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It happens every January. We’re inundated with end-of-year gloom and doom: murder statistics, highway tragedies, government gridlock, cultural hate crimes, the hopelessness of world conflict,… Just when I was considering a radical New Years resolution to boycott newspapers and evening news broadcasts, this…

My friend Jean, 85 and active, just called to share an incredible experience with me. She was driving along a county road when something caught her attention, causing her to come to an abrupt halt. A woman wearing a flowing dress and head-scarf was placing a wrought iron table and chairs alongside a large dumpster.

“That would be perfect for my granddaughter’s apartment,” Jean said, admiring the furniture. “She lives in Pennsylvania.”

“You’re welcome to take them,” the woman offered.

“Thank you, but they won’t fit in my car…”

The woman and her teenage daughter loaded the chairs and table (with a heavy glass top,) into their own SUV and followed Jean the four miles to her home. After the items were placed on the car port, Jean tried, repeatedly, to pay the woman for her effort. Each time, the money was refused. Finally, my friend folded the bills and slipped them into the daughter’s jacket pocket.

Once again, the mother returned the money saying, “Our culture does not permit us to accept anything from an older person. You are like our grandmother.”

It was an insignificant incident, but a big story none-the-less. Perhaps, the first of many in this new year….

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    1. In a time in this world with so many people suffering from just about everything, with the weather becoming more violent around the world, with nations at war and young lives being lost, with the world just going after itself in every which way possible, stories like this make you smile, warm your heart and give hope. It gives us hope that pure kindness and generosity still exist in humanity and through out this world. Thank you Mrs Rowe and your friend for sharing this story. The most simple generous acts from everyone can change the world. Godbless you Mrs Rows, your friend, that woman and her daughter and everyone else in this world for their pure acts of kindness and generosity, remember everyone always pay it forward.

      Meaghan | 01/14/12 | 4:56 pm
    2. Once again you left me with goosebumps. May you and yours be blessed this new year. THANK YOU!

      Ellen | 01/12/12 | 8:16 pm
    3. What a beautiful story to start the New Year!
      Thank you for sharing a smile and playing forward an act of kindness that will warm hearts all over the USA.
      God Bless you & your family this year! Michele

      Michele | 01/11/12 | 6:35 pm
    4. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story!

      Bennie Sparrow | 01/11/12 | 10:34 am
    5. Thank you for sharing some good news with us, Mrs. Rowe. Happy New Year to you and Mr. Rowe.

      Francesca | 01/11/12 | 10:11 am
    6. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. But I think the story of these people humbly refusing money and going that extra mile is a good way to start 2012.

      cherryrn | 01/11/12 | 8:35 am
    7. I HOPE it’s the first of many this year. Thank you and Happy New Year!

      debi | 01/10/12 | 8:04 pm
    8. What a beautiful and very touching story. I pray this is just a foreshadowing of what is ahead this year and many more years to come for everyone.

      Clemance | 01/10/12 | 7:36 pm