Category Archives: Philosophies of Life

Point of Origin

One small act of kindness, and how it, generates, into, more and more, acts of kindness, affecting the individual on the receiving end of that kindness at first, then, expand outward, into the world, it all starts, with something tiny here!  Translated…

There’s a tiny sea turtle pin that I own, gold in color, about three, to four centimeters in size, it’s normally, kept inside that wooden box by the headboards of my bed, like it was, some sort of an heirloom, only on the special occasions, would I use it.  Because this sea turtle pin gave me the courage, to get up on stage.

Remembering back in college, my appointing professor had me stand in as the announcer of an international conference, to introduce all the sea turtle experts from in and out of the country, one of the lecturer from Hawaii saw that I was nervous, as I’d confirmed with him on the pronunciation of his name, he’d, especially, slowed down his speaking speed, and used the simple words in English, “don’t worry, you will, do well!  You’re still young, there are many more opportunities for you to get on stage in your future!”, then, he’d, handed me, this sea turtle pin, for it to wear it on my coat.

And, can’t imagine, that many years later, I’d, become, a lecturer of advocate of ocean environmental protection, while this lecturer, whom I’d called, “Grandpa Sea Turtle”, he’d become, my friend, and mentor too.  And even now, this sea turtle pin, was not only an item that brought me good luck, it was, also, a reminder.  Reminding me of the truly important things in my life, that the purpose of it all, is to, make someone feel good, comfortable, the kindness too tiny to take a note of, that is, the most, precious, gift we can, give to, one another.

查看來源圖片
like this, how an act can create, a huge, ripple! from online

And so, this, is on how someone noted how nervous you were about making the speech, and offered you that peace of mind, to help you relax, and, you’re now, passing this cycle of kindness that was, once, shown to you, because the important thing in life is, making a tiny difference in the lives, of others.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Connections, Friendships, Kindness Shown, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Values

He’d Raised the Funds for Two Thousand Packed Meals, Feeling Bad Over How Children from Lesser Backgrounds are Starving

This man saw the needs of a young child, and, provided the needed goods to help make this child’s life, easier, off of the Newspapers, translated…

Many years ago, the story of the five siblings, the Weis “sharing a bowl of noodle” gained the public’s attention.  This winter, the Kaohsiung chapter of Taiwan Fund for Children & Families offered many families free meals, a total of two thousand lunches, and the man behind raising the funding for this is the forty-year-old Tu, he’d felt bad of how a young boy stood outside the restaurants, not going away, and made his wish, to help the children in poverty stricken homes to have at least, enough food in their, stomachs.

In mid last year, Tu went to Gangshan, Kaohsiung to visit a friend, he was in a diner having a meal, when there was a thin young boy, looking at the menu, and not moving away.  Later, the owner of the shop told him, that he’d seen the boy more than once, that he’d just, come by, flipped through the menu outside, then, left, that perhaps he couldn’t afford the items that was why he’d not dared, come into the diner.

涂新一被小孩吃不起簡餐的情境觸動惻隱之心,號召捐贈2千個便當給弱勢家庭。記者徐白櫻/攝影
the lunch the man donated to charity, to help feed the children in need! Photo courtesy of UDN.com

“How can someone not afford a one-hundred-dollar simple meal or a sixty-dollar packed lunch?”, Tu was filled with questions then, and it’d, gotten his empathy.  At the start of this year, he’d, gotten together with a group of friends, and, donated two thousand packed meals to the Taiwan Fund for Families and Children, so children can have the foods in their, stomachs.

Awhile ago, on the lunch box donation, that young boy and his older brother showed up, Tu never imagined, that he actually, offered, physical help to the child who was in need.  On the second day that winter vacation started, Tu drove to Gangshan in his spare time from work, and, rushed to help delivered the packed lunches with the workers in the restaurants.

And, Tu also extended his cares and concerns to Liugui’s “Neboon Chorus” the native students, to help them raise the funding so they can go around for the tours.  He’d said, “seeing those children’s faces smile, that, was the best sort of feedback for me.”

