Here's a chance for you to contribute. I really want to know what you think. Please share your stories so we can all spread a little kindness.

I'll post your stories here, so either leave a comment in the guestbook or send me an e-mail.

  


Susan Chu's Story

Posted: October 27, 2009

Years ago, while I was a new immigrant to this country, I was taking the subway to Manhattan during rush hour when I fainted. It was a very crowded train, and I was standing with a big bag pack and handbag. The people were very kind to me; some helped me to a seat, one got my back pack, and yet another got my handbag. People were offering me water, candy and more. However, I was feeling miserable. I was in the first car so the driver would not start the train again, and I felt bad about making everyone late for work. After 10 minutes, a man offered to take me home so the train could resume its trip. He took me home in a taxi and would not let me pay the fare.

Susan blogs at http://straddlingeastandwest.blogspot.com/

McGee: Kindness overcomes ignorance
Originally Posted: December 31, 2008 - 12:30am on www.savannahnow.com ·  
My son Jacob has Tourette Syndrome - a neurological disorder that causes him to make involuntary sounds and movements. Fortunately, Jacob hasn't really had to deal with many uncomfortable situations as a result of his Tourettes, but there have been a few.A few weeks back Jacob and I went to see "Twilight" at the Wynnsong theater. I knew that taking him might be a problem. I also knew I was not going to let his tics prevent him from doing the things any "normal" kid could do. I was not about to punish Jacob for ticcing, and that's exactly what it would have been - a punishment.When we got there, no one was in the theater and I prayed that we would be the only ones. I knew if there were others the staring would start and hurtful things might be said. Fortunately, with the darkened theater the stares were unnoticeable but the remarks were loud and clear.I am not usually very vocal when people stare because I don't want to make Jacob uncomfortable. That night was different.Someone shouted out basically telling us to leave the theater, and I stood up and said a few choice words as I told them Jacob had Tourettes. Even after that, the comments continued.My heart raced and I was ready to pounce in Jacob's defense once again. Then Jacob reached over to wipe away my tears as he put his arm around me and said, "Don't cry Mom. It's OK. You believe that don't you?" This kid's amazing.As people exited the theater, I noticed some coming our way. I was prepared to be attacked. Instead, a woman along with her husband and son came up to me and hugged me while apologizing for the rudeness of others.I cried and told them I just wanted people to understand that he had every right to be there too. Then another infuriated couple expressed their concern that Jacob was subjected to such insensitivity. All the while Jacob stood there with a huge smile on his face thanking these wonderful strangers who went out of their way to encourage him to be proud of who he is.These same people followed us to the front and confronted the assistant manager telling him how rude even his employees were. They were fighting for a complete stranger; fighting for my son. The apologetic manager tried to refund our money but I refused explaining that we only wanted people to understand.As we turned to leave, another stranger came back inside the theater and walked up to Jacob. She fought back tears as she apologized to Jacob for having been one of the rude people. She said she was ashamed of herself and that she had learned a huge lesson from this experience.These are the stories you rarely hear, but these are the stories that change people's lives. All of those people changed me and I know they changed Jacob.Here's what I hope for them: I hope that after this experience they went home and shared their story with others and I hope that knowing Jacob - the kid who thanked them for their kindness, the kid who didn't get upset, the kid with Tourettes - changed their lives forever. He sure has changed mine.Michelle McGee is a freelance writer living in Savannah who also blogs at www.moxiemomma.com