21 December 2012

A New Beginning






Late last summer I started asking friends, colleagues, and readers to tell me about random acts of kindness. Tell me about a time a stranger turned around the course of a dismal day. Tell me about a time you reached out to help someone you didn't even know. Tell me how that made you feel.

And you did.

And I took note.

And I didn't know what I would do with all those little anecdotes, but I knew if I collected, cataloged, organized, and displayed them nicely, someone might want to see them. What is the old expression? "If you can't be good news, be the first to share good news."

So that is what I am doing: I am sharing.




A couple of months ago I decided that I would make my 2013 New Year's Resolution to share one act of kindness each day. Come Thanksgiving I started posting on a dry run basis...now it's nearly Christmas, and even though the official 'launch date' is still January 1, recent events have made me realize that some things shouldn't wait. So go on and be one of the first people to take a look at my new baby: I Believe in Strangers.


I can't tell you how excited I am to share this with you guys. Except for the handful of friends who contributed to the existing content, you guys are the first to know. I should probably wait until Jan 1 but I'm feeling impulsive. It's Christmas. That'll happen.

In case someone was wondering -- this second adventure is not going to conflict with or diminish auntpeaches.com. No, sir. It's just a sibling operation. Having a second kid does not lessen one's love for the first.

For the foreseeable future, I will not be making any money off of I Believe. No ads or sponsors. I want to keep it simple. It is not a business. It is an opportunity to share. Period.

And now, this is the part where I need your help: If you did not join in the first round of people telling me about your own experiences with random acts of kindness, please do. Then tell others about I Believe as well. The more people who see it, the more people contributing, the more we have to share.

Yes, there is a lot of sharing going on up in here.

Kumbaya.







39 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful project! With all the sad things happening in the world, it's nice to read something good. Thank you

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  2. What a WONDERFUL idea!! The world is still full of kind and thoughtful people, unfortunately it's the horrible acts that we are bombarded with on a daily basis...how refreshing to have the opportunity read and share the POSITIVE!!!

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  3. What a WONDERFUL idea!! The world is still full of kind and thoughtful people, unfortunately it's the horrible acts that we are bombarded with on a daily basis...how refreshing to have the opportunity read and share the POSITIVE!!!

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  4. I believe in strangers is so fantabulous that not only will I read it, I wish I had thought of it! I believe in aunt peaches! Thanks for the love.

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  9. I have to thank you for your act of kindness putting your blog out for us, it makes me smile! My act of kindness was immense . I was 21 weeks pregnant when I was put on bed rest at the hospital 30 miles from home. I was a custodian for our local school where 1 of our 3 children attended . The staff got together and sent home a full course meal every night with our daughter on the school bus. Each staff member took their turns . I was told to not be stressed as I lay in bed. My husband at home with a teenager ,an 8 year old and a 2 year old. This act of kindness alleviated some stress as there was so much food that my husband did not have to prepare. I had friends bring me wonderful meals also. 5 weeks later our son was born at 2 pounds. Today Ross is 17, healthy and awesome! The staff in the ICU where Ross lived for 3 months perform acts of kindness every day . I will never forget how blessed we are for all of these wonderful people!!! I have always wanted to share this story to a wider audience ,Thank you for the opportunity.

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  10. That is truly beautiful -- I am going to use it for sure. What wonderful people!

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  11. So exciting, Peaches! May your second spawn bring you(and us!) as much delight as the first...

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  12. I'll bet it was! I tried doing that last year and failed. I figure, if I can't *DO* an act, I'll report an act. Easier on me and the ripples are bigger :)

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  13. Thanks Wendy!

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  14. I think this happened shortly after your post asking for stories - I may have shared this before, but it's worth repeating.

    After a sweltering day of running errands and just generally getting everybody's stuff done and feeling what we Southerners call "put-upon," I swung through the drive through to pick up a late lunch so I could get through my last few stops without kicking people. Short version: I was super-grumpy. I ordered and waited what seemed like a long time to pull around to pay. Even grumpier. Turns out, the person in front of me had waited for my order to process and paid for my lunch too. Total Stranger.

