Grateful People Share Random Acts Of Kindness They've Received From A Stranger.
Have you ever had a total stranger totally save your hide? Why would they? Pure altruism, I guess.
Here are people sharing the greatest act of kindness received from from a stranger.
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1. You'd think you could already feel it...
The other day I was driving to work and was stopped at a red light. A guy in a leather jacket pulls up in a Harley and jumps off. I freak out thinking he is going to kill me, when he leans against my window to tell me I have a flat tire.
2. Nice man.
I work as a part-time waitress, and it was a really busy evening on a night where I really needed to be studying for a midterm the next day. Needless to say I was very stressed out, and the presence of a very annoying customer did not help at all. She complained that there was too much ice in her drink, then there was too little. Her son "spilled his burger" and required a free replacement burger. THIS IS NOT A DIET COKE IT IS A COKE!! (I was positive it was a diet the third time I brought one to her). Then, my apparent slowness in getting more dip for her table set her off when I brought it to her table.
She unleashed a tirade on me, calling me all sorts of things, stereotyped my hair color, claimed I was only working there because I was too stupid to go to school and get a "real" job, and a lot of other stuff. I was more stunned than offended, and I kind of just stood there in shock. Suddenly, someone tapped that customer's shoulder. It was an old man who frequented the restaurant by himself, and who I had served multiple times (honestly, I thought he was cold and a bit grumpy). I still remember his words. They were something like this:
"Excuse me, but some of us are trying to enjoy our food, and if you have a problem with this nice young lady, then you're gonna have to get through me, you sonofab---h."
With that, he tipped his hat to me and went back to his table. The customer just sat there with her mouth agape, and after a while quietly paid and left. I went to thank the old man, and he said "When you have as little time as me left in the world, you take every chance in the world to help someone else" and left me a large tip, which I tried to refuse but he wouldn't take back. My sister later asked me why I was so quiet when she picked me up that night; I was just thinking about the meaning of life...
I suppose this wasn't really an "extreme" act of kindness, but it was still something I appreciated very much. I came out of lurking to tell this story, so I hope you enjoyed it.
3. What do you even say?
My backpack got stolen at my university library while I was studying. In a total rookie manoeuvre, I left it at my desk when I got up to fill my water bottle. It was out of my sight for a grand total of about twenty seconds, but it was enough for someone to grab it. Normally, this sort of thing would be a medium level piss off, as I don't own many expensive things, and usually there wouldn't be much more than a few books and maybe some food in there. On this day, however, I had just purchased an engagement ring, and it was in the front pocket of my bag.
When I came back and found it was missing, I was crushed. I slumped down in my seat, thinking about the thousand dollars I had just spent on that ring and cursing my own stupidity for leaving it unattended. After about ten minutes of intense self loathing, I got a tap on the shoulder.
I turned to see another student, about my age, with my bag in one hand and the jeweller's box in the other. He had been rooting though my bag, and upon finding the ring, felt too guilty to keep it. He apologized profusely, saying he had never really felt bad about stealing before then, and that he was going to stop doing it. He returned my stuff, and offered his sincere congratulations on my pending engagement. In hindsight I probably should have been pissed at him and told him off for stealing in the library to begin with, but I was dumbstruck, and probably said less than five words to him before he turned and hurried off.
I hope he really did change his ways.
4. Nah, you ain't takin my board.
A few years back when I