We can all agree that it feels great to be a good Samaritan and do something nice for someone who is in need. But how often do we go out of our way and take the time to extend a helping hand? It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget how a simple act of kindness can impact someone’s day immensely. Remember, it’s the little things that make life beautiful, so relinquish a small slice of your day to enjoy these wholesome examples of nice deeds done right.
1. Resting Brioche Face
At my job (a bakery with a small drive-thru feature), I had an elderly man go through the drive-thru to order something. After I got his order, he told me he appreciated how nice I always was to him, because his face rests where he looks kind of mean all the time, but he really isn’t. He went on to explain that he isn’t used to it, considering his environment and places he has to go where he hasn’t been treated that well.
He seemed really happy about it and took a moment just to tell me thank you for always being kind to him regardless, and it made my day. It’s something really small compared, but darn if I nearly cried because of it.
2. A Smile So Sweet
I work in a candy shop and we have this “play car” outside, where you put in one euro and it starts to move and make sounds. There was a dad with two little kids in the shop today. While the first kid was in the car, the dad was hopelessly searching for another euro in his wallet. He told his other son he could go another time, who then started crying, of course.
Seeing this, I came up with an ingenious plan. I walked to that car and said to the little boy he had to push the button really hard, and that it maybe would start. In the meantime, I secretly put one euro in the car, winked to the dad and let the kid believe it worked. It’s a small thing, but the smile of that boy definitely made my day.
3. Gone With the Wind
I held my fart until I was off the crowded elevator.
4. A Helping Hand
I gave hand massages to seniors at the assisted living home I work at. I particularly tried to focus on people who infrequently have family visit them, or are typically avoided due to their mental illnesses. Some raved about it, some sat there staring at their hands as I did it. Either way, I think it made their day.
5. Respect the Librarian
I work at a library and today a woman from El Salvador came in to get a card and take some stuff out for her kids. She didn’t speak any English at all and she was so curious and happy to be at the library that even my weak Spanish only got her more excited. Now, library patrons aren’t the most patient, so when a person gets a new card and we explain the rules, they get unhappy waiting in line.
The line was full of regulars who also happen to be problem patrons, mostly just arguing with staff or demanding we bend the rules for them. So instead of putting up with them, I hit the help button under the desk, let them wait, and took advantage of having someone who actually respected the library and staff and showed her around.
I explained the library phone app, Libby/Overdrive, Pressreader (she almost cried when she found her hometown’s newspaper available for free on there), and as many other aspects I could fit into the ten minutes they tell us is appropriate for new and curious patrons. It was the best time I’ve had at work in months, to be honest.
I would rather spend half my day with someone like that than ten minutes with someone who gets mad when their prints come out wrong, refuse to use the print preview option, and then demand a refund.
6. A Simple Conversation Will Do
I talked to someone who was sitting alone who just transferred to my school.
7. Nothing up His Sleeve
A guy in the park stepped on his phone and needed to borrow mine to make a call. He’s getting housing of some kind. He said we could leave it on speaker. I was a little afraid it was a trick, but I dialed the number and he had his call. The woman on the other end of the line was so excited he called, and they talked for a little while.
I don’t really understand the nature of his situation or her role, but they had a friendly, chatty conversation. He’s moving at 11:30 tomorrow, which means being homeless for one more night, but he was pretty happy.
8. Home Is Where the Beer Is
A few days ago, I walked to the nearest supermarket and saw this homeless dude sitting on a bench nearby. It was amazingly hot that day and I felt a little bad for the guy. I was preparing for a BBQ at my place and I decided I could spend a little bit of money on making this dude’s day a little better. I decided to get him two ice-cold beers from the cooler in the store.
Now, I know that giving alcohol to homeless people is not the best thing you can do (there is stuff they might need more), but it was hot as heck and I figured he’d like a beer, so why not? I finish shopping, bag everything, and put this dude’s beers on top so I can give them to him as I walked past him again.
When I get to him I say, “Hey man, I thought you might like a cold beer. I’ve got two for you, if you want?” His reply was hilarious. He looks up at me and says, “Yeah…You know I’m not homeless, right? I’m just really hungover man!” I then told him that if it would make his day better, he could still have the beers. He accepted them.
9. Pay It Forward
Sometimes when I’m out to dinner with my partner, we’ll pick another table and pay for their meal. I try tp do it once or twice at least in a year, and pick people who look like they could really use it. Started doing it after an elderly couple paid for my entire family’s dinner at a very expensive restaurant when I was younger.
I still remember it to this day, so I like to create the same experience for other people.
10. The Secret of Youth
I was in Dunkin’ Donuts sitting with an iced coffee. I had been sitting for a few minutes and saw an old-ish woman helping an older woman with a walker, both coming into the store. They sat, and the younger of the two went up to order a few coffees. As I was getting up to throw away my trash, I noticed the older lady look at my hat a few times (It was a Red Sox hat).
