Regardless of how someone spends their day, for the most part, it will be filled with encounters with strangers. These stories found on Reddit show that some of these encounters with strangers can be insightful and inspirational, while others can be frightful and terrifying, and some can be hilarious and joyful. One thing they will all have in common is that they will be unforgettable, and so will the stranger.
1. Lending A Hand
When I was in elementary school I fell through the ice. A man who was walking his dog saw me fall and rushed to the shore. I frantically swam back to the shore, and I was only about five meters into the pond so it wasn’t a long way, but it took some time with soaked winter clothes. When I reached the shore, the man pulled me up by my jacket.
It would’ve been difficult to get up, as there was a steep incline. I didn’t thank him because I was in shock, but I bet he knew I was grateful. That happened 20 years ago, but I still wish I would have thanked him.
2. Stop Along The Way
I skidded out on black ice like 15 years ago. My car spun several times then slammed into a guardrail/snowbank and I was facing traffic in the opposite direction. A man who was walking to the train ran over, pushed me out of a snow embankment, and then pushed my car into a parking lot. He got me out of the car and made sure I didn’t have a horrible concussion.
He then waited for me to call my dad. I lived close so he listened to me confirm my dad was like three minutes away and then took off running to catch his train. There was so much black ice and cars were sliding all over. He very easily could’ve saved my life. I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a line-up today but I will never, ever forget his kindness.
3. Snack Game
I was waiting for my appointment with an optometrist when an old Haitian man walked in holding grocery bags. The receptionist knew him so he walked up to me and proceeded to ask me riddles. When I finally got the answer to one, he reached into his bag and gave me a Snickers bar, then left. To this day, I’m really curious as to what would motivate a man to become a wholesome riddler.
4. Room For Two More
When my oldest was a toddler, he went to daycare in the downtown area of our city. I didn’t have a car, so we took the bus, then the subway, and then walked to daycare. Then I’d get back on the subway for a few stops to go to work. One afternoon, it was pouring rain, and I’m by myself, holding a two-year-old, his backpack, my work bag, and trying to book it four city blocks to the subway station.
I had no hands left for an umbrella. A businessman, probably a high-priced lawyer, based on the area, walked us all the way to the entrance of the subway station, holding an umbrella over us the whole time. I encountered a lot of nastiness commuting with a kid that year, but we were also met with random kindness from strangers, too.
5. Priceless Encounter
I took an impromptu seven-hour road trip up to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, in Michigan. I spent the night, and on the way back home, my radiator cracked. I was still in Northern Michigan, and I pulled over to a gas station right next to the most beautiful lake that I’ve ever seen. Frantic that I was going to be stranded, I started to call tow truck companies and mechanic shops.
Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and every place was closed. Luckily for me though, some sweet lady asked if I needed any help. Lightheartedly, I replied, “only if you know how to change out a radiator.” Her response completely blew me away. She responded with a smile, and said, “Well, my cousin is a mechanic and has his own shop here in town, let me give him a call.”
Sure enough, he agrees to come out and look at my car, but I still had the issue of finding a new radiator for my Jeep! I started calling every auto parts place I could find, and luckily the last Autozone within reasonable distance had one last radiator that would fit. I asked them to put in on hold and gave the lady my debit card to pick it up.
I had my dog with me and wasn’t willing to leave her behind. Within 10 minutes, the mechanic showed up while she took off to secure the radiator. She asked him how much this was gonna cost and he replied, “Oh, just an arm and leg.” My heart just sunk. This impromptu trip to go see some stars had already cost me hundreds of dollars.
2002 Wranglers aren’t the best on gas mileage, if you didn’t know. But either way, I needed to get home, and he got it swapped out in under 30 minutes. During that time, the lady stayed with me for company, and she was a dog lover as well, which was nice. As the cousin was finishing up, I thanked him and asked how much I owed him. His answer made my jaw drop to the floor.
He shrugged his shoulders and said $40. I couldn’t believe it. I was so overwhelmed with the man’s compassion and empathy, I ended up paying him $100. I gave many thanks to him and that random sweet lady, and I’m finally on my way back home.
