Last week I ran a giveaway for Brad Aronson’s HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act at a Time—a heartwarming book that highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things and offers practical tips for everyday kindness.
I had ten books to give away—four for the blog, three for Facebook, and three for Instagram—and I invited you all to share an act of kindness you’d recently received or witnessed for a chance to win. The four blog winners, chosen at random, are:
Please email me at email (at) tinybuddha.com so I can get a book out to you!
If you didn’t win a copy, I highly recommend you grab one for yourself or a loved one here (perhaps as a Mother’s Day gift to thank your mom for her kindness, or a graduation gift to help someone create a sense of purpose grounded in love).
There’s a reason HumanKind has over 1,300 ratings on Amazon and endorsements from Deepak Chopra, Gabby Bernstein, and Neil Pasricha, among others. As one reviewer wrote, “It’s a feel good, do good book.”
Judging from the stories many of you shared last week, I know you all appreciate little reminders that there’s a lot of love in the world, and HumanKind is cholk-full of them.
Since you may not have seen the entries on social media, and I was deeply moved by the acts of kindness shared, I decided to post ten from each platform here on the blog. I hope they give you all the feels and boost your mood as they lifted mine!
Acts of Kindness Shared on Instagram
1. The last time we were in a metro, I stood up and gave my seat to an old lady. My eight-year-old boy observed this and kept quiet. A few weeks later, we were on a bus that carries people to the plane from the airport, and my boy stood up even before me to help an aged uncle with his bag and offered him his seat. He looked at me and winked like “I got this.” I felt so proud! ~@thearistochique
2. I’m now in a wheelchair and can’t do a lot of things around my house without pain. My neighbor came over yesterday and cleaned my house. I was in tears being that I was so grateful. ~@susan1228r
3. One afternoon my boss told me to log off and spend the last couple of hours in self-care. Amazing act of kindness. ~@brensiegollihue
4. After a tragic loss in my family, my students welcomed me back to class by filling the whiteboard with sweet and encouraging messages. I don’t think I’ll want to erase them! ~@christa_ha
5. I recently found out in January I have Stage 3 kidney disease. I have to watch my sugar to keep it under control. Yesterday was my birthday. I was a little sad because I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a birthday cake. One of my coworkers showed up and surprised me with a sugar-free birthday cake. Her thoughtfulness really touched me. ~vanellaj5
6. When I was walking my dog last week, someone randomly gave me a dog toy they found on the ground (a rubber ball that looks like a baseball). Today, I took that ball with me to the dog park and donated it as a community toy for all dogs to play with. ~@saira.ashlee
7. My boyfriend is incredibly selfless, he is always, always, always trying to help others. He recently helped a homeless person get gloves because their hands were in terrible shape from being on the streets so long. During their interaction, the man mentioned to my boyfriend he wanted to call his dad. My boyfriend called, and the father was ecstatic was there within fifteen mins to pick his son up. I told my boyfriend his kindness reunited that family, and he cried. ~coco__magnolia
8. My landlord recently put a lock on the outside faucet so that I had to trek up and down the stairs from my apartment to water the few plants in the garden. The old lady downstairs noticed, filled eight one-gallon water bottles, and left them for me on the front steps. The plants were delighted, and so was I! ~@avabearbooks
9. After having extreme hair loss following an extended COVID-related hospitalization, my spirits were low (along with my physical strength and lung capacity). Not only did friends cycle through safely to drop off meals for my family, I was also gifted handmade hair scarves and coverings. ~@greenalien5000
10. Our car repairman fixed our daughter’s car for free because he heard we were donating it to a boy who had cancer. Then he gave us plane tickets to fly home. ~@indy_blau
Acts of Kindness Shared on Facebook
11. As a voluntary support person for refugees, I have been amazed at people’s heartfelt willingness to help those arriving from war zones. Recently a woman—a single parent on a very basic income herself—donated a pram, highchair, toys, and clothes to the point that my car could not have held any more. The refugee family were in awe, and so was I. There is a lot of goodness in this troubled world. ~@Päivi Kinnunen
12. My husband and I aren’t very plant-savvy, but we have a next-door neighbor who is! Our yard is much larger than theirs, but we don’t do anything special with it because we wouldn’t know where to begin. After several conversations about how we admire their garden and plants, our neighbor surprised us by planting a line of lilac bushes along the edge of our yard, and they’re now starting to bloom! ~@Melanie Hersh
13. I am a paraprofessional in a high school where there are a lot of kids that come from rough households. I donated five prom dresses and I am doing makeup for the girls’ day of free of charge. ~@Jessica Ryan
14. I am a nurse at a cancer clinic and watched one patient buy an obviously underserved patient lunch. The recipient was so grateful. ~@Kim Pirie
15. I was in line at a grocery store, and I didn’t have enough money on my card. I was ready to put a few items back when the man behind me came up and slid his debit card to cover all my groceries—about $40 worth. That was so beautiful, a random act of kindness by a stranger. I plan on paying it forward when I can. ~@Susan Mahony
16. We babysit two girls. One was upset over having lost her paci. Her younger sister popped out her own paci, stuck it in her sister’s mouth, and sitting side-by-side, put her arm around her sister. ~@Cindy Kline
17. We live in a small West Virginia town, and an elderly townsperson hadn’t been seen out and about. She was a regular at the local library. The librarian was worried and knew that this person had health issues and no mode of transportation. She hadn’t been to the library for two days. They reached out to me. and I investigated with law enforcement, and we found her at home—no heat and no water.
Local law enforcement delivered milk, bread, and personal hygiene products. We offered to put her in a local motel while we restored heat and water. She declined and thanked us for the offer. Local contractors volunteered to help with heat and to repair water pipes. Adult protective services helped with the situation too. I am proud of our community for working together to help a neighbor in need. This is what community is all about! ~@Bill Dawson
18. I was trying to make a left turn onto a busy road when the next driver saw a break in traffic and slowed to let me turn. A very kind rush hour gesture. I then paid it forward by allowing someone to turn in front of me. We can all use a little rush hour kindness! ~@Lisa Pogge Bragano
19. My eighty-four-year-old mother helps make “Mercy Meals” for people who are sick, elderly, or have been in the hospital, to make sure they get a nutritious and satisfying meal until they are back on their feet again. ~@Ryan Sherbrooke
20. The kindest thing I’d ever received was when I was getting ready to transition from a job. Instead of a going away present, a thoughtful coworker gave me ten $20 Walmart gift cards with a card that said, “You always seem to know where help/kindness is needed.” My kids helped me carefully choose where each card should go—and really loved giving the last three away to random folks while shopping. I’m tearing up just thinking of the ripple her kindness sent forth! ~@Brooke Hall
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough stories like these—tiny reminders that the world is full of good people who care and want to help. That’s why I love HumanKind. It’s the kind of book that fills you with hope and joy and inspires you to pay it forward, and the book itself is a kindness story, with all author royalties going to Big Brother, Big Sister.
Thank you, Brad, for this gift to the world—and thank you to everyone who shared a story here and on social media!
**Some entries were slightly edited for grammar or length.