I said a quick hello and a brief weather comment to break the ice. She immediately mentioned how “her Dan” had the same hat. I assume Dan was her husband who had passed away. We then went on to talk about Fenway Park, the game last night in Colorado, her daughter who now lives in Colorado, and about 100 other things over the course of the next 15 minutes.
I saw decades of age reverse in the eyes of an almost 90-year-old…for a few minutes. She made my day. I hope I made hers.
11. Something to Chew on
My son got his braces off today. I went to the store and bought a bunch of gummy candies and packs of gum to surprise him after dinner. He’s really missed Sour Patch Kids and chewing gum for the past year!
12. Staying True
I encouraged my 4-year-old son to love what he wants without feeling bad for it. His mother and I share custody and he has older brothers in her home, and I’ve seen some upsetting signs. I’ve recently heard him respond with, “No, that’s for babies” when I suggested things I know he enjoys. When I asked him why, he said, “Because that’s what my brothers x and y told me.”
I sat him down and told him that he can like whatever he wants as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. He should never have to feel bad for enjoying something he loves because other people say he should. My folks were never the type to provide me that kind of encouragement. They weren’t bad parents, just distant. I don’t want that for my son.
13. Keep Your Friends Close…
Instead of killing the spider who was building giant webs across my whole porch every night, I caught her and moved her to a tree at the edge of the forest.
14. A Chip off Their Shoulders
There were these two girls at a vending machine, and their bag of chips got stuck. They got super upset that the machine ate their dollar and they started to walk away all angry, but then I said, “Hey wait, try hitting it again.” They looked at me like I was crazy, so then I pressed the number that their chips got stuck at. The vending machine pushed out two bags of chips, so they’d each get one and they wouldn’t have to split it. They were so happy, it was hilarious.
15. The Cycle of Good Deeds Continues
I helped a kid get the chain back on the sprockets on his bike. He was very appreciative and thanked me several times. Nice kid and a good day.
16. Trash Tag
I went walking with my dog at this beautiful little hideaway nearby. About mid-walk, I noticed lots of trash and went back to my car for my extra backpack and gloves to pick it all up on my walk. Almost filled the bag. I was inspired by seeing numerous people picking up trash by the freeway on my way out there on their own time.
Sometimes the good you do can inspire others… even if it’s small and you think it might go unnoticed.
17. Lost and Found
I manage a pretty large brewpub with a large terrace. On sunny days like we had today, we’re also the perfect spot for parents with young kids to come rest a little, since we’re in the middle of a park. We’re a brewpub, so we don’t focus on kids or kids’ entertainment at all, but they’re welcome anyway. Except today, it all went wrong.
Today I did a round on our huge terrace and I saw a girl standing there, crying. Immediately I realized she lost her parents, and she was beside herself with panic. I asked her what her name was, if she wanted to be my friend, and if she wanted to help me find her parents. She told me her name, and with her newly-found purpose of helping me find her parents, she stopped crying and became a brave little girl.
I lifted her onto my shoulders and casually walked around the terrace, telling her to look out for her parents. After a few minutes, she started yelling, “MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!” and they were reunited.
18. Better Than Uber
I drove home a friend from work. It added 20 minutes to my commute but saved her a 2-hour train ride. Sometimes it’s just the simple things that make a difference in people’s day.
19. Don’t Worry, I’ve Got You Covered
It’s my job this week to report to the boss when everyone gets into work. I said we were all there on time when my buddy slept in and only arrived when I was coming back from the boss’s office.
20. The Name Is Nice, Mr. Nice
This is my student teaching year and I am in 6th-grade science. We have one class with a group of ELLs (English language learners). I expend great effort working with them and I enjoy our time together. They can’t pronounce my last name, so they started calling me “Mr. Nice” instead.
21. Oh, Merciful Savior
I was outside eating lunch with some coworkers. Suddenly, a jumping spider appears and all the guys get up and either run off or try to kill it. I scoop up the little dude and walk him over to some grass and set him free. Those chumps would have stomped the poor thing.
22. Just Another Day on the Job
I work as a pharmacy tech in an oncology clinic, and I help people find resources to help pay for their ridiculous share of costs for their cancer meds. Sometimes it’s a real drag, and it can take several days to find assistance, if you even manage to find any assistance at all. Today was an unusually fruitful day, and I made some people’s lives a lot easier by removing finances from their list of worries.
It always feels good.
23. Have Your Cake, and Pretend to Eat It too
I sat for a really long time with my 3-year-old and pretended to eat the fake cake he was giving me. I got a little tea set for my daughter, but underestimated how much he would love it. She hasn’t played with it once, meanwhile he’s been walking around for two days with his “cake”. I’m a stay-at-home mom during the week. We stayed home today.
