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November 13th is World Kindness Day! Here are 10 diverse and heart-warming pieces honouring extraordinary acts of kindness, love and compassion.

1. The Angel of Queens: Jorge Munoz is a school bus driver by day and an angel by night. Every night for more than 5 years, he has gone home and cooked food for hundreds of people on his old stove. He then goes to a street corner in Queens, New York and feeds those that are hungry. He does this with his own money because “it’s the right thing to do”.

2. The Business 9 Women Kept Secret for Three Decades: “Somewhere in West Tennessee, not far from Graceland, nine women — or “The 9 Nanas,” as they prefer to be called — gather in the darkness of night. At 4am they begin their daily routine — a ritual that no one, not even their husbands, knew about for 30 years. They have one mission and one mission only: to create happiness. And it all begins with baked goods.”

3. 21 Ways to Celebrate Life: After Nancy Rothstein’s son, Josh, passed away unexpectedly, she was seeking a way to offer a tribute for family and friends to honor his birthday. With each passing birthday, she adds one more item to the list.On Josh’s 21st birthday, true to her tradition, Nancy shared these 21 ways to celebrate life — and shine your light in our world.

4. J-Mac: Shot of a Lifetime: Jason McElwain, an autistic high school basketball team member in Rochester, New York, served as the team manager and spirit coach for several years. On the final game of the season the compassionate coach let him put on a uniform with the rest of the team. What happened next you have to see to believe.

5. A Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget: “Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One night I took a fare at 2:30 AM, when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.” What followed was a life-transforming experience that blurred the line between giver and receiver.

Our favourite speaker, author and all round wonderful Delight Maker in the field of Kindness is Dr David Hamilton who left the pharmaceutical industry when he realised the power of the mind to heal, especially when directed to kindness and compassion.

6. An Ordinary Magical Life: “I met Shelagh Gordon at her funeral. My sharpest impression of her that day, as mourners in black pressed around me, was of her breathtaking kindness. Shelagh was freshly-in-love thoughtful. If she noticed your boots had holes, she’d press her new ones into your arms. When you casually admired her coffeemaker, you’d wake up to one of your own.” The Star newspaper dedicated unprecedented coverage to this relatively unknown 55-year-old woman’s funeral … this remarkable story explains why.

7. Peace-Chain Reaction: April 23rd, a little after lunch. 1991. That was the moment Joe Murphy, decided that he would make something for peace. The details weren’t clear to him at the time, but he knew that it would be something symbolic of connection, a chain of sorts. He knew that he would create small art pieces, and that he would give them away, and that he would do this for the rest of his life. This idea evolved into the exquisite Peace Chains: a continuing series of ceramic pendants in vivid hues, each with the word “peace” etched into it in one of over 90 different languages.

8. A 15-Year-Old Dog’s Gift to A Grieving Man: “I have the pleasure of meeting hundreds of incredible heroes, but this one caught me off guard. Your hair will stand on end as you read the story of this man and this dog who picked one another up time and time again…May we all one day have the chance to love this deeply…”

9. The Man Who Dined With His Mugger: In this inspiring audio clip, Julio Diaz tells the story of how he offered his coat to the man who stole his wallet, and of how the two ended up having dinner and a life-changing conversation together. Diaz’s unassuming manner and steadfast compassion shine through his words making this a story hard to forget.

10. Designing for Generosity: What would the world look like if we designed for generosity? Instead of assuming that people want to simply maximize self-interest, what if our institutions and organizations catered to our deeper motivations? This compelling TEDx talk explores this question and introduces the concept of Giftivism: the practice of radically generous acts that change the world.

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And the final word to the King of Kindness, His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 

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