And so, this man noticed a need, and, acted on it, and he’d, influenced those around him, to come onboard in helping these children from lesser backgrounds out, and, even though he is only one person, but he’d, already, exerted, such, a huge, difference in the lives of children.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Sharing Underneath the Starry Night Skies

A good way, to put that cadence on the past year, and start off fresh, on a, new note for this year!  Translated…

For the New Year’s in the past, we’d, gone by tradition, passed it day after day, gathered at the round table for the New Year’s Eve meals, gone to the relatives’ to wish everybody there a happy New Year, to the hot tourist attractions to visit……….it’s, a holiday, that “gathered” us all up.

But thinking back, that was, more like a, sort of, formality.  And, the protocol of that was, watching T.V., sliding on our cell phones, or, saying the words that don’t show any, real care or concerns.

illustration that came with this article, courtesy of UDN.com

圖/蛋妹

My ideal New Year’s, is to, REDUCE this sort of a vacant interaction, but with more conversation, communication.  Turn off the T.V., put up those cell phones, on the day like New Year’s, get out of the house, to sort through what’s on our minds.  Go to a place where you see your stars, lifting up your heads, sharing your thoughts with one another.  Everybody sit in a circle with leisure, and take turns, telling about what one gained in this past year, what touched us in the last year, to get rid of those formalities of how we are, supposed to, show our cares and concerns, and truly, listen to what one another is, sharing.  Becoming an audience, also, a part of the group that shared everything.

And so, this, is something that’s, needed, in this day and age, because, we don’t talk with each other in depth regularly, that’s why, we’d become, so, disconnected through the entire year, and, the New Year’s is a good time, to restart that connection, to share with one another, what we’d, endured through during the past year, to find closure to the year before, so we can, start off on another year, on a, clean, slate!

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Filed under Because of Love, Connections, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Life, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Values

A House Painter Set Up a Foundation to Help the Unfortunate, Continuing the Love Onward

A foundation, that helps out, those in need, long-term, instead of, just one time, and on occasions, and this, is one that will, have the, long-term, effects on those who are, in need, set up by this man, who began, with that thought of, “I want to make a difference” and “I want to help others”, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The CEO of Love580 Foundation, Chang, worked as a house painter, two years ago, to fulfill his wish of giving back to the community, he’d set up the foundation, and became its C.E.O., but his families were against him, until they saw how many he’d helped, then they were, supportive of his cause, Chang said that he was an “innocent rabbit who’d accidentally, fell into the hole of not-for-profit organization”.

The foundation originally assisted the cancer patients write the letters, or to fulfill their last wishes, for the patients wanted to leave something behind for their, loved ones, and, there were the less fortunate who’d come to ask for assistance too, hoping the foundation can help them out, and Chang, within the abilities of his foundation, helped as many as he could.

社團法人愛的延續公益協會理事長張庭溢,油漆工作之餘透過協會幫助弱勢。記者王敏旭/攝影
the photo of the man at the office, with the donated goods from the society behind him, courtesy of UDN.com

Chang said, his own father died of illness, he’d not left anything behind for them afterwards, that was what sparked the thought of “leaving the love behind”, he’d originally thought, that he will start this until he had the money, but, seven, eight years had flew by, and, the thought of setting up the foundation stayed, and he’d not gotten more money, nor was he, more, leisurely, and two years ago, he’d, suddenly, started up this foundation.

Chang said, as he set up the foundation, his families were, against it, believed, that they weren’t well to do, he’d even, camped out at the office of the foundation, but for the two years the foundation’s been set up, it’d, helped, many of those who are, in need, and, his families watched him, and his children also believed, “there’s nothing wrong with what dad’s doing”, and now, his wife helps out regularly at the office of the foundation.