6. An Australian Hello
I was fiddling with my camera on a train platform in Melbourne, Australia, trying to take an artsy shot of the trains or something. I noticed through my viewfinder a guy about my age—early 20s or so at the time—full-on flipping me off on the train at the opposite platform. I lowered my camera, laughing, and flipped him off back.
He laughed, then the train started to pull away, and I waved, and he waved back. That’s Australia for you.
7. Anything You Can Do
About a year ago, I fell off the wagon. In about July, some random dude from my apartment complex, who said he was homeless but was crashing on his buddy’s couch for the weekend, was walking by. I offered him some smokes to keep me company since it was late at night and I was spooked. He told me about his current life issues and how alone and unsupported he felt.
We talked for hours. In November, I happen upon him again but he’s dressed much, much nicer, and has a bounce in his step. He explains that talking to me that night really helped him get his butt into gear. He gave me a supportive look and said “If I can do it, you can. You’re never alone.” Well, I’m nearly two months sober again with zero interest in picking up a bottle.
I’ve officially started therapy, and have clear but manageable goals laid out to help me move forward. If he can do it, I can.
8. One Man’s Trash…
I was driving down south with my girlfriend and we had a blowout, so I put on the donut. The donut also blows out while we’re taking the very next exit. So there we are, maybe 19 years old and at least a hundred miles away from anyone we know. We’re at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and I’m thinking about what to do next.
It must have been pretty obvious that something was wrong, as this older man came over and asked if I needed help. He ends up driving me 20 or so minutes to a junkyard to get a cheap tire. Then he puts the tires on the rim with no more than a pry bar and some soapy water. He had a compressor on his truck, so he aired it up and I put it on, and we went on our way.
9. Small Gesture, Big Impact
When I was super overweight, I was just starting to workout somewhat regularly. Being morbidly obese at the gym is terrible, as I have never felt more eyes on me before in my life. I was on a treadmill, grinding out some inclined walk/light jogging, and a super fit girl got on the machine next to me. She did a short warm-up, and before she got off the treadmill she turned to me and gave me a high five, and told me to keep it up.
It was so encouraging to have that support, as I was used to getting stared at by everyone else in the gym. Her small, kind gesture went a long way!
10. We’re All Human
The biggest one was when I was homeless and asked a lady for the time. She told me and asked if I wanted to share her sandwich and the paper. It was one small gesture, but it changed my life. She was the first person to treat me like a person, like I was worth something in years. I never got her name but I will remember her fondly for the rest of my life. I know that she’ll never, ever know what a difference she made in my life.
Just that one simple thing she did and the humanity she showed me changed my outlook forever. I got sober just a few days later and completely turned my life around because of her. It just goes to show that one person, one smile, one kindness that you may never think of again in your life can change someone else’s life beyond measure.
11. A Bit Too Much To Drink
I was walking past a local bar and found a phone case in the middle of the road around a corner, and about a block away. The kind that carries credit cards, cash, the whole deal, and a new, at that time iPhone. I took it home hoping I could figure out who’s it was from the information inside. It turns out it was unlocked, so I found the most common contact and called that number.
A dude answers and I say, “I just found this phone. Do you know the person that owns it?” He asks, “Where are you?” so I give him my cross streets. He says, “We’ll be right there.” Five minutes later, the phone rings and the guy says he’s outside, so I go outside. He has a woman with him. I hand him the phone, he hands it to her. Her reaction made my blood run cold.
She looks at the wallet section, then starts screaming, “You took my money! Where’s my money? Where are my credit cards?” She’s clearly not all there. Luckily, her friend was the voice of reason. The dude points to the credit cards and says, “They’re right there! And you spent all your money in the bar! He didn’t take anything!” They started arguing about how exactly she managed to drop her phone in the middle of the road around the corner from the bar after spending all her money.
Talk about strangers you’ll never forget.
12. Part Of The Family
When I was a broke-as-sin 18-year-old trying to make ends meet, I had a side hustle providing IT support for households, like a Geek Squad sort of thing. In practice, I would mostly set up computers for elderly people and the tech illiterate, and teach them how to use them, or get them out of technical binds, usually with printers, by googling on their behalf.
