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Della Palacios

Educational Consultant, Trainer and Teacher, SensAble Learning, LLC

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What is one act of kindness you have witnessed, granted or received?

Kindness matters.

I'm curious to hear what acts of kindness, random or not, you have witnessed, given or received. Let's discuss the everyday miracles happening among us that rarely make the nightly news.

I'm interested in any story of kindness, no matter how large or small it may seem.

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    May 18 2013: I was helprd by a total stranger and allowed to sleep in their house when I was 21 and very much destroyed from a vicious attack a few months prior...this act of kindness led me to allow a homeless woman to stay at my house over night to keep her out of freezing rain in feb. ...plus allowing two very skinny drug addicts to use my condo shower to refresh them selves after weeks on the street...other acts of kindness of a more minor level is giving out free umbrellas when it is raining,giving clothes to the homeless as they walk by( this way i can see what they need and shamelessly I attempt to colour co -ordinate their outfits)
    • May 18 2013: Wow, this reminds me of the 'pay it forward' system, very admirable!
      I was once helped by a stranger, when I got hit by a car. She comforted me, let me hold her hand till it turned blue. I never knew her name, and never got to thank her, but I'll never forget her face, or her truly selfless act.
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    May 18 2013: What you give to those who needed your help, the helped will in turn give to others. When I was young, people had helped me. At first, I thought they did it because they wanted something back, but my god father told me that people give because it helps them feel connected to others and all they want is that you in turn give others what I gave you, so he gave me love and kindness, so I in turn live my life this way. You are a kind person and a brave one (using your heart and your brain to decide what action to take).
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      May 18 2013: I love the explanation of how helping others makes people feel connected to others. It is beautiful, simple and true.
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    May 18 2013: Hi Della.
    One day I was dropping off my work buddy after work. Her husband & young son were busy washing the family car.
    As I drew up, they moved their attention to my grubby mobile. Undaunted, my buddy ran into the kitchen & surfaced with polishing kit & got to work on the interior.
    Brought a tear to my eye.

    :-)
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    May 18 2013: Oh my goodness......there are SO many.....good topic Della:>)

    Yesterday....the young man who mows the lawn said to me...."you have a birthday coming up soon don't you?"

    A 17 year old, who is very actively involved in many things, remembers when a little old lady's birthday is? Amazing! He is always offering to do things around the house when he sees something that he can help with, and I appreciate him SO much! His father started helping me years ago, and HIS kindness trickled down to his son.....I appreciate them VERY much and am constantly gratefull for their kindness:>)
    • May 18 2013: Hi Colleen and Della,Mary M.,Lizanne Hennessey...I can sens kindness from you all too:)
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        May 18 2013: I can sense it from you, too, edulover.
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        May 18 2013: Hi Edulover:>) I agree with Della....kindness comes from you as well. There is a whole bundle of kindness right here.....I LOVE it!
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      May 18 2013: The simple things...
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        May 19 2013: I agree Gerald....it is often the simple things that we may not notice, appreciate or acknowledge. When we start noticing and appreciating the acts of kindness given to us, and those we may have the opportunity to give to others, we may see the possibilities for abundance of kindness all around and through us. It is a wonderful cycle, which we can ALL be part of:>)
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        May 20 2013: Don,
        My kids both had paper routes too! My daughter had it first, when she was about 10-12, and when she gave it up for "bigger:" things, my son took it over. I was also concerned about their safety at times, and in very cold, below zero weather, would get up early with them and drive them around.

        They also had difficulty at times, getting paid by a couple people, and got some very good tips from many appreciative customers because they did a GREAT job. The paper route was a good lesson for them in money and time management, responsibility, etc., I was, and continue to be very proud of both of them:>)

        I realize that you focus on lying quite a bit, and even accuse folks here on TED of lying when they/we do not agree with you. Thanks for the warning Don, and I am not as skeptical as you seem to be:>)

        Very sorry Don, about the loss of your friend recently.
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        May 21 2013: You are welcome Don. I do not agree that our world is "filled with liars". I believe that most people are trying to do the best they can with the information they have, and to call people liars because they disagree, does not seem very kind to me.

