Uplifting good news is hard to come by these days. In the era of social media, it is especially challenging to get away from all the terrible things that happen in the world. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to share some wholesome everyday moments. These experiences are bound to put a smile on your face and brighten your day.
Years ago, I struggled to pay rent and buy food. One day my buddy stopped by for a visit and asked if he could have something to drink. I told him there was some cold water in the refrigerator. He did not realize that one gallon of water in my refrigerator was all I had. He looked in my freezer, then my cupboards and saw they were empty.
I thought that he was looking for a cup. He goes, “Hang on buddy, I’ll be right back.” He comes back about 30 minutes later with several bags of groceries. I’ll never forget that and I will always be thankful.
As a single mom, I struggled for a while after college. I was at the Dollar Tree trying to get cheap food for dinner and my daughter asked for a candy bar. I told her we couldn’t afford it. The man behind us happened to have overheard our conversation and when we walked out of the store, he discreetly said “here” and handed me a $20 bill.
He told me to buy her a candy bar and whatever else I needed. I legit cried.
I’m a science teacher and needed to buy glucose testing strips for a lab. Another teacher had the department purchasing card and Walgreens had the strips listed online for $8, so I figured I’d bite the bullet. When I got to the store they only had cases going for $58, which caused me to break down in the middle of the store.
It was my first year teaching, so my spirit had already been broken by junior high students. The pharmacist saw me crying and told me to take the test strips for free. It was the most surprising act of kindness I’ve ever experienced. I still think about it to this day.
I was chilling out with some workout buddies after a martial arts class when they decided to do their late Christmas present exchange. At that point, I figured that was where I ought to bow out, since I’d only known them for a couple months at this point. Surely we weren’t that close and this was a “between them” kinda thing.
Then up comes one of them with a little gift bag for me and says it's from all three of them. They’d been texting back and forth to try and figure out something I’d like—since, you know, I’d only known them for a couple months—and came up with a Star Wars mug. Just a Star Wars mug, sure, but I had the biggest grin on my face.
None of them knew much at all about Star Wars, they’d had to rope in one of their husbands for a fellow geek’s opinion. All that based on a related tattoo I’ve got and maybe a few sentences I’d said on the subject. That’s not just paying attention, that’s going the extra mile to include the new girl just because she hangs around to laugh at the same stupid stuff after class.
I think this is what you call “making friends as an adult.” God these people rock.
At a grocery store many years ago, when I was six years old, I saw an elderly man in a wheelchair drop some quarters on the ground while going through his wallet. I rushed over to help him pick them up, and when I handed them to him he just told me to keep them. It was probably only a dollar but it made my day and I sure hope it made his too.
My boss had plushies, sushi, and a smoothie waiting for me in her office after a stressful flight to work. She let me sleep in her office afterward for as long as I needed. Cost of food was out of her pocket and I was paid for the time. I have a great boss.
To preface, I’m an American living in Japan. When I travel for a day, I use this small suitcase--it's got a broken zipper on the front, so I just don’t use that pocket. I was sitting on the train home from a trip out of town and across from me was this sweet old lady. We kind of made eye contact and nodded at each other but neither of us spoke.
After a while, she said something aloud to no one in particular, like “Ah, the heaters under the seat are so hot.” I nodded and told her I agreed. I guess once she established that I was open to conversation and able to speak Japanese, she felt comfortable because she stood up and came over to me with two safety pins. She said, "These are for your suitcase.”
Then, she bent down to help me fix it. I felt so bad at first, but she insisted, so I settled for helping her do it instead. After I thanked her she sat back down in her own seat. Then, I remembered I had a box of caramels in my purse, so I offered her one in return as thanks. She took it while saying it had been a long time since she ate one. That experience kept me happy for a long time afterward.
When driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, at the tollbooth we were told that the car in front of us had paid our toll already. We tried to catch up to see who they were and to thank them, but they sped away. Now we do this sometimes at tollbooths and it is really fun and worth the small amount of cash.
The most recent wholesome memory of mine was on a recent Friday when my boyfriend took me on a surprise date to an outdoor cinema in these botanical gardens to watch Bohemian Rhapsody, which he knew I hadn’t seen yet. He also cooked us a whole three-course meal to eat with the movie, including his signature apple crumble.
He also bought me a huge bunch of raspberries, my favorite fruit. I died of joy at least 57 times and am so grateful to him.
I’m 19 and my dad always comes to meet me at 10:30 pm when I finish work because I’m scared of walking home in the dark.
My mom is a piano teacher and was shopping in a music store. A 10-year-old kid came in wanting to buy his first musical instrument. He wanted a ukulele, so the clerk showed him somewhere the entry-level model was; it cost about $65. He ran back outside to his mom waiting in the car, then came back in and asked, “What is the cheapest musical instrument you have?” and the clerk started showing him a $3 kazoo.
