Usually, when adults interact with strangers, we just mind our business and stay out of people’s way. But every now and again, something special happens and we run into a stranger who changes our lives for the better. Smile along to these heart-warming stories about wholesome encounters with strangers. They're guaranteed to make your day better!
1. Round and Round
I'm a wheelchair user. At a baseball game, a little girl came running up to me and climbed on my lap. Her mom was apologetic, but it was fine with me. Looking at the girl's face, I could tell she had some kind of developmental disability. Her mom explained to me that the little girl's grandfather had used a wheelchair. She said that she missed him because he'd passed just last year.
So I rolled around a little to give her a ride. She giggled and had a good time. Then she climbed off and went back to her mom. Whenever I'm sad, I think about that day and feel better.
2. Flower Picking
I heard a knock on the door, and when I opened it, there was a stranger with a gift card to a local garden store for me. It turns out that her kid had been pinching tulips from my garden every day because he wanted to give to his mom. Once she found out what he'd been doing and whose garden the tulips were coming from, she came over to apologize.
But there was no need; I just thought it was squirrels carrying them off. And the fact that her little boy just wanted to give his mom flowers? It was so, so sweet. I spent the gift card on more bulbs and told the little guy that he could take a few flowers whenever he wanted.
3. Right On Time For Dinner
I’d just lost my job, and my dad had his credit card stolen. He was waiting on the bank but completely out of food and living in an old run-down RV. I would have figured something out. I’d do anything before I’d let him starve. Just as he’s almost in tears talking to me about it, someone knocked on the door. A lady was there. That moment changed everything.
She had food for someone in an RV, but they’d vacated the parking lot, and she wanted to know if my dad needed any. She was with some sort of local charity group. There was everything from canned goods to fresh meat, milk, rice, everything. She’d bought it herself and didn’t want to waste. I’ll never forget her perfect timing.
4. Showings Of Kindness
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon just came out in theaters. I’d been planning to go see it on my next day off. I didn’t have a car and relied on the bus. The day of the movie came, and there was a snowstorm. I went downtown to take the bus, but there was a sign saying all buses had been canceled due to snow. I was super bummed.
I didn't know what to do with my day off, so I walked over to the local coffee shop, ordered a drink, and started chatting with the owner about how disappointed I was that I couldn’t go to the movies. There was an older woman sitting in the shop who overheard us. She looked at me and said, “I really want to see that movie too. Let’s go. I’ll drive". I took her up on her offer.
That was the day a perfect stranger and I had lunch and saw a movie together. About a year later, I started seeing this guy in town. His downstairs neighbor was the lady who took me to the movies all those months earlier! We had stopped by her house for her to grab a sweater before the movies. I told the guy, “Did you know me and your neighbor went to see Crouching Tiger together?” He was like, “What? That was you? She went on and on about how cool it was to go to the movies with someone she met at a coffee shop!”
5. Newly Met
On my honeymoon in Greece, we nearly got stranded driving our scooter back from a day trip. We finally found the petrol station in a village, but it was siesta time. We apologized as best we could in the little Greek we knew. The guy obliged but looked annoyed. He casually asked where we were from. We said New Zealand. That's when his face lit up.
He was amazed because he’d never met someone from there before. He asked what we were doing so far away from home. We told him that it’s our honeymoon. Then he told us to wait there and came back with a bottle that was obviously worth more than the six dollars of petrol we bought. He refused our money. He didn’t let us buy anything either. He just said to us, “Honeymoon is honeymoon, be happy, go". It was hands down one of the best highlights of our trip.
6. Feeling Light
When I was 16, I’d taken my mom’s old Pontiac Bonneville to the movies. I was in such a rush that I forgot to turn off the lights. I came out, and of course the super old battery had already drained. But someone left a set of jumper cables on the hood with a note that said, “I hope you make it home safely". I have never ever forgotten about their act of kindness.
7. Sky Bound
Years back, I was at the bus stop super early one morning when it was really cold. There was a guy that I’d always see on the 7 AM bus. He looked like a builder and always got off near one of the large building sites by the university. We were on "nodding terms". One morning, there was a fireball/disintegrating meteor.
We both saw it. He turned to me and said with a super serious face, "you know our souls are forever linked now". We went back to nodding terms, and I never saw him after I quit early morning classes.
