Ripples of Kindness

Discussion in 'Servant of All' started by Ty al'Djinn, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,917
    Location:
    The Garden State
    So, I have always been interested in the kinds of actions The Dresden Files series would term "ripples of kindness". One small act that isn't really that big on the surface, but you sprinkle them when and where you can throughout your life, and they then impact others in unexpected ways. Whether it is paying for an old man's meal, or leaving a waitress a large tip, or just telling someone who looks like they are having a shit day that you like their earrings or jacket or something, there are many ways to brighten someone's day or make a small difference.

    My favorites almost all involve Reddit, or trying to make sure that my money goes to the right places. For instance, carbon emissions have been reduced by the sheer number of people across the globe that have switched to LED bulbs. So I try and follow suit when I can.
    I try and buy Fair Trade coffee and chocolate, to make sure that the people who grow the things my family loves aren't shafted in the bargain (if it's not fair trade they get literally maybe a penny off of every cup of coffee sold, which isn't half fair).
    If I see something I like that someone is wearing, regardless of who or what it is, I complement it and them, because everyone likes to know that their fashion choices are kind of cool after all :p

    I try and make sure that if I look at any erotic images, or read erotic stories, or watch pornography, I support ethical companies and people who love what they do.

    On Reddit, I like to respond to r/suicidewatch from time to time, which is a place for suicidal people who aren't in immediate crisis (mostly people who have set a date) to post a cry for help and get a response. Those responses are very closely moderated.
    I haven't participated in Random Acts of Pizza yet, but it's a great /r for people who just need a bit of food to get them over a very cash strapped hump.

    In all, I cannot afford the time or the money to make a large sacrifice that would better all mankind. But I try and live each day in a way that every person I meet is better off for having met me- I don't believe in karmically neutral encounters.

    Does anyone else do this? Do you know anyone who does?

    What kinds of little things do you do to make a difference? Because rest assured, even if you don't notice the impact, it makes one. Even if only when combined with a thousand others doing the same thing. :)
     
  2. Maibella Rhoiden

    Maibella Rhoiden Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    11,614
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am not quite as thorough in my efforts but I do try to bring positivity and kindness to every interaction I have. I make a point to understand the feelings/expectations/etc. of whoever I am interacting with in order to have the most successful interaction possible given the circumstances. Whenever possible I try to ... find things to complement whenever possible ... diffuse stress and anger by giving people the benefit of the doubt and encouraging others to do the same ... understand how my words/actions affect others, and take responsibility for them ... express appreciation for big and small things ... bring attention to something worthwhile someone has done that others are overlooking ... repeatedly tell people how much I care about them ... not judge, but instead seek to understand ... and so on.

    I truly believe that one small, positive interaction can change a person's day, and can even in some cases have an impact of their entire life.
     
  3. Inanna Landred

    Inanna Landred Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,892
    Location:
    Blackburn, UK
    I have to admit I don't do this nearly enough, despite the fact that the movie "pay it forward" had a huge impact on me.
    It's good to be reminded, so thank you for posting this. :)
     
  4. Raeviendha al'Toma

    Raeviendha al'Toma Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    17,573
    Location:
    Tennessee
    You're so Gray. ^^ You always make my day 100 times better. :kiss
     
  5. Inanna Landred

    Inanna Landred Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,892
    Location:
    Blackburn, UK
    Agreed Raevi :)

    This one always gets me right in the feels and without wanting to hijack Ty's thread, I kinda feel it belongs here:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Siusane al'Cuyler

    Siusane al'Cuyler Aes Sedai Servant of All Coordinator Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,416
    Location:
    Texas
    y'all, thanks for the inspiration.

