Random Act of Kindness

It doesn’t take much – today I witnessed a good deed – a jogger stopped for a minute to give a homeless woman a bag.   As I surreptitiously watched, the old woman eventually pulled out sample sizes of assorted creams and lotions – even started to read the labels.   The jogger kept going – probably to one of the nearby hotels with those free samples left everyday by the maid.

Books about do-gooders can get schmaltzy – no matter how well-meaning.   Greg Mortenson has a new book, Stones Into Schools, – the sequel to Three Cups of Tea.

Need some quick, clear inspiration? Read a children’s book – Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Day by Pearson and Kosaka has the random acts of kindness theme in under 20 pages – and you can read it online…
http://books.google.com/books?id=Ct7wjs3XyFUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false

And there’s Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Pay It Forward (remember the movie?) – also online…
http://books.google.com/books?id=sJnx5ummoqEC&dq=books+on+pay+it+forward&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=tWy2S–oE4_atgPRzKmXBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

For more adult fare, there’s The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness by Lee Alan Dugatkin – goodness can be explained, it seems,  by a simple mathematical formula.