One time, this elderly Korean gentleman hired me to set up his new computer for him. I spent an hour setting it up and teaching him how to use it, and two more hours eating a wonderful lunch with the man and his wife. He wouldn’t accept my invoice for just the first hour, and instead paid me three times my hourly rate for all three hours.
He also asked me to come back to train him the next week. Over the course of about a month, I came back four times, worked with him, had a lovely meal, and he would tell me about his family and his kids. He was so proud of his daughter, who was about to finish her residency and become a pediatrician. By the end of the month, he was pretty comfortable on the PC.
I thanked him profusely for how kind he was and how ridiculously he’d overpaid me. He told me I reminded him of his son, who was estranged for some reason. I didn’t press. He said he hoped somewhere out there somebody was being kind to his son, and sharing a home-cooked meal with him. I don’t know why, but more than 10 years later, I can’t think of that guy without tearing up.
I hope everything turned out well for him.
13. Going The Extra Mile
I took a train to New York City by myself for the first time when I was 18 years old. It was my second time in New York City, but my first time ever on a train. I told the kiosk lady that I’d never been on a train before and asked if she might give me a quick rundown of what to do. Another train station employee was nearby and overheard.
He was so interested and amused that I was taking a train for the first time and was alone. He walked me through what to do, down to the smallest detail. No judgment, no meanness. He was just a guy with a silly disposition, delighting in a young person’s naivety breaking up the doldrums of his week. I aspire to be that way when people ask me for help. Thanks, Frank P. You were a peach.
14. Get Well Soon
I was in the university library with a really bad cold, super tired and wanting to go home but desperately studying for my upcoming exams really late at night. I thought I was alone, but a stranger came by my desk with an unopened pack of Strepsil lozenges. He then told me my health was the most important thing I would have on this earth.
He then walked away before I could process what had just happened. I wanted to thank him for his kindness but I never saw him again.
15. Hit By The Gift Train
My dad is a truck driver, and at the time, he was probably about 55 or 56 years old. It was a long time ago and I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, we were waiting for a train to pass when this guy that looked rather homeless came over, knocked on the window of the truck, and said something along the lines of, “Can I give you something for your grandson?”
He then pulled out this model freight train and handed it to us. My dad insisted on giving him $20 for it but the guy refused and said, “I’m just trying to make people happy.”
16. In This Together
I was by myself in a restaurant bathroom with my screaming newborn baby. As his cries intensified, I started to crumble, knowing that we somehow had to walk all the way through the massive restaurant as the bathroom was tucked away in the back. A woman close to my age walked in and I immediately apologized for the crying.
She immediately smiled and responded with “Don’t even worry about it”. On her way out, she walked up to me and my baby and asked if this was my first. I responded with a yes. She was not a mom herself but immediately became empathetic to my situation. After a few minutes of conversation, I told her that I was nervous about walking my crying baby through the busy restaurant.
She looked at me and said: “Let’s get you out of here”. She then opened the door and walked behind me, and softly rooted for me all the way back to my table. She had no idea how much I needed her in that moment, and I’m forever grateful.
17. Three Kind Souls
My son was a week old and had to go to the doctor. I had severe early-onset postpartum depression, and I hadn’t slept more than an hour at a time since his birth. I locked my keys, phone, and son in the car. This incredibly wonderful older couple calmed me down, called CAA, parked beside my car, and sat with me until the tow truck came and unlocked the car—and that wasn’t even the most touching part.
The tow driver then refused payment. I will never forget those three people.
18. Unexpected Encounter
I was on a solo trip to Amsterdam last year, partying it up as one does. I was at a bar having a few drinks when a gorgeous British woman, a seat or two over from me, and in her mid-20s, grabs my arm and starts going on about how good it is to see me. At first I was confused, then I realized there was something disturbing going on.
I noticed an older guy bothering her and her friend and got the hint. I played along with them as their long-lost BFF until he left. We ended up spending the rest of the night bar crawling and getting trashed together, having the best time. I’ll never forget you, B!
