a bad area of town with only commercial warehouses and not very populated at that time of day. Luckily there was an angel on that train. A woman sitting across from my son that only spoke Spanish somehow figured out what was going on and she started digging for change at the bottom of her purse and she was able to find just enough to pay for my son's ticket! I will never forget what she did for him! I don't know what I would have done if his train arrived and he wasn't on it! She got off the train before his stop so I wasn't able to thank her. She probably has no idea that her small act of kindness changed my life as much as it did!

When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like wildfire.-- Whoopi Goldberg

29 comments:

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Cindy, it might have been Helen.
..............
I have a son, he is 20 months old.

Elaine L. said...

Wow! I read today's and yesterday's post.

I know what you mean when you feel doing something is the right thing.

My husband always says, the person you help may just be an Angel Unaware.

The world seems to be getting so impersonal. I love hearing stories like yours that give reaffirms that yes, there are good people in the world.

~elaine~

~elaine~

Glenda said...

Cindy,
I agree with you about everything you are feeling.
When you do something for someone and don't know the end result, it's frustrating, but God knows what happened. Trust your self and your gut feeling of whether it is good or bad.
Doing little thins like saying thank you to a store checker that seems to be in a bad mood or saying hello with a smile can go a long way. I once saw a man sitting around a gas station phone, and he asked for money. I asked when was the last time he ate, he couldn't remember. So, I left and went to the closes place and bought him hamburgers, coffee, and whatever I thought. As a single mom, I too didn't have a lot. When I brought it back to him he was shocked. He took the food and thanked me. It was not expected and I never thought twice about it. I feel more compassion for the elderly, because both of my parents have died in the past 4 years and I miss them so much. They are the ones that need our help the most.
So, Cindy. follow your heart and mind and you will be fine.

Julie said...

Wow - those are amazing and touching stories! My favorite part though - was when you were shunned by others - how you took the bad experience and used it for good by teaching your daughter compassion!

Alison Gibbs said...

The world has become a sad place. People just don't want to get involved. Good on you for taking care of Helen.
Alison

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I try to spend my life practicing random acts of kindness. You are so right!
Hugs,
Penny

notsoSAD said...

I'm so glad you stopped. One of the best things about Wisconsin (and believe me I can give you tons that aren't so hot - high taxes and weather for starters) is that people are very caring here.

I had a similar fall in a restaurant - while wearing a skirt that went over my chest - and most of the people around me immediately came to my aid. And I have been in other situations where many people offer to help.

What you did was a kind and generous act - the world needs more of this.

Rosemary said...

I have to say Cindy, that one gave me the goosebumps.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Rosemary

hoganfe said...

Great post Cindy thank you!
xo
mary
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Anonymous said...

Pay It Forward....If you've never seen that movie, it's a MUST. It will change your life. It's something we should all do. At Christmas I learned from a friend who was in line at the drive thru at Starbucks. When she got up to the window she was told the person in front of her paid for her coffee. She did the same for the car behind her. Such a simple thing, but what a wonderful idea. Pay It Forward!

debbiekay said...

Cindy:

I have never met you but I am convinced after reading your blog and how you portray yourself online (and off) you are indeed a VERY kind person and God will truly bless you for reaching out to that dear soul. Often times we do not see our reward here on earth but rather it is awaiting us in heaven. You are so special Cindy.

Debbie Kay

Adrienne said...

Cindy -
Your posts yesterday and today have been so moving. You were blessed to be able to help someone who asked nothing in return. That is genuine compassion and kindness. Thank you for being the one to stop and help Helen. She may never remember your face or name and you may never hear from her again but remember - God keeps the records. He knows your heart and He knows that you did what He urged you to do. You will be blessed more than you know because you were there for her. ~Adrienne~

Gail McCormack said...

"Do unto others as you would be done by"
I admire you pointing this out to your daughter, isn't it a shame more parents don't, I know I always have to my kids....hope somewhere along the line it sunk in. Wonderful thoughtful posts Cindy

Gail McCormack said...

