Wishing You Well

Marlo Thomas: Good News! 12 Inspiring Acts of Random Kindness

Posted on: May 21, 2013

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I am an unrepentant news junkie. If I’m not getting the latest stories online, I ‘m hearing them blaring from the TV in the next room. And have I introduced you to my husband, Phil? He makes me look uninformed. So, between the two of us, we’re practically a 24-hour cable news station.

The downside of staying up on the news is the tremendous sadness that often accompanies it. We have all wept together in the past year over stories that have broken our hearts and shocked our consciences — from school shootings and acts of terrorism to weather disasters and war casualties. Such an onslaught can be dispiriting, and maybe even compel us to give up hope.

I hope not. This is why I try to keep a healthy emotional balance by seeking out stories that lift our sprits and remind us all of our better natures.

At first blush, stories of decency and goodness may seem trivial when compared to the constant stream of bad news that pours forth every day. But it’s just a matter of keeping perspective. For instance, would a story about a group of villagers in India banding together to save a baby elephant stop the poverty and injustices suffered by so many around the world? Of course, it wouldn’t. But it might keep us from throwing in the towel.

Or what about the fast-food employee from North Carolina who turned a young girl’s disastrous prom night into a dream date? That might not turn around the epidemic of bullying facing our youth today, but it goes a long way toward remembering that people are basically kind, and that we look out for each other.

And then there’s the New Hampshire college athlete who gave up his beloved sport — the shot put — in order to save the life of a complete stranger. That might not be the miracle cure for cancer that we’ve all been looking for, but it certainly sends a message that sometimes love and kindness are the most powerful medicines.

While we all should continue to take a deep breath and bear the harder and sadder stories that populate the front pages of our newspapers — and then try to do something about them — let’s all remember to feed our spirits by seeking out stories about random acts of kindness, as well. Those stories are out there — sometimes you just have to dig a little to find them.

Take a look.

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  • Indian Villagers Rally To Save Baby Elephant

    Recently in Eastern India, a baby elephant fell into an unused 12-foot-deep well that was hidden by bushes. The little guy tried to break free to no avail, but when local villagers realized he was stuck, they banded together to help him. Using earth-moving equipment to break down the sides of the well, they created a slope so that the baby elephant could crawl out. After being stuck for 12 hours, the villagers watched as the rescued animal emerged from the well unscathed and walked into the nearby forest. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F01%2F23%2Fvillagers-rescue-baby-elephant-trapped-well-india_n_2537021.html” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Girl Gets Stood Up At Prom, Boy From Burger Joint Saves The Day

    North Carolina teen Kelsey Baker was looking forward to her very first prom, but she was left heartbroken when the upperclassman who invited her told her that he wasn’t coming at the last minute. Kelsey’s mother dragged her to the hamburger joint where her aunt worked to show off how beautiful she looked and there, a teenage employee noticed her tear-stained face. Eighteen-year-old Bryan Hayes decided to turn Kelsey’s night around — he asked a customer to play music, held out his hand and asked her to dance. The pair danced in the middle of the restaurant with everyone watching – turning Kelsey’s awful night into an amazing experience. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.13wmaz.com%2Fnews%2Fwatercooler%2Farticle%2F232189%2F155%2FGirl-Stood-Up-at-Prom-Gets-Surprise-from-Burger-Joint” target=”_blank”>Click here </a>for the full story.

  • Star Athlete Quits Sport To Save Stranger With Cancer

    Twenty-one-year-old University of New Hampshire student Cameron Lyle recently decided to give up shot put, a track and field sport that he had been practicing for eight years, to donate his bone marrow to a stranger in need. During his sophomore year of college, he had his mouth swabbed for the National Bone Marrow Registry and two years later, he was notified that he was a 100% match for a man with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had less than six months to live. Although Cameron has no relation to the man, he felt compelled to give the man a shot at life. Now that’s a true hero! <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fvideo%2Fwatch%2F%3Fid%3D50145512n” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Woman Saved The Life Of A Man Who Dialed The Wrong Number

    When 84-year-old Thomas Buck dialed Ashley Yasick’s phone number, he had meant to reach his sister-in-law who lived nearby for help. The Pennsylvania man was suffering from a blood infection, and left a “gut-wrenching” message on Ashley’s phone. When Ashley, who currently lives in Florida, heard the misdialed message, she knew something was very wrong. After returning Buck’s phone call, she used Google to locate his address and phoned his local police department. Buck spent several days in the ICU and ER doctors said that if Ashley hadn’t made the call, things could have turned out much worse. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sun-sentinel.com%2Fnews%2Fpalm-beach%2Ffl-delray-emergency-call-20130510%2C0%2C2161621.story” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Teen Uses Internet To Prevent Another Teen’s Suicide Across The Country

    Cyberbullying can drive teens to depression and sometimes, even suicide. Luckily, there are people like California teen Jackie Rosas in the world. Jackie knew that one of the girls she followed on Tumblr had been cyberbullied, so when the girl spoke about taking her own life in a blog post, she knew the situation was serious. Jackie called her local police and supplied them with all of the information she had – even though it wasn’t much. Through frantic detective work, the police were led across the country to New Jersey, where they tracked down the girl’s home. Upon entering, they found her unconscious from ingesting several prescription pills. The girl was transported to the hospital, and is now undergoing psychiatric care. Without Jackie’s notice, they may have never found her in time. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mydesert.com%2Fapps%2Fpbcs.dll%2Farticle%3FAID%3D2013305130029 %26amp%3Bgcheck%3D1″ target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Financially-Strapped Carpenter Helps Homeless Men Get Back On Their Feet