        I am sorry that you think/feel that so many people "hate" you Don. That must be a horrible feeling to carry in your heart and mind. I am glad that you also receive extraordinary kindness. Perhaps you could do yourself an act of kindness with letting go of the idea that people hate you, and look at it from a different perspective.
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        May 21 2013: Here is my two cents for what it's worth. God didn't put the burden of judgement on us. We're just supposed to love so focus there and try to let go. (Of course, it's easier said than done, but it is a relief, really.)
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          May 22 2013: Good advice Della,
          Although I do not believe in a god, I wholeheartedly believe in focusing on love, which is a HUGE act of kindness for ourselves and others. I also agree that letting go of "baggage", is often a HUGE relief.
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        May 22 2013: Dear Don,
        I do not have the ability or desire to "twist" your thoughts. Your thoughts are your own....I understand and respect that Don.

        Regarding your comment...
        "I have no need for your replies, which reveal no kindness at all;
        Only derision and character assassination".

        Don, I realized from our very first conversation on TED, that we have different perceptions of the life experience, and for awhile, I continued to reach out to you. You may notice, that for quite awhile I have not engaged in conversation with you UNLESS you first directly address me, which you did on this conversation thread. When you do that, I respond to you with kindness, consideration and respect.

        A very simple solution to what seems to be a dilemma for you ("I have no need for your replies" as you say), is to discontinue starting a conversation with me:>)
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    May 18 2013: I was fixing a house in the winter. It had no electricity and no water and I was working all on my own, hundreds of kilometers away from my wife and kids. My neighbour was the village drunk. I'd been warned about him by the mayor and other neighbours.
    One day I heard noise coming from his house, for hours. He had hammered a hole into the 60 cm thick rock wall that separated our houses. And he had pushed an electric extension cord through it.
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    May 18 2013: So many experiences I have seen. So many random acts of kindness:

    At the supermarket, a lady trying to park her car, and there is a shopping cart in the way, and another person jumps out of his car to move the cart for the lady.

    A cashier taking $5 out of her pocket to help pay for groceries, when a regular customer runs short.

    A neighbor knocking on someone's door to let them know their car lights were left on, or they left their keys on the door.

    A cup of hot steaming coffee brought up to bed first thing in the morning and bestowed on your loved one.

    "Kindness is something the blind can see and the deaf can hear"

    And let's not forget the kindness we show by validating each other's thoughts when we contribute to TED conversations. :)
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    May 19 2013: She decided to take care of me because she could afford it, and because we were both lonely. She moved in with me, filled the fridge and clothed me. She waited for me to wake up every morning with breakfeast and when I came home I could smell her cooking from the street. She was ugly and I was ashamed of her, so she never met my friends. We never went shopping together. Cheerful, she went alone, pretending to buy my excuses.
    One evening I was walking through prune trees in bloom and plucked a twig, for the fun of it. Back at my place, she found it in my shirt pocket and asked me, in her foreign accent, whether it was a present for her. I said yes, sure.
    Years passed. I received a letter one day from that girl. It was a thank you letter, a very beautiful one that completely shaked me. Of all the things that had gone the way they went, she remembered this one gift from me, my only gift to her. The gift I never gave.
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      May 19 2013: That is a very touching story Gerald.
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      May 19 2013: Gerald, your thinking is outside the typical box and your writing is compelling. I enjoy reading your life's snippits.
  • May 18 2013: Here are a few:

    1. I always try and give a few dollars more for home made baked goods at church and similar bake sales, particularly if the baker is present. You would be surprised at number of smiles that a comment like "I am sure this is worth more than that price if you baked it." draws.

    2. I keep a tub of pocket change on my dresser that I collect from my pants during the week. Then at yard sales, when I see a kid's lemonade stand or cookie sale, I usually pay the price plus a dollar or two extra by dropping a handful of coins the the money container. I guarantee the smiles and excitement that these coins draw in more than the response a lotto ticket or candy bar would give me.

    3. Every time I see a family taking pictures I offer to take on of the whole group. I recently went through and down-selected about 2000 slides from the 20,000 my dad shot while we were growing up and converted them to digital files. My dad was only in a few, as he was the picture taker in our family, and now he is gone. I figure other families might particularly cherish a picture with everyone in it, as we do now. As a side note, a DVD with Christmas music and old slides makes a great Christmas present for family members.