Chang pointed out, that he’d, watched a son who was rebellious, ran with the wrong crowds, truant, thumbed across a letter from his own father who’d passed, wrote, “I wish my son……………”, and it had, caused the child to change completely, he’d, let go of his truant tendencies, stopped hanging out with the wrong crowds, and, buckled down to study, and he’d gotten accepted into university, he’d believed that this was, something meaningful, to pass the love on became, one of the work of his foundation.

In recent days, a lot of the locals in need came to the foundation to seek out assistance, Chang told, that a lot of the foundation only give a one-time help, but, his foundation, other than helping those in need resolve the difficulties in the moment, it’d also, help the cases find work and, helped them budget their money better, and, keep a long-term follow-up of the cases, at the same time, sharing the process of how help is gained online, to let the public know, how their donations are, being, spent.

And so, all it takes, is still, just, that one thought of kindness, one moment that touched someone’s heart, to start something wonderful like this, and we need more people who are selfless in giving to the community, because there are, those who are in need, and this foundation doesn’t just offer the one-time help, like a lot of the foundations do, it helps the cases long-term, and that’s, where the effects show.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Helping Behaviors, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Peeping, Through, the Ice Caves

Thoughts of the encounters the writer’s had in Antarctica, translated…

“Using a pipe to see the skies”, this ancient phrase is used to describe the shortsightedness of some, or the humbling of the speaker.

Using a tiny bamboo pipe, looking through the tiny hole of that pipe, seeing anything toward the other end, from the ratios of mathematics, it doesn’t, fit correctly.  The objects are way too huge, the hole, too tiny, how can you see the whole picture?  But, think on it using a different angle, the concept of “quality”, you can see the corner of that mountain so green, which is, enough, to lift our, spirits!

photo from UDN.com

窺望,從冰窟。(圖╱楊恩生)  
taken by the writer…

Following the eyes of the photographers, the artists, from the hole in the ice caves, to see the views that the exploration ships saw from a hundred odd years ago, it surely was, moving, and, it’s, comparable to seeing the starry nights from million years ago from the lens of the telescope!

And so, this, is how we’re all, linked to our separate, and collective pasts, no matter how hard we tried to deny it, because, we’re, still all here, sharing this, common environment, and maybe, what you see is not, exactly what I see, because we have, different perspectives, different interpretations of things we encounter in the world, but that, is how the experiences are, common, and different, at the, same time.

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Filed under Awareness, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Pictures, Properties of Life, The Observer Effect

To Help Better the Interactions of Parents & Children, the Taiwanese Fund for Children & Family Foundation Workstation Opened its Workshops

The foundation’s attempts to shift the focus back to parents interacting with their own young, and hope this works…off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The joys of becoming parents from the start, may be gone, in the pressures of providing for our own children, the very first friendly space set up by the Taiwanese Fund for Children & Family Org “the Taipei Green Corner Wenshan Parent-Children Workshop” had its grand opening yesterday, differing from the normal services provided in the childcare realms, it’d hoped that through the constant companionships of professionals, it can help the parents and children find a positive way to interact with each other, and strengthens the values of parental education, which hopefully, can reduce the chance of child abuse, and be used as the first line of defense against child abuse.

a play place like this one, where the parents can interact with their own young…photo found online

The Taiwanese Fund for Children & Families pointed out, that every child deserves to be treated well, that the Green Corner Wenshan Close Corner Workshop in Taipei is the very FIRST space that the foundation’s set up that’s parent and children friendly, acting as a companion to all parents.  Using the community as a fall back, of prevention, to help the parents accompany their young to grow up, to show that every child is unique, a different and separate entity from the parents.

The foundation gave the example, the mother, Feng, was once very depressed dealing with her own children’s behaviors, the parent and child conflicted a lot, and through the intervention from the workshop, the mother restructured the way she’d interacted with her own young, and learned to be a more balanced mom, viewed the child’s uniqueness as positive, and the parent-child relationship slowly improved.  Another full-time mother, Jia-Jia has two children, and in the process of caring for her young children, she’d felt alone, and fell into self-doubt, in the social workers of the Wenshan Close Corner, she’d found the meanings to raising her own young, and found the values in herself too.