8. Come Here, Punk
When I was 18, my friend was in the hospital with brain cancer. He was hippie alternative punk, and I wore a leather jacket and long hair. His time was limited, and I visited when I could. I was on my way to see him when a nurse saw me in the hall. Saying nothing, she walked over and gave me a long comforting hug. That's how I knew he passed.
9. In Salt To Injury
I used to go to school with truly horrible people. I had a stroke when I was a child, so I look different and have an unusual way of walking. Every time I'd go out for lunch at my favorite food places and see them, they'd hurl insults. Once, I was standing in a long line, and they were behind me with an old lady (she was maybe 70 or 80 years old) behind them.
They were making fun of my walk. While they were insulting and teasing me, the old lady behind them called them a "bunch of cruel jerks". It was really kind of her to stand up to them. I always will remember that.
10. This Way, Please
I was in London and supposed to be flying home that day. I was walking down the street with my two suitcases towards the tube station nice and early on the way to Heathrow with plenty of time. There was just one problem: Silly me didn’t realize that when the signs said there was going to be a tube strike that meant the tube was completely closed.
I’d thought it just meant delays. I left to walk to the bus station a few blocks away desperately trying to think of my Plan B. A young man came up to me and offered to help carry my suitcases. He asked where I was going. I told him Heathrow, which was an hour away at that point. The time until my flight left was running short. And then things got worse.
It started raining. The man told me I’d never make it on time if I took the buses, so he called me a cab instead. After finding a little awning to stay under to avoid the rain, we sat down. He passed his phone to me so I could transfer him money for the cab. We sat and chatted for thirty minutes waiting, and he made me feel so much calmer.
I just couldn’t believe the kindness he showed to some random person on the street, and I’ve never been able to find him again online to thank him.
11. Secure Flight
My last job was working for the TSA. It was a miserable job, and most people didn't like you. I was having a horrible day filled with personal and work issues, and this nice older lady asked me if I was ok. I gave the standard “yeah, I'm doing fine". And she asked if I could use a hug. I had a blank stare for a second. Then I just hugged her. That was probably the nicest thing anyone ever did for me when I worked for there. The world needs more people like her.
12. Show You The Way
I was in Walmart, and a man was blocking the aisle where the item I needed was located. I then heard him ask a Walmart employee where the cabinet liners were. She told him that she was not sure and pointed him in the wrong direction. I nosily piped up, “I know where they are. You can follow me. I had just gotten some".
The man went, “oh, ok. Thank you". He followed me to the opposite side of the store, and I showed him where they were. He thanked me again, and I hurried back to the other side of the store to get what I needed. Five minutes later at the self-checkouts, the man showed up, and I saw him just hanging around with his bag.
When I got to payment, he came over and insisted on paying for my items. I thanked him profusely. I only had $35 in my bank account at the time and was trying to purchase food for the week. This man helped me so much. I still tear up when I think of his kindness. This was my miracle as a single mother.
13. Always Comforting
I was living in a one-horse town and working as a cashier in a gas station in my early 20's. I was upset and crying about not being paid on time and freaking about about whether I'd be able to pay my bills. This sweet older lady came in for her weekly newspaper and saw me crying. She asked what was wrong and offered a hug, which I, of course, accepted.
Later on, something even more amazing happened. I started dating my future husband and soon found out that sweet lady was his mom. It's 13 years later, and I still feel like I won the mother-in-law lottery!
14. Lose Some, Win Some
I was going to a Starbucks to eat with a friend I’d met days before. Suddenly, a stranger about my age asked me how to get to the Starbucks. I told him that I was going there too, and we got to talking while we walked. When we got to the Starbucks, we sat at different tables, and I waited for my friend. He didn't show.
He had run into some problems and couldn’t make it. So, I asked the stranger I had just met if I could eat with him, and he accepted. Now, we are friends and sometimes talk online.
15. Not As Bad As You Think
I was traveling to the national parks in Utah. In the hotel parking lot, I noticed a flat tire. I was very flustered because I was worried about the cost of replacing the tire on top of the rental company charging me extra. As I was struggling with my tire, a group of Hispanic men came over to help me replace it. They offered me a Corona, and we all shared one together.
After they guided me through the repair process, I tried to give them some money as thanks, but they refused it. This was a formative moment for someone who’d grown up in the wealthy white judgmental south.
16. Routine Traffic
I was sitting at a red light with my wife and son. I was directly behind a yellow school bus full of kids. Some of the kids were just being kids and making faces out the window at cars. A small group of kids were gathered near the back of the bus looking at us. All of a sudden, one kid did the Gangnam Style dance move.
