new videos
hot off the press!  
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

People are basically kind  RSS feed

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let's have a thread that celebrates the positive side of human nature.

I recently had an experience that really shook me. People were being mean and nasty, and all sorts of ugly things that make me disappointed to be human. When that sort of thing happens, I want a place I can go to remember all the goodness in people. Let's make this thread that place.


Please post an example of people being decent and kind to each other.


Let's celebrate those little actions that make the world a better place.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The people at premies.com are kind, helpful and full of good ideas. They don't focus on the problems and bitch and complain all day, they go out there and actually do things that can lead to solutions to some of the biggest problems in the world. You guys inspire me!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The only place I ever encounter mean people is on non- or- badly moderated internet messageboards. In real life, I never - and I mean, never ever - meet with a mean person. The last real life mean person I met must have been a couple decades ago. True, I don't get out much, but when I do, folks are nice.

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I saw a mother at the library the other day, she was teaching her toddlers how to hold the door open for people. She was showing them that the person with the armload of books might have trouble with the door, and talked about how it's generally polite to do small acts of kindness.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Guerilla gardening; people sharing their skills and time by growing food in public space, and sharing the harvest.
 
Rach Hasbu
Posts: 11
Location: Devon, UK
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last week I was walking my two dogs down the street, they stopped to do their business, as they do, I cleared it up and and an elderly chap walking his dog in the opposite direction offered to take my poo bags from me. It is the second time this has happened to me, in different locations, but both times by elder gentlemen walking their dogs in the opposite direction to me. There are real gentlemen in this world.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi R,

I'll join you in your project.

I was at the library recently and observed an interaction:

There was a librarian at the reference desk answering questions and being held hostage by an advanced decades woman in a wheel chair. She was telling the librarian about how she used to live in her van, but lost her drivers license, ended up with a social worker, received assistance to live in a converted hotel in our down town area, and a battery powered mobility assistance wheelchair/scooter, an on road off road, in door out door model. The woman apparently fully utilized all functions. The questions had been about where to get access to DVDs, as the woman's social worker was going to give her a DVD player. The questions had been thoroughly answered by the librarian, and still the crone continued her conversation with the librarian - recounting various recent adventures, very amusing and quirky adventures from a playful, unrepentant, incorrigible and irreverent citizen. This woman runs her battery powered wheel chair in the street at all hours of the night, knows the local police by name for the number of times they have shepherded her off the pavement for her safety's sake. The DVD player a strategy to keep her out of harms way, off the streets etc.

The librarian had things to do, and others waiting for help and was politely listening, not able to end the conversation with the patron due to the institution's standards. The librarian was looking a little strained, a little harried.

This is the kindness I observed: another patron approached and said to the crone "Shall I show you where the DVD collection is?". And led her off to another section of the library where she left the woman happily browsing the DVDs.

The reference librarian looked relieved.

I enjoyed witnessing all of it.

And, here is what I'm going to try to do, use this thread similarly to a gratitude journal, in that each day I'll try to observe and report an act of human kindness, or a reflection of the kind and good side of humanity.
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1424
Location: Zone 6b
160
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Volunteering at our local food pantry. It feels good to do 'second harvest' and those that receive the stuff always appreciate it. We qualified to participate recently (years ago before health went pfft, I would volunteer), and it feels better to go work for my food share (and it's a statement that my health has finally improved) instead. I also start my own plants for the garden, and make lots of extras to give away every spring. So I guess, making others happy with what I do... makes me happy.
 
David LaSuertmer
Posts: 2
Location: Zone 6A
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll share something kind I did today! (quick back story...I'm part of an intentional community (bloomingtoncatholicworker.wordpress.com) that has a lot of interaction with the homeless community, so when I encounter folks on the street, I try to engage them in some way, even if it's not giving them money (which it's usually not). )

Anyway, this morning, I got into a conversation with a dude who had obviously been sleeping outside (it dipped below freezing last night), and we ended up talking about how he had recently gotten a bike (which has been great) but didn't have a lock for it, so he could never really go inside anywhere because he didn't want it to get stolen. Crazy, right?! So, anyway, we decided that we would meet up tomorrow at a certain time and spot and he would come help me make some check-log terraces on my back hill for a raised bed, then we'd go to the local hardware store and I'd buy him a bike lock.