19. Guardian Angel
I’ll never forget the lady who very well might have saved me from being groped, or worse. My mom had some errands to run downtown, so I had asked if I could walk to the 7-11 and then go wait at the library. Sure, no problem, she says. I was 12 or 13 years old, so I didn’t need constant watching. I was sitting outside of the library on a bench, drinking the largest-sized Slurpee, when a man approached me.
He immediately gave me very bad vibes. He asked me what I was doing there all alone, and I told him my mom was coming to pick me up in a few minutes. He sat down uncomfortably close to me on the bench. I scooted away but he kept scooting closer. I should have got up and gone into the library where there were other people, but I was dumb.
I thought, “I can’t go into the library with my drink, they’ll kick me out.” At this point, I was on the very edge of the bench. The man was sitting pressed right up against my side, and he put his hand on my leg. I didn’t know what to do. Then suddenly, I heard a voice. Someone yelled, “Honey, there you are, I’ve been looking for you!”
A woman I didn’t know came and pushed herself in between the man and I on the bench and put her arm around me. “This is your Mom?” the man asked. “Yeah, this is my mom. I knew she’d be here soon.” The man got up and left. I told the woman thank you so much. She kind of told me off for not being smart enough to get into the library where it was safe.
I told her I would go right then, which I did. When my mom did pick me up, probably 10 minutes later, the woman was gone. I don’t know what would have happened if the woman hadn’t intervened. I can imagine though, and I am so glad she did. I wish I could thank her more.
20. That Was Intense
I had to get past a woman in a store, but in order to do so, I had to walk in between her and the items she was looking at. I said, “Sorry” and ducked down just to acknowledge that I knew I was getting in her way as I moved past. She literally pulled on my arm and told me to never say sorry for taking up space. She told me to say excuse me, but to never apologize.
21. Two Treats In One
A few years ago, I was stopped at a red light and there was an old man selling candy. He approached my car and I was ready to tell him I didn’t want anything, but he motioned me to roll my window down, gave me a lollipop and some gum, and said: “To the beautiful young lady, never forget you’re a star,” and walked away before I could say anything.
Needless to say, he brightened my day. Now, whenever I’m sad, I think about that man telling me I’m a star. It never fails to cheer me up.
22. Foreign Friends
My mom, dad, and I were driving through Arches National Park and were at the visitor center waiting for my dad to come out on a really hot day. This guy kind of walked up towards the back of our van, kind of shifty, like he wanted to ask us something, but was too afraid to. After about three times of him walking up but then turning around, he finally came up to the window.
With a thick Russian accent, he asked if we could give him a lift up to the top of the park. He explained that he was with two other guys who were also Russian students and that they were traveling around the US over the summer. They got permission to camp up there but didn’t have a car because they were taking buses everywhere.
My mom told him to wait for my dad and ask him since he was the driver and might not be too happy to see we picked up some extra bodies. My dad was cool with it and we got them and their packs in our van, which was packed already since we were doing a West Coast road trip after I graduated high school. They piled in and one of the guys sat on the floor.
He was just happy they didn’t have to walk several miles in the heat and elevation changes anymore. As we are driving through the park, these guys are just as chatty as can be and I’ve never really interacted with anyone from another country on such an intimate level, so I had a zillion questions. It turns out, all these guys are PHD students that were taking the trip together.
They were super friendly guys and extremely grateful for the lift. They tried paying my dad, who refused, which in turn turned into a typical Minnesota nice exchange of one party insisting on paying and the other flat out refusing to take payment. Since it was a hot day, we told them to reach into the loaded cooler and take whatever they wanted.
One of the guys said they would just share a 20 oz bottle of pop and we of course weren’t going to let that happen and made them take two cold drinks apiece. We got to the top, dropped them off, said our goodbyes, and continued onward. I’ll never forget those guys.
23. Different Use, Same Purpose
A little old Jamaican man came into work and gave me a rosary. He doesn’t know me but he told me he thought I could do with his prayers. I’m agnostic but I put that rosary on my name badge and when times are hard and customers are abusive I play with it. It doesn’t remind me that God is watching over me, but it does remind me that there is some good left in humanity.