And so, this is, a necessary service, and thankfully, this not-for-profit organization found a way, to provide it for the parents who feel they’re, all alone on their own, raising their children up, and, parenting skills is a LEARNED behavior, and it’s usually, through experiences, that we will finally, acquire, the right methods to deal with our own young, and this not-for-profit center helps the adults BE better parents to their own young, which is WHAT we’re in need of current day.

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Filed under Connections, Family Matters, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Companion Study Buddies of College Years, Hand-in-Hand, Helping the Children in the Distant-Regions

A story of hope, something we’re, lacking in this day and age now, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

For the past weeks, it’d been, very cold here in Taiwan, but, there was something heartwarming in Taichung worth mentioning.

This was started by the students of Fengjia University.  The students were preparing for the finals week, with the temperatures dropping down, and they’d, made the time, to go to the mountains of over 2,000 meter above sea level to bring the kids studying in the elementary schools up in the mountains to the cities, to experience life in the cities, and university life, opening up the eyes of these young elementary school age children.

Lishan is 160 kilometers away from the Fengjia University it’s the largest, least densely populated, with a large area location in the city’s districts, the land area ranked fourth, and there are only about 10,904 people who live there locally.  From before, when the only road was the crosspath of the locale, but since the earth quake of September 21st, the foundations of the entire passage had been severed off sectionally.  And currently, there were the three opening times for the locals of Lishan to go in and out.

“Companionships from University, Bringing Kindness to the Distant Regions” is a social responsibility project set up by the Fengjia University, two years ago, the program started helping with the transportation of elderly people in Lishan to the hospital, and set up the work stations in the local communities.  In the field researches that the university conducted, they’d found, that the greater Lishan Region had the “ten days on, four days off” scheduling that was very unique in Taiwan.  And so, the teachers of the schools in Lishan all climbed up the mountains to give the lessons, and because of the way being too far off, the schools and the parents decided, that the teachers should hike up the mountains, teach for ten days, then, hike back down the mountains, have four days off, and yet, the parents of the area mostly worked in farming, and for the four days off (usually from Friday to Monday), the parents couldn’t find the time to watch over their own young, nor could they keep track of where their children are, and it’d, caused the students to not have anything constructive to do, exposed in the dangerous conditions, and causing the troubles for the communities, as well as the families too.

The Fenjia Team after discussing with the local communities and the church, they’d decided to combine the Hoping Elementary, the local church, the Wenhwa Health Station, as well as other parties, pushed forth the “Work-Stay program”, inviting the college age students to accompany the children in Lishan afterschool, and, as the teachers take their time off and hiked down the mountains, the college students would, hike up to stay and keep the children company, to use the group activities, and the character education courses, to guide the students to behave themselves right.  While the tribal churches would, provide the college students with the room and board programs, and the students get to have a firsthand experience of the lacking of the distant regions at the same time.  Last week, this group of college students hosted a fundraising for this group of children in the Lishan Elementary School to come down the mountains for a trip, hosting the two days one night, city and university experience, and found the enterprises that will help with the room and board of these children during the time.

In the company of the college students, the children got to experience the city for the very first time in their lives.  They’d visited the Natural Sciences Museum, the Opera House, the Fengjia University campus, as well as the Taichung city hall too, and at the same time, the kids had a steak lunch with the city councilpersons.  This sort of a city tours, other than immersing the children into life in the big city, to experience different ways of life than what they are accustomed to, it’d also given the kids a better understanding of their environments, as well as giving them a deeper understanding of the occupations available to them too.  The next stage, we’re thinking of how to lead the college students into the tribes to conduct the field researches, and the community designs, using the university as a base, to push forth the revitalization of the tribal regions.

There are so many needs from the distant regions in Taiwan, that the local governments can’t look after on their own.  We hope, that in the near futures, there would be, more college instructors who are willing and able, to go to the distant regions, to accompany the children, to utilize the passions of the college students, and the energies, to open up the roads of these distant regions, to instill hope, in these, tribal areas.

