Sowing the Seeds of Love

Sowing the Seeds of Love
Kindness Makes the World Go 'Round

It’s a new year and it’s safe to say the human race is optimistic that 2021 will trump its predecessor (no pun intended). We are still facing uncertain times but I personally feel a deeper sense of resilience and hope simply knowing we got through 2020 together. No matter what has been happening in our individual spheres, this global experience has, in its own bitter-sweet way, forged a family out of the human race.

You see, under extreme circumstances, the sweetness of human nature reveals itself. Yes, there is poor behaviour, we can all admit we have been responsible for that. Yet, the one thing that has truly blown me away during this trying time has been the amplification of kindness. From small, sweet acts witnessed between strangers on the street, to the more authentic and regular connecting of distant family members. Genuine examples of compassion, care and love have rippled out, affecting whole ponds of communities. 

My own saving grace during times of trial and tribulation in this past year have been a few humble facebook pages – simple gestures of one (or perhaps two) souls acting on their love and desire to be the hands that cast our collective heart-pebbles. 

These pages, The Kindness Pandemic and Love What Matters, are life-affirming examples of the expansive and generous capacity of the human heart, the silver lining to a challenge that has unexpectedly tied us together and shown us that the choice to respond with love is always, always within our reach.

As a testament to your heart, my heart, and all of the hearts in the world, here is a small collection of random acts of kindness from everyday people around the world, to remind us no matter who we are, where we are or what we have, we each have the power to sow the seeds of love.

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So a couple weeks before Christmas, I learned that I was going to be losing my job due to restructuring. My rent was increasing at the end of the month, and then I got Covid which prevented me from seeing my family for the holidays. Tonight, a friend delivered an envelope from an anonymous angel, and inside was this note and $500. I have no idea who it was, but my friend assured me that they wanted to stay anonymous, and that they all wanted me to know that I wasn’t alone. “It’s for a brand new start for the New Year.” I’m completely humbled—in the midst of such a sucky year, my friends have shone through, matching bright light for every dark shard throughout it. 

Credit: Tanya Musgrave
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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I nearly broke down in a supermarket before. I had a tattoo done the other day in memory of our staffy. A young woman working there, who I had never seen before at the checkout, had the same name, same spelling. So I tell her the story about my tattoo. What she said next in a split second, was such a kind and gentle thing to say. “Maybe this is one of the moments, she is letting you know she is ok.” When I’ve been a blubbering mess this kindness touched me.

Credit: Michael Smith
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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This is a story about my beloved dad: 

Dad took our dog for his regular afternoon walk (Christmas wasn’t going to get between the boys and their walk!) and came across a homeless gentleman at the park near our place, upon returning home from their walk dad began immediately pottering around in the kitchen, not his usual stomping ground so him trying to be inconspicuous in there wasn’t really working out for him! Being the curious person I am who couldn’t possibly let him do anything in his own home without me knowing; I popped my head in to see what was going on, Dad immediately waved me in and shushed me. He had all our Christmas lunch leftovers out and was packing up plastic takeaway containers full of food, he explained about the homeless man and that he was going to return with some food because “not everyone is as lucky as we are to have had a meal like us today”. We still had family over who were sitting in the other room but dad being dad didn’t want to make a spectacle of the kind deed he was doing so we snuck out and I drove him back up to the park with 3 containers full to the brim of ham, chicken, turkey, salad, fruit mince pies and Christmas cookies, along with a bottle of water and a beer. It was a relatively quick but friendly exchange, finished off with a handshake between the two men. 

I love my dad and am too proud of him and his generosity to not share.

Credit: Katie Bullivant
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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Just had to say, the other day in Woolworths I was scanning my food in the self-serve. The lady next to me asked if I had a Woolworths rewards card which I did. She then said, quick, scan on my shopping, it’s $400 worth of points to add to your card. Because of this kind lady, I ended up getting an extra $30 for my next shop or to save for Christmas. It may not sound like much, but as a mum of three on a single income, every dollar counts and I save that money for Christmas and Christmas presents. I am so grateful to her.