24. Step Back
I’ll never forget the woman who pulled over in the pouring rain and talked me down off the railing of a bridge over a Florida highway when I was 18 years old. She looked like she had just left a business meeting, but she stayed with me for probably an hour. No umbrella, no raincoat, the car still running, while listening to me and offering words of encouragement.
She truly believed that God had a plan for my life and it wasn’t supposed to end that night. She finally convinced me that what I was about to do was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It worked, and I came down off the railing. I’m 51 years old now. I still haven’t figured out what God’s plan is for me, but I’m starting to believe she was right.
25. It’s On Me
Around the holidays a few years ago, a man at Walmart paid our bill of over $200. It was at a time where we were struggling to make ends meet, so the timing could not have been any better.
26. Rude But True
I was a cab driver in a Podunk town in Central Washington State. I had a VIP fare coming in from Seattle, who I had to essentially cater too for the day. This guy was apparently in charge of millions of dollars and was looking to buy a titanic vineyard that I drove him to. This guy was your prototypical handsome business entrepreneur in his early to mid-30s.
He was nice, well-spoken, and super generous. We talked the entire trip and he tipped like I had saved his life. With him, on the other hand, was a rotund, balding, grimy, toady of an assistant. This guy was a piece of work who ended up saying the most prominent thing that probably saved my hide and put me on a better path in life.
“You’re a loser, cab guy. You live in this garbage town, working your garbage job and you’ll never amount to anything if you stay here. Get out of this stagnant, trash place and go make something of yourself.” Initially, I was taken aback and quite upset with this jerk. But after some post-job introspection, I realized he was right.
I moved two months later and started college. I’ve been in my new career for years now.
27. Dogs Know Best
I was in the laundry room with my dog and an old man with his dog approached. Our pets met and the man said, “When Jesus said love your neighbor as you love yourself, only the dogs understood it.” After that, we had a small chat and then he left. I never saw him again, but I will never forget that man or that initial conversation started.
28. Spontaneous Show
About a year ago in the summer, I went down to a veterinarian pharmacy I had never gone to before. I had a lot of time to wait for the prescription to be filled, so I went to the nearby shopping village. They had a public piano there. I’ve played piano since childhood and have recently tried to sing and play at the same time.
Knowing that nobody around there knew me, I started to play and sing “American Pie” because who cares! A woman was just walking by and stopped and started singing harmony. I then started playing “Piano Man” and she sang along with that as well. We sang and played together for a good 15 minutes before I had to return, but that was just a spontaneously magical encounter.
I learned she used to sing at clubs, and I told her I used to play in jazz bands. We had a good time together, and I doubt we’ll see each other again, but I’ll never forget her.
29. A Plum For Your Thoughts?
I went on a spontaneous, long ride with my bicycle along a couple of beaches in NSW, Australia, one day. Along the way, I realized I had forgotten my wallet and the fruits I’d usually take with me. A couple of hours later, I sat on one of two benches, watching the waves crashing along the shore of the empty beach whilst listening to the rumble inside my stomach, announcing it requires feeding.
A man twice my age—I was 25—sat down on the bench next to mine and we shared a smile and a nod. He got comfy and my attention wandered back to the blue horizon over the sea when suddenly I heard, “Hey, you hungry?” I looked over and he held out this bag filled with plums. I moved to his bench, with the biggest smile on my face, and we shared his plums and our names.
He introduced himself as Captain Cook, a name his mates had given him. He told me a bit of his story—and it completely broke my heart. He said that he’d been homeless for many years after losing his job and wife, how his daughters are embarrassed about his situation and how he’s never met his grandkids. When he talked about his daughters, he had such a shine of pride in his gaze despite the sadness that followed along.
I hugged him and that tipped him over the edge. He cried and cried, not moving his head out the crook of my neck. I’ve never heard a grown man’s heart break like that before. He wailed so loud, not even the seagulls were a match for him. Within the blink of an eye, Captain Cook peeled himself out of my arms, put his sunglasses back on, grabbed his bags, and turned to leave.
All he said was, “Thank you.” What really got me, like really-really got me, was that he couldn’t bear showing me his tears. He was embarrassed for his sadness, embarrassed for his vulnerability. He ran-waddled as fast as his legs allowed, with all the bags and backpacks swinging on his shoulders. I never saw Captain Cook again.