I did it right back to him flashing him a giant grin. Then I did the part where you stick your arm up in the air and twirl it around while moving your head back and forth. By then, just about the entire bus was watching, and as the light turned green, I heard them absolutely erupting with laughter. Best red light ever.
17. Nothing Flowery
I was a horticulture student on a botanical tour of Europe in 1979. I was at a flower market in Munich. I saw a plant I didn't recognize. The lady working it couldn't speak English; I didn't know any German. I saw a plant I did know, touched a leaf, and said its Latin name. She nodded and smiled. I named another plant. Her smile got bigger.
I pointed at the unknown plant and looked at her with an expression that I hoped said, "your turn". She told me the Latin name. We didn't know each other’s language, but we were able to communicate in a language that has been dead for over a thousand years. That’s always been my coolest moment with a total stranger.
18. Forget About It
I went to a supermarket to buy some groceries for my last week in college. I was about to pay when I realized I had messed up big time. I'd forgotten my wallet, so I told the cashier I would leave everything and come back in around an hour. A man in a nice suit who was behind me in the line heard the conversation and said he would pay for me.
I was too surprised with his offer, and at first, I gently denied his thoughtful gesture, but he insisted, handed his card to the cashier, and wished me a good day. It was only like $25, but it’d really made my day. I was so thankful because it had saved me a lot of time! And the man was so kind during the whole event.
19. Visibly Off-Track
I was traveling from the South of England to the North of Scotland to start a new job the next morning. I had taken a train up to London and was supposed to get on an early morning flight from Heathrow. The bus to the airport had been cancelled, and I had to make my own way using a series of night buses around 2:30 AM. I was already overwhelmed.
My phone didn’t have battery, and I had never used London's night buses before. I was young and scared standing there figuring out the faded bus schedule when a woman came over and gently asked me, "Are you alright, love?" I don't know why but her kindness made me feel like I couldn't keep it together. I explained through tears that I thought I was going to miss my flight and didn't even have an Oyster card.
Her actions absolutely shocked me. She looked up my route on her phone and wrote down all the possible variations of buses and trains that I would need to take including the times. She waited with me for the entire twenty minutes before my bus arrived, the whole time chatting with me and calming me down. Then when the bus came, she paid for my fare since there’s no cash on London buses.
I got out and looked back to her. She just shrugged at me and said, “oh, I'm not getting the bus. You just looked like you needed someone". I think about her every once in a while, and I'm incredibly grateful for her.
20. Warm And Gray
I was once travelling through an old town when I stopped at a small shop to buy some packaged water. I was in my tweens at the time and jumped out of my car to go in. A very old man sat at the shop. Once I got everything, he took out an ice-cream and handed it to me. I went to take the bottles, but he took them for me.
Then he walked me to the car so that I could have my ice cream. He was very old scaly and thin. And once he saw that I had a younger sister, he rushed back to the shop to bring out another ice cream for her. I insisted that he take money for it. But he didn't take it. He just smiled at us. I think we reminded him of someone.
21. The Perfect Night
I went to a bar to meet a date, but she ghosted. I was sitting at the bar drinking alone and saw a wasted dude bothering a woman. I intervened, and she acted as if she had been waiting for me. The dude got lost, and the woman and I sat there for a couple hours. We had a really great time with lots of smiles and laughs. There were sparks for sure.
She asked for my phone and started talking selfies, so I took it back from her to get some better photos. We captured 50 or so and got some really candid ones and some silly poses. After we laughed about the photos, she got up to leave. I asked for her number and if we could go out sometime. She declined, thanked me for the wonderful night, and said something like, "let's just leave it at this and enjoy the memory".
Somehow, I felt ok with it. I had her photos for several years, and every time I saw them, they instantly made me smile. I never even knew her name, but it was one of the best dates of my life.
22. Foreign Customs
I was in Edinburgh traveling alone. I met some guys at the hostel on the Royal Mile, and we went to a club, but it wasn’t fun, so I went back. It was 2 AM, and I saw a girl doing poi juggling. I also did poi juggling, so I stopped to watch, and when she stopped, I started talking to her. I asked her where she was from. She told me Brazil. So, being a stereotypical guy like I was, I asked her whether she knew capoeira.
She did. So, on Friday night, on the Royal Mile, a stranger and I did capoeira. It was more than 20 years ago, and I still remember it. It was awesome.
