Small things can often mean a great deal. For the past five years readers of the Toronto Star's website have been telling each other that, as they shared their stories in a feature called "Acts of Kindness." The common thread is that a stranger helped when it was needed most, without thought of a reward and often without leaving a name. Since its debut in December, 2004, "Acts of Kindness" has become a daily fixture at thestar.com. About four thousand stories have been submitted and two thousand have been published. Acts of Kindness, the book, represents the best of the best - a collection of 200 of the most memorable tales. The stories are a reminder that goodness is non-denominational, non-political, and transferable across race and language. They also remind us that although our lives are full of hard realities, the smallest gesture can raise a spirit or lift a heart, and the time to do it is now.
Adam Mayers is an editor at thestar.com, the Toronto Star's website and started the online "Acts of Kindness" feature in 2004. Adam studied journalism in England; is a former business editor and columnist; is the author of four books, including Dixie and Dominion; and has appeared on television and radio. He livee in Oakville, Ontario.