Kindness costs nothing, but it can make all the difference. Here's how.
True
Dignity Health

Being kind takes so little effort. The effects, however, can be life-changing.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Sometimes a smile can be the one thing that gets someone through their day. Sometimes receiving a friendly, quick phone call is all someone needs to make it through a hard time. If you've ever been shown an act of kindness, you know that even the smallest things can make a difference.


Acts of kindness, however, can be as unique as people in this world, so we wanted to share some that might surprise you. We asked four people to tell us about a time that being shown kindness changed their worldview. Their answers may give you a whole new reason to be kind to the next person you see.

Writer Carol Gee was afraid and alone in the hospital when her boss showed up for her in a way she never expected.

Photo by Dario Valenzuela on Unsplash

"I had been on my job as a university administrator for roughly six months when my husband suffered his first heart attack. Newly relocated with no family in the area, I was frightened. I felt really alone as I sat with the families in the waiting room," explains Carol.

"Suddenly, I looked up to see my supervisor, a physician, entering the waiting room and headed my way. We waited for the doctor together. Sometimes she'd hold my hand. When the doctor came out to talk about my husband's procedure and diagnosis, she was able to explain a lot of the medical terms and ask the doctor questions I didn't know to ask."

"That day, our relationship slowly changed from employer to employee to family. Her kindness made me feel less afraid and alone. And it taught me to pay that same kindness forward."

The friendship that grew out of that event, Carol explains, has flourished for more than a decade. And it all started with a tiny act of compassion when Carol needed it most. "All she has to do is ask. I'll always be there."

James Marshall turned his back on his brother. When his brother didn't do the same, it taught James an important lesson in grace.

Photo by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash

"I worked for my brother in his commercial cleaning business in the mid 1990's. We were responsible for stripping, waxing and polishing the floors of a few major department stores. I had helped him part-time for years, but when I lost my day job, he took me on full time," James writes in an email.

"Once I got involved in the day-to-day operations on a regular basis, I began making suggestions and eventually demands. When he kindly, but firmly, put his foot down and refused to change the way he did things, I quit. I left him high and dry without a replacement."

"The economy wasn't great and I couldn't quickly find another job. I was out of work altogether for a few months. It was mid-February and I unexpectedly ran out of heating oil in the midst of an unusually cold winter. My brother found out about my situation. Without me even knowing or asking, he arranged to have the fuel company deliver a full tank of heating oil to my address."

"My brother has always been a kind person, but that particular act of kindness was life-changing for me. I was accustomed to retaliation in these types of situations, or at least a good 'I told you so.' This was the way I behaved toward others as well, especially when I believed I was right."

"I think about this story every time someone close to me wrongs me and then later needs something. More than two decades later, there is no doubt that my brother's act of kindness positively impacts the way I treat others to this day."

Volunteers helped Roxana Colorado's mother get her high school diploma. It created a ripple effect that has improved the lives of everyone in Roxana's family.

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

"My mom went from working in a sweatshop factory to landing an office job at a real estate company," notes Colorado. "This inspired me to pursue my education and land great corporate careers. Had it not been for her pursuit for a better life I would have never gone to college."

"Thanks to my mom inspiring me to go to school and pursue my dreams, I have traveled around the world, lived an amazing life I would've never imagined, enjoyed an incredible career in corporate finance and transitioned to a career as a business strategist and philanthropist which inspires me even more everyday."

"Our life changed dramatically with volunteers giving up their time to help my mom. We were able to come out of poverty because my mom had the courage to pursue a better life and seek support."

"As a child I grew up angry because of our situation. I had little faith in people because I thought no one cared. Once I saw my mom's life change, my entire perspective changed. It made me realize there was so much to be thankful for and that even a small act can and will make a positive impact in others lives."

Jessica Melore only wanted to attend prom. When a medical condition made that an impossibility, her heart surgeon showed her that she wasn't just a patient to him.

Photo via Jessica Melore.

"When I was 16 years old I had a near fatal heart attack with no prior health problems," Jessica writes in an email. "I had to live on an experimental, battery-operated heart pump because the left side of my heart was destroyed and my left leg had to be amputated because of surgery."

"While I was waiting in hope of a heart transplant, I was able to go back to school with a prosthetic leg and big battery bag (for my heart pump) to try to reclaim my life."

"I was really looking forward to the prom especially. Two days before, I had to be admitted to the hospital because I was dangerously anemic. I was told that if my levels didn't recover by the morning of the prom, I'd miss it. My heart surgeon saw the night before the prom that I was distraught — not only about the possibility of not going, but because I'd missed my prom nail appointment. I was only 16, and when faced with your mortality, there are still things that make you human!"

"He called up a nurse and said they had an emergency. The next thing I knew, a nurse appeared with her 'kit' and gave me a french manicure in hopes that I could attend the prom the next day."

"In that moment, they were showing me that I was a person, not just a patient. It taught me that when you show someone you care about them and have their best interests at heart - even with a simple gesture - it can make a world of difference in a person's life."

It may have seemed like just a make-shift manicure to anyone else, but to Jessica, the kindness her medical providers showed her meant the entire world. It made her feel like a person again.

We all have the capacity, even with tiny actions, to make someone's life a little bit different; a little bit better. Let's never miss an opportunity to take advantage of it.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less