    Seriously, I saw stars for just a few minutes. I have never been so humbled. I couldn't stop thinking about it and told everybody who would listen. I was profoundly moved by this small gesture and resolved to do the same every chance I get. So, dear stranger, for your $6.50, you purchased a renewed heart - then gave it to me. What a bargain!

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  15. This is so ace! I did a 365 Random Act of Kindness challenge a couple of years back where I performed a RAOK every day for a year - it was an incredible experience!

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  16. $6.50 -- a bargain indeed!

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  17. This is so completely wonderful and thank you so so much for creating it!!! I am sharing the page with everyone :)

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  18. I just read the first few & I am nearly in tears (in the best way possible) at my desk... I am so excited about & grateful for this project. Thank you for this meta-random act of kindness!

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  19. I woke up this morning feeling Scroogey and Grinchy and overwhelmed. Thank you. I needed this. We all need this.

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  20. Just this past Saturday, I finally hauled my cheap heiney to the salon to get my hair cut for the first time in almost 2 years. I cut the hair of everyone else in the household to save money, but I can't do my own. So, it had gotten very, very long. Although I would rather have used the $13 on Christmas treats for my family, a cut needed to be had.

    After I had the stylist chop about a foot of hair off, I walked to the reception desk to pay. The manager was on the phone at the time so I handed my check card to my stylist. The manager held a restraining arm out to the stylist until she finished her call. She handed me back my card and said, "You're all taken care of. Merry Christmas." I am not sure if the person ahead of me "paid it forward," if it was someone's random act of kindness in honor of the CT shooting victims, or if the manager was just feeling especially generous. But, it made my day.

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  21. How nice. Merry Christmas, everyone :)

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  22. It was Halloween, and it was pouring. Sounds like the beginning of a bad scary campfire story, doesn't it? It gets better. My mom and I were driving back from my grandparents' house where we had gone to show off my California Raisin costume (it was 1988, people). Halfway home on the expressway, our car died. Like, died died. My poor mom attached my safety glo-stick to the car's antenna and waved my white costume glove out the window, trying to flag down some help.

    Eventually, a car pulled to the side of the expressway, and a man came to check on us. When he saw we were in trouble, he helped my mom push our car under the overpass, and then gave us both a ride to a local restaurant where he waited for us to be able to call my dad for help.

    We were vulnerable and scared, and he did nothing but help. We didn't even think to ask his name, we were so grateful. He got nothing out of the deal, but the knowledge that he had helped us out.

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  23. How am I just seeing this comment now? What a sweet story! And what a nice man. Any chance you have a pic of yourself in that California raisin costume? I would love to use it. I'm serious. If not I might have one too -- was yours a garbage bag like mine or did you have a real one?

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  24. I love this so much! I read all of them. I'm totally tearing up as I sit here at work taking reports of abuse and neglect. It is WONDERFUL to hear about the kindness in the world when my days are filled with stories of sorrow.

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  25. Peaches. . . just thank you. This is healing.

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  26. Get this page on Facebook. I think this is fabulous. You can always link them to your blog. Hurry.

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  27. I'd like to share a story that you could share. It happened a while ago, my son was about 3 years old, so 8 years ago. I was going through a really REALLY rough time in my life, mentally, emotionally, financially, everything was going down the tubes. I was really broke & went to the gas station to get $10 in gas. I didn't have any money so I tried to write a check, not intending to bounce it since I was getting my direct deposit that night but you know how it goes the few days before you get paid. For whatever reason my check wouldn't go through & I didn't have any other money or gas. I had my 3 year old son with me & I was going to have to turn around to go back home because I didn't have enough gas to drive to work. I was devastated! As I headed out the door & back to my truck, trying frantically to think of how I was going to deal with telling work I couldn't make it, realizing without those extra hours I would be even more broke & on the verge of tears, a lady came up & handed me $10. She had been in line behind me & overheard the conversation with the cashier. Even though it was only $10, that woman saved my day & my job. I just about cried when she gave it to me. She will never know how much it helped that she gave that little bit to help me get to work. Now, whenever I see the opportunity to help others I do. You can't know what stranger's situations are but sometimes helping in the smallest ways can make the biggest difference. I am really looking forward to reading the stories you share & will use those stories as inspiration to continue to help others whenever I can.