Overhearing this made my mom sad, so she went over and asked the kid if he really wanted a ukulele and would promise to practice and learn it. Hooked him up with the instrument, a beginner book, picks, etc. When she left the store the kid and his mom both waited to give her a hug.
In my small town, there's an older guy who wears the biggest smile and stands on his porch waving to all the traffic. I always wave back. The sad thing is that he lives in a super rough area of town, and kids and teenagers regularly make fun of him and tease him while shouting at him. Somehow, he just smiles through all this.
One time I honked at him while waving and the next day he came up to my car when I was at a stoplight and gave me flowers. I always honk and wave on my way home from work.
During a heavy rainstorm, a thoughtful guy in a crowded parking lot noticed an elderly couple trying to pull into a spot where someone had left their shopping cart. He got soaked doing it, but he smiled and removed the cart to the collection area so the couple could have the parking place. There was a remarkable expression of gratitude on their faces, which I won’t forget.
When my youngest brother was eight, he came home with a “student of the month” paper in his folder. This is how he earned it: he heard that the school custodian recently had come back from having back surgery, so after lunch he gathered a few of his buddies and they swept the cafeteria to give the custodian a break. He was so humble about it too, he didn’t care that he got noticed.
I just remember being so proud and crying a bit because although I knew he is a good nugget, I just didn’t expect him to go out of his way at such a young age and to get his buddies to follow. Makes my heart happy.
At a concert, I saw a buddy walking with his friend who was blind and also somewhat physically disabled. I overheard him telling his blind friend “Oh man I was so smashed last night! I couldn’t walk or see anything. Thank goodness for you and your cane. You were steering us everywhere like a champ. I would have been helpless without you!”
It was really so heartwarming. You could see how much it meant to his friend to be told how he was the helper, not the person being helped. I’m assuming he was being a little hyperbolic, but the amount of joy I saw brought to his friends face from his kind words was so heartwarming.
I was sitting in a bar having a beer after work when this guy comes in and orders some shots. After the first couple, he starts low-key crying. A semi-regular old man sitting near him asked what was up, turns out his girlfriend split up with him, and he wasn’t taking it well. Old man asks to join him for a drink, new guy agrees. This old man, named Keith, always drank two beers, paid, and left.
Anyways, they sat there and got absolutely hammered drunk. Keith was going on about how he hadn’t let loose since he was stationed on Okinawa. By this point, the new guy has completely forgotten about his ex-girlfriend. They made each other’s evening. Next time I saw Keith, I asked him how the night went. He said he hadn’t had a hangover like that in decades. The new guy became a semi-regular and joined our little bar family. He eventually hooked up with a new girl, and I believe they’re still seeing each other.
I have two nieces. At the little one’s birthday, her friend gave her two unicorn toys. She immediately looks at big sis with a huge smile, “Look big sis! This one for you! We can both play!” She was genuinely so excited to play unicorns with her sister and it never even occurred to her that she didn’t need to give one to her. My heart grew three sizes that day.
I’m a record producer. On a particular song, the client wanted a child’s voice to open it, so the bassist’s 10-year-old son recorded a section. Once we wrapped, the singer said to the kid: “Musicians get paid.” And he handed the kid a £20 note. The bassist then did the same. A small gesture maybe, but in our world making a living is hard and it was amazing to see professionals showing how it ought to be.
One Christmas season, I saw a young woman walking through an IKEA picking up things in the huge marketplace area, taking a picture of them, putting them back, and moving on. She was obviously thinking intently about gifts but I was confused—was she making a wish list or something? An employee saw this and asked if they could help her find something.
She says “Oh, no thank you. I’m helping my Dad Christmas shop. He works really hard and has very little time, plus when he gets off work his brain is just fried. So every year when I’m on break I go around to a bunch of stores and take pictures of things I think my mom would really like. Then I’ll show them to him at home, we talk about them and he picks some out. Then I go back and get them. It’s the least I can do for him, plus it’s kinda become our little secret Christmas tradition. Mom has no idea.”
Every Saturday morning, I go to the mall to run my errands. I always see a couple who look like they're in their eighties. Every single time, they're walking around together and holding hands.
My boss’ five-year-old daughter was drawing a picture for me and said, “This is you, a princess!” I thought my heart would combust because that was just so sweet. She proceeded to make a little collection of drawings, which she folded into a book, and gave to me. It was all hearts and rainbows. It made my day to be honest!
My last week of high school, our lunch lady gave out small gifts to some of the seniors. Just the kids that took the time to chat with her that she got to know more personally. I received a sketchbook with a sweet good luck note in it (I was always in art club and was going to school for fine arts). So she took the time to get all of us a gift that was specific to us. This lady saw hundreds of kids a day and still took the effort to get to know us.