Credit: Monica Davey
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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I spent the day unexpectedly in hospital, on my birthday, alone (no visitors thanks to Covid) in a great deal of pain. Feeling absolutely miserable, when the nurses walked in with this for me. They were run off their feet in the ward and still took the time to organise this for me. Their kindness made me super emotional (and a cocktail of pain drugs too I suppose!) and I cannot thank them enough for helping me celebrate. Nurses truly are the most beautiful people. If you know a nurse, hug them for me. Especially a nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital!

Credit: Belle Mills
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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Being a uni student in the UK right now is far less than ideal, but we’ve got each other. Both my sisters and I are at uni (we’re all at different ones); my youngest sister, Issy, went into her first year in September. It was a very tough start for her – stuck on her own in her little room, living on her own for the first time, with socialising kept to a minimum – but she’s managed to make some lovely friends now. Issy is always a beacon of light: even during the hardest times, she’s really funny, positive, kind, and accepting of everyone. Yesterday, she opened her room door to find loads of chocolate outside, and a note saying it was a gift from everyone on her floor, thanking her for being ‘the light of the corridor’ at such a horrible time!

She was completely dumbfounded; she had no idea what she was meant to have done! Just goes to show that kindness breeds kindness, and you can make a difference to people by just being yourself. Such a proud big sister moment for me.

Credit: Olivia Tuck
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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I have posted before about a community street pantry I run in Canberra ACT.

We are a literal pantry out the front of my house that is run by the community, for the community. This allows people to access help anonymously. We provide basic non perishable foods as well as toiletries to anybody in need. 

While I’m so used to helping others, today I opened my mailbox and found this. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Something completely out of the blue but actually came at just the right time for us as we ourselves have been having a hard time trying to get on top of things. To know somebody thought I deserved this completely warms my heart 

Credit: Jessica Kremp
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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First I’ve heard of this group when I was telling someone of my story so here goes.

My hubby and I were having a brunch across from us was a very fragile old couple having a toastie and latte we watched them chat and also sit in complete silence … my hubby and I agreed … I went inside to tell the waitress that we would get their bill. 

Moments later the older gentleman returned from the register and asked a few of us ( did u pay our bill ) I couldn’t help but say yes .. he replied saying never in his life had that happened and he and his wife were sooooo very grateful. 

When we left to settle the bill the owner said NOPE… it’s on the house… that act of kindness is beautiful and he would like to pay it forward … KARMA !!!

Credit: Katie Tobin Lovell
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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Listen to what just happened to us…

A few weeks ago my daughter TJ, son in law Clay and I were having a pub lunch with my new grandson, and a guy walked past with this thing (it’s called a Bumbo). I asked the fellow if it was a good thing to have, and he said it was and chatted for a minute or two. A few minutes later he walked back over and gave us the Bumbo and said he had another one! He congratulated us on the baby and wished the kids a lifetime of happiness. We couldn’t believe it and offered to buy him a drink or his lunch but he just said “No, what goes around comes around”. 

Anyway, this morning TJ and I were out for a walk and found an iPhone on the ground. It had been raining and we couldn’t turn it on, so TJ put it in rice and we were just able to turn it on and get a number for “Dad”. We called the number and they just came around to pick up the phone and guess who “Dad” was… the same man that gave us the Bumbo!!!   

I just googled and there are 200,000 people in Townsville!

Credit: Emma Nadin
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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I wrote a post a few weeks ago about gifting a Bumbo to a stranger… Well my stepson lost his iPhone 11 last night and was looking for it all morning… My husband got a call today from a kind person who had found the phone in a puddle on their walk and called him as he was the Emergency contact. We were so grateful and offered a reward but they refused to accept. As my husband was leaving, a lady came running out of the house and said “Wait, did you give away a Bumbo a few weeks earlier? That was us! ” He was gobsmacked. Thank you so much kind people, how good is that?!

Credit: Kim Whitbread
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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I went to my local supermarket yesterday morning to grab some necessities. Thanks to bills and Christmas, it’s really tight at the moment. I walked around with my calculator in my hand adding up as I went, making sure I didn’t spend more than I had. I still need to get fuel for my family Christmas lunch on Tuesday, an hour from home. 