23. Helping Out
I was working at a store that sells electronics. A younger kid came in and said he needed a laptop for his new business. I asked what the business was. He told me it was a clothing line, but the entire staff would be people recovering from addictions. I said that his idea was really admirable. As we spoke, I couldn’t help but get teary eyed.
He asked if addiction had ever touched anyone in my life. I told him that both of my parents were addicts. He looked at me and said, “Mine too". I asked if he wanted a hug. We hugged for a few seconds and cried a little. I sold him a laptop, wished him well, and felt all warm and fuzzy for the rest of the day. He was a good kid. I just know his business is going to do such good work.
24. Heading Back
I was living and struggling in New York City for three hard years when my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I decided to move back down south to be closer to him and help him out. It was a big, scary, life-changing decision, and I didn’t know if I was making the right call. I had been in NYC to work in book publishing and try to follow my dreams. But it was nothing like I’d thought it’d be.
On one of my last nights, I got into a cab to meet someone for dinner. The eerily prophetic cab driver just looked at me in the mirror and asked, “You are leaving the city for good?” I told him I was, and he said, "Yes, you have met many fancy animals with human faces". As I got out of the car and said goodbye, he said, “Well, we have met before 1,000 years ago or so, and I expect we will again". I think about that guy a lot. And yes, moving was the right decision!
25. Getting All The Subway There
I was in the hospital knowing I would be there for at least a week and possibly more. I was sick of the hospital food, so I went downstairs to go across the street to the Subway. I was pretty far back in the hospital on the sixth floor with a labyrinth of staircases and hallways to navigate before I could even get out the front door.
The walk from my room to Subway took almost fifteen minutes even though the restaurant was just across the street. So after I made the trip, I waited in line, got up to the counter to order, and realized I'd left my wallet in my room. I usually kept my wallet in my back pocket, but there was no need to in the hospital since I was in my room most of the time.
I was exhausted mentally by that point, told them I'd forgotten the wallet, and turned to make the trek all the way there and back again. All of a sudden, a nurse behind me bought my food for me, saving me the trip and the money. I thanked him profusely. That was years ago, but I will never forget that act of kindness.
26. Chains Of Old
This happened when I was around only 9 or 10. I was out riding my bike with my mom, and halfway through the trail, my bike broke down. We couldn't carry the bike back home since it would take hours, so we were just stranded in the field. There were a few people on the trail who saw our inconvenience but didn’t stop to help.
Either they didn't have any bike knowledge to know how to fix it or they couldn't be bothered to care. At least an hour passed before this old man, and, I mean like really old looked about 80, approached us and fixed our bike free of charge. He used his elbow grease, and eventually I could peddle again. He was so kind. I'll never forget him.
27. Wasted Times
On my honeymoon, we went from Venice to Slovenia. At the first train station in Slovenia, it was me, my wife, one employee in the ticket booth, and a Finnish man. The man was inebriated to the point where I kept muttering, "Please don't vomit on me during my honeymoon". There was a two hour wait for our train. He started talking.
His name was Alex. The only place in America we had ever been to was Santa Barbara. And man, we talked a lot. At one point, we even danced. And before we left for our train, he gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was the best interaction I've ever had with a stranger, and I have no doubt in my mind he does not remember it.
28. Missing Something
There was a time when a young woman who was talking on her cell phone near me said, "I miss my mom". She was sad and unfortunately, I knew how she felt. I'd had a family trauma prior to that day. My eldest son and I had become estranged. I missed my son, and at that moment, my youngest son was in the hospital from the related traumatic incident. It was a horrible time in my life.
My daughter and I are best friends and were there for each other the entire time. The woman, who was close in age as my kids, ended her call. We were walking in the same direction several feet apart. I just looked over and said, "I miss my kids, too, hon. I know your mom loves you". She started weeping. I walked to her and gave her a big mom hug.
She cried so hard. I was crying. We just stood there and cried in the middle of the city. Two total strangers. I was telling her that love never ends even after life does. Love is eternal. We finally composed ourselves, hugged, and went our way. I still think about that day and that woman.
29. Comfort in Line
I was in a bad relationship with a violent man. When I finally ended things, he was furious. I left the house with broken ribs, bruises, and cuts all over me. He was taken away by the authorities, but the process and aftermath were terrible. It was spring, and the weather was warming, but for weeks, I wore long sleeves and high collars to hide the cuts and bruises.
