There are people who would give you the shirt off their backs. I know. I had it happen to me once.
I complimented a man at a conference on his kindness T-shirt and the next day, he handed it to me. I think of him every time I wear it.
Laura Bliss, from Pequot Lakes, Minn., remembers a special woman each time she puts on her scarf.
"While shopping at my favorite grocery store the other day, I noticed an elderly woman using a motorized cart. She had on a beautiful crocheted headband and scarf set. Of course I wanted to compliment her.
"It turns out, she has been crocheting and knitting since she was 12. She said if she had her red set on, she would have given it to me because it would have matched my coat.
"Then she said, ‘Can you wear purple?’ As soon as I said yes, she took off her headband and scarf and handed it to me.
"I gently touched her hand and said, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ She replied by saying, ‘Yes I can. It’s all I do! I’ve made 5,000 of these and given them all away.’
"She opened her arms for a hug, which I gladly accepted, along with the stunning purple scarf set. I went on to tell her how my mom’s livelihood was crocheting, and also how my brother and his wife crocheted hats and mittens and donated them to a local organization every year.
"It goes without saying, acts of kindness are still out there. I only regret not catching that woman’s name. I thought I’d write this letter for the beautiful woman with the beautiful headband and scarf set to say thank you.”
In another part of the country, kindness was also unfolding at the grocery store. Bernard Robinson sent in this story from South Hill, Va.
“Reading your book, 'Kindness Is Courageous,' I remembered a time when I was treated to a random act of kindness.
"It was a winter day and a snowstorm was coming. Of course, everyone had to have bread and milk. I stopped by the local grocery store to pick up some eggs. As I walked up to the place where there were supposed to be eggs, I found nothing. Nada! Empty! Not one single egg was to be found!
"I stood there surprised and disheartened. I didn't need eggs because it was about to snow. I needed eggs just because.
"The look on my face must have shown as I stood there in disbelief with my mouth partially open. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone walking up to me. A complete stranger handed me his carton of eggs and walked away. I hadn't gotten over the surprise of there being no eggs in the store. Now I was dealing with another surprise of this kind stranger handing me exactly what I needed.
"It may seem like a small gesture, but I was truly blessed that day."
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.