After I had what I needed, I went through the register. It came to $61. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but I needed everything I got. I went to grab my card out and to pay and the woman behind me stepped forward and said “Excuse me. I’d just like to say I want to pay for your shopping today.” I was completely stunned and lost for words. I think I said something like “What? What do you mean?” She said she likes to do this every year. She had her young daughter with her, who might have been 11 or 12 (I can’t really remember because I was in shock). I was so overwhelmed and started to cry. She scanned her card and said she knows how hard it is to have three little ones at Christmas and she wanted to do this for us. I asked if I could hug her. She said yes. We hugged and I thanked her a few times and we left. I went to my car, explained to my kids what just happened, then called my husband and cried and cried on the phone. I was so overwhelmed and felt so blessed!! 

Whoever you are, you have no idea how much this meant to us. I know there are people doing it tougher than us, but this is a tough period, so this was a huge blessing. But also, sometimes I feel like I float through life feeling invisible as a busy, homeschooling, mum of three little kids. Having someone say “I see you…I see those three little ones…I know it can be tough!” Just to have that acknowledgment meant so much to me! So many things to say thank you for! So grateful and I can’t wait to pay it forward! 

Credit: Jodi Maree
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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Meet Conner! 

Conner goes out of his way every time to greet Sarah Ava. He talks to her and treats her like she is a typical person. 

He also asks her questions. He doesn’t mind that she doesn’t answer him back. Her sweet face shows exactly how she feels about him. 

A few weeks ago, he heard Ava scream across the store. She was in distress… overstimulated by the lights and the many sounds at Walmart. I felt frantic on the inside… I had to keep her safe while trying to checkout, bag groceries, pay the cashier while trying to keep her from eloping the store. Everyone was staring and I’m quietly praying, please help us Jesus. 

I look over and Conner came over to hold her hand, while repeatedly telling us that everything was going to be ok. 

I’m FIGHTING back tears. 

After he calms Ava, he places my groceries in the buggy so I can pay. He holds her hand as I push the cart to the car and then he puts my groceries up in the car. 

Conner is a real-life hero. If you see this young man at Walmart please tell him what a wonderful job he is doing.

Credit: Sherry Capps
Via: Love What Matters

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When you go to Zaraffas to buy a coffee, get to the counter and ask to pay for the people’s behind you …only to find out that the people before you paid for yours. Definitely the best kindness pandemic.

Credit: Amy Rhian
Via: The Kindness Pandemic

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The week ahead is a big one, but instead of me talking about it, I decided to post a picture of these bananas. Here’s why:

A few days ago, we were headed to our daughter’s last cross-country meet. She likes to eat a banana before she runs, but forgot her banana back at her school. She asked if we could stop at the store to get one.

My husband, Scott, went to the store, ran in, and picked up a couple of bananas. He took them to the cashier, who said he owed the store exactly 53 cents.

Scott opened his wallet, but he had only a credit card and a large bill the cashier didn’t want to break. Scott said he would run out to the car to get some change from me, but the cashier said, ‘Nope. It’s okay. I’ve got this.’

Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out exactly 53 cents in change.

And Scott walked out with the paid-for bananas.

Here’s why this story is important this week. There are kind and compassionate people everywhere. Even if they don’t vote like you. Worship like you. Live like you. Behave like you.

I know 53 cents doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But she could have just rolled her eyes at my husband, clenched her jaw, and demanded he get the change.

But she didn’t. She reached into her own pocket.

Maybe you think I’m a simple-minded person, or overly optimistic, but I think when it comes down to it, being good to one another is what’s going to keep us all moving forward in times like these.

Every act of kindness, every smile, every kind word. There is no act too small as we share this place called Planet Earth.

There’s a good chance people in our neighborhoods, our churches, our workplaces, and even our own families won’t vote exactly like we do. We have a choice on how we move forward this week — with kindness or with hatred.

I will choose kindness.

Credit: Jennifer Dukes Lee
Via: Love What Matters

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If you feel inspired to resonate your light and love out into the world too, we would love you to join us for The UPLIFT Pulse THIS Saturday 16 January, 5pm PDT (Sunday 17, 12pm AEST). A panel of special guests will be exploring the theme ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’. Register your place HERE.

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Dearest UPLIFT Family,

If you have experienced acts of kindness that have left the imprint of love on your heart, we want to hear them! Please share them in the comments below so we can all water our own heart-seeds with loving inspiration.

With limitless love,

Briony and Team UPLIFT

BY Briony Dalton
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