Pretty cool!

 
Connie Zoeller
Posts: 1
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple we know won a silent auction which entitles them to all the free potatoes they want, direct from the farmer for a year. As a result they have been giving bags of free potatoes to friends (like me) who are struggling, and also to the food bank. This same couple, knowing we wanted to get a few chickens to supply our own eggs, are 'giving' us 5 of their chickens to help us get started. Very generous since it means we'd no longer need to buy our eggs from them.

Where we live, here in Prince Edward Island, Canada, there are kindnesses everywhere. In a province where wages are low, and unemployment is high, everyone helps everyone. If someone in the community is ill, everyone chips in to help them out. If they are gravely ill, they hold a 'benefit' where local musicians come out to play, ladies donate baked goods, and a small admission is charged for an evening of fun, with all proceeds going to the family in need. Our first year here, the neighbor across the road who was a complete stranger to us, came over with his tractor and tilled up a large garden plot that had gone to sod due to neglect, after watching us struggle with an ancient tilling machine that broke down after the first 20 min. He asked nothing in return, and wouldn't accept any money offered. Only a small few of the many kindnesses I have witnessed living here.
 
Bret Mayo
Posts: 6
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Years ago when I was in college, my father had a massive heart attack. We had never had health insurance, so this was a huge financial hardship in addition to the medical one. My mother was an at-home mom, my brother was in high school and my sister was in grade school. I dropped out of college and returned home to do what I could to help. At one point we had only a couple of days worth of hay to feed a milk cow, around 8 dairy goats, and a couple of horses. We didn't know where we were going to be able to get more hay and the coldest part of the winter had just settled in (and I am talking North Dakota winter, with a foot of snow and wind chills of 40-60 degrees below zero). Even if we had known someone with extra hay, we didn't have the money to pay for it. That night, the dogs made a fuss in the yard but I was so exhausted that I figured that whatever was going on out there would have to wait for daylight the next day. The next day's sun rose on a semi-load stack of alfalfa hay. We never found out who delivered it or where it came from. My mother had suspicions and tried hard to find out who we needed to thank, but nobody would confess to knowledge of how all that hay got there.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, here is another one. This happened yesterday. I was visiting my favorite potter's studio. This is a man I have known for more than 30 years, though I do not see him on a daily or weekly basis, and sometimes years have passed between interactions with him. My daughter is 30. She was in town and wanted to visit his studio, she had made her selections and he had packaged them and carried a box to the car. I opened the trunk for him to put the box in.

There was a ceramic colander in the trunk of the car. It had been given to me as a gift under frustrating circumstances which I would be happier not remembering. I had replaced it with a colander from my friend's collection. Now this colander was in the trunk of the car, waiting to be off loaded at the local Goodwill. I said to my friend the potter, "that's waiting to go to Goodwill".

He picked it up and reminisced. He had known the potter who had died suddenly a year or two ago in a freak accident involving a flash flood and a camping trip. In her life time, he had disparaged her work for valid reasons. The deceased potter had not been his friend, but they had lived in the same town and they had plied the same art and trade. There had been many ideological differences and disagreements over many years. Probably my friend had known her and her work as well as anyone. He had not particularly liked her. Less than a week following her death I had been at my friend's studio and he had told me how disorienting it was to him for her to have died so suddenly. A part of his close and familiar world so suddenly, irrevocably gone. The fact that they had NOT been friends adding to the confusion he felt at her death.

Yesterday, he picked up the colander and said "That's a Parker. There are people who would appreciate it for that reason alone. I could give it to, and he named several local organizations that could identify it by its maker and get it to someone who would value it as a piece of work by a deceased artist, through silent auction fundraiser or what ever. I agreed, encouraged him to do exactly that.

