Touching Inspiring Stories

Don't you love inspiring stories—touching stories that move your heart and remind you why we’re all here together: to help make life better for each other...

Inspiring Story about Appreciation

The Gold Box

A man punished his four-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of golden wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child used it to try to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."

The man was embarrassed by his earlier over-reaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He yelled at his daughter, "Don't you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and cried, "Oh Daddy, it's not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They're all for you, Daddy."

The father's anger was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and begged for her forgiveness.

The father kept that box by his bed for many years. And, whenever he felt down, he took out an imaginary kiss and remembered the love of the child who had put it there.

(This inspiring story reminds us that each one of us has our own golden container, filled with invisible unconditional love... from our family members, our friends, our pets, and from Life itself.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Appreciation ~

Inspiring Story about Caring

You Never Know

One night close to midnight in the 1960s, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway in a lashing rainstorm.

Her car had broken down, and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, which usually never happened at that place and time.

The young man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.

Seven days went by, and a knock came on the young man's door. To his surprise, a giant console colour TV had been delivered to his home. The note attached to it read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.”

(This inspiring story showed how the actions of one person who stepped outside his culture's perceived limitations impacted another life at a very important time.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Caring ~

Inspiring Story about Expectations

The Gift

A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom. Knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man waited for signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box.

Curious, but disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a beautiful, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he shouted at his father, "With all your money you just give me a Bible?" And he stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book, and his father, behind.

Many years passed. The young man became very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family. But he thought about his father, who had grown old. He had not seen him since that graduation day. But before he could make arrangements to go to him, he received a telegram telling him his father had died, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately to take care of things.

When the man arrived at his father's house, sadness and regret filled his heart. Searching through his father's important papers, he found the still new Bible, just as he had left it, years before. In tears, he began to turn the pages and read its words.

Something dropped from an envelope taped to the Bible. A car key with a dealer's tag, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

(This inspiring story reminds us not to miss life's blessings—just because they don't come packaged as we expected.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Expectations ~

Inspiring Story about Friendship

The Smartest Dog

This is a true story of the smartest dog in the United States. A gifted hunter and stock dog, he lived towards the end of the 19th century.

He knew from the way his master dressed which horses he wanted brought from the pasture. Usually it was the workhorses for the fields, but some days it was Ned the saddle horse, and every Sunday, it was the pair of carriage horses for the trip to church.

Being a hunting dog, the sight of his master dressed and prepared for a hunt excited him no end. He knew he was going after squirrels if his master came out with a rifle, and he knew a double-barrelled shotgun meant going after birds.

The dog’s ability with quail and ducks made his master especially proud. He combined the virtues of the pointer and the retriever.

A dog in profile, silhouetted against the sunset

Without a sound he pointed the quail, flushed them out when his master was ready, watched when he fired, and took off immediately to retrieve the birds.

In the duck blind, the dog waited patiently and silently until his master fired his gun. Then he was all eyes, swimming out at once to retrieve the ducks, never leaving any behind.

Eventually the dog grew old. Most of his hair had rubbed off, he was too feeble to hunt, and he lived on bread and milk, because all his teeth were gone.

One November evening, the master went down to the lower pasture to drive the cows up to the barn for milking. The old dog started out with him as usual. But this time, he didn't go all the way.

Returning with the cows a few minutes later, the master saw the old dog barking at a large tree stump about 50 yards from the barn. He watched in surprise as the dog came out with a possum.

The dog managed to pick the possum up between his gums, and headed toward the barn. He had to stop occasionally and rest, because the possum was heavy. And the possum was of course playing dead, as possums do, so the hound rooted him around a little and tried to lick his face as though to say, "Come on, possum; I don't mean you any harm."

Since this was the smartest dog in the Unites States, the master wondered at his purpose. All became clear as the dog neared the haystack close to the barn.

The old hound had burrowed a hole in the haystack for his sleeping quarters—on the south side of course, so the cold north wind couldn’t blow in. He had brought the possum there as a bed warmer. He put it down in front of the burrow, and nosed it in.

And the next night the same thing happened.

The third night, the old dog decided that carrying the heavy possum all that way was quite a bit of work. So after getting it out of the stump, and waiting for it to uncoil from its play-dead position, he began to nose it toward the haystack.

