Giving Kindness: What Life Is All About

giving kindness

Without a doubt, giving of ourselves is the one activity that makes us realize that we’re all connected and that it’s this connection that plays a big part in making the world a wonderful place to be. I can honestly say that I’m the happiest when I’ve done something nice for someone. 

Don’t just take my word for it. Try it and see for yourself. The next time an opportunity arises, take the initiative and perform an act of kindness for someone (even a stranger) and notice how you feel. 

Related: The Exponential Impact of Random Acts of Kindness

The best way to give to someone is without expectation that you will get something in return.   The reward for giving or an act of kindness is a simple, but powerful, sense of joy. In fact, when I’m in the giving or kindness mode, I often get the lyrics of the late, great Louis Armstrong stuck in my head: “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

Years ago, I was having dinner alone at a wonderful restaurant at a hotel in Maui, Hawaii.  It was a business expense, so don’t give me a hard time. A couple dined a few tables away. I don’t know what it was about them, but glancing their way I could see that they were completely engaged with each other and it made me feel good. I overheard them talking to their waiter and discovered they were on their honeymoon. I watched as they held hands and gave thanks for the meal. Then they clinked their glasses softly and made a toast. I felt inspired by them and was moved by their obvious affection for each other.

As I finished my meal, I called the waiter over and told him that I wanted to pay for the couple’s dinner. I billed their meal to my room and asked him to add a generous tip for himself. I also asked him not to reveal who paid the bill and handed him a note to give to them when they left. This is what the note said: “One could tell at first glance that you belong together. I wish you peace and joy.”

The next morning, I found a note on the floor by my door. It was from the waiter:

Dear Mr. Rizzo,

I believe what you did last night was a wonderful gesture, and you need to know the true impact you had on our newlyweds. When I told them that someone paid for their dinner, they were surprised to say the least. But when they read your note, they were overwhelmed with emotion. Then they explained why your note had such an effect.

Our newlyweds are having a tough go of it at home. For reasons they didn’t say, their families, including children from their previous marriages, are not too keen on them getting married. So, rather than having a wedding ceremony filled with people who really didn’t want to be there, they decided to come to Maui to get married. 

They said that they made a toast and asked for a sign that they did the right thing. You, Mr. Rizzo, were the answer to their prayers. They said you confirmed, through divine guidance, what they already knew about each other. They asked me that if I ever saw you again, to please tell you, thank you. Thank you! Thank you for being their messenger of hope.

Growing up in New York, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never a messenger of hope. I liked the sound of it.

The point is, we all have opportunities to be messengers of hope when we give of ourselves and indulge in acts of kindness. These acts of kindness are spontaneous gestures that are driven by a sense of connection with other people and a realization that we’re all dependent on each other as we go through life. It’s really your higher self’s way of reminding you that this is what life is all about. When you give of yourself, though, you are giving to yourself.  It gives you a sense of hope in a world that sometimes seems hopeless. 

Related: Without Hope, What Good Is Tomorrow?

Image by cosmaa/

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Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches and leave with the same attitude. He’s a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon on fewer than 250 speakers worldwide since 1977. You can find out more at


  1. Eleanor Traubman on February 16, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Steve –
    What a beautiful act of kindness! Thank you for showing how much impact one person can have!

  2. Eleanor Traubman on February 16, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Steve –
    What a beautiful act of kindness!

  3. Jan Ove Lassesen on February 18, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Wow what an inspiring story. Thank you.

  4. Nathan Gamer on February 21, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Nice article. I agree with, only by giving and sharing we could bring happiness.

  5. Harry Maragianis on February 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks I needed that

  6. Robin J. May on February 22, 2020 at 12:10 am

    That was awesome! Its funny that I read this tonight. Today at a truck stop diner with a Popeyes connected to it, I met a gentleman in the restroom washing his hands. I asked him how was he doing today, he said good. As we were walking out he stopped me and he looked at me and said thank you. I said for what, he stated prior to meeting me he had been eating in the diner, and this one guy was being just a jerk. He commented , then your kind words said how are you doing today, he stuck out his hand and said I’m doing great now. Thank you!

    Moral of my story is you never know when a simple kind gesture, even in a restroom will make someone’s day. That’s the real success in our life’s! God Bless All.

  7. Kevin Flannery on February 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    as a fellow new yorker I love this story. Well done by you and I don’t think we do enough things like that in this world. Especially those of us blessed to have many benefits to life. I look for the little things around here, help an elderly up the stairs, hold a subway door for sprinting passenger, etc. But I love your story!

  8. Anita on February 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    A wonderful message. Thank you for sharing it.

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