The Happiness Newsstand


When my sister died, I inherited the newsstands that she had been running. It wasn’t my dream to become a shop keeper but I saw it as an opportunity to love because sometimes the people who come to the stands want to talk about their lives.

The shop became a center for community and friendship. I found space for a table and chairs and, when the weather is good, some people sit down to read and chat too. Someone suggested that I change the sign that says “Newspapers” to “Happiness Newsstand.”

(M.R., Italy)

The Child Grandmother


Due to illness, my mother has become a child again: she doesn’t speak and she doesn’t seem to understand anything. Until quite recently, we felt we were in a desperate situation and didn’t know what to do. Relatives and friends advised us to move her to an old folks home. We spoke to our two sons to try to find a solution and we decided to take turns to stay with her in the house.

My husband and I were worried about involving the children in this difficult situation because we felt it could be too much for them. However, as the days went by, the boys became more and more maternal towards their grandmother and saw her as someone who deserved respect and who had something sacred within that only love could penetrate. The relationship with her has become like waves that ebb and flow in a sea of love.

(Y.O., Japan)

God helps those who give

One night, my brother was really ill and needed to go to the hospital. We are poor so I had to run and ask if I could borrow some money from our neighbors. Then, my mother and
I began to carry my brother to the hospital but before we had gone very far, we met a man who was begging.

I was about to give him some money but my mother stopped me and said, “We will need that!” I said, “If we give then God will help us” and that is exactly what happened. At the hospital entrance, we met a doctor who knows us and, thanks to him, my brother received treatment totally free. My mother could not believe it.

(M., Egypt)

An example that encourages


Our youngest daughter, Patty, had gone to Canada with her friend to improve their English. Shortly before the end of her stay, she called and what she said hit me like a cold shower: She was expecting a baby.

The father of the child loved her but she was not sure about marrying him. I didn’t know what to say but asked if she was going to come home. She agreed but felt embarrassed at the prospect of returning to a small village where our family is greatly respected.

During the time we waited for her arrival, we began to accept what was happening and prepared to meet her without making judgments and to welcome her with an open heart just as she needed. When the baby was born, she was a ray of sunshine for everyone.

Later, when the same thing happened to another family in the village, the parents confided in us saying, “Your example has encouraged us to do the same with our daughter as you have done with yours.”

(M.J.S., Switzerland)

The day that began badly

I had left the house feeling very agitated and, on the way to school, I thought the day would be a disaster. I thought of one of the people in my class whom I don’t like and was sure that she would make the situation worse.

However, when I got to the lesson, I really made an effort to be polite to her and she responded in a pleasant and welcoming way. The whole day seemed different. It’s really true that a tiny effort on our part to “go out of ourselves” can make a big difference.

(M.S., Hungary)
Edited by Chiara Favotti
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