Good People Doing Good Things — Acts of Kindness

A friend and reader, Ellen, pointed me in the direction of a new source of ‘good news’ stories, and one of the first things I saw last evening when I visited the site in search of ‘good people’, was this headline:

The Most Inspiring Everyday People of 2018 Showered the World With Kindness: Our Top 10 Favorites

I visited and found some awesome stories of everyday people doing small kindnesses for others.  Two of the ten turned out to be stories I had previously included in my ‘good people’ posts, but I want to share a few of the others with you today.

The first one is just a small thing, really, but I found it touching.  It happened at LAX airport last February.  A young mom, pregnant and with a toddler in tow, was trying to board her flight, but the toddler apparently had other ideas and was having a meltdown, running from the mother, crying uncontrollably.  Been there, done that, and I could feel that mother’s frustration as I read this story.

Finally, the young mother simply sat down on the floor of the airport, placed her hands over her face and joined her son in having a good cry.  As if by some unseen, unheard signal, suddenly 6 or 7 women came to the pair and worked their magic.  One sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider to the young boy, another peeled an orange for mother and son, another pulled a toy from her bag, while yet another offered the mom a bottle of water and words of comfort.  Within a few short minutes, both mother and son were calm and able to board their flight.  It is said that the women did not speak of what was being done or what needed to be done, and yet acted as a team, as if it were a well-coordinated effort.  According to one of the women …

“After they went through the door we all went back to our separate seats and didn’t talk about it… we were strangers, gathering to solve something. It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world. I will never forget that moment.” 

Solidarity.  Empathy.  Compassion.  Kindness.

Adarsh Shrivastava was on a train that was traveling through Uttar Pradesh in northern India in July when he noticed something strange about his fellow passengers. His train cabin was filled with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 – and almost all of them were visibly distressed. Some of the youngsters were even crying.

Sensing that something was afoot, Shrivastava pulled out his phone, created a new Twitter account, and sent several messages detailing the situation to railway and law enforcement authorities, saying that he suspected the girls to be victims of human trafficking.trafficking.jpgUpon writing out his cabin and train number, the Good Samaritan only had to wait thirty minutes before the Ministry of Railways Twitter account responded to the message. A few stops later, several police officers boarded the train and arrested two men who had been transporting the girls for a human trafficking scheme.

“Their parents have been informed and the men have been taken into custody,” a statement from the Railway Protection Force said.

Many social media users are calling Shrivastava a hero and asking the Prime Minister of India to honor him for his actions – however, Shrivastava has simply responded by saying: “Thanks, but as a citizen of India, it’s our responsibility to help people.”

Humility.  Courage.  Responsibility.  Empathy.

It was on a routine flight to Jamaica that an elderly woman suddenly went into cardiac arrest.  Luckily there was a nurse onboard, but she was unable to relieve the woman’s breathing distress.  However, there were two very inventive anesthesiologists aboard the flight, Matthew Stevenson and John Flanagan.  After determining that the plane was not equipped with a hand-operated, manual resuscitator, the two men leapt into action.  Dr. Stevenson performed CPR on the woman while Dr. Flanagan concocted a makeshift ventilator using tubing and an airbag from one of the plane’s emergency masks and connecting the device to the onboard oxygen tank.oxygen deviceThe two doctors worked to keep oxygen flowing to the woman’s lungs with the makeshift device for 45 minutes, until the plane was able to make an emergency landing in Fort Lauderdale.  Passengers pitched in, too, holding the doctors steady during the bumpy landing.  When medics rushed onto the plane to take over, the passengers gave a cheering round of applause to the two doctors.docsIn this, the day of frivolous lawsuits, many doctors will not step into such a situation, for their malpractice carriers caution them against touching a person in distress without a liability waiver.  These two men put a human being first.

Caring.  Humanity.  Courage.  Responsibility.

Randy HeissRandy Heiss had been out on a walk with his dog in Patagonia, Arizona when he saw a deflated red balloon trapped in some shrubs. More peculiarly, there was a little note attached to the string. The note, which was written in Spanish, was a Christmas list that was addressed to Santa from a little girl named Dayami. The sweet youngster simply said that she wanted some paints and new clothes for Christmas.balloon-noteHeiss was moved by the letter, not just because of its innocence, but also because he used to send letters to Santa the very same way – so he became dedicated to fulfilling the child’s Christmas wish.  But … how to find the child?