After a while, it got to the point where all the dog had to do was go to the stump and bark, and the possum came out of its own accord, and headed for the burrow.

The next year in November, when the sleep-in was renewed, the possum brought along her four babies to the haystack. It was a touching and beautiful sight to see the possum leading her four little ones from the stump to the haystack, followed by the old dog.

And so the old hound, even more hairless now, spent a happy winter warmed by his old friend and four new little ones, before he finally passed on to the reward that awaits all good and faithful animals.

(Story edited from a letter written by Brutus Hamilton (1900-1970) U.S. 1920 decathlon Olympic silver medallist)

(This inspiring story showed that gentleness and patience—not to mention some dogged persistence!—can create a deep bond of friendship between the most unlikely characters.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Friendship ~

Inspiring Story about Giving

Ice Cream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than now, a 10-year-old boy entered a coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "How much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

Other people were waiting to be served and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table.

There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. The boy couldn't have the sundae, because he wanted to have enough money left to leave her a tip.

(This simple, inspiring story is so powerful because of the boy's selflessness. Yes, he still got his ice cream, but his mindfulness of the waitress made him willing to give up having the more luxurious sundae.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Giving ~

Inspiring Story about Hope

The Little Parrot

Once, long ago, there lived a little parrot. One day, a storm fell upon his forest home. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, and a dead tree, struck by lightning, burst into flames. Sparks leapt on the wind and soon the forest was ablaze. Terrified animals ran wildly in every direction, seeking safety from the flames and smoke.

"Fire! Fire!" cried the little parrot. "To the river!" Flapping his wings, he flung himself out into the fury of the storm and, rising higher, flew towards the safety of the river. But as he flew, he could see below him that the flames trapped many animals, with no chance of escape.

A desperate idea, a way to save them, came to him. He darted to the river, dipped himself in the water, and flew back over the now raging fire.

Fierce heat rose up from the burning forest and thick smoke made breathing unbearable. A wall of flames shot up on one side, and then the other. Crackling flames leapt before the little parrot. Twisting and turning through the mad maze of fire, he flew bravely on.

At last, when he was over the centre of the forest, he shook his wings and released the few drops of water that still clung to his feathers. The tiny drops tumbled down like jewels into the heart of the blaze and vanished with a hissssssssss.

The little parrot flew back through the flames and smoke to the river, dipped himself in the cool water, and returned again over the burning forest. Back and forth he flew, time and again, from the river to the forest, from the burning forest to the river. His feathers were charred. His feet were scorched. His lungs ached. His eyes, stung by smoke, turned red as coals. His mind spun as dizzily as the sparks around him. But still the little parrot flew on.

At this time, some of the gods of a happy realm were floating overhead in their cloud palaces of ivory and gold. They happened to look down. And they saw the little parrot flying among the flames. They pointed at him with perfect hands. Between mouthfuls of honeyed foods they exclaimed, "Look at that foolish bird! He's trying to put out a raging forest fire with a few sprinkles of water! How absurd!" And they laughed.

But one of those gods, strangely moved, changed himself into a golden eagle and flew down, down towards the little parrot's fiery path.

The little parrot was just nearing the flames again when the great eagle with eyes like molten gold appeared at his side. "Go back, little bird!" the eagle said in a solemn and majestic voice. "Your task is hopeless! A few drops of water can't put out a forest fire! Cease now and save yourself—before it is too late."

But the little parrot only continued to fly on through the smoke and flames. He could hear the great eagle flying above him as the heat grew fiercer, calling out, "Stop, foolish little parrot! Save yourself! Save yourself!"

"I don't need a great shining eagle," coughed the little parrot, "to give me advice like that. Advice! (Cough, cough) I don't need advice. I just (cough) need someone to help."

That great eagle which was the god, seeing the little parrot flying through the flames, thought suddenly of his own privileged kind. He could see them high up above. There they were, the carefree gods, laughing and talking, while many animals cried out in pain and fear from the flames below. And he grew ashamed. Then one single desire was kindled in his heart. God though he was, he just wanted to be like that brave little parrot, and help.