Then he stepped away from the car and I began to back the car around in his parking area. Then he approached the car again, waved me down, said "Were you really taking it to Goodwill, or did you just say that because you were embarrassed for me to see it in your car? Do you want to take it back?"

I assured him, as did my daughter, that I had said the same to her, that it was going to Goodwill, and did she want it. And so we left the colander with him and drove home.

Here I see kindness to the memory of his former colleague, kindness to his town and the community of artists that give much of the town's identity, consideration to me, i n case I had not really been planning to part with the piece.

Other kindnesses I remembered with my daughter: When someone dies he makes cups that include the cremated remains, which end up in the hands of the friends and family of the deceased. I do not think he charges for service. He writes the name of the deceased on the bottom of the cup or mug or bowl, not his own.

He knows an octogenarian potter whom he allows access to his studio. He hosts various groups of people, children of migrant workers, tourists from other lands, I have no idea who they are or how these things are arranged. He makes one of a kind pieces and sets for the local NPR affiliate to use as rewards in their fundraising campaigns. He donates bowls to the local soup kitchen annual fundraiser "Empty Bowls", the bowls donated by local ceramicists, and breads and soups donated by local restaurants. People pay ~ 50 bucks to get a bowl they can keep, and have it filled with soup that one day.

This friend of mine is considered crabby and unreasonable by many, and I am aware of how that can be, but I am not among them. I love my friend and enjoy seeing his generosity and honesty permeate his life.
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1424
Location: Zone 6b
160
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bret Mayo wrote:Years ago when I was in college, my father had a massive heart attack. We had never had health insurance, so this was a huge financial hardship in addition to the medical one. My mother was an at-home mom, my brother was in high school and my sister was in grade school. I dropped out of college and returned home to do what I could to help. At one point we had only a couple of days worth of hay to feed a milk cow, around 8 dairy goats, and a couple of horses. We didn't know where we were going to be able to get more hay and the coldest part of the winter had just settled in (and I am talking North Dakota winter, with a foot of snow and wind chills of 40-60 degrees below zero). Even if we had known someone with extra hay, we didn't have the money to pay for it. That night, the dogs made a fuss in the yard but I was so exhausted that I figured that whatever was going on out there would have to wait for daylight the next day. The next day's sun rose on a semi-load stack of alfalfa hay. We never found out who delivered it or where it came from. My mother had suspicions and tried hard to find out who we needed to thank, but nobody would confess to knowledge of how all that hay got there.


I grew up that way near the Canadian border. That is often how things happened. Someone had a need and someone else did the deed. One fall a fellow near us got laid out with a heart attack so a bunch of us descended on his place and brought in his wheat. Get half a dozen farmers with some family there and it was done. His family tried for years to pay everyone back and we wouldn't stand for it...
 
David Hogan
Posts: 35
Location: Columbia Falls MT
bee cat woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Old guy (to me and Im 49) struggling to load something in a huge box at Menards. I had to help him load and tie it down. Then I took his cart in for him.

Constantly hold open doors for people.

Pause to let people do their thing in vehicles so the parade of traffic doesn't hold them hostage.

Once a year quietly give the barista $20 for as many orders behind me as it will pay for.

Very old lady at grocery store in front of me had to decide between cat food and nasty canned people food. The total would have been $35 and change if I remember. She had a hard time putting back the cat food and left. I bought double the cat food and raced out and gave it to her.

My point is I am always doing very easy and simple things. Its effortless to be nice once you get in that mindset. What I spend on others annually is less than the price of a steak out on the town. I can cook at home once a year to boost someones day every now and again.

Be nice more often, it doesn't hurt. I promise
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1424
Location: Zone 6b
160
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I go to a warehouse store to stock up, I usually find it more bother than help to load my vehicle myself. I will send my spouse to help someone else load up, like an elderly person, so as to get peace of mind and get the packing of the supplies finished.