24. A Bug’s Lifeguard
I was waiting for my ride home from work, so I was sitting by the side of a water fountain. I saw a cicada fall into the water, and he started screaming and flailing around. I felt bad for him, so I fished him out with a coke bottle. It may be a small one, but I saved a life today.
25. La Vida Es Bella
I work as a cook in a Tex-Mex restaurant. Most of the other cooks are Mexican. I work with this one guy whose mother also works with us as a prep cook. Sweetest little lady you’d ever meet. I feel bad because she’s so old yet still working from 8 AM-8 PM. I try to make conversation but her accent is so thick, it’s hard to understand her and she doesn’t know much English.
So I took things to the next level. The past week or so I’ve taught myself to speak the nice, “How was your day” conversation in Spanish. The look of pure joy and happiness that lit up her face made my heart melt.
26. Comfort Food
My friend’s dog was euthanized today because he had bitten him and it got reported by the hospital. I live a couple of hours away and had work so I couldn’t go comfort them. Instead, I thought of the next best thing. I sent chocolate chip pancakes and chicken nuggets via Doordash. I had to ask the delivery lady to leave it on a chair on the front porch, because no one was home.
I just wanted to do something, no matter how small, despite not being able to physically be there for them. I remembered how much it hurt having to euthanize my dog for being sick, so I couldn’t even imagine how much my friend was hurting.
27. Think Fast!
I service a company that has free snacks. I load up on those and hit the next location, and there’s always a man on the corner there with a “homeless vet” sign. He knows now to hold his hands up for a snack flying out of my passenger side window.
28. Praise the D.D.
I gave the designated driver free non-alcoholic beers for the entire night. He really appreciated it!
29. Good Hair Day
I told an older lady on the street that I loved her hair. I really did! It was snow-white in the front and soft grey in the back, with lovely bangs. Her reaction made my day. She made the most surprised and delighted sounds, finishing with, “How nice that someone would tell me that!” Some stranger told me my hair was gorgeous the other day and it reminded me to jump on the opportunity to vocalize my love for this lady’s style.
30. Simple, Yet Effective
At the market, they opened up another checkout register. I was next in line, but let a young woman go ahead of me as she had much less stuff. Low bar, I know, but every little bit helps!
31. Breath of Fresh Air
After I completely finished playing the Zelda game Breath of the Wild, I put it up for sale. Someone contacted me about it, asking if I could do a lower price. I said yes that’s fine, and she was thanking me, saying I made her day. We met up and exchanged greetings. I gave her the game and she gave me the money. But I wasn’t done yet.
I just gave the money back. The expression on her face was priceless! I told her your payment is to enjoy the game. She was really happy and gave me a hug. I went back home and forgot about it until this post. I’m not rich or anything, but I didn’t really need the extra cash. The game was great and I wanted to share it without the need for money, simple as that. I hope she’s having a great time with it!
32. When Life Gives You Lemons
I was rushing to an appointment and passed a girl on the corner of the street selling lemonade, chips, and chocolate bars. I thought about it for not even a second before zipping into the back lane, throwing it in park, and running over. I had like $5 for coffee later and I just gave it to her, said I didn’t need the lemonade, that I had to go, and to just give mine to the next person and good luck!
33. One’s Company, Two’s a Pool Party
Today was my little sister’s birthday. She wanted to go to a pool, but my body was aching from something I had done in the days prior so I didn’t want to go. I was forced to go with her and my other siblings, so we went and they got into the hot tub there. I was going to chill in the hot tub too, but then I saw her just alone in the pool.
At that moment, I knew I had to push the aching aside and go play with her so she could enjoy her birthday. We had a good time, and the rest of my siblings joined us, so in the end, it was the pool visit she wanted.
34. Being Present
My nicest thing today was spending time with my friend at her stepfather’s funeral. I knew both her and her stepfather. They were good people at heart, but they didn’t see eye-to-eye with each other and there was tension. Inside the funeral home were her stepfather’s friends and family, so she didn’t feel comfortable and thought they would resent her.
When I got there, I saw a heartbreaking sight. She was squatted next to the funeral home smoking a cigarette because she felt alone and isolated. I saw her from my car and parked. I didn’t go in, I just popped a squat next to her and bummed a cigarette, just to make sure she knew she wasn’t alone. After she had enough energy to go back in and face people, I walked with her.
35. In a Blind Rush
I was walking, kind of in a rush, away from my train station and noticed someone asking me directions to the train station that we were standing right outside of. 99% of the time, I would have ignored him, because 1) The train station was right there, 2) I was in a hurry, and 3) the train station can be a bit shady sometimes. But then I discovered the truth.