Eventually, everything healed and faded, except for one very dark bruise on my upper arm. I had had enough of hiding them in shame, so, one day, I said whatever and wore short sleeves. I was standing in line in Walmart and noticed this rough biker looking dude staring at me. I thought he was checking me out or whatever. Then he asked about my bruise.
I stumbled trying to answer him, and he outright asked, "Did somebody hurt you?" For some reason, I decided to be honest and not lie in shame, so I said out loud, "yes, somebody hurt me". He looked at me, and, in the kindest voice, he said, "you did not deserve that. Whoever it was will get what's due to them one day". That was a turning point for me.
I knew then that I was going to be ok. I knew that no matter how things turned out, that I was going to be ok. I never saw that man again, but I honestly think he was an angel sent to give me a message.
30. Aisle Say
While grocery shopping, I saw a man about my age, mid-20's, who was clearly putting a lot of effort into his appearance, and it was working. He had two-toned dyed hair, one half blonde and the other black. He was wearing some well-done makeup that I could never have done myself and bright purple jeans and good tattoos. The look worked.
He had clearly put effort into it. I excused myself and mentioned that I thought he looked very happy, confident, and good. The guy began crying in the middle of the supermarket. I felt so guilty for reducing a stranger to tears like that, but he said it was because I'd made his day and he very rarely got complimented.
31. Sticking Out
I have bright hair and moved from Orlando to a very small southern town. I get "the look" a lot especially from older people. I was walking through the parking lot of an Ingles one day, and an old lady who was maybe about 70ish yelled out to me, "your hair matches your shorts! That’s so cute!" It had made my whole day.
Once we moved into our new place, a neighbor kid knocked on my door. When I answered, he asked if I had any kids. I told him that I that didn’t. In frustration, he said loudly, “aw, man! I just need friends!” Then he ran off. After those two encounters, I knew we'd moved to the exact right neighborhood.
32. Exchanged Goods
I was on the bus one day, and there was a little boy and girl, both about five years old, sitting next to each other. At one point, the little girl asked the little boy, "Sorry, can I touch your hair?" The boy with messy red hair nodded, and she just patted his head and said, "Thanks for letting me touch your beautiful hair," and he replied, “You’re welcome".
33. All About Looks
Once, I worked at a bookstore. I saw a big heavyset dude in overalls come in, and I assumed he’d beeline right to a certain magazine section of our store. I didn’t initially pay him any attention. I turned around from checking a person out at the main register area, and he was standing there waiting his turn patiently.
I asked him what he was looking for, and he mentioned he had a book on order held back for him. He said it was the book A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It caught me by surprise that the man who looked like a country bumpkin was picking this particular book up. In my head, I assumed it was for his wife.
I found the book and rang him up while chatting with him, and I realized the book was in fact for him. I’ll never forget what he said because even though it was such a small moment in life, it changed me a bit. He said, “I think it’s important to read books like this about other cultures than ours because of the news. It always makes the Afghan people seem so bad, but his first book The Kite Runner gave a good glimpse of what life was like over there and made me think twice about how I was judging those people".
Talk about making me feel like a jerk. Here I was judging him for how he looked, and he pulled this on me. I bought the book, read it, and it set into motion a lot of thoughts I had about how I judge and look at others. To this day, I try my best to see the position others might be in before I judge them unfairly. I often fail at not judging people based on appearances, but when I do, I now try to remind myself of how unfair it is to do it.
It was only a 2-minute interaction with this man that I had never seen before and will never see again, but it’d likely made me a better person as a result.
34. Comforting Angel
When I was about 15 years old, I was really struggling with social anxiety. One day, things were really bad and I just started crying on a step downtown. After a while, a girl stopped just to ask me what was the matter. It took a lot, but I just opened up to her as she gently held me on her shoulder and wiped my tears away. I smiled, and we went to go separate ways.
Before we separated, she promised me that things would get better. I was skeptical at first, but I always remembered our words whenever I was feeling sad. I really think she might have saved me from something really bad. Leah, thank you again. I will truly never forget you!
35. Driving Side-By-Side
Driving on the highway, the car in front suddenly swerved to take an exit and then tried to swerve back almost sideswiping me in the process. Luckily, there was no one to my left, so I veered into the left lane and avoided a huge accident. A few moments later, I was passing her, and she very sheepishly looked up at me.