    I've never heard the phrase "ripples of kindness" I don't think. love that. and other stuff here.

    it sounds like a silly thing, but one thing I do is just to make eye contact and smile when I'm out and about. for example, at the grocery store, so many people seem so rushed and stressed, and sometimes they visibly relax and smile back and maybe it makes their day a tiny bit better. and I've oddly had people (that I don't know) just start overflowing with talking when I am open to listening...on an elevator, at a restaurant, random places...just that little bit of contact opens the floodgates, I guess sometimes people are scared or anxious and just want to talk to someone.
     
  7. Renia Tevron

    Renia Tevron Accepted Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    As a nurse manager, there are many times when my job is less inspirational and more pushing hard to get desired results. I have an employee who is built of steel and I have never seen her have a weak moment in all the time that I have known her. Today was a first in our working relationship. She came into my office, sat in one of the open chairs and broke down crying. This was not just a normal cry though..... this one of those ugly cries, the ones that you just let your soul pour out. After a time we talked about everything and I was able to get her referred ASAP to counseling services. But all of those things I did were minimal compared to what she did for me. Someone whom I respect greatly, came into my office and felt comfortable enough to let all of her guards down and just be/feel exactly the way she was in that moment. I got a brief glance into who she was not just as an employee, but as this beautiful soul put here to help the sick and dying. It was so beautiful to be apart of and made my rough morning that much easier to handle. Often times, my employees give so much more back to me than I am ever able to give them.
     
  8. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,917
    Location:
    The Garden State
    I'm glad you were able to do that for her. :)

    And I'm equally glad you feel you received the better part of the exchange.
     
  9. Polegnyn Nemeara

    Polegnyn Nemeara Accepted

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    This is a very small personal project regarding impact, but it was fun to do and made me stop and think.

    So almost a year ago I joined a particular group on Ravelry. Several months after joining, I was invited to help contribute squares to a handmade blanket project they do for a random active member. I jumped at the opportunity since I knew this particular member a bit longer than I had known the other members, and she had contributed a lot to another group I admin.

    So I'm working away on my squares, specifically at church while my daughter joined a few children's choir practices to see if she liked participating. There were a couple other mom's waiting, too, and they would ask about what I was working on. I explained that a group of us were contributing squares toward a blanket for this person. I was asked multiple times in return if the recipient was ill. Admittedly, I was taken aback by the first time it was asked. Fortunately, the person is not ill and the group just does this for fun. Anyway, that question made me stop and think. Does one really wait until people are ill or actually knowing something is wrong before making an effort to give larger group projects?

    I'm sure the ladies who asked give gifts to personal friends as well as flat-out donations to larger organizations. Their questions really struck me, though. When I think back, personal gifts had indeed always been given for the usual reasons... birthdays, funerals, sickness, holidays, ... but never anything involving multiple people "just because". This project changed my perspective on this. I hope to be invited to contribute toward more large personal projects like this one instead of soley giving to large organizations (even though that's definitely needed, too). ^^

    So yeah, this project didn't have a huge impact on a large number of people like what I've seen others post here. The recipient of the blanket just received it and, from her post, it really moved her as well. I'm sure her post will brighten the days of the other people involved. I know her reaction brightened my (literal) cloudy and rainy day. ^^
     
  10. Siusane al'Cuyler

    Siusane al'Cuyler Aes Sedai Servant of All Coordinator Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,416
    Location:
    Texas
    that's a neat idea to just surprise someone with something nice like that. interesting to think about when and why we might give something.

    someone anonymous recently did one of those random acts of kindness for my aunt. I'm so proud of her that in her 80s, she decided to complete her last few college courses to get a degree, and just graduated from the same school that her son and his family got a degree from. but the extra nice thing is that when she went to pay for her cap and gown, someone had already paid for them for her! she doesn't have a lot of money to live on and the gesture was much appreciated.
     
  11. Almira ni'Caldazare

    Almira ni'Caldazare Citizen

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,060
    Location:
    OFallon, MO
    My area has a Share The Joy Project where people pay for strangers meals, gas groceries ect. The radio announcers go crazy when they hear a story and interview everyone live on the air.
     