I am not the tallest person but I never mind lifting something down off a top shelf for someone at the store (if I can reach or scale to get it). (once I had a ripped heel and 4 stitches on crutches, went to the big box store late, and traded for a motie. Halfways down an aisle a gentleman was sitting in a wheelchair, and I asked if he needed help. Oh, no...no thank you. I realized he needed the very top shelf item and was waiting for someone to come by. I explained I had stitches but could stand up, did he need one of X? Um yes, please. I got up, got up there, and reached one, handed it down, asked if he needed another-no thank you, and carefully got down. We each went on our way...)
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6672
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
252
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pierre's family were all killed in the Rwandan genocide. He arrived in Canada and found that the host family had changed their minds about keeping him at their place. He was stuck at the bus station, not knowing what to do. A friend of my dad's brought him to the farm, knowing that dad would find a spot for him. Pierre learned English, learned how to drive, finished his education and met his wife (another lone survivor of the genocide)while living with my parents.

Dad took in many misfits over several decades, many with horrible histories. Outcomes were highly variable, but most benefited from their time at the farm.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral in 2013.

 
Kirsten Simmons
Posts: 33
Location: Atlanta, GA
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This weekend I was gifted an awesome couch, an outdoor table and a few planters from a lady in the neighborhood who's moving to Vermont at the end of the week. My friend, boyfriend and roommate helped me move everything, and then stayed on to help me put up the wire and roof of the chicken coop, getting me back to the point that I can work on the project on my own. Then when I tried to buy them dinner in thanks, they refused.
 
Marla Worm
Posts: 3
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My parents own a catering company, and about 75% of our workforce (about 50+ people) are ex-cons or are just getting back on their feet for some reason. Good people, who are glanced over for other opportunities because of their past, are given second chances (and third and fourth chances) because of my parents. Often, these people are given second chances at life (not just work) because of my parents willingness to help with more than just a job. When I was in high school, we also took in a troubled foster teenager with a tragic story who was able to turn her life around and was given opportunities she would never have dreamed of, and actually just got married this week with us as her family walking her down the aisle (15 years later). And I am currently in the process of becoming a foster parent to be able give a loving, safe, stable home to so many children who wouldn't otherwise have a stable or 'happy' life. (I'm in tears just writing this!)

I just moved to a place that has been eye-opening as far as generosity, kindness and community are concerned. Being around kindness, love and community is contagious!
 
Josephine Howland
Posts: 36
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
1
books dog hugelkultur
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, there is kindness in this world, we wish it was contagious though. Years ago, someone stole my small electric log splitter. Just for background I am a disabled woman and at the time, I was single. So I posted a letter to the editor for people to watch out at yard sales, etc. for people that might be trying to sell that model of splitter. The local pawn shop said they would also watch for it. So a few weeks later, I got a call from our local Home Depot, they asked if it had been returned. They then said they wanted to replace it for me free of charge. They came to my home with not only the splitter, but also a big steel chain and a huge lock to keep it safe. So yes that is kindness.
 
Ashley Reyson
Posts: 43
Location: North Texas
6
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you R Ranson, for your kindness in starting this thread, giving us the gift of considering the kindness around us and hearing others' stories. Reading this thread moved me. Thank you.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank-you everyone for sharing your stories of kindness. Taking the time to share your experiences, is an act of kindness in itself.

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's nice to see kindness at a municipal or corporate level. Good for Home Depot. One of the things my town does is have an annual spring clean up drive. It's going on now. For a month, people set things out in the street in front of their houses. Furniture, building materials, yard waste and prunings, there is no limit to what you will see. I call it the month long free swap meet. There is no problem with people other than the city taking what ever is out there. Bales of straw, a stack of 12 feet long 3x 6 that look hefty enough to deck a bridge, live trees in their containers. I always feel so happy to see so much repurposing going on when I see the things people are picking up. The really nice pieces of furniture- often antiques- that are small enough to easily load never sit out more than half an hour. Plenty of it ends up at Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
 
Kaeli Thompson
Posts: 1
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi,

My husband (now ex) left a couple of years ago, out of the blue, after 23 yrs. of marriage. This sent me into a bad depression which made it almost impossible to do anything.

