Inspiring Stories

may 2015 WOLI stop whining
Roxane Gay Makes a Case for Why We Should All Quit Whining

The professor and author was the queen of complaints—until she realized what she was missing. >>

medical miracles
5 Stunning Medical Miracles That Doctors Can’t Explain

Most people don’t survive a dying heart or a brain-eating amoeba. 
These five patients were… >>

theater basement illo
I Learned This Most Valuable Life Lesson … From a Meal With an Amazing Waiter

In a theater basement 20 years ago, Emily Winslow learned a lesson in generosity that she'll never… >>

kilimanjaro
In Spite of Cerebral Palsy, One Man Made a Furious Climb Up Mount Kilimanjaro

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, Bonner Paddock had no shortage of rage. With braces on… >>

petting dog
Walking the Family Dog I Never Wanted Got Me Through My Husband’s Cancer

In the midst of her husband's fight with leukemia, Jill Smolowe's walks with Misty reminded her… >>

cello teacher
Ari & the Cello Chair

A chance encounter with a music teacher filled me with passion and purpose. >>

the night I met Einstein
The Night I Met Einstein

This Reader's Digest Classic of "My Most Unforgettable Character" offers a lesson in life—and… >>

lauren kornacki
She Lifted a Car Off Her Dad and Saved His Life

Lauren Kornacki's father was working on a car when it fell of the jack, crushing him and knocking… >>

cookies and passport
A Frustrating Plane Delay, and the Simple Baggie of Cookies That Made It All Better

My delayed flight led to to a life-changing interaction. >>

elephants
How 2 Elephants Used Strength—and Smarts—to Save a Bridge

When massive logs and a rushing river threaten a bridge, these two elephants did something… >>

purple hearts
This Is Why Zach Fike Reunites Purple Hearts With Soldiers Who Lost Them

Read these stories behind lost Purple Hearts, and the man who finds their owners. >>

toefu
After Unimaginable Cruelty, How Toefu Became a Dog Whisperer to Help Others

Can dogs learn from their misfortune? Here’s the story of Toefu the spaniel, who overcame her own… >>

pile of pencils
Read One Teacher’s Genius Response to the Question “What Do You Make?”

Teacher Taylor Mali's unforgettable, searing retort to a thoughtless question certainly put a… >>

swimming in ganges river
How This Chance Meeting at the Ganges Changed 5 Lives Forever

An impromptu lesson in kindness inspires one man to give an incredible gift to a complete stranger… >>

Sun clouds and rays
6 Stories of Divine Signs

When our loved ones leave this world, does our connection with them end? >>

deon
This Photographer Is Saving Foster Kids One Photoshoot at a Time

Read about the incredibly generous way Seattle photographer Jennifer Loomis is using her… >>

airplane passengers
Hoda Kotb, a Stranger on a Plane, and His Simple Advice She’ll Never Forget

On one of the Today show cohost's darkest days, her seatmate’s wise words about breast cancer… >>

effies apples box
A Neighbor’s Generosity Spreads Beyond Original Gift

The Reader's Digest classic, originally published as "Effie's Compound Interest," explores how one… >>

everyday heroes collin smith
This Kind Stranger Helped a Paralyzed Teen Finish High School (And More)

Despite a tragic accident, Collin Smith was determined to succeed at school. He got an extra push… >>

two wedding bands
A Devoted Husband Confesses: Why I Wear Two Wedding Bands

A man explains to a stranger how wearing a second wedding band has changed his life. >>