  12. Ty al'Djinn

    Ty al'Djinn Mod for Life Gaidin Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,917
    Location:
    The Garden State
    Very cool! I wonder how common those kinds of programs are.
     
  13. Almira ni'Caldazare

    Almira ni'Caldazare Citizen

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,060
    Location:
    OFallon, MO
    This sounds more and more like Pay It Forward!
     
  14. Jodea Kegan

    Jodea Kegan Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,402
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    I frequently do things like buy someones coffee or offer a compliment. I wish I could afford to do more
     
  15. Dnae Ila

    Dnae Ila Gaidin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    7,644
    I just witnessed an older woman at the grocery store buy a bouquet of flowers and then leave them with the cashier to give to the next woman in line who had a baby with her. It was really sweet to hear the cashier say "Ma'am, these are for you. That lady just bought them for you," as the older woman booked it out of the store.
     
  16. Arion

    Arion

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    There is still much kindnes in the world :)
     
  17. Maibella Rhoiden

    Maibella Rhoiden Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    11,614
    Location:
    Maryland
    A while ago I packed several ziploc bags with long lasting snacks (nuts, raisins, etc.) and mini toiletries I had in my closets (soaps, hair care products, etc.) and put them in my car. I've been looking out for anyone on the side of the road in need who might find these kinds of things helpful. Quite a while has gone by and I haven't had the opportunity to hand them to anyone. But this weekend I saw a mom and two young children at the edge of the road clearly in need. The mom was holding a sign saying she lost her job and needed help. It was over 100 degrees F outside and they were in a tiny patch of shade. I pulled over and offered the mom the snacks for the kids. She didn't speak much English but she said thank you and asked if I had any water. There are always bottles of water in my car so I was able to give her three of them. I wish I could have done more but I wasn't in a position to at the time. Next time something like this presents itself to me I would like to run to the nearest restaurant and pick them up a meal and some cold drinks in addition to whatever I have in the car with me. If only I could offer a job to the mom. That would be the best solution. But of course I don't have that option.
     
  18. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Citizen

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,943
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I used to be on WIC. I have bought groceries for people in line that had to put things back because they could not afford it. I just say, because I am next in line...put it on my tab. I do not know these people, have never met them, but I do this because I have been there. For anyone to have to put back food because they cannot pay is beyond me. I hate it.

    I also support people who have new babies who used to be on foster care but are trying to keep the babies they now have. They are trying. I keep them on prayer lists and try to donate items to help them keep their family together. It is important to help those who are trying to keep clean and stay off of drugs.

    I also donate to our food bank at the church and make sure to keep up with tithes and offerings. It goes to the needy. Again, have been there, so it is highly important to me to help those so that they too can help themselves.
     
  19. Dnae Ila

    Dnae Ila Gaidin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    7,644
    This is a thing I witnessed, not a thing I did.
    I was walking in Walmart behind a young man and an adolescent boy, who I assumed were brothers. To our right, a lady in a motorized cart cut a corner too closely and accidentally shoved a pallet display out of place about a foot. As she manuvered around it, the two brothers, seemingly without any signal to each other, smoothly turned as one, stepped over to the pallet, pushed it back into place, and continued on.

    It seems like such a small thing. Surely no one would have noticed or cared that the display was a little crooked. It wasn't really in anyone's way. But what struck me was how automatic the action was for them, which tells me that they often do the little things to make the world more pleasant. And that, I think, is great.
     
  20. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Citizen

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,943
    Location:
    South Carolina
    During this time of bell ringing, I make sure that my children gather up any change left in the car or in their purses and donate it to the bell ringer when we pass through the door. The Salvation army does a lot of good charitable things and it is always sad to me to see people rushing in and ignoring them. Even small change goes a long way when added up. Besides the kids always get a cheery "Merry Christmas" from the Bell ringer and that goes a long way to make smiles.