One Act of Kindness


We sometimes believe that we can do nothing to change the world. I mean we are only one person. Right?

Well, I recently read an essay that touched my heart very deeply and shows how just one act of kindness, a few words, CAN indeed change a person’s whole life. The essay speaks to small acts of kindness that reverberate in the heart for years.

Before I share this short essay I want to introduce you to the author.

Phil Bosta is a freelance writer and author of several books. After a dozen years in the investment business, he changed careers to pursue his true calling, encouraging and inspiring people to live more positive, loving lives.

Phil is also the author of the book, “Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.”

Sixty Seconds is a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, and many more.

But now on to how kindness can change the  world.

One Man’s Kindness to a Teenage Girl

Following is, One Man’s Kindness to a Teenage Girl by Phil Bolsta.

My friend, Heidi Stokes, told me a wonderful, life-changing story that is as simple as it is powerful. I wanted to share it because it’s an excellent reminder of the effect we have on everyone we come into contact with. Here is Heidi’s story.

My first job in high school was waitressing. I wanted to do everything perfectly but I kept messing up. For some reason I had a mental block when people asked me to bring their drinks to them with their meal instead of right after they ordered. Over and over again, I’d bring people their food and forget their drinks. So many people got so upset with me. I understood why they were angry—they couldn’t eat their meal without their drink. I felt ashamed of myself, like I was the biggest idiot in the world.

The worst moment came when I screwed up one man’s order three different ways. He was in a wheelchair so I felt especially terrible. I was really rattled and felt like it was the end of the world. As I apologized for the third or fourth time, he reached out, touched my arm, looked me in the eye and said, “It’s okay. It’s one meal out of a lifetime of meals. I can wait.” NO one had EVER acted like that before. I wanted to kiss his feet.

It was a watershed moment. With just a few kind words, he put everything in perspective. I was making honest mistakes and doing the best I could at the time. I stopped beating myself up when other customers would make mean-spirited comments. Because he was kind to me, I learned to be kinder to myself. And ever since then, I began looking for opportunities to say a kind word to others who were having a bad day.

I later found out that this man had a degenerative muscle disease and only had a year or so to live. I think of him every time I reach out to someone in distress. And I am honored that in this way, his legacy of kindness lives on.

Every day each of us faces similar circumstances. We choose how we will respond. We can respond with kindness. We can make some one feel good. Or we can make some one feel bad.

Like Heidi we only have to start looking for opportunities to say kind words to others having a bad day or just needing a kind word.

Most of us will never have a chance to run into a burning building and save a life. But everyday we have multiple opportunities to say thank you, to give a compliment, to offer words of support or a hug to a family member, friends, and people we encounter throughout the day.

Each of these small acts when taken together does change the world. It makes it a kinder, gentler place.

Mother Teresa said,  “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Yes, indeed!  

Featured Recipe    Cherry Tomato Salad with Shallots and Chives

This is a salad you can make when time is of the essence. I call it a chop, dump, and serve salad. It is also a  very pretty and cheery looking salad with it’s bright red and green colors. Did I remember to mention it is also d-e-e-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. It has a clean, sweet, crisp taste to it

You can use any tomatoes you want. But I use cherry tomatoes. Especially when tomatoes are not in season, I much prefer cherry tomatoes because they have more flavor than hot house tomatoes.

You can also use any type of vinegar that you like. This salad is also excellent with sherry vinegar or Balsamic vinegar.

This is a great salad for picnics and cookouts too!

Here is what you will need for 4 people:

24 ounces cherry tomatoes

1 shallot

10-12 chive strands

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Wash the tomatoes.

Then cut the tomatoes in half, dice the shallot ,and the chives.

Place the tomatoes and the shallots in a bowl. Set aside.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to a different bowl.

Whisk until emulsified.

Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and gently mix in with a spatula.

Add the chives.


Place in a serving bowl.

Too, too easy for something that packs such a taste wallop!

Bon Appetit!!!


24 ounces cherry tomatoes             $5.96

1 shallot                                        $0.99

10-12 chive strands                        $0.08

3 tablespoons olive oil                    $0.36

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar         $0.03

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $7.42

Cost per person = $1.86

Quote of the Day

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Mother Teresa
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7 comments to One Act of Kindness

  • Thanks so much for your kind comments and for including my blog post, Roberta. And thank you for the work you are doing in the world!

    Phil Bolsta

  • We’re all in this [life] together! What a heartfelt story, thank you for sharing, Roberta!

  • It’s not necessary for one person to change the world. However if one person becomes the seed, many people will add their time, talent, and efforts.

    We all have to ability to magnify others and build a better world for us all.

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder,

    Chef Felisha

  • Carol Sternberg

    Sweet story…I’ve also tried the “smile” test. When aproaching a sales clerk, waitstaff person or anyone you are approaching for service. Be the first to smile and say hello. Its amazing! It softens and sweetens the encounter.

  • A teacher in high school my sophomore year instituted a “Random Act of Kindness” rule. Each day we had to preform a random act of kindness for someone and then report on it the following day. From the first one I preformed I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and pride. Little things, like opening a door, offering someone your seat, or smiling at a stranger can not only change their day, but yours. What a beautiful story. I pray more and more people continue to preform small acts of kindness. Thank you for giving me one each time you post.

  • Roberta, I’m a new twitterer..LOL! I found you through Maureen *orgasmic chef* and I’m so happy I did. Your blog is thoughtful and wonderful. I cared for my mom full time when she was dying from cancer and Alzheimers. She would repeat things over and over, and then apologize realizing that maybe she had. I’d always say “it’s ok mom. If you don’t remember it’s new to you” but my siblings would get short with her—made me fume!
    Life is too short to be critical. Kind words, thoughtful gestures, a smile and simple “hello” can go a long way.
    Thank you for sharing this. I’ll be buying the book and following your blog.

    • Roberta

      Isn’t Maureen wonderful!! A delight. Glad to have you here. You are a very patient and loving person to be so patient with your mom. Blessings, Mindy. Thank you for sharing.