Friday, 28 April 2017

Pay Something Forward


Early today George and I left home in a miserable rainstorm.
It's his turn for a professional haircut
On the garden wall, by the kitchen door I spied a small bouquet of spring flowers, tied carefully in the middle with a miniature length of ivy.
The sweet work of Mrs Trellis, I thought.

It put me in a good mood, that simple act of kindness, and so it was easy to pay it forward when I eventually got to the pet store where the groomers worked away in their cramped windowless workstations and the salespeople tidied shelves and served the ungrateful public.
I left three boxes of chocolate eclairs for the staff to have with their coffee as George was lifted onto his grooming table. It only cost me the loose change left in my pockets
But boy, did it make me feel good.
The staff didn't need to thank me...... it was Mrs Trellis that should have been thanked

What's the last time you received a small act of kindness?
I'd be interested to know.

93 comments:

  1. Every week I have to visit the bank with the Oxfam takings. Last Wednesday I took some chocolate penguins as a gift to the clerks. The penguins were just past their sell-by date but the clerks were delighted. It brightened their afternoon.

    Earlier this week I received a lovely "thank you" card from Jennifer in Florence, South Carolina. It was in response to the fox print I had sent her. That thank you card now sits proudly on our mantelpiece... at least for a little while.

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    1. Lol...at least my eclairs were in date! X

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    2. Yp, do you work or volunteer for Oxfam? I work for Oxfam, and have a 100 strong volunteer team. I love my team, and do what I can in the way of providing training and references for them. Its NEVER enough. People who give up their time with no expectation of repayment? They are priceless.

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  2. My elderly neighbor gave me a beautiful spring bouquet of tulips, a balloon and card for my birthday! I arranged them in a vase, got inspired and painted a picture of them for her to take to her new assisted living home next month. Nice to feel good huh?

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  3. the person in front of me at the drive-thru line bought my coffee, so I did the same for the person behind me. I wonder how long the chain continued?

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    1. Now thats fantastic

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    2. This phenomenon is unheard of in the uk. In the US it seems rather common given the replies here

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    3. This was a couple of years ago but when we adopted our second cat from the shelter wr found while checking out that someone had already paid her adoption fee. So we in turn quietly left the money to covr adoption for a gentleman we knew who had also picked out a friend that day but was worried about the expense.

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  4. A few days ago I received a note from a high school chum. Our mothers were friends many years ago. My mother gifted my chum's mother a painting of tulips, some fifty plus years ago. "Chum" kept the painting after her mum died and now she wants to return it to me.
    We live a great distance away from one another but will see one another this summer for a class reunion and she wants to regift the tulip painting back to me. A Very Nice Unexpected Kindness Indeed!

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  5. (Sorry comment came out in wrong place).

    An email from you asking if I was alright and me doing the same for you 10 days later.

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  6. Ah, how lovely. Good old Mrs Trellis.

    You have a dog called George too?!

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    1. Dogs Winifred ( winnie) , William , Mary and George
      Albert is the cat

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  7. It seems like for the past few years I have received countless acts of kindness ... from little notes asking me how I am, small gifts that are just so dear , people doing things for me that I was dreading having to do ( for the first time/grown up things :)
    It is amazing how the smallest thing, a show of interest or concern or sympathy or even a congratulation on something, can change your whole day .. or even days ...

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  8. My little neighbour, Sara, comes to visit quite often. She treats the house as hers, and comes to play with Bok. She's done this since she was abut 2 (she's now about 8), and has total confidence in both us and herself. I consider that an 'act of kindness'; a lot of children wouldn't dream of doing such a thing.

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  9. Some time ago I was in the drive thru waiting for my order. When I got to the window I was told my order had been paid for by a lady in front of me...it made my day! Since then I have been paying it forward in that same line...

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    1. Lucy is 8 years old and lives next door. She came by today to tell me about her family spring vacation to Hawaii . They came back home on Monday. Her mother told her she could bring two beachcombing souvenirs home. Lucy gave me a pretty piece of sea smooothed white coral for my shell collection. She is so kind and her parents (and neighbors) are very proud of her. She gives great hugs and loves to sing silly songs to my dog. Lucy also likes to train her chickens, except for one hen who "is very mean, won't listen and poops on me when I pick her up". Yup, good sense of humor too.

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  10. The jar of hearts my grandaughter gave me for my 60th birthday.
    Sixty handcut hearts with hand written messages about why she loves me....so kind and so precious.
    I payed it forward by sewing her a maxi skirt she has been wanting for a while.

    I love all the replies about paying for the coffee of the next person in line...that is just fabulous.

