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Random acts of kindness

Random acts of kindness
YASU + JUNKO FOR READER'S DIGEST

The world could use a little more kindness – especially with the year we just had. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in your own routine and everyday personal worries that sometimes we just don’t remember to tune into those around us. It feels great to be kind, so it’s a win-win! Maybe you need a little guidance on random acts of kindness or maybe you need to be inspired with kindness quotes from people you admire, but these stories on kindness will definitely encourage you to pass the compassion on. A little bit will go a long way.

These 19 powerful kindness quotes will stay with you.

The man at the market

The man at the market
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When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, I was $12 over what I had on me. 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

A family’s food angel

A family’s food angel
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While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who it was who left the groceries for us, but they truly saved our lives. — Jamie Boleyn

Inspired? Here are 14 simple acts of kindness you can do in 2 minutes or less.

Colour me amazed

Colour me amazed
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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 was at the baggage area with my paints. Not only had he kept them for me, but he’d looked up my return date and time in order to meet me. —Marilyn Kinsella

Eleven kilometres for me

Eleven kilometres for me
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Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and mobile phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tyre and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his mobile phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That’s an 11-kilometre round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.” An hour later, he returned with the key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset. —Clarence W. Stephens

Read about the benefits of giving.

The little lift

The little lift
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One evening, I left a restaurant just ahead of a woman assisting her elderly mum. I approached the curb and paused to see if my arthritic knees could climb it. To my right appeared an arm to assist. It was that of the elderly mum. My heart was so touched. —Donna Moerie

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My granddaughter’s dress

My granddaughter’s dress
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I saw a dress in an op 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

 

White Shoulders

White Shoulders
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A woman at our garage sale wore a perfume that smelled heavenly and familiar. “What are you wearing?” I asked. “White Shoulders,” she said. Suddenly, I was bowled over by a flood of memories. White Shoulders was the one gift I could count on at Christmas from my late mother. We chatted awhile, and she bought some things and left. A few hours later, she returned holding a new bottle of White Shoulders. I don’t recall which one of us started crying first. —Media Stooksbury

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Breaking bread

Breaking bread
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Last December, before work, I stopped at a deli and ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. It was toasty warm, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. But as I left the store, I noticed an older indigent gentleman sitting at the bus stop. Knowing it would probably be his only warm meal of the day, I gave him the bagel. But all was not lost for me. Another customer from the deli offered me half of her bagel. I was so delighted because I realised that in one way or another, we are all looked after. —Liliana Figueroa

Read about how one woman mastered baking a yeast bread from scratch after years of failure.

“I can still help”

“I can still help”
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As I walked through the car park, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy. “Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions. —Mohammed Basha

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