I caught a glimpse of his cane and realized he was blind. So I offered to guide him, but quickly got the sense that he valued his independence. Instead, I started to walk behind him and say things like “Walk about 3 steps, then use your left hand to open the gate. Walk across the train tracks. Turn left, and if you follow the rail on your right-hand side, it will take you to the platform”.
I wasn’t in that much of a hurry…
36. Protect and Serve Waffles
I was at Waffle King having breakfast when I saw a small group of law enforcement (deputies of the sheriff’s office, I think) walk in. Three of them. While I was eating, after they placed their order, I told the waitress that I wanted to add all of their tickets to mine so I could pay for all of them. I wanted to thank them for their service in some small way.
37. It’s All on Video
I chased down a car that caused an accident and then fled the scene. I stopped the driver and told her I got her on video causing the accident and fleeing the scene. She tried to convince me she would return to the scene after I went on my way. I told her I would follow, as I was going to give the video to the bicyclist who was injured.
She begrudgingly returned to the scene and confronted the cyclist. After making sure he was OK and got her info, I continued into work. There was just one problem. I didn’t really have a video, I just pointed to my helmet Bluetooth intercom a lot.
38. Food for the Soul
I usually go grocery shopping for my boyfriend once a week to restock up on things. Today was my “restock” day, and while checking to see what we needed, I realized we actually didn’t need anything. I went to the store anyway, this time to buy a gift card of $150, which is around what I might usually spend on a decent trip.
I’ve noticed a lot of the same homeless people in the area around where I work, and so after getting the gift card, I drove to the area and found a couple of older homeless men I’d seen around there before. After chatting to them for a little while, I decided to give the gift card to them. The three of us walked to the nearby grocer, and the both of them bought themselves hot, fresh sandwiches from the deli.
They decided to not spend it all in one go, as to not get anything that could go bad. The smiles on their faces made my day.
39. Let It Bee
Saw my dog get interested in a bee struggling in the grass, so I took the bee out before my dog could accidentally hurt him. I gave him some sweet tea to bring his energy level up and let him bee.
40. Powerful Love
I live in Florida and my part of the state is expected to take a heavy hit from the hurricane that’s heading our way this weekend. Earlier today, I was going between the stores I oversee to discuss plans to close down during the storm, etc. The woman who runs the store closest to the coast (and will be impacted the most) mentioned that she’s worried about being out of power for a long time.
She was particularly worried about how miserable it will be for her kids if they’re trapped inside a hot apartment for days. I asked her if she had a small backup generator for her apartment and she said she did not. I told her I think I still have mine from when I lived in an apartment, and that if I find it she can use it, because I won’t need it. She didn’t know my secret.
I never actually had a small generator when I lived in an apartment, but I knew she wouldn’t let me buy her one. So, I ordered one on Amazon and when I got home a little while ago, I sent her a text and told her I found my old one and would bring it to her. It’s not the best generator out there, but it should be able to power a window A/C unit.
I’m hoping it’ll at least get them through a day or two.
41. Wild Blackberries Couldn’t Drag Me Away
Not me, but my wife. A close friend of hers lost her husband to cancer five years ago. Not long after his death, she informed my wife that one of the things she dearly missed was picking wild blackberries at the end of summer and making blackberry jam with him. After that, the two ladies went to pick blackberries together.
Then, they made jam just as she had done when her husband was alive. This went on for a couple of years until the elderly lady grew too feeble to make the effort. My wife came home with a couple of quarts of hand-picked wild blackberries today. When I asked her what they were for, she gave me a heartbreaking response.
She told me, “My friend can no longer do the berry picking that she used to share with her husband. It was making her happy, so, a couple of years ago I decided to do it for her. This will be the third year that I have picked a few berries as I have done today and made them into blackberry jam. At Christmas time I wrap them up with a ribbon and a note and gift them to her. I intend to do this for her as long as I can.”
I was suddenly in awe of this simple but profound gesture of kindness and the thoughtfulness that lay behind it. That elderly lady is very lucky to have someone as special as my wife to be her friend and I am so very lucky to have her as my life partner.
42. Life on the Edge
I saved a drunk guy from falling over the tracks on the Mumbai commuter train rail lines, our local over-ground subway system. Coming back from the office late at night, I saw this guy stumbling near the edge of the platform, but safely enough to not fall off. But then it got worse. After a few seconds there waiting for my train, I saw him inch closer to the edge and fall.
I zipped over to him like an NFL cornerback and intercepted the out of zone man, just as the train went by at 60kmph. Kicked the tiredness out of me, and he got back to normal from his stupor with the sheer panic of probably being almost dead. I don’t know how it must have felt for him in that state. But for myself, I cannot shake the feeling of a person almost dying near me.