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    1. It seems to be a particulary American kindness

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  11. With the world as fucked up as it is, I make it a point to give a smile and a kind word when I go into the shops to purchase things. I often get a smile back, and that makes us both feel good. I went to a shop last weekend and gave a hearty Good Morning!!. The guy asked my husband is she always this cheery so early in the morning? And I said YES I AM. He was startled, then a small grin cracked his face, than a loud chuckle. That made my day.

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  12. Because I have white hair young girls are constantly jumping up on the trams to offer me their seats. Naturally I smile and say thanks and decline or accept according to my mood. It's one of the blessings of advanced years. Curiously the boys invariably engrossed in their computer war games never offer me their seats, not that I'd want to disturb them anyway.

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  13. People are forever holding doors open for the little white haired lady with the cane........I know they mean well and I always smile and say thank you but it makes me feel so OLD lol.

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    1. Oh, you shouldn't feel that way! I always hold the door open for someone who is following me in or out of a building, no matter how old they are. I hate it when someone just ahead of me blithely goes through and lets the door shut in my face.

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    2. :) I am an equal opportunity door holder .... whoever is there, I hold the door for them .. men like it , everyone likes it ..And I so agree about letting the door just shut in someones face ... so very very rude.

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    3. RAMEN, sisters! equal opportunity door holder here!

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  14. I was looking at fresh produce in our local large, grocery store with my husband. A young woman approached and asked him if she could borrow me for a moment. She asked me to help her pick out flowers for someone, so we walked together to the floral section. I asked her what kind of colours the person might like and I suggested choosing something long lasting. After we chose, she told me the flowers were for me, a random act of kindness! She said she was presently not working but had picked up the habit of doing these random acts from a friend of hers- and that they made her feel wonderful! We hugged and I was teary eyed. That very morning someone had sent me a terribly unkind e mail. I told the young woman that she couldn't have chosen a better day to do this.

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    1. Thats a lovely story, so much more important than mine. Thank you

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    2. That was a lovely thing todao. Many years ago when I did my last day at work (I had resigned) the security guard on the door did a similar thing. He asked me if I would help him choose his wife some flowers from a nearby market stall. Then he handed them to me. He told me that I had brightened his day for the past threee years simply by stopping for a quick chat every morning. He told me that the rest of the staff in the building looked down their noses at him. I was so touched by his kind gesture.

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  15. I am usually the one that pays. It makes me happy. I've paid for groceries and vet bills. I hope it made a difference in their lives - that perhaps they would help out others in some way, someday.

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    1. Tell me more....paying at the cash till?

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    2. I never let them know. Almost always, they are behind me in line. I just tell the person that works there that I want to pay their bill. I give it to the cashier and my vet knows me. Once at the vet, I overheard a man and woman talking about what bill they wouldn't pay to pay for their old chihuahua to have some teeth pulled. They were crazy about their little girl and I noticed their car had a broken out window that was taped up. It was obvious how much they loved their dog, were counting their pennies and the spirit moved me. Just things like that.

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    3. Donna, you made me tear up.

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  16. Just having neighbours who say "Hello", and ask "How are you?", is a kind act in itself. Paying forward? The elderly lady next door, likes to air her 'troubles' at length; I listen, and offer support.

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    1. We all need kind words......kindness oils real life

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  17. A friend sent me a note that listed five of the things she loved about me. Out of the blue. After I stopped sobbing, it kept me on a pink cloud for days. I have taken to random acts of kindness just because I know how important they are in these dark times, especially.

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    1. Ive known people who couldnt list that many

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  18. When in London last Saturday we were on crowded tube trains and twice, young people stood up for me to sit. I wasn't sure whether to be glad of the seat or p....d off because they obviously thought I looked old enough to need it ! Needless to say, I thanked them graciously and sat down, while my white haired husband stood ! ( I have " false" brown hair!!)

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    1. The begining of the end ......

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  19. part of my job involves sending a document to my client, sometimes I'm asked for extra copies. Instead of charging I always ask them to put some money in a charity box next time they are passing. Of course I have no idea whether or not they do, but I like to think that they do.

    I think that a smile, a helping hand when you drop something, or just letting someone out at a junction can make the difference between a good day and a bad day for the other person. 'Be as kind as you can' has long been a maxim for me; I have been on the receiving end so many times.