All that was left of him was the bag of plums, still sitting where he had sat before. He’d left them for me.
30. Let’s Try This Again
One day, I was trying to park at the store and a lady was crossing in front of me in the lot. I was waiting patiently and she shot me a dirty look and yelled something like, “What’s your problem, jerk?” I proceeded to return the profanities with some insults and other goodies. I went into the store steaming and proceeded to do my shopping.
When I came out I had all but forgotten about the lady but as I drove away, there she was. Something came over me and I pulled up to her and said something like, ” I’m sorry for yelling and cursing at you, I don’t even know you. Who knows, we could have a lot in common or even be friends.” Her face transformed in front of me.
It went from twisted up angry, to soft and friendly. She apologized immediately and in the most genuine way, told me to have a good day. This is the day I really learned positivity and love is really powerful and the type of energy I want in my life. I know I sound like a little softie, but that was a big experience for me and I’m grateful for her.
31. Beautiful Question
I was coming home from work at night and a random guy walked up to me and asked if he may ask me a question. I said yes, even though it was a strange request in the middle of the night. He took out his phone and showed me a picture of a woman and wanted to know if I thought she was pretty. I said sure, she was beautiful, and he thanked me.
He said he will tell her that, because she often thinks she is not that pretty. We wished each other a good night and that was it.
32. From A Good To Great Time
I brought my 12-year-old son to a Rush concert a few years back. We were on the floor, around 20 rows back, so he was struggling to see anything. At intermission, we walked up to the stage to have a closer look at Neil Peart’s drum kit. A lady approached us and asked how we were enjoying the show. I told her we were having a blast but, motioning to my son, indicated how he was struggling to see.
Upon hearing that, she offered up a front-row ticket, as she had an extra one through a friend that didn’t show up. My son’s eyes lit up. He was front row center watching his drumming idol. I will never forget that stranger, as she made a dream come true for my son. Fortunately, I had two friends who also had front row seats, so they kept an eye on him. Perfect show. Perfect night.
33. Things Just Got Real
I’ll never forget the dude who sold me a suit for my mother’s funeral. I really wish I had gotten his name or even remembered what store it was, because he was awesome. I was kind of in a daze, just going through the motions. My mom had passed a couple of days before, and I needed a new suit. He was initially a pretty typical salesman and asked what the occasion was.
I replied, “My mom’s funeral.” He was taken back for a split second but immediately turned off the salesman side and it turned out to be the kindest, most empathetic transaction of my life. I think of that guy often.
34. Never Enough
This whole pay it forward thing is hard sometimes. Once, a stranger who was in front of me in line at a very busy coffee shop paid for my coffee after striking a brief conversation with me. He then told me to pay it forward. The catch is that I could never strike a conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop, it’s too awkward for me.
I am positive that no one would accept a free coffee from me without assuming I am running a scam or something. I also look a bit scary. So now I can never have a coffee without feeling some guilt for not having paid this forward and I can never pay it. I’ve done plenty of good deeds like helping lots of strangers with mechanical issues, which is easy for me.
But I never get the feeling that I have paid that specific debt related to that coffee. Because of that, I can never forget that stranger.
35. A Dollar’s Worth Of Hospitality
I took a trip to America and went into a dollar store to buy some stuff. I was about $30 off of the total and was going to have to put some of the stuff back, when some lady, who never introduced herself to me, asked the cashier to allow her to put all of my stuff on her order, and give me my money back. She paid for both orders, and I never even got her name.
Whoever you are, kind woman, I hope that you live longer than the Queen of England.
36. Quite The Knight
I will never forget the long-haired, beardy gent at a train station who ran up to me and my boyfriend, got down on one knee, and said, “My lady, do you give this man your word?” When I said I did, he got up, gave us an elaborate bow, and strode off. God bless you intoxicated knight, as you ended up making my night. I will always appreciate you.
37. Not So Random Search
I was standing in line, waiting to board a plane home from Italy. This guy with bleach blonde hair and a leather jacket on started telling me about how he was going home after living in Italy and teaching girls to speak English from the back of a van for several years. He was just about to get on the plane when a security guard pointed at him.