In Austin, Texas, my family and I went to a breakfast place. The food was good and the waiters and waitresses were amazing, but they messed up our order. They were short on staff, apparently. Someone had either quit or got fired, and another person had called out that day, so it was only a few people. My mother went to go to the bathroom, and when she came out, she noticed our waitress standing at the corner. She was about to cry or was already crying.
My mother noticed her high-stress levels and asked if she had wanted a hug. The waitress nodded. My mom opened her arms and brought the waitress into a hug to comfort her. And once the waitress had calmed down enough, my mother came back to the table after making sure she was alright and told us what happened. I feel lucky to have my mother in my life, I love her so much.
When I was a preschool teacher, we had one kid who was our certified cheer-upper. If someone was crying, she’d get a tissue, walk over, carefully blot their eyes, and make them blow their nose. All while saying, “It’s okay, You’re okay.” Eventually, they’d stop crying, she’d take their hand and they’d go play. She was a little angel!
An old lady stood by a big bin of pumpkins in a grocery store. She looked at the pumpkins way down in the bin. A young guy walks up to her and asks “Would you like a pumpkin?” She says “Yes, but I need some help.” He asks her which one she wants, grabs it, and puts it in her cart.
One of the students in my class was talking to a new kid. It came up in conversation that the new kid's shoes didn’t fit and made his feet hurt. The boys also realized that they wore the same size shoes. The next day the kiddo comes in with a pair of Jordans he never wears for the new kid, plus a note from his mom saying it was okay.
It was one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen.
A little boy at the airport kept trying to climb over a concrete divider that had active traffic on the other side. His mom was loaded with luggage and kept trying to stop him, but didn’t have free hands. My brother-in-law walked up and said “Hey kid. There’s a rule here. You have to keep one foot on the ground at all times. Look around. Everyone has at least one foot on the ground.”
The kid kept trying to climb, but with one foot firmly glued to the ground, he wasn’t in danger anymore. Such a creative and wholesome way to let the kid keep playing while keeping him safe!
I gifted a used electric wheelchair to a family who couldn’t afford one. The kid, maybe 14 years old, was kinda grumpy looking when he arrived and didn’t say much. Once we got him in the chair and he was zooming around, he was all smiles. The next day, I heard that he told his sister to clear off the driveway so he could practice. By the weekend, he had gone to a fair.
I work at a school just down the road from my nine-year-old daughter’s school. Every day she walks from my school to hers, crossing the street on her way. I can watch her out the window for most of her walk, so I always see her stop and chat with the old man who was the crossing guard. She is such a friendly kid!
One day, it's time for her to walk over to school when it starts pouring outside. I hadn’t anticipated the rain so I had no umbrella for her and felt terrible. We zip up her coat and put up her hood, hoping she won't arrive at school soaking wet. When she gets to the crossing guard, I watch him hand her his own umbrella and send her on her way. The next day we made him some brownies.
A friend and I were talking and she said a swear word in front of a friend's kid. I dismissed it by saying “Eh, she probably knows worse.” So we asked her about the worst word she knew. She very carefully looked around just in case her parents were around and whispered… “selfish.”
When I first had foster children placed with me, after bedtime my pitbull would go into each room and check on the kids and then sleep in the hallway. If any woke up crying in the night, she would crawl into bed with them.
I noticed that my baby son was pulling at a pillow, so I pulled it over in front of him. He laid face down on it for a second. I thought “Wow, he must be tired” and just before I grabbed him he sat back up and smiled the biggest gummy grin ever, then he did it again. And again! Then it hit me, he’s playing peekaboo! I’m a fairly rigid guy that doesn’t get emotional or worked up about much but that broke me down and lifted my spirits all at the same time.
One time I saw my elderly neighbor bring out a saucer of milk for a stray kitten! My dog was barking at it when she noticed it, so she went inside and came back with a little dish to lead it away from the sidewalk. It was all very cute and heartwarming!
I always get the shivers when I see a dedicated parent. A few months ago, I was on the train on my way to work, when a mother entered with her 10-year-old daughter, who was in a wheelchair. The girl would do nothing but talk, ask questions, and narrate everything she did, leaving almost no chance for anyone (her mother) to participate in the conversation. I felt bad for the child, because it seemed like it was impossible for her to keep a thought to herself.
Her mother had very calm, pleasant and patient vibes. Not once did she judge or interrupt her daughter, while I was present. Whenever her daughter asked a question, she would answer it, not getting irritated by the fact that the girl would continue talking. Maybe she was listening after all. At times, the mother would encourage her daughter to elaborate certain thoughts and sometimes the girl did.
I'm heading to Oakland from San Francisco through the tube. Train’s packed as always. People on BART are good about public transit etiquette in general during commute hours so nobody’s talking or listening to music or anything. When we leave the tube onto the viaduct over the Port, one guy answers his phone. “Hello?... Yeah?... Oh my God... What hospital?... Okay I’ll be there as soon as I can.” He hangs up and just looks super distraught.
