Paying it Forward

Khaliunaa from Mongolia, studying at the University of Delaware, had an awesome story of “paying it forward.”

“One of the most notable things that I noticed when I arrived in the USA was that people here were extremely friendly and kind. Therefore, February was truly a month of kindness and appreciation.

There is this one specific event that left a big impression on my heart. Last week, it was raining a lot as I was getting prepared to leave for my class. Without anything to protect me from the rain, I stood there in front of my dorm, looking confused, prepared to run and get soaked. Then suddenly, I heard a voice asking, “Do you need an extra umbrella?” from behind me. She was a girl who lives in my dorm, and until that moment we were strangers. She ran back to her floor and offered me her extra umbrella, saying that I can have it and use it since it rains occasionally here. It made me feel so appreciated and happy that I was literally smiling the entire day.

It also kept raining the next day and on the way back from the gym with my friend, I encountered two girls waiting in front of the entrance, being in the exact same situation as I was before. Without hesitating, I offered them my umbrella and told them they could have it, since I was able to share an umbrella with my friend.

In my case, the umbrella was not just a tool that protected a person from the rain, it was a tool of kindness and willingness to help others without a reason. I came to realize that kindness is one kind act that can make a person smile for the whole day.”

Read on for additional Random Acts of Kindness performed by Global UGRAD participants across the country.

“I used an app called “Whisper” that offers the possibility of communicating anonymously with people around one’s location. I published a post asking, “What’s your WORST vice?” The question was visible to everyone around campus and one by one I responded to each post and convinced anyone who answered that their vice is not a big deal. I could feel their joy and relief as I described how insignificant their biggest flaw is. That made me realize that by just acknowledging that our worst fears and problems are relatively not that big of a deal and that it’s something that we can definitely fix.”

“I went to a cafe in the library. After making my purchase I went to talk to my friends. During that moment, I saw a middle-aged lady intending to buy a chocolate bar, I walked up to her and asked, “Would you mind if I paid for this for you?’ She seemed very surprised and asked me, “Why?” I told her that I want to do something good. I don’t know if my answer sounded funny or not, but she smiled, and then I purchased it for her. My heart is fulfilled with happiness and love!”

“Along my travels from San Francisco to Wyoming, I saw an old man travelling alone. His legs made it hard for him to walk. After seeing this, I walked toward him and asked “Sir, can I help you?” He looked at me and smiled with a soft reply, “It’s okay.” I accompanied him until he reached his gate in the airport and he insisted on paying for my dinner. I did not mean to help him for that free dinner honestly, but this made me know him.”

“I contacted an RA in my dorm and together we launched a two-day donation campaign for our residents. Although, it was a last-minute decision, at least eight residents donated their stuff. What I enjoyed most is reading their small notes and letters attached to their bags of clothes! The whole idea proved to be absolutely worthwhile!”Hedriakov, Dmytrii- Community Service

“Last weekend, I was taking the bus downtown with two other friends, and I found an iPhone on the bus. I brought the iPhone to the bus station customer service kiosk, lost and found area and reported the bus number and situation. I hope the owner will find his phone.”

“I realized that there are guest passes in my meal plan, which I’ve never thought about using. I invited two of my friends, who’ve helped me a lot during my time here but didn’t have a meal plan, for dinner. We had such a good talk during dinner and they appreciated it. From the experience, I realized that we do and receive a lot of favors randomly. Sometimes, we don’t even notice their importance. I felt that I should be more thankful and grateful, whenever someone shows me kindness.”

We’ll wrap up this post with a thought from Samreen from India.

“Someone great once said, ‘Never underestimate a good deed even if it is a smiling face.’ One thing from the American culture that I truly like and have already adopted  is smiling to strangers. I have smiled to strangers more than ever on this trip. When people smile at me, I feel accepted, appreciated and acknowledged. I think that is a kind act, a small one but can never be underestimated because although it is small, it can make you feel so good.”

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