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    1. Yes, i often refuse change in the local shop, asking if it can be put in the charity box ( the local hospice one)

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  20. I have been thinking about this .. there are so many things in my past couple of years that have been unexpected kindnesses but the one that sticks with me and popped into mind right away when I saw this question ... Right after my husband died, which was right after we had returned to the US and moved into a house in NY State ... we had a series of big ... beeeeg snow storms.
    After paying boys to do the driveway then waking the next morning to find another foot of snow on the ground, I gave up. I figured I would just wait it out.. as long as I had heat !
    I woke to noises outside my house .. freaked me out.
    I ran to the front window and there was a small pickup truck in my driveway, which had just been plowed.
    The noise continued, then I saw large amounts of snow falling, there were men on the roof, removing the couple of feet of snow sitting up there ..
    I thanked them, offered money, no one would accept a penny.
    That first winter as a widow, was the most snow they had had in that area for years ... and those lovely men came back every time and cleared a way for me to get out.
    A Horrible year with small bright moments throughout.

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    1. I kind of expect that Americans do the neighbourly tging rather well

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    2. It might depend on where you are ... NYC surprised me, they are neighborly .. here in Fl, no one even knows my name or anything about me ... they get in their car in the garage from the house and leave and never walk or come out into the light lol ... I have no idea who lives on one side of me, I have never seen them .
      I look forward to moving back North ..

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  21. I sometimes carry a neighbours grocery shopping home as she can't carry too much. The lady then gives me a cup of tea and biccy while telling me hilarious stories which make my day.

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    1. I would love that ! and I love hearing older peoples stories, some can be amazing.

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  22. I cannot remember a little act of kindness given to me but hubby and i like to do them ourselves.. I like to leave pieces of my art in places for people to find..in hopes it will brighten their day.. I like to do oragami and will leave a crane or something here and there... I've painted rocks with the words Just Breathe left on them for people to find..... Its fun.. sometimes i wish i was a little fly on the wall or a mouse so i could see someone actually find them ....lol Hugs! deb

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    1. Hnow thats rather sweet

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    2. I love origami , that would thrill me to bits if I found one somewhere !!

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  23. Smiles and complements to those least suspecting seem to be good day brighteners. I enjoy them and always pass them on.

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  24. Every Lent I follow 40 Acts - 40 Acts of generosity, instead of giving something up - which is about being more generous. It is a blessing to do such things. I really enjoy writing encouraging sentences on cards & leaving them in places to be found - on baby changing tables, in shopping trolleys and so on. Writing letters, sometimes buying bags of shopping for people begging outside supermarkets..doing all these things bless me as much as the recipient.

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    1. I wonder if our vicar subscribes to this...i'll ask gaynor the mad organist......i saw her in Marks and Soencers yesterday and slipped a large tin of muffins into her shopping trolley

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  25. This is a very up-lifting post John. I am enjoying reading all the comments. They are making me feel cheerful again and smile.

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    1. Yes..we need a bit of lightness after the bickering of the middle of the week

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    2. I've felt like a leper for three weeks. And you know what, I'm not. Thanks for the post.

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    4. Oh dear. And there I was in recovery

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  26. My dad gave me a pot of Kiwi plants on Tuesday. He grew them from seed for me. He's a daft old sod, but very kind x

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  27. This is a very uplifting website. A few years ago, I was traveling with a friend across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco rooting in my purse to find money for the toll. When I arrived at the toll gate, the keeper greeted me with a huge grin and told us to have a wonderful day. The car in front had paid our toll as a random act of kindness. I still beam when I recall that incident.

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  28. When my sister and i needed yard care my neighbor stepped up to do the work. It was over a year before i knew who my yard angel was. He refused any money or thanks. Said he and his wife were raised to help where help was needed.
    I try to pay forward...at work my friend did not have the money to take the sick cat to the vet, another friend who had been a single mom was marrying a wonderful man soon, i bought her dress and and gal at work just was given 4 grandchildren by her daughter with no crib for the baby, i gave the money for the crib....just yesterday she tried to give me that money back saying she was doing fine...i told her i was happy she and the young ones are ok and since she no longer needed the crib to please get them each a treat.

    I have tried to instill a habit of generousity with my mentally challenged sister too. She shares her artwork with everyone we meet. And sometimes wrndy is given a gift in return. It has given her a great sense of both accomplishment and pride. It takes very little effort yo be kind.

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    1. Your sister has taught us non mental illness minded people a valuable lesson x

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  29. My friend W does bit actsof kindness every day at the moment John and I shall never be able to thank her enough.
    But anothr act of kindness today was touching - friends we met for lunch bought me a lovely little book that they knew I would like - they were right.