Someone taps him on the shoulder and says, “My car is parked at West Oakland. Do you need a ride?” He agrees and they get off together. Little gesture but it was uplifting to see someone volunteer for a stranger like that.
I saw a police officer stop traffic to help a turtle safely cross a very busy intersection. He stopped his car, picked up the turtle, and moved it to a marsh on the other side of the four-lane intersection.
My son has moderate cerebral palsy and autism. When he was about to start preschool at age three, I lost sleep over whether he would be bullied. Three years later, I’m getting choked up thinking about every time I’ve had to drop him off late. Each time in each year, his classmates stop whatever they’re doing, yell his name, smile at him, and usually a few will run over to give him a hug. It’s the most wholesome, beautiful thing a mom could ever see.
I'm in the local supermarket, pushing my cart in the frozen food section when I come across a young woman in her 20s. Her little girl (I think around two years old) is sitting in the cart and the mom is beautifully cooing to her little girl, “I love you. I love you” among other sweet things and sounds. Now, I never “met” this young lady. I never talked to her. Just watched her treat her daughter very sweetly with all the love in the world.
It was the nicest thing to see and experience because my own upbringing was a living hell. My parents broke up when I was very young. Mother got custody even though she was a mentally ill, abusive, psychotic monster. I never knew a scene like that in my own life. I just knew, with a kind, loving mother like that in her life, that little girl was going to grow up into a nice, normal, happy human being. Having a mother like that makes all the difference in the world.
A few years ago, I was on my way to catch the bus when a middle-aged woman called me from behind a newspaper stand. She pointed to the bus stop, one block down, where a guy was standing holding something. She said he was her son and he'd just got out of jail after serving time for dealing drugs. Today was his first day trying to make an honest life.
He had baked some traditional pastries and was trying to sell them on the bus stop. She said she wanted to make sure things went right for him on his first day so he wouldn't feel tempted to go back to selling drugs. Then she put some money in my hand, asked me if I could buy some pastries, and obviously not tell him she was there.
At the stop, I saw the guy, probably in his mid-30s, with this little table of pastries. I bought three, we chatted a little bit, and one minute later my bus arrived and I left. It always makes me emotional and warm inside to think how pure a mother’s love can be.
I was on what I call a rumpled suit flight—one of those flights on a Friday at 6 from NY to DC where most of the flight consists of business people in suits drinking $14 double whiskeys. A fellow rumpled suit sat across the aisle next to a mother and her kid. When she could the kid brought down her tray table and a coloring book and started coloring.
I didn’t hear what was said but at some point, the kid handed the rumpled suit a coloring book and they spent the remainder of the flight coloring and chatting. I was kinda like, “I want to color too.”
When I was 11, my dad drove us to a gathering at my grandma’s. There was a woman pulled over on the side of the road. Dad pulled over as well and asked if she needed help. She said she ran out of gas. Dad told her he would get some. So we go into a gas station. Dad explains the situation to the cashier and is prepared to buy a can of gas.
There’s this other customer that looks like a biker—big dude with tattoos and piercings. He tells dad that he has gas at his house, so we get in our cars and follow him. His wife and young son are in the front yard. Turned out that it was his sister’s house; the guy had fled a hurricane with his family. Nevertheless, he insisted on giving us the gas for free.
I had a health class teacher in high school, who had a reputation for being super tough. Once, there was a mandatory CPR class that we had to pay for, and there was no way I could pay for anything in those days. CPR day came, and she told me to go with the other students. I gave her a confused look to which she replied: “You’re good, baby.” She had paid for me.
Later in the year, I fell asleep in her class. It was the last period of the day and she told me she’d wake me up before I had to go to the gym (I had a basketball game). She dimmed the lights and played some music while she worked at her computer. I hadn’t been sleeping well at home and I’m guessing she knew. When I got up, she handed me some soup. We never really spoke, but she had my back.
The most wholesome moment took place during my senior year. On senior night, they introduce the players and say some stuff about them as they walk to center court, typically with parents arm in arm. When it was almost my time to walk, she saw that I was alone. Bless her heart, she about fell down from her seat running towards me. She put her arm through mine and just looked forward, chin up proud as hell as they read my stats/grades/etc. I remember that walk and how I wish I had a picture or recording from that day showing how big I must have been smiling.
After I graduated, and was a bit better on my feet, I returned to visit her. It was honestly the only thing that could get me back in that place. Each time I’d bring flowers or food and made sure to do it in front of students and made sure they knew to respect her.
On September 14, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn't even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note: “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.” I later found out that one of my friend's dad, a fairly well-off dentist, went fundraising among his golf buddies because he didn’t want to see me enter life at 18 under crushing debt.
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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