    Georgia native Brian Preston lost his remodeling business, his house and the family cars when the recession hit back in 2008, but he never lost hope. The resilient builder came up with a new plan – to make furniture from reclaimed wood like dismantled barns and shipping palettes. He needed employees to start his venture and he found his first in an unusual place – living in the woods behind a shopping center. The homeless man had a story similar to Brian’s – he had been in the housing business and lost everything when the recession hit. The business, which is slated to make half of a million dollars in sales this year, has given the homeless carpenter a second chance. He can now afford to rent a room in a boarding house, and has opened his first checking account in 15 years. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2F8301-18563_162-57583356%2Fgeorgia-furniture-maker-reclaims-wood -rebuilds-lives%2F” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Women Roofers Volunteer To Help Those In Need

    In 2002, a volunteer group that repairs roofs for low-income homeowners in North Carolina solicited for volunteers, and the only people who showed up to the first job were a few inexperienced women. But they were up to the challenge — with the help of a veteran roofer, the women repaired their first leaky roof and were enthralled by the process. Word of their experience spread, and soon, a whole crew of female roofers formed. Today, the Rutherford County Women Roofers have over 100 rotating volunteers. And they’re not just making a difference in their local community – the group has given these women at outlet to form strong friendships and to become bona fide roofing experts! <a href=”http://www.nbcnews.com/id/40153870/ – 51802793 – 51810608″ target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Coyote Puppy Covered In Cactus Saved By Golf Course Employees

    Recently, when a coyote puppy came into contact with a cholla cactus, a species of cacti with spiny needles that is abundant in the Southwest, the outcome wasn’t pretty. Luckily, he stumbled into Gwen Maxwell, an 86-year-old Arizona woman who felt compelled to help the little animal. Maxwell flagged down a neighbor who contacted the maintenance crew at a nearby golf course. Two employees used a pair of pliers to pull out all of the needles and brought the puppy in for medical care. Once he was declared healthy, they released him back onto the golf course, where his parents were waiting for him. What a sweet reunion! <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F05%2F17%2Fcoyote-pup-cactus_n_3293417.html” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Therapy Llamas Bring Joy To The Sick And Healing

    Animal therapy has become increasingly popular due to its positive effects on mood, so you’ve probably heard of therapy dogs, therapy cats and maybe even therapy horses. But who ever thought a llama could play the role of caregiver? Marisco and N.H Flight of the Eagle are two llamas that have undergone rigorous training to become therapy animals. Their handler brings them to rehab centers, nursing homes and other medical settings in Washington to cheer up residents – and the response to their visits is always overwhelming positive. Residents pet, nuzzle and play with the animals, all the while benefitting from their calming presence. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slate.com%2Fblogs%2Fbehold%2F2013%2F04%2F24%2Fjen_osbourne_llama_love_follows_therapy_llamas_around_a_rehab_center_photos.html” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Family Finds Winning Lottery Ticket After Bout Of Terrible Luck

    Last year, The Cerezo family lost their 14-year-old daughter, Savannah, to a seizure disorder and as if that weren’t awful enough, their Illinois home went into foreclosure. But, unbeknownst to the grieving family, their late daughter’s cookie jar held something very special that would turn their luck around. When cleaning out the jar, the Cerezos discovered that one of the lottery tickets that had been stuffed inside was a winner – a 4.85M-dollar winner that would help the family save their home. Although the money won’t heal the pain they still feel after the loss of a child, they are now able to save money for their other children to attend college, and donate to their church. The family attributes their win to their unrelenting hope. <a href=”http://www.today.com/video/today/51914714 – 51914714″ target=”_blank”>Click here</a> for the full story.

  • Building Community Gardens In South Central LA

    South Central Los Angeles is filled with liquor stores, fast food and vacant lots. Fashion designer Ron Finley grew tired of the rapidly growing obesity rate in his neighborhood, and the lack of access to healthy, fresh food. He started growing a garden on a tiny plot of land in front of his house with a volunteer group of gardeners. The city came after him because the land was technically theirs, but the media backed him up. Finley continues to educate his neighborhood on community gardening and is working to rejuvenate the area by planting gardens on vacant plots – so far 20 gardens have been grown. <a href=”http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ted.com%2Ftalks%2Fron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html” target=”_blank”>Click here</a>for the full story.

  • Little Boy Uses Spelling Skills To Save His Dad’s Life

    Five-year-old Nathaniel Dancy Jr. put his spelling skills to the ultimate test when his father suffered from a stroke while driving on a New Jersey highway. Nathaniel’s father had managed to pull the car over to the side of the road safely, and the little boy immediately called his grandmother. With his mother conferenced in, he tried to describe where he and his father were located by spelling out the signs he saw around him. “F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E,” Nathanial spelled, and added that he and his father were near a tunnel. Through this information, his mother and grandmother figured out where the pair was located and sent help to the scene. Nathaniel’s actions saved his father’s life – a prime example of the importance of education. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/nathaniel-dancy-5-year-old-saves-dads-life_n_3267573.html?utm_hp_ref=good-news&ir=Good News” target=”_blank”>Click here </a>for the full story.

Follow Marlo Thomas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarloThomas

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via Good News on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/12-acts-of-random-kindness_b_3312193.html

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