It looked like she was anticipating and expecting someone to rip her a new one. Well, I’d just learned a new car trip trick. Flipping people off is stupid but giving them a thumbs down really stays with somebody. It is the “I’m not mad. I’m disappointed” of the road. I had an angry thumbs down queued up for the driver.
But when I saw her face, I immediately knew she didn’t mean to. She was embarrassed and already felt bad enough. So, instead I flashed her a huge smile, dramatically and jokingly wiped sweat from my brow, and gave her a giant thumbs up. She smiled and laughed, and, honestly, it is one of my favorite moments in my life.
36. Sticking Together
I was at a very stressful time in my life. My housing situation was precarious, I was seriously underemployed, I was working too much, and the 2016 election was literally a day away, and I was so worried about it. I had done an event for work, and on my way home I stopped to get some gummies from a 7-11 to feel better.
There was a problem with their card reader. It literally broke while I waited in line, so when I got to the front, they couldn’t take my debit card. I had no cash, so no gummies for me. I left them on the counter and sadly walked away. I lived around the corner from this 7-11 and was walking home when I heard somebody.
They were yelling, so I turn around, and there’s this big guy chasing me. I stopped, and he came up to me and handed me a bag of gummies. He was smiling as he said, “Can’t go without the gummies". I thanked him profusely. I regretted not hugging him. I went home and cried because I was so happy about these gummies. I didn’t have much.
These gummies were probably going to be the last thing I bought before my next paycheck. It was such a small thing, but it meant so much to me. I’m crying now thinking about it. I’m so grateful to that man.
37. Drying Times
I was using crutches for a few weeks after an injury. I got off the tram to go to school and hobbled straight into a surprise Melbourne spring storm. A guy with very limited English saw me struggling and did the kindest thing. He walked me from the tram stop to my class holding an umbrella over me for the whole ten-minute walk. It’s one of those lovely, warm fuzzy memories.
38. Surprise Match
In high school, I was a semi-competitive runner. At the state meet, you get a sweet shirt. It’s perfect athletic wear, fits nicely, and has the big "state track meet" emblem. Everyone wanted one, and those who qualified for state were proud of owning one. In college, whenever I was having a really bad day, I'd wear my track shirt and immediately feel a little better.
I was walking to class and spotted this very attractive girl walking in the other direction also wearing the state shirt. I guess I stared for too long looking at the shirt, and she noticed. I’d usually look away, but I didn't this time. She held my gaze for a split second then I watched her eyes scan down to my chest. It was a brief glance, and then she looked back at me. She gave me this massive smile and continued walking. That made my day significantly better.
39. Love Around The World
Years ago, I’d spend a lot of time on sites that randomly paired users with webcams (like Chat Roulette, that kind of thing). At the time, I was struggling after a traumatic incident of assault that I'd experienced as a college freshman. Because of that experience, I found it almost impossible to sleep. I'd often go onto these webcam chats at night, so I didn't feel so alone. One night, I met a wonderful German man. I can't recall his name.
But we clicked immediately and spent 4-5 hours together. He was the first person I told about what had happened to me. He comforted me, and we stayed online for so long because we wanted to watch the sun rise together. We did not exchange contact information, so it was simply a beautiful, healing night with a kind soul far away.
40. Trip To Confidence
I used to take a bus from north California to SoCal every other month to see a girl I was dating at the time. She ended up cheating on me, but I made the trip anyway to try and salvage what I could of the relationship. During those bus rides, I felt like an idiot for going to go see a girl who was treating me so badly. Looking back, I was just so naive and hopelessly in love.
During one ride to see this girl, I sat next to a girl who’d come to California from Germany. I’m not usually one to strike up conversations. She kind of noticed how spaced out I was and asked me if I was okay. We started talking the whole way. She told me about her family, her school, her favorite TV shows. I told her mine, and we even pulled out a laptop and watched the pilot episodes of each other’s favorite shows. I opened up about the predicament I had.
I told her how stupid I’d felt. She told me I was handsome and attractive and from what she can tell from our conversation, a decent person, and it was stupid for my girlfriend to cheat on me, and that I was a fighter because I was still trying to give her a chance. All of this came out towards the end of the bus ride. We parted ways shortly after. I never saw her again, but what she said was the confidence boost I needed to hear and the human interaction I didn’t know I wanted.