On my road, there is a man, 86 yrs. old, who started doing things for me that he must have noticed needed doing, when I wasn't home. I'd come home from an appointment or such, and my tractor would be fixed. Or my chickens were taken care of, or my yard mowed. Most recently, when my mailbox post rotted at the base, and it all fell into the gully, I came home and it was all up again, with a new post, and reinforcements, and the post hole was filled with cement... He also stops by if he hasn't seen me out for a while, making sure that I am okay.

This man is the epitome of kindness, and I've come to care for him deeply. I am starting to do little things for him to repay him, but he wants none of it. He will sometimes bring me to tears of gratitude with his genuine desire to help. If that isn't kindness, then I don't know what is!
 
Stephanie Leeper
Posts: 1
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I saw your call for acts of kindness in the daily-ish email, and wanted to share my story.

Last summer, we were thwarted by smoke from local wildfires for an overnight backpacking trip we had planned for months. I work a lot of weekends, and my significant other has a strict weekday schedule. Time off together can be rare.

The morning we were scheduled to leave, the skies in Seattle were red/orange with smoke. We felt we had to go, and hoped that we would find clear skies once we reached the Mt. Baker area. The drive up was awful, but as we neared our destination, things looked pretty good! As we were packing our bags to leave the car, the winds shifted and smoke started pouring in to the area. We were standing at the trailhead trying to make a decision while we still had phone service and relay the news back to our friends that intended to start a few hours behind us. A nice couple with two dogs were looking at the map with us, and asked us what our plans were. We stated that after the long drive we were considering doing the trail even with the smoke. They wished us luck and they went down the trail.

We started down the trail, and the smoke kept getting thicker. We realized there was no way it would be healthy to continue, and that the promised spectacular views would be completely gone. We pulled over on the side of the trail to find cell service and contact our friends to abort. As we're texting/holding the phone up in the air to get the messages out, the lady with the two dogs reappeared. She learned that we were aborting, and offered for us to camp in their backyard on Lake Whatcom. They were even sure if they were going to be home that evening, or the next day. She gave us detailed directions, told us where the spare key was, and encouraged us to use their kitchen and bathroom in the house. We asked if our two friends with their dog could join. Absolutely! Complete trust in four young adults.

We ended up having a magical time on Lake Whatcom using their kayaks, jumping off the dock, and swimming. The smoke was far enough away not to bother us, but to give us a sunset to remember.
The couple did in fact come home that evening, and went above and beyond to greet us with lattes the next morning. Such generosity from complete strangers is not something you find often in this world, and prompted me to share the story on this thread.
 
michelle salois
Posts: 18
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hurt my back right before a bunch of Alpine strawberries were delivered to my door;;; which needed to be planted at three different locations. I was having lunch with my colleague who is a very busy mom and professional and she just said, where do they need to go? can I plant them for you? she doesn't normally garden! I felt so loved.
 
Jan Cooper
Posts: 63
3
bee forest garden goat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finding the money for repairs is always a problem. Car Visor broke so I was driving leaning to one side to see the road! The husband of a close friend took apart that car visor and took off the entire metal frame out of the visor cover, bent a new bar in his workshop, restoring the inside, replaced with a new, handmade bracket. It stays up. What a wonderful man. I am so grateful that he took a half day of his time. How can one ever repay such kindness!
 
Jenn Hill
Posts: 9
Location: portland, OR
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a coffee shop in Portland that recently started paying their employees an extra $30 per paycheck for them to use to help someone less fortunate. It's such a nice idea.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 701
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
67
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Once I was home alone for several days (partner was out of state) and a young man came into my yard. He petted my dog and just made small talk before walking on. I noticed he looked like he'd been in the briars. Not long after, I saw a police car go by. I called a friend at the sheriff's dept and they confirmed that they were looking for him.
My neighbor brought one of their vehicles to leave parked at my house to make it look like another person was here.They left it until my partner returned. They also insisted I come to their house for dinner that night. Looking out for your neighbor - kudos.
 