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  28. This is a small act of kindness, but thoughtful, nevertheless. Twice I have found a section of the newspaper in my mailbox, likely placed there by a neighbor. On both occasions there was a photo and story about first, my son, and secondly, about my daughter that I would never have seen, as we don't get the daily paper. Now I have the memory of their academic and volunteerism achievements, all thanks to the most caring of neighbors.

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  29. This is a really beautiful idea with impeccable timing; I think everyone could use the smiles these days =)


    1: I was on a train, adjusting a drawing I'd done in my sketchbook. The conductor stopped and asked to see my ticket; while I was digging through my hand bag for my purse he complimented my sketch and jokingly asked if I would do his portrait. I laughed and said I would if I could ride for free, which made him smile. Being against the rules and all, he couldn't let me go without a ticket. However, ten minutes later he came back to my seat and handed me a cup of coffee, wished me a lovely evening and walked away.


    2: I worked in an international coffee shop for a while and during this particular incident, I was working the till taking orders and cash. A woman was trying to treat her friend to a coffee, but her card was declined and she had no cash. I could see she was shaken by her card being declined and in the end her friend had to pay for their coffees. The woman picked up the tray, apologising to her friend the entire time, and carried the drinks to their table. Just as she was about to sit down the tray slipped from her hands, spilling their drinks everywhere. I could remember their order, so I remade their drinks (upgrading them from small to large cups), told my manager to put them on my tab and took the coffees to the two women with a towel to help them clean up.


    3. In the same coffee shop as above, it was my first week and we were rushed off our feet. My throat was killing me from asking "Hi there, what can I get for you today?" and I was exhausted and grumpy. That's when my colleague took time out of making customer's drinks to surprise me with my favourite coffee in order to cheer me up (and being a complicated soy milk vanilla latte concoction, that was no mean feat!). That was the kindest moment I experienced in that awful job, and I bet he doesn't even remember it, nor realise how warmly he's remembered.

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  30. I read the whole thing and love it so much I am at a loss for words. See, what's wonderful about you, Peaches, is you have some kind of spooky instinct for what people need - even when they don't know they need it. I certainly didn't, but now that it exists I know how much I Believe In Strangers is going to encourage me when I feel despair over how humans treat each other. Love you, kid!

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  31. I think it is wonderful to be reminded that there are still so many people performing random acts of kindness. Thanks. Laura

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  32. such a nice idea Aunt Peaches... enjoyed my first tip to 'I believe in strangers' very much...

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  33. What a beautiful idea. I love it!! I'd love to share my project with you and your readers. It sort of reminds me of your project. It's called The Blank Canvas Project, and can be found at www.thebcp.org. At the BCP, people sign up to receive a small canvas in the mail, which they decorate, and then leave in a public place to a stranger to find. It's been really fun to see what people create! So I guess creating the BCP is my own little act of kindness. :)

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  34. The events of the past week, on top of a trying year with more than one health scare have had me down and stressed out. Thank you SO MUCH for reminding me, once again, how much I have to be thankful for and that there are truly wonderful people in this world. I'm inspired to do what I can to brighten someone else's day as often as I can in the coming year.

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If you enjoyed this post, or have any further ideas on this topic, please take a moment to share by leaving a comment below. Some of my all-time best blog posts are prompted by comments from readers like you. Thank you!
-AP

 
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