“It really touched my heart to find it and I said well how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true.”

He took to social media, hoping to find someone who could put him in contact with the family. With Christmas looming ever closer, Heiss eventually approached a Mexican radio station for help, and within one hour of them broadcasting his story, he was connected with Dayami’s family in Nogales, Sonora.

Delighted for an opportunity to bring some holiday magic to the family, Heiss ditched work to go shopping for Dayami’s gifts at Walmart and bring them down to Nogales.Dayami.pngDayami’s family was extremely grateful for the gesture, and Heiss and his wife were careful about telling the kids that the gifts were from Santa.  Heiss gained even more joy from his gesture, though …

“We lost our son nine years ago. So, we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”

Heiss has stayed in touch with Dayami’s parents through social media, and they are quickly becoming extensions of each other’s families – all thanks to his act of Christmas compassion.

Generosity.  Sharing.  Kindness. Love.

I end this post with a quote from English writer John Bunyan:

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

Let’s all try to be ‘good people’ this year, shall we?  Remember, it isn’t the size of what you do, but the spirit with which you do it.

41 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Acts of Kindness

  1. So happy that you chose not only my suggested “Good People”, but a whole lot of them from one of my happy places…GoodNewsNetwork! I like to put a positive spin on the start of each day, especially during these tumultuous times we are living in. I find that if I start the day on a high enough positive note, I might not hit rock bottom…that is quite helpful on days when I don’t have Benjamin to buffer the blows of negativity that lurk in the shadows. Thank-you! P.S. I LOVE THAT QUOTE!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I owe you a huge THANK YOU for pointing me in that direction! I have added it to my list of sites to search for ‘good people’! I’m so glad you liked the quote! I almost attributed it but respected the privacy of the one who lent it to me to use. Hugs, dear Ellen!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a variety of stories – toddler tantrums in public are parents’ nightmare, often met with disaproval, imagined or real. simple solution. The train story in contrast must have altered lives, not just a plane journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When my two oldest children were one-and-a-half and 3 months, I traveled by plane from Virginia to California to visit my parents. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy, but a lady sitting behind me helped so much … she took the baby and held him, singing softly until he went to sleep, then continued to hold him so I could entertain my daughter. I will never forget that kindness of a stranger.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Adding my 200 cents to everyone else’s. GPDGT is one of my favourite weekly posts, and while I could go looking for these stories, I like waiting to hear them from you. It makes them even more special.
    I really enjoyed reading about the train ride in India. How many people would look at little girls and make the leap to human trafficking. Fantastic story. Sri Shivastava changed the lives of not only those gitls, but their families too, as well as all the people that they will live with in their futures. Simply incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I never knew GPDGT was one of your favourites! I’m happy. I asked the same question … how many people would have had red flags and alarms going off? It seems a no-brainer, but we have become inured to so much that perhaps it isn’t. I remember not long ago reading about a flight attendant who noticed odd behaviour of a passenger and his “daughter”, reported it, and sure enough, he was trafficking young girls. Why, I ask, are these things still happening in this, the 21st century? Have we learned nothing? Sigh. Hugs, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these posts, they are so inspiring and great. Can you give us the name of the website where you found these stories? I’d like to read the whole top 10 of 2018 and others.

    hoping you have a blessed day.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, what terrific stories. I love the quote at the end to tie it altogether. I had a thought as I was reading the first one. Maybe, we should have a grandmother in the White House who will sing “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” to its chief occupant when he melts down. She would get tired of singing. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooohhh … I DO like your idea of the grandmother in the WH to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to the toddler-in-chief! She would get tired of singing, for sure, and she would always feel dirty, I suspect. Ah well … at least we can have a bit of fun with the notion.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Jill,

    Thank you for this post with a slew of heart warming stories. They all had an impact in different ways. The one common denominator is that peoples were willing to act when the situation demanded it. These stories restore my faith in the human condition.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

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