The guard then snapped a rubber glove onto their hand and beckoned him over with their newly gloved finger. He never made the flight.
38. That Was Uncalled For
I was hanging out with some friends at my old elementary school when a car drove by with a couple of adult men in it. They stopped near us for a couple of seconds, looked at me, and flipped me off for no reason. I didn’t know what to do, so I just flipped them off back. This made them really mad and they started saying stuff in Spanish and I started laughing.
39. All The Help You Can Get
I live in Minnesota and we have frequently bad winters. My old car, a 2003 Cavalier, skidded on ice into the ditch one day on the highway about four miles out of town. I called my husband in tears and told him that I couldn’t get out. He hung up to come to get me, and just then, an older man on a four-wheeler pulled up beside me.
He had a chain and tied it to the front of my car. We tried for two minutes to get me out but the four-wheeler wasn’t powerful enough to get my car out. After that two-minute struggle, a dry cleaning service van appeared and two very large men in Hawaiian t-shirts stepped out asking if we needed help, and we said we did.
They got behind my car in below-freezing weather, and with the help of the four-wheeler, got my car back onto the highway. By the time my husband got there, I was already back home. He laughed after I told him what happened. It was amazing.
40. No Harm In Asking
I went to a party at university, and I didn’t have much money on me. When I was leaving, I realized I didn’t have enough money for the bus trip back home, so I went to the bank to try to get some money, but the bank was closed. It was like 9 or 10 PM. I was desperate and started thinking about how I would get back home.
Then I saw someone and I just asked for like two bucks to pay the bus fare. The guy was nice enough to give it to me. I’ll never forget his kindness.
41. Sign Of The Times
I will never forget the man who saw my husband and I struggling to put our newly purchased snowblower into our too-small car. He put it into his pick-up truck and followed us home and unloaded it onto our driveway. It was at that moment that I realized that people are kind and that we were officially old pathetic geezers.
42. Human Fire Alarm
I was in community college and still living with my parents. We lived out in the country, on a back road. Once, in the middle of the night, disaster struck. An extension cord shorted out and our deck caught fire. At that exact moment, a guy who worked in town just so happened to be driving by and saw the fire, which was an absolute miracle for us.
He proceeded to walk up onto the burning deck to knock, wake us up, and let us know there was a fire before the house burned down. We lost a good portion of the deck, but there was no damage to the actual house, all because of that guy. We never got his name or contact information because of the urgency of the situation, and we never saw him again.
43. Random Friend
This one time in middle school, I tripped and fell, hurting my knee badly. I later found out that I had dislocated it, but didn’t know it at the time. Anyway, all I could do was sit there on the ground as a bunch of kids, including my friends, ignored me and just walked right by. Thankfully, this complete stranger saw me and got one of the teachers.
The teacher called the nurse, and while I waited, this complete stranger just sat there with me and talked to me, asking if I was OK.
44. Better Safe Than Sorry
When I lived in Chicago, I took the “L” transit system everywhere. I’m a woman, and one night, I was about to get on the train when a woman exited the door I was about to go into and said, “No sweetie, don’t ride in this car, there are only men in there,” so I switched. She walked away, never to be seen again. I sometimes wonder what she protected me from.
45. Thoughts And Prayers
I commuted once and met a lovely old couple and got to chat with them the whole two-hour ride. They were on their way to the hospital for the man’s chemo treatment, and I was on my way to another hospital for school. Before I got off, the old lady told me, “I’m sure you’ll pass your board exams and I’ll pray that you do.”
I still think about them from time to time and I also offer a prayer for them every once in a while, hoping that the old man made it through.
46. Wise Words
When I was 16 years old, I was driving to a party in the woods on some obscure back road. I ended up running over some debris and got a flat. While I was changing my tire, some old dude who was driving past stopped to give me a hand. While we were getting the job done and making small talk, he said something so ominous, I’ve never forgotten it. He told me: “You don’t need to go to this party.”