And so, this, is a great program that the university had, started up, and the key is to make it last long-term, that it won’t be just for three minutes, until the heats cooled down, it’s a great plan, and, the steps to making this work is slowly taking place, and we need more people who are, willing and able, to give to the children living in these, distant regions.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, The Education of Children

He’d Opened up a Bookstore, to Offer Free Tutoring, Squandered Away Tens of Millions of His Own Retirement Funds

This man saw a need, and, started, providing the services to the students in poverty stricken homes, helping them succeed in school, so they can, turn their own lives, around, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The former manager of the second World Trade Building, Huang after retirement, returned back to his hometown of Minhsiung, Chiayi to open up a used bookstore, giving free tutoring session to students who can’t afford to get the tutoring, and provided them with a free supper, and it’d continued for a decade now, he’d, spent up all of his retirement pension already, but is still, enjoying giving back, and his never stop helping spirit moved the outside world, and the world offered the needed resources to keep the programs going.

Huang said, that retiring, returning back home was his thought of looking after his aging parents, and, opening up a secondhand bookstore was his dreams when he worked, as the director of the second world trade building, in 2009 at the international bookshow, he’d found, that there were a ton of younger generations that are seeking out the extra information, but his hometown of Minhsiung didn’t even have a secondhand bookstore.

To give back to his hometown, Huang set up the secondhand bookstore, but, he’d used the bookstore as a “falsified front”, he’d estimated, that the shop earned, less than $5,000N.T. a month from selling the used books, and other than the shop being a free reading space for the children who are from poverty stricken homes, Huang hoped, to help the students improve on their grades, and started setting up the cram sessions to teach them how to study.

photo of the man at the study program he’d set up for the students in his local region, courtesy of UDN.com

台北世貿二館前館長黃金山退休後返民雄,花光千萬退休金成立二手書店,還免費課輔。記者莊祖銘/攝影

The originally one-on-many tutoring showed almost NO progress, he’ offered the one on one, one on two, the smaller classes, he’d estimated that it’d cost anywhere from thirty thousand to four million dollars, then yet, the students who came to his program started from just more than a dozen to more than 170, he’d offered the tutoring services, and, the scholarship moneys, the meal plans, it’d, already, spent up his over millions of dollars in retirement funds.

In truth, most of the money Huang spent was on paying for the suppers of the students, the students from the poverty stricken backgrounds, arrived to the study sessions at his bookstore, “I can’t make them starve through the sessions”, and so, he’d provided the suppers for free, the snacks, as well as the drinks too, and on average, he’d spent over $110,000N.T. by the month.

There is a total of 158 students who are in the study session programs this semester, and there are the volunteer tutors of 250 people, and, every time the bookstore hands out over $60,000N.T. in scholarship money at the sectional exams in school, and, whenever the students improved in their grades, scholarship money would be awarded too, currently, the center had helped turned over 2,000 students’ lives around.

And so, this man has a vision, and, he’d, started, offering the services, because he saw a need, and it didn’t matter, if he ran out of money, or if he’s short on money, he will, keep this program going, because he knew, that offering these students from poverty stricken backgrounds an education, is the only way that can help them turn their own lives, around, so he will, keep on, doing this.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Warmth that Flowed Through This Alley of Ours

Having good neighbors, makes the days pass, so much, easier!  Translated…

As I stood, with the early morning light, in my own yard, watching my Romain lettuce, my neighbor brought over a bundle of bananas, I’d returned her kindness with the Romain lettuce out of my own vegetable gardens, a short while later, she’d, delivered the avocado banana nut milkshake she’d made, and the freshly baked egg yolk pastries, the interactions of us neighbors, so amicable, it’d, warmed my heart.