A mostly green parrot looks quizzically at you

"I will help!" he exclaimed, and, flushed with these new feelings, he began to weep. Stream after stream of sparkling tears poured from his eyes. Wave upon wave, they washed down like cooling rain on the fire, the forest, the animals and the little parrot.

The flames died down and the smoke began to clear. The little parrot, washed and bright, rocketed about the sky, laughing for joy. "Now that's more like it!" he exclaimed.

The eagle's tears dripped from burned branches. Smoke rose up from the scorched earth. Miraculously, where those tears glistened, new life pushed forth—fresh shoots, stems and leaves. Green grass pushed up from among the still glowing cinders.

Where the teardrops sparkled on the parrot's wings, new feathers grew. Red feathers, green feathers, yellow feathers—such bright colours! Such a handsome bird!

All the animals looked at one another in amazement. They were whole and well. Not one had been harmed.

Up above in the clear blue sky they could see their brave friend, the little parrot, looping and soaring in delight. When all hope was gone, he had saved them. "Hurray!" they cried. "Hurray for the brave little parrot and for the miraculous rain!"

(I once read this inspiring story about the brave little parrot to a room full of people. My voice wavered at certain parts, and everyone there was moved, too. What a great reminder that never giving up—and staying focused on everyone's benefit and the big picture—elicits support from sometimes quite unexpected quarters at a crucial moment!)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Hope ~

Inspiring Story about Kindness

Take a Moment

A cab driver pulled up to an address one night at 2:30 a.m. The low-rise building was dark except for one light in a ground-floor window.

At such an hour, many drivers just honked once or twice, waited a minute, and then drove away. But not this particular driver. Unless a situation smelled of danger, he always went to the door. The passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, he reasoned to himself.

So he walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice. After a long pause, the door opened to reveal a small woman in her 80s. She wore a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil, like somebody in a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

In the apartment behind her, sheets covered all the furniture. There were no clocks on the walls, and no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner stood a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" the old lady said. The driver took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She locked the door to her apartment, took his arm and walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking the driver for his kindness. "It's nothing," he told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated." "Oh, you're so good," she responded.

Once in the cab, she gave an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?" "It's not the shortest way," the driver answered. "Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

In the rearview mirror, the driver could see her eyes glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long." Quietly the driver reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" he asked.

City at night

For the next two hours, they drove through the city. The old lady pointed out the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. They drove through the neighbourhood where she and her husband lived as newlyweds. She had the driver pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that used to be a ballroom where she went dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she asked the driver to slow down in front of a particular building or corner, and she sat staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun creased the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

They drove in silence to her destination, a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as they pulled up. They were expecting her and solicitously and intently watched her every move.

The driver opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. "How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," the driver said. "You have to make a living," she answered. "I’ll have other passengers," he responded.

Almost without thinking, he bent and gave her a hug. She held on to him tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you." He squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind him, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

The driver didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. He just drove around, lost in thought. What if he had refused to take that run, or had honked once, and then driven away? What if that woman had got an angry driver, or one impatient to end his shift?

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said. But they will always remember how you made them feel.

(A little thoughtfulness can go a very long way to making all the difference in the world for someone who's hurting, as this inspiring story shows.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Kindness ~

Inspiring Story about Love

Whatever It Takes

A young girl named Liz was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery was a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked him if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. The boy hesitated for a moment, before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes. I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled as the colour returned to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked in a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

Being so young, the little boy had misunderstood; he thought he had to give his sister all of his blood to save her.

(I cried when I first read this inspiring story. It made me want to revive my own, pure, innocent love.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Love ~

Inspiring Story about Trust

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

Two travelling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.

The family was rude, and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied,

"Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night, the angels came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed so they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning, the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how she could have let this happen. “The first man had everything, yet you helped him,” he accused. “The second family had little, but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it.

"Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.

“Things aren't always what they seem."

(When things don't turn out exactly the way you think they should, have faith. Trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later, as this inspiring story eloquently attests.)

~ End of Inspiring Story about Trust ~

~ End of inspiring stories ~

I hope you enjoyed these inspiring stories! If you like, you can read Stirring Inspirational Stories by clicking here.

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