Cris Fellows
Posts: 40
1
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My mom is 85 and has some mental health issues. It became apparent that she could no longer live in her own home. We moved her briefly into an assisted living place (her idea) which she quickly came to view as prison. I told my oldest son that I thought I needed to move her next to me. At the time he owned and lived in the house next to mine. He was all about it. We found a cheap stripped out house a few blocks away, bought it and he moved there and went to work on it. My mother has lived next to me for 3 years now. Recently we learned that my son's friend has cancer and a poor prognosis. He offered his house he now lives in to his friend's family. Love that boy!
 
Johanna Sol
Posts: 30
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Having lived in umpteen places, I've found that there are givers and there are takers. People who love themselves generally want to give to others. People who hate themselves generally want to blame you for their rotten feelings. Often underneath that is jealousy... I've found people who have struggled and have the least have frequently been the most generous with their time and help.

When our kids were small in Medford and Portland, Oregon, I never had to buy clothes for them other than underwear. Several times while washing clothes at a laundromat, strangers would offer me bags of kids clothes. Other times, people would ask if we needed the clothes they were giving away to Goodwill. My pride long gone, I always said yes - and I'd pass on whatever didn't fit to someone else in need.

Before we left Oregon, we were giving away surplus items and had a free sign on the playground set my hubby had built out of scrap wood. (Our landlady was evicting all her tenants because she was mad about her husband dying and we had no savings for another rental deposit - hubby had been working on his master's degree and we'd lived there 5 years.) A gentleman we'd never met before heard our story and took us all out to dinner! When we got into California, we were living in the travel trailer we'd been refurbishing to sell before the eviction. I bought a frozen turkey but it hadn't thawed. The town of Mt Shasta advertised a free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who needed it - I gave them the frozen turkey and along with about 300 other folks, we had a wonderful meal that tasted home cooked. We were at another campground near Sacramento when my hubby ran across a lady trying to evict some non-paying tenants. She told us we could move in despite our low and uncertain income and a recession which was making it difficult to find work. It was just before Christmas. On Christmas morning, someone left $100 bill on the windshield of our car...

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, Johanna, you've encountered some wonderful people!
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2091
65
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
People in my neighborhood are always posting plants and other items to share. There is also someone trying to gather items for an immigrant family. A neighbor volunteered to take my son fishing. (He is good at fishing;I am not). People didn't show up for the volleyball game in the park and a bunch of really good, young players cheerfully invited me in to their game and made me feel welcome.
John S
PDX OR
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1220
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
78
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just got the daily reminder email that linked to this thread, and don't have time today to read the rest of the responses to help myself gain a bit of boost of energy from this great thread/idea. Thanks R. Ranson for starting this thread. It's a great idea! I too can get down about all the rotten crap going on, and can get focused on it instead of the good things. Where is all the good news? I do know that there are good things happening all over the world. Sometimes, the thing that I love the most about this forum is that there are so many people making positive connections in their lives and inspiring projects to gain insight and ideas from that I come here just for the boost of moral.

For my part, I like to swing by and visit some of the older folks in the valley to say hi. Just stopping in, and saying hi, and talking with them is often enough for them to simply know that they are important, and that their existence is still valued. When I am there, I ask a lot of questions about how things used to done, and about local lore. They absolutely love to talk about the good ole days, or about the old days that were not so good too, and they love to show you things that you might not know about. The joy that is spread in both directions with these knowledge exchanges/interactions has massive value to both people's lives.

One of the great things that can come of this, is that work can be gained/done that might not otherwise have gotten done, or that might be put off or done differently because a person is simply not capable of doing the job anymore.