    4. I do a lot of genealogy work and share it with everyone in the family. It is a bit of a copy and postage expense, but I think it helps us stay connected.

    5. On the receipt end, since my dad died, I visit mom every week and she always prepares a nice meal for us.
  • May 18 2013: Hi Della Palacios,I think kindness means those people alway can keep caring for others in their daily life:I have a good friend,in her free time,she always tries to help poor family.Everytime when I am with her,I can sense her kindness hides in her body.
    My honey when he parks car,he always concerns if make any trouble to others' convienience or not,I can sense kindness in his body too.
  • May 18 2013: Della, what a wonderful topic!
    I have seen, given and received many acts of kindness, for which I am grateful, and consider myself extremely fortunate!

    When I read your question, the first thing I thought of was how my own children are in the process of learning how to give and receive kindness.
    It is sometimes difficult not to intervene when they have a 'difference of opinion', but I am learning that for them to develop the invaluable gift of empathy, it is important for them to experience hurt, so they are able to recognize it in others. The same goes for kindness. If they feel kindness, they will know how good it feels to bestow it on someone else. From the smallest gesture to the largest act, they are gradually becoming experts in giving and receiving kindness!

    If you disregard the size, then you can experience an act of kindness by witnessing it, bestowing it or receiving it, every single day.
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      May 18 2013: I have observed empathy in my kids when one is hurt......I mean really hurt, where there is blood and tears. I see the pain in the other's eyes.....It's like they want to take the pain away from their sibling and put it on themselves. Sometimes there are more tears in the eyes of the observers, than in the eyes of the hurt child.
      This caught me totally off-guard the first time I experienced it.
      • May 18 2013: It's true, Mary, I read once that people who witness pain, like in the form of a massive tragedy, are often more traumatized than those who are involved in it...
        The desire to take pain away is so human, isn't it. As a Mom, it's such a paradox to 'let' my children feel it!!
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          May 18 2013: I remember when I was young two family members were involved in a huge car accident. Looking at them all full of bruises tore me up inside. I was physically hurting inside from just observing their painful bodies. I had to walk out of the room.

          Now I tend to be able to deal with scenes like that better, I can stay and comfort the ailing, and I am more calm and serene. But it is a sad thing to see a loved one hurting from an accident you were unable to stop or help them avoid.

          Our emotions are very strong aren't they Lizanne?
      • May 18 2013: Ain't that the truth, Mary. Too strong for words.
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        May 21 2013: Mary, I answered your question below up above. I'm not sure why some comments allow a reply and others don't. I haven't quite figured out this whole TED Convo thing yet. :)
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          May 24 2013: Good topic, good thread ladies....kudos to you:>)
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    May 18 2013: I was stranded at the airport with no money. I got help from a nurse, to whom i could not pay back.
    My pay back time arrived 25 yrs later and i helped a lady in distress at the airport only.
    Following is her fealings
    Dear Adesh and Mitra,

    What a beautiful story about how you, Adesh, were helped by a stranger in an airport and were willing to share that generosity with another stranger 25 years later. I trust I will also find ways to pass along your gift. I remain humbled and grateful for your friendship.
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    May 18 2013: The example I am going to tell is rather a mass one......
    Some days back , one 9 storied building with few garments manufacturing companies in it with thousands of workers inside in my country collapsed .It was one of the biggest disaster we faced in recent times. An online group of my country predicting need of Blood for wounded called for voluntary blood donation . Mass responded en mass. At one point that on line group had to declare " we collected more than enough blood we need" .

    Around that sad event lots of such kindness and heroic acts we came across from general people.
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      May 18 2013: Thank you for sharing this, Salim. That is a beautiful story! May healing and peace touch to all involved.
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    May 18 2013: G'day Della

    I spent three years of my life voluntarily helping other disabled people find meaning in life, I also spent the same three years learning from the people I have helped so really who helped who?

    Love
    Mathew
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      May 24 2013: A really good story, Don.
      Your mind cannot be truly open to new ideas if the old ones keep clinging onto the porcelain of the cup!

      How about - a master says "Empty you teacup and I will share some of my new tea that I've been brewing recently"? The student might then be more willing, I think.
      Maybe.
      Maybe som sake would also be a good starter for the conversation - just kidding ;)
      Best wishes.
  • May 18 2013: When I had young children, I was at lunch one day with my mother and was talking and laughing joyfully with the three of them. I had an older man walk up to the table after we had been there about an hour or so and gently place a flower on the table in front of me, smile at me and then proceed to walk off.
    This random act of kindness has always helped me through a hard time. When it is a difficult day with my children or people in general, I think back to this random act of kindness. It reminds me of how beautiful others can be and encourages me to continue to do the same.
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    May 18 2013: A selfless act gives one an un-paralleled happiness.
  • May 18 2013: I used to do a great deal of legal pro bono work. The interesting thing is that when you are kind to someone - They don't always seem to understand. Maybe "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" is too often true. Do not forget Chris Kelly who trying to help a disturbed man was shot dead by him.
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      May 18 2013: Oh George...really.
      • May 19 2013: Maybe some of these people neede psychologists more than lawyers.
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    May 24 2013: Once you say something unkind, it is very hard to take it back. Even if you say I'm sorry, the damage is already done.

    In this wonderful conversation on kindness, it is disappointing to read unkind words.

    Online, we have choices. When our emotions get the better of us, we have the choice of deleting our comments and/or editing them.

    So, one act of kindness I would like to witness, is the elimination of unkind words in this conversation.
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      May 23 2013: You're welcome Don. It is my pleasure to connect with people, and in my perception, kindness is a very important part of love:>)
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          May 24 2013: Don,
          I didn't imply, or say anything about "Ego-Centric". My comment is simple and clear..."in my perception, kindness is a very important part of love:>)"
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    May 21 2013: Mary, I'm going to reply here since I don't see an option to Reply to your comment below. So, here we go! One of my all time favorite quotes is by the Dahlia Lama who said we need to "Practice compassion." It explains to me by giving me a "how to guide" for the Golden Rule, "Treat one another the way you would want to be treated."

    The beauty is peace and empathy can be taught universally without exclusion.

    Lesson Plans for Peace approved by the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation (Mattie's poetry is the most incredible thing I have used with children in the classroom.)
    http://www.mattieonline.com/?page_id=2677

    Peace Board of Ideas on Pinterest
    http://pinterest.com/aflcenter/peace/


    TedxTeen Talk "A New Hope for Peace, It's not a Fairytale." by Jeni Stepanek
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2Wq-6TUzI

    5 Keys to Social-Emotional Learning Success
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqNn9qWoO1M&feature=youtu.be

    Social and emotional learning gaining focus under Common Core
    http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/social-and-emotional-learning-gaining-new-traction-under-common-core/32161?utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=bufferfa12f#.UZZoYqLCZ8H

    How Do You Teach Empathy?
    http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/05/how-do-you-teach-empathy-harvard-pilots-game-simulation/

    Last but not least, here is a wonderfully crafted curriculum called Mind Up developed by The Hawn Foundation.
    http://thehawnfoundation.org/mindup/
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      May 22 2013: Della, what a plethora of information. I went to each link, and watched Jeni Stepanek's video.
      So many tools for the teachers to use Della.

      I found the Mind Up program especially useful for elementary teachers.
      It would also be quite interesting to play around with the virtual game from harvard.....have you played around with it?

      The Mind Up page reminded me of the following Art Therapy drawing:

      http://www.arttherapyspot.com/2011/06/mind-full-or-mindful.html

      Thank you so much Della for all this information, I am copying it in my resource notebook.
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        May 22 2013: Mary,

        I'm so glad you find this helpful. I am a collector of information that interests me.

        I have not played with Harvard's virtual game but I would like to!

        And, have you been in my head? This picture is brilliant and priceless and I need it tattooed as a reminder in my mind's eye.

        Thank you!
        Della
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          May 22 2013: Isn't that a wonderful picture.......I don't know where I saw it first, if it was here on TED, or on some other site, or in a magazine, or where.

          But I have used it time and again in speaking to students, my kids, my friends, and on myself in order to stay focused.

          It works wonders.
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        May 24 2013: I LOVE the Mind Full/Mindful image....very simple and profound....thanks Mary:>)