41. No Losers Here
I was in Spain on a trip with my family one year. We were staying in an apartment complex that had crane machines to win soft toys and prizes. One day, my sister and I were downstairs playing on the machines but didn't manage to win anything and ran out of money. We were so sad, until one kind soul changed everything. There was a man who was sweeping and mopping the floors. He came over and unlocked the machine then handed us both a Winnie the Pooh toy. It was one of the nicest things someone's ever done for me, and I still remember it 20 years later.
42. Perfect Stay
My partner and I went out to Montana to stay in a fire watch tower for a week. My partner's fear of heights was worse than we thought. Instead of staying inside the car as an alternative for the whole week, we decided to take a road trip instead and headed to a couple of national parks. The second park was Yellowstone.
It filled up while we were waiting in line. We walked outside the building to see what we'd do next, and an older woman came up to us and offered a spot on her lot. She said her daughter was going to be visiting but not until the next day. We agreed, and she also gave us her daughter's shower tokens so we could shower.
We had a lovely chat, made her some hobo pies and pizzas, and gave her little dog Carlos pats. She said my partner and I were clearly in it for the long run and it was so nice to see each other so in love. It's nice to remember this. We both are going through a bout of depression and remembering this gave me some hope.
43. Spontaneous Duet
One day, I was walking home from work. There were two young guys cleaning the back of the local cinema. One was singing a bit, and I heard as his mate looked at me and told him, "Stop it man, she's going to think you're a weirdo". The other guy looked so dejected that I decided to join in on the song. I sang the rest of the song with him while I strolled down the street. Never let someone else narrate your story.
44. Wheels Of Fortune
A few years back, I was at the grocery store after watching my favorite NCAA basketball team lose their game at the sweet 16. I was obviously upset and looking to drown my sorrows with some more brews at home. As I was leaving the grocery store, I passed by a man who was obviously both physically and mentally impaired.
I noticed that he had a backpack on the back of his auto-wheelchair, and a whole gallon tub of ice cream had fallen out. So, I put down my twelve pack and zipped his ice cream back into his backpack. He muttered something to me, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. Feeling good about myself, I turned to leave.
Then I heard a "SSSSCREEEE!!" scraping noise on the floor like nails on a chalkboard. I dismissed it, and then again, I heard a "SSSCCCREEE," so I turned around to talk to him, which again, I could barely understand. When I got to him, I quickly noticed that he's holding the front wheel in his hand asking me to fix it.
I got it in my own hand and examined it. It was a broken metal piece, and there was no way I could fix it. "Where are you trying to go?" I asked calmly the first time. A completely unintelligible answer followed. "Can I help you?" I said a little louder this time. I finally made out the word, "bus,” and so off we went.
We headed to the bus stop across the street. His wheelchair was not only low on battery, but since he didn't have a wheel, I had to hold it upright and push it forward at the same time. It was also very, very heavy. It was not fun in any sort of way, but I was there to help, and I was going get this done. We got there.
But it was the wrong bus stop “Ugh,” I thought to myself, "I thought this was almost over, and I'd have my good points for the day". So, we went across the street and down a block to the next stop. By then, I was starting to pick up on his verbal and physical cues and could tell a little bit more of what he was saying.
He wanted me to wait with him. His name was Carl. He had something around his neck but didn't want me to take it off, but I saw his name. After about 15 minutes, the bus finally arrived. I helped load him on, pay his fare, and get him strapped into the wheelchair section. I tried to explain the situation to the driver.
He just looked at me with a bewildered face. "What am I gonna do with him?" he asked. That was the point when the whole situation hit me deep. I could hear Carl muttering some words that I couldn't make out. I could have left feeling great about myself as a person. After all, it's not like he asked me to take him home.
But in all of his mutterings, I could tell that Carl needed my help. The bus driver couldn't take him home. Through all his disability, he looked at me, human to human, right in the eye, and I knew he needed help. Even though he didn't say it, I knew what he wanted me to do. All men in the world were equal that moment.
I turned to the bus driver and said that I would go get my car and follow the bus to his stop. If I could have just fit him into my car, I would have. Of course, it was a long way away and in the opposite direction. As the bus driver waited, I got in my car and turned to follow the bus. I pressed mute and began crying.
How could I have thought something as dumb as a basketball game was actually important in life? How could I actually be so bummed about something so trivial? Here they are, people all around us, 24/7 who need help. I watched basketball and then got mad at a loss. What does Carl have to deal with every day that I don't?