Me again...it should be
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"...pretty much saying the same thing

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

I have been reading your blog from sometime and you know, it doesn't surprise me that you would do such a caring loving thing. My mom always has told me that we never know why we have delays that it can always be for our best. It could even be a delay that would save our life. You were divine intervention. You were listening to that quiet voice and were open to be guided in the right direction of someone in need.... An angel. "be not forgetful to entertain strangers for some have unwittingly entertained angels unaware"

God bless you and warm wishes Pamela

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Hello Cindy, your recent experience reminded me one that happened to me around Thanksgiving time last year. You can read it here: http://dreamerjean.blogspot.com/2007/12/touch-starfish.html

Rosemary said...

Hi Cindy,
You are so right about all you say~I would have tried to help you if I saw you fall at Target. How horrible you must have felt. You have a good heart Cindy, I believe angels are watching. Blessings~Rosemary

Anonymous said...

Cindy,
I also have been reading your lovely blog, but this is my first comment. Helping this poor woman, as you did, was a kindness from your heart and shows the depth of your soul and who you are as a human being. Doing a kindness, and not leaving to chance that "someone else" will do something, even at sacrifice to yourself, is truly special. Never doubt a good deed and continue to be the special human being you are.
Linda in Georgia

Vickie said...

Such amazing experiences. I don't understand how some people behave the way they do but thank goodness for those who do take time help.

Katrina said...

I have been so touched by the posts you have left. Makes me think twice! Great stories and so glad you shared them :)

Artsy Etc. said...

Cindy, I read this post and the previous post as well. Ever since I found your blog, you have inspired my creativity. Today you inspired me to be a kinder person.

What a wonderful reminder to "pay it forward."

God bless you.

Robyn said...

Cindy! What can I say...except I have always known you as an angel with a HUGH heart of gold! Bless you Cindy! You do remarkable things for people whom you do not know! Thank you for helping her, thank you!
Hugs,
Robyn

Suzy said...

Cindy,
please stop by I have a blessing for you. For all your kindness!!!

Love, Suzy

Tara said...

Great posts, so nice to people there for other people...what an impression this must have made on your son! There are good peopele out there!!
Tara

Charlotte said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It is so inspiring. What a different world this would be if everyone (or just half the people) showed kindness.
Hugs & Blessings.

Nan said...

Sounds like your son had a guardian angel.
Hugs,
Nan

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Cindy, I am appalled that people just walked right past you when you fell on the floor. And thank goodness for that angel on the train taking care of your son. Yesterday, I was at the dry cleaners and the cashier asked the customer in front of me if he had a quarter so she could give him his change in all dollars instead of a bunch of change. He said no, so I reached around and handed her a quarter. The man was astonished and then broke out in a wide grin. He thanked me and said he was going to do a random act of kindness for someone else that day. Such simple things can make someone's day. ~ Lynn

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Cindy,

I have goosebumps after reading this post! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Hugs,
Dena

Trish said...

I am blog surfing tonight and it is May 9, 2013, several years after your kindness blog. But after reading how good you felt after being so kind to that woman in need, I had to write and tell you how good I feel tonight because three kind strangers helped me today get out of an awkward situation with my car. I misjudged a turn in the parking lot and turned too sharp and went over the curb. There was a hole on the other side of the curb and my tire went down in the hole leaving me hung up on the curb. I couldn't go backwards or forward. Three people immediately came over to me when they saw my predicament and assessed the situation then told me what to do. The man told me to put the car in reverse and push slowly on the gas,then it looked like he and another woman literally lifted the front end of the car up as I backed up until I was up and over the curb. After I found a parking place, the man came over and checked the front end to make sure there was no damage and gave me the A-Ok sign. I don't know when I have felt so good because of the kindness of three strangers going out of their way to help me. There are some amazing people out there and even though I don't know you, I would say you are one of them.