Spontaneous Acts of Kindness

Dear Reader:

Today we hear the term “Random Acts of Kindness” so much that, perhaps at some point, we forget kindness is more than just a random act; it can be a spontaneous thought turned into immediate action. All hesitations disappear concerning ‘Should I’ pauses and are replaced by “I must do this‘ actions.

Anne is my most spontaneous friend….for awhile we got really good at spontaneous suppers, lunches, and day adventures together. A lunch or supper invitation would arrive half an hour before the meal or, perhaps, a trip somewhere in the lowcountry we both wanted to see.

One is always taking a chance at ‘last-minute’ invitations…obviously they don’t always work out…but when they do…they are always more fun and memorable. There is an aura of anticipation about doing something unexpected and un-planned that adds an extra layer of excitement.

This holds true with acts of kindness also. Some of you might have already seen this endearing act of kindness on one of the CBS News channels or Facebook but I just discovered it through an email by a kindness website (KindSpring.org) I am a member of…and it really touched me.

Random Math Teacher Turns NYC Subway into Classroom for Struggling Dad

This photo of two subway passengers sharing a moment of compassion is going viral for all the right reasons.

Corey Simmons had been taking advantage of his lengthy New York City train ride to study up on mathematics. His son, who is in the third grade, was having trouble with fractions- so Simmons took it upon himself to relearn the formulas.

But considering it has been almost 30 years since Simmons had to do elementary school math, he was having trouble with some of the problems. As he was studying on the subway, however, a man sat next to him and asked what he was doing?

Simmons explained how he was trying to relearn fractions so he could help his son in school. The other man then said that he used to be a math teacher and he would be more than happy to help Simmons.

A nearby subway passenger named, Denise Wilson, overheard the exchange, snapped a photo of the two men and posted it to Facebook.

“Simmons asked the guy to quiz him and everything he got wrong or was confused about, he broke it down and corrected him,” says Wilson. “By the end of the train ride, Simmons had a better understanding.”

Though the math teacher left before anyone could catch his name, Wilson was struck by how inspiring the interaction had been.

“I started tearing up, Wilson told CBS. “It was just one person helping another, and I thought that was beautiful.”

This spontaneous act of kindness touched me on two different levels…that Simmons demonstrated that the stereotype of African-American fathers living in the projects is wrong. There are caring fathers there…just like everywhere else in America.

Secondly, that a stranger picked up on the cues for help from another stranger and without hesitating… offered it spontaneously…no fanfare or motive, other than that of genuine kindness.

So until tomorrow….These examples we see and read about of everyday kindnesses should be lead-ins for the daily national news…not squeezed in the last two or three minutes of the program. These are down-to earth, root examples of how people should behave…much better examples for our children than what they regularly see and hear… sadly.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Isn’t it amazing what just one day of scattered showers can do for a plant? Remember yesterday I had planted my lavender plant and watered it…but it still looked pretty droopy. At 7:00 last evening…this was the same plant after Mother Nature had watered it.

I remember Lisa (HollowTree Nursery) telling me that this (picture below) was called a “Swamp” Maple…I got it, along with, the Japanese Maples, but planted it behind the garage apartment ….where hardly anyone goes but now with the tree house complete hopefully more activity will occur and more people will see it.

It has struggled somewhat with this drought…since I forget about it too…back there in the farthest corner of my back yard. But when I walked there last evening…I noticed this pinkish color starting to form on the leaves…not red, much lighter. Could it be…did I get that lucky? Swamp Maple….perhaps something else…only time will tell…and if , I am so lucky, that it is something else….I will shout it out to you! Stay tuned!



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Spontaneous Acts of Kindness

  1. bcparkison says:

    My Grangran Cockerham always had a patch of a garden. Grew the best tomatoes and sold them off of the end of the front porch. When I started gardening he told me not to water until I had no choice. Natures water does so much better and when you do have to start watering you have to keep it up.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Truer words were never spoken…I do try to hold off on the plants and flowers planted in the ground, as long as possible, but the hanging baskets just can’t take the heat and humidity without some extra help. Dee Dee (Mrs. Dingle) felt that way about watering the lawn…it was a waste of time and money…all it takes is one good rainfall and her grass would pop right back out again and look just the same as all the lawns that watered twice a day.

      Liked by 1 person

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