My emotions were petty. I cried like a baby harder than I ever had. We finally got to his stop, in a bad area, and found Carl's address off his name badge. It was not close either, and I had to do the balancing act with his super heavy chair again. I got to his street, and it was on top of a huge hill. “Let’s do this".
I started making my way up the hill. Just then, I was hit with the most magnificent energy from the inside out. I started taking faster steps, and all of a sudden, the weight of the chair had disappeared. Eventually, I was jogging, and Carl and I were both laughing hysterically as I pushed him up the hill to his house.
After some shenanigans with his neighbors, we got the key to his house. I pushed him into his room and helped him onto his bed. "Thank you" he said in his same, now familiar, muttered tone. "Thank you". I turned to leave but once more turned back around. "You're welcome Carl, and don't forget!" I unzipped his backpack.
I took out his gallon of ice cream and put it in his freezer. He smiled, and I left. The next day I called his caregiver and set him up with a new chair. I still smile every time I pass by that same grocery store and see Carl wheeling around in his shiny new ride.
45. Up In Arms
More than 20 years ago while I was still a teenager, I was on vacation with my parents. There were a lot of problems and fights I couldn't handle, and it came to the point that I made an attempt to take my life. I sneaked out of the hotel room crying rivers and tried to jump off a railing in the courtyard of the hotel.
A cleaning lady must have seen me at that moment. I was on the other side of the railing, the lady pulled me back to her side, took me in her arms very firmly and lovingly, stroked my head while crying, and told me that everything would be okay and every pain passes. I could never say thanks, but she’d changed my life.
I never had such terrible intentions again. She gave me something no one else could do at that moment. Thank you, stranger woman.
46. What A Dude
I was a teenager hanging out with some friends at a Waffle House. The only other person there was a very large, scruffy, middle aged man at the counter. He looked like a biker maybe. He waved us over to him, and we went over there. As a young girl, I assumed he was up to something creepy, but we went over there anyway.
He reached into his jacket, pulled out a stack of colored paper napkins, and then started folding paper roses for me and my friends including the guys in our group. He wasn't a creep, just an origami enthusiast, and I learned not to judge a book by its cover.
47. Very Entertained
A few years ago, my wife and I visited Italica, a ruined Roman city a couple miles from Seville. The ruins were glorious, and we had them to ourselves. As we emerged from the gladiator gate in the amphitheater, I stalked out into the sunlight, threw out my arms, and roared, "are you not entertained?” It was satisfying.
It just rang off the old seats. But, apparently, we were not alone. I spun to find a Japanese tourist staring at me in wonder, and he then grinned nervously, snapped a picture, and gave me a thumbs up. My wife said to me, "you're an idiot".
48. Horse Powers
When I was 11, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a very rare form difficult to treat. I went through my treatments and transplant really well though and did get better. When I was 14, I was picked to go to a ranch in Colorado for kids that had health issues like myself. I was on one of my connecting flights.
I sat next to an older woman, and she noticed a car magazine that I had. We started talking, and I told her I liked Mustangs, and she told me she had 2 82 GTs and won awards with them. It was really cool to talk to her, and when we landed, we went our separate ways. A couple years later, my dad and I drove to Arkansas.
We were going to pick up a mint 82 GT. We got there and started talking to her. She was telling us about the other cars she had, and it finally clicked in my head. She was the lady on the plane! When I mentioned it, she remembered me, and it’s just pretty amazing that in such a big population we found each other again!
49. What A Doll
My son was in a pretty serious accident. I was a wreck in the ICU waiting room. A little girl maybe about 9 or 10 years old was with her family saying goodbye to her great grandmother. She waltzed right up to me and said, “sir, why are you crying?" I explained my son was very sick. She handed me a miniature puppy doll.
She told me it was lucky and that my son would get better. She was right. He did, and I still keep that little puppy on my dresser and think of that sweet child.
50. Bright Spot
A couple years ago, I was experiencing a deep depression. My life was a mess, my apartment was a mess, and I was a mess. For a moment, I decided to just go to the park and sit for a while as I was really at the end of my rope and had zero idea on what to do. Out of nowhere, a kid who was about three years old came over to me.
She smiled and handed me three yellow dandelions and ran back to her mom. I went home and cleaned my apartment, and tidied up that day. I wouldn't say that my life miraculously changed, but I will say that the single moment of kindness neither the kid nor the mom probably remember was one of the most memorable and important moments in my life.