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  30. On our recent motorbike trip across SA, at our penultimate stop for petrol, I took off my back pack, found that the zip had worked its way open and both my money purse and little bag containing my Smartphone had fallen out. Somewhere long behind us. As Grant and I wondered what to do, a man in a pick-up truck stopped and admired our Harley Davidson. He asked if I was comfortable as a pillion but my tongue was glued to the roof of my mouth (from shock!) and Grant told him we'd just lost everything along the way. He told the petrol attendant to fill up the motorbike and wouldn't even tell us his name or give us bank details to pay him back once we got home. He just said "Pay it forward" !

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  31. I forgot to say how WE paid it forward. Many years ago, Grant and I were in a coffee shop. A couple came in and ordered theirs. As they started drinking, one of them noticed the sign: No credit card facilities. I heard them whispering to each other about where they would find a cash machine. They were most obviously from out of town. I nudged Grant and suggested he paid their bill. Which he did. When the couple walked past us, they both thanked us profusely, then the man said: I need four new tires on my car - any chance of... We all laughed at this!

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    1. They will share that story with their family too.....

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  32. I was in a terrible state a few days
    ago after a dramatic confrontation
    with my husband (his Alzheimer's was
    in high gear).
    My friend of many years, who's own
    husband is in hospital fighting cancer,
    called and said she just had a "bad feeling"
    about me. She had just been visiting
    her husband and was passing through
    my neighborhood. She told me to pull up
    my socks and meet her at the yogurt shop
    in ten minutes. I did, we hugged, we cried,
    it was wonderful.

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    1. Now that is a friend to treasure :)

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    2. Just lovely. :-)

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    3. Yes lovely......ive done that with nuala......sat in a wine bar off covent garden, talked, hugged and cried

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    4. What a wonderful friendship.
      JanF

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  33. My eldest son and I were at the cemetery last week to mark the occasion of the 30th anniversary of my Father's death and also his birthday. We left the flowers for Dad and Papa and then visited my ex-in-laws' graves to tidy it up a bit, then on to my friend's little patch. As we were walking round to the exit, we happened to pass the grave of my son's friend's Grandad and since we had some flowers leftover, we left them for him too. Some folk are a bit odd and territorial about strangers leaving flowers at their loved ones' graves but we didn't think the old man would've minded.

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  34. Kindness spreads so beautifully. And we ALL need more of it.

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    1. Kindness oils the cogs of real life

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  35. Every day from my George.

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  36. Two days ago I was given a lovely, funny card by a member of my bushfire brigade to show me how much my efforts were appreciated. It made all the work worthwhile!

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  37. Many so many years ago about six months after my baby died I found a note in the mailbox. One of my neighbors had wrote how she wanted me to know that she remembers Nicole. I was shocked and so touched by her kindness,.
    I thought people love you and want to help but after a time, our life just gets in the way.
    So I try to do that, after a few months go by I will send a card or flowers to let them know I am thinking of them. So easy but means so much. It did for me.

    cheers, parsnip

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  38. We're so lucky to receive little surprises when we're out in our neighborhood, including the simple act of a waiter sneaking up behind us in our favorite restaurant to wrap us in a bear hug (oops... I first typed "bare" hug...). I love what you did for the staff at the groomers. When my mother spent summer 2015 in hospital, 3-1/2 weeks on one ward, I would bring boxes of chocolates or cookies every couple of days and leave them at the nurses' station. They joy and appreciation I felt were all the gift I needed.

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  39. I work in an end of life care home one of the ladies husband's who visits daily to feed his wife got all female members of staff a red rose on valentine's day. Very sweet of him.

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  40. After reading all the lovely comments on this post I was motivated to do a RAK. In town today we walked past a homeless man in a sleeping bag on the pavement. We called into a takeaway and bought him a coffee and a slice of cake.. The lovely cafe owner gave us the coffee free for the chap. When we handed it over a group of young people walked past and said 'What a lovely thing to do'. Do you know what? I was really touched and felt like the recipient of a RAK. I am now thinking of RAK's that I can do now and then. Great thought provoking post John. You make the world a kinder place pet. x

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    1. Thats where things go! Thanks all to mrs trellis

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  41. Hmm, this is oddly very well timed! I was going to leave a comment asking you to get in touch with me as I have something I would like to send to you - it is nice I promise! Can you e-mail me back and let me have your address/an address to send it to, I can discuss more in the e-mail! Hope you don't think this is weird! Thanks!

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    1. Ive experienced more weird!m...i have jst emailed you
      Xxx

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  42. When I was leaning over the freezer unit in a supermarket and a Down's Syndrome woman pinched my arse.

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  43. flowers, a gorgeous cake and a gift card for my birthday from another " daughter" ....our very elderly moms live in the same care facility...it made my day...I do random acts of kindness all the time...anonymous is my favorite

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