I bought an inspiring book this week called Random Acts of Kindness -- An Illustrated Celebration. It's very uplifting, and so I thought I'd share some of my favorite stories. Here's one:
"A few years I had managed to screw up my life so badly that I found myself without a home and without hope. I'm ashamed to admit it, but even then I was so absorbed by my own self-pity that all I could think of was begging enough money to buy the cheapest drink I could find. One day I was sitting in front of a store panhandling when a woman walked by with a small boy in tow. She ignored my pitch and hurried away. As I watched them go down the sidewalk, the small boy broke free and came running back. He stood in front of me, fumbling in his coat pocket; he pulled out a five-dollar bill -- what was almost certainly more money than he had ever held before -- and handed it to me. I was completely dumbstruck and just sat there staring at him with the money in my hand. By then his mother had returned, and with tears in her eyes gently led the boy away. He turned back once to wave, and then they were gone. I don't know how long I sat there, but I have not had another drink since."
Wow -- isn't it amazing how one simple act of kindness can have such an enormous impact on a life?