Thirty years ago when I first moved here, it was right when my daughter was born, and, the boxes of cakes to celebrate her birth helped connected the families, we’d started, sharing the joys of our lives with one another then, we all had our separate ways of life, what we enjoyed doing, some of us are cooks, bakers, and green thumbs too, this is, the sense of connection with the neighbors that the city dwellers couldn’t understand.

the flowing kindness in the neighborhood…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

And other than sharing the goodies in this alley, the cares and concerns we neighbors have for one another, is also, quite, heartwarming too.  My neighbor in her eighties injured her hand and couldn’t manage to cook, the elderly woman who lived next door to her made some vegetable pork porridge to share with her, and, at dawn and dusk every single day, the neighbors from the left or the right would, walk with her, to help her stay connected with the rest of the neighborhood’s, goings on, she’d often stated, “my kids are so busy at work, thankful I have all of you, great neighbors, otherwise, I would totally need to get checked into the nursing homes, and looked after by a hired caretaker then.”  As my husband was trimming the star fruit trees, he’d fell from the ladders, our neighbor immediately gave us a lift to the E.R., and consoled with me, “he doesn’t look that seriously injured, it’s going to be okay!”, and, when something’s going on, it’s, everybody’s, business, we’d cared for one another, like how in the earthquakes back about a decade ago, when there’s the water and power outages, we’d, huddled together, to pass through that time, our neighbor hauled out that huge stove, and, cooked the soup noodles, to share, we are, more like a big family, than with our own, separate, families.

Remembering back twenty years ago, every Saturday night was the weekly neighbor supper get-together, every house brings three dishes, watching the kids in play, and we’d, made a pact, to grow old with each other together; and, in a blink of an eye, thirty whole years come and gone, and even though we can’t eat together every day, but we’re, sharing our interactions of our old age together, this, is our live-ing now!

And so, this, is a good “program” that this group of neighbor had, set up, they all cared for each other like families, and, so, there’s a ton of social, emotional support for everybody in the neighborhood to everybody, and this, is a good way, to grow old together, even if they’re, not related to one another, strangers!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Connections, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Warmth of a Shopping Bag

The kindness from, an unknown stranger toward you, and now, you’re, passing it along, see how one tiny act of kindness, can generate a whole lot of kindness in the world?  Translated…

I’d often heard the saying, “the most beautiful sight in Taiwan are the people!”, and I’d, also heard the evidences from others to prove otherwise, but, based off of my own personal experiences, the statement is, absolutely, TRUE!

On a day of light drizzles, I’d gone to a supermarket to pick up some things, after I’m done shopping, I’d carried the paper bags full of groceries, stumbled, to the bus stop, and, the pavement was wet and slipper, and, I’d lost my foothold, and fell flat on my face, can you imagine how bad I’d, looked!  I’d, struggled to get myself back up on my feet again, and, I’d found, that the paper bag I’d carried my groceries in had ripped wide open, and everything was, scattered all over.  This was, probably, the WORST fall I’d ever had, in recent, years!

查看來源圖片
a hand of, kindness is all that’s, needed in this world…photo from online

As I became flustered, there came, a bag into my field of vision, with the cutesy bear print on it, followed by this, voice of an angel, “are you all right?  Here, take this bag!”, a tall girl, held her hand out for me to hold to get back up on my feet, I’d looked at that folded neatly shopping bag, cried aloud, “that, is exactly, WHAT I need!” but then, I’d, hesitated, “then, how should I, return it, back to you?”, the young woman who seemed like a working class member smiled, “you don’t need to!”  and I’d, collected everything that fell out, then, that cute bag didn’t look that huge but, it’s, big enough for everything I had bought; I’m guessing, that the extra space, must be from, that young lady’s, compassion then.

From that day forth, I’d also, carried an extra, folding bag inside of my regular shopping bag, because I knew, that there’s a tiny chance of me, running into, that young woman again, but I can, pass her sense of kindness to others who are in need.

And so, this young woman may not know it, but her “tiny” act of kindness, had rippled outward, and, it will keep getting bigger, bigger, bigger, like how one solitary drop of water that fell into that pond of things, expanding, outward.  And to think, that all of this, started with, one helping hand toward someone in need, and that someone being, a stranger too!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, Story-Telling, Values