Eventually, he went on his way and I, foolishly, went to the party. There were a lot of people, a scuffle broke out, and while I was trying to help break it up, I ended up getting attacked and hurt pretty badly. If only I had listened to that old man’s ominous warning. It could’ve ended up saving me a lot of misery.
47. Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
One stranger that I’ll never forget was a prisoner on a Greyhound bus. There were two of them, but I remember one specifically. Apparently, they send prisoners who are transferring from maximum to minimum security on Greyhound buses. They didn’t have a guard or anything, and from what she said, they had no motivation at all to run.
She had already served five years, and only had six months left. If she tried to run, she would serve at least 10 more years. At the time, I was 17, pregnant, and completely broke. I was starving and scared. My life was in shambles, and everyone in my family had abandoned me. She bought me food and was simply kind to me.
She was old enough to be my mother, and I really wished she was. She didn’t judge me, she just bought me food and drinks and offered kind words. I really wish I could find her and repay her kindness.
48. Life Goes On
Back about nine years ago, I had purchased my first vehicle and got my license. The first day on the road, I decided to impress this girl I was talking to and picked her up to go to the mall. We had a great time, and as we were going to leave, she starts messing with my nether bits as I’m pulling out of the mall. I’m distracted and turn without even looking.
BLAM. T-Boned. My truck was relatively undamaged but the guy’s car was absolutely wrecked. I started panicking and hopped out of the car. Now, I’m a big dude. I’ve always been large, at 6’3” and 200+ pounds. However, when I see the guy, my blood runs ice cold. This guy is big too, but built and muscular. I immediately think, “Oh no, he is totally gonna beat me up.” I ask him if he is alright.
“Yeah man we good, y’all good?” I nod and ask him, “What do we do next?” “We call the authorities, that’s all.” In my head, that means I’m going downtown or something, so I freak out, have a nervous breakdown, and start crying. I’m a kid that feels way over my head. I’m sobbing, telling him I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention and I’m rattling on and on and on.
Out of nowhere, this man just grabs me in a huge hug. Like, he fully embraced me. He put his hand on the back of my head and said, “Bro, it’s all good. Calm down. It’s just a car, we pay out the rear for insurance for a reason. It’s just an item, and everyone is gonna walk away fine. Homie, it’s all good, take a breath” Then, the dude just kind of held me for a minute.
No anger, no rage. The authorities came and took statements. No tickets were issued. He got his car towed and his girlfriend came and picked him up. Right before he got in her car, he looked back and said, “Pay attention, people die every day for carelessness. I’m glad to see you’re alright now.” I will never, ever forget that man.
I made sure to bring his mentality into my future life. I’ve got into a couple of fender-benders here and there, and whenever someone starts freaking out, I look at them and say, “It’s just an item.” Thank you for not beating me up that day and instead, teaching me a valuable life lesson that I have been able to pass on over the years.
49. Words Of Encouragement
I ran away from foster care when I was 17 years old and was living on the streets of New York City. It was a bad situation, but I would still try to take the train as often as I could to go to my high school. I ran into one ticket inspector a handful of times who always made it clear he would come back around for my ticket once I “found” it.
Things got noticeably rougher for me as that period of time went on—until one day, he did something that made me burst into tears.. There was one day near the end of the year where he slipped me a brown bag with a sandwich, an orange, a Twinkie, and a handwritten note saying that he packed one just like that for his daughter every day. The note also said to never forget to dream big, which I needed to hear at the time.
I never saw him again after that, but I still carry that note with me six years later and will never forget him. Ticket inspectors like him are the reason I graduated high school and was able to survive, so I just want to thank him on behalf of all of the other people like me whose lives he might have touched over the years.
50. Kind Passenger
I was flying internationally with my two-year-old, on a well over a 10-hour flight. The man sitting next to me, named Yosef, was so kind. Unimaginably kind. He helped me get what I needed from the flight attendant. He didn’t freak out when my two-year-old kept driving their toys into his arm, which mortified me, and I was doing my best to stop it.
Instead, he actively engaged with and played with my kid for the whole flight. It was such a blessing, because my life right at that time was a bit of a train wreck. I’ll never forget his kindness when he could have just been frustrated or annoyed.