Just last night before the beginning of a music event, I was talking with a man who is in his late sixties and has been a carpenter/builder/tradesman plus a horse worker/farrier, and is still an active builder. The enormous amount of knowledge that is in his mind, having grown up in the valley, the son of horse outfitters, and having built hundreds if not thousands of projects large and small in his time, is incalculable/invaluable. So at one point in the conversation he tells me that he is needing to do maintenance on his extensive fences, and talked about all of the work involved, and when it came to cutting the brush under the fence (so that it doesn't grow up through the wires and mess up the fence), he told me that he has to do it every couple of years or so, and that it is starting to get really hard on his body to bend low with a chainsaw and cut the brush near ground-level under the fence. He told me that he has resisted using any chemicals to deal with vegetation for his entire life, but now he is considering it. In the moment, I just sort of voiced that it was sad that he might have to resort to this. But later, as I was lying down to sleep my brain turned over the conversation a bit, and I thought: Although this is not the sort of work that I relish, I thought that I should reconnect with this man, and offer a labor trade: Me doing the chainsaw work, and him coming to my place to give carpentry help/mentoring. Another idea that I thought of is that in the future, I could possibly graze goats along his fences to control the brush, thus saving myself the labor and getting goats/milk/angora hair... or whatever out of it, and I could continue to visit with him, while the goats are grazing.

Anyway, just a thought. I'm looking forward to reading the other parts of this thread.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto, I see kindness at more than one level. You offered to help him, that's kind. In asking to trade for learning from him, you treated him as valuable, rather than a recipient of your magnanimous offer. That allows him his dignity, not having to be on the receiving end of charity and at the same time gives him a chance to share his wisdom, and be on the giving end. It validates the worth of his life experience and the skills he's gained. It connects him to the world of people at a time of life when familiar contacts and long term friends are slowly vanishing. (As in a game of musical chairs, you never know when the music will stop or who will be missing for the next round.)

I have a similar situation, in which I am the "old" person. The apprentice who wants to learn all about homesteading, earning income from goats and "everything else" from me is sincere in her interest, and I am sincere in my desire to pass the knowledge along. Without anyone wanting to learn from me, then my knowledge, my life's work loses its meaning. With a younger person wanting to learn from me, I am still "valuable" to the community.

At a conference this winter on regenerative agriculture, no till cover crops and managed grazing, the speaker said: it's not sustainable if the older generation does not pass their knowledge along to the younger generations. I agree, but for us old cronies, each with our life's collection of wisdom lore skills history and perspective, the person who wants to listen to our stories, let alone actually turn to us for wisdom, learn from us, is rare and refreshing.

Thank you
 
Jerry McIntire
Posts: 116
Location: Oak savannah - Viroqua, Wisconsin - zone 4 - 34"/yr
4
solar tiny house trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is an awesome, encouraging thread.

When my son was 12 he wanted to learn how to fly fish. My wife and I had never done it. A local man who teaches fly fishing at the folk school and the nearest university campus said, "Bring him to my house and I'll help him get started." He showed us what was needed, then gave us everything my son needed to start. Later he took us fishing, and eventually showed my son how to tie flies and gave him lots of materials to tie with. My son became an excellent fisherman, and eventually started selling flies through the local fly fishing shop. He was so generous with his time and attention! And I think he appreciated sharing his knowledge with a young person who truly appreciated it.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6011
Location: Left Coast Canada
747
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was very ill, I needed a hobby to keep my mind busy. A group of people gave me a spinning wheel, loom, yarn, fibre, lessons and everything I needed for making cloth. They asked for nothing back, except that I pass the equipment and knowledge along to someone in need when I'm finished with it.

This group includes almost 200 amazing individuals (in our city alone) who are dedicated to keeping the crafts of spinning and weaving alive by teaching, public demonstrations, lending and gifting equipment and supplies, and inspiring each other to try new techniques.
 
And tomorrow is the circus! We can go to the circus! I love the circus! We can take this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree (early bird price now)
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!