Monday, March 16, 2009

Kindness Can Be Surprising... Again

This was another article from a while back (again from my trusted and always informative that caught my eye. I've been wanting to write a little something about it for a while now, much like the last article but never got around to it. Now I'm sitting at a Tully's Coffee in Wallingford and found the time to post it up to share with everyone and anyone.

The gist of the article is a Texas woman attending the foreclosure auction of her home. She is sitting at the back of the room when a stranger strikes up a conversation with her about home buying. The woman explains to the stranger that the home up for auction is hers and without any further conversation the stranger bids and wins the home. Once she has won the home she tells the woman that she did it for her and that she can continue living in her home--no strings attached.

A Good Samaritan is one way to describe the stranger, Marilyn Mock, who bought the home to help out the distressed woman, Tracy Orr. It is something that you rarely hear of. A woman buying a home, in the spur of the moment, to help another in need. This story is the perfect example of one person helping out another for no reason other than kindness and aid. I suggest you read the article to get the full and detailed story--it is one for the books.

As I mentioned in my last posting, it is this type of selfless kindness and generosity that can change the world. A pay-it-forward type of living that can and will pay certain dividends for everyone involved. When you help out others, not asking anything in return, you help yourself at the same time. That is something you can't achieve when only seeking profit and practicing frugality. It is something I am trying to to more and more of each day and I encourage everyone else to do too.

Again, I realize that most of us can not afford to purchase a house for a person or family in need but on a much smaller scale the effects are the same. If we all start positively participating just a little bit more, the changes will be real and noticeable.

- Mitch G

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kindness Can Be Surprising

I've been wanting to write about this article for a long time. It is a short KMBC Kansas City news story about a generous customer, in this case an unassuming family, who left a $400 tip for a waitress they overhead having school-related financial troubles.

I can't begin to say how proud it makes me to know that there are good people out there, everywhere. They don't have to be in certain areas of the country, they don't have to look a certain way, and they don't have to have loads of extra money to throw around. I realize that it is not always about money as kindness and generosity can come in many forms. This is the best example of helping someone in need and asking nothing for it in return.

The waitress was having trouble paying for her school textbooks and was explaining the issue to her co-worker. The customer overheard the conversation and without any prompt, left a $400 tip when leaving the restaurant. Marlena Hayes thought the tip was a mistake at first but realized, and confirmed with a kind note from the customer, that the tip was for her textbooks.

This simple act of kindness and generosity, almost in a pay-it-forward fashion, is something we should all try to do as often as possible. If we continually take and never give, the system will eventually fail. Our society would fail. America was built on give and take. We must continue to do so. I realize giving a random $400 to those in need is not always possible for most of us, but there are other ways to give back and each of them count.

In these tough economic times the social and moral fabric of our nation is stressed. It is now, more than ever, that giving back and having great compassion are essential. It is truly amazing what the littlest things can do when done as a group and being aware enough to do those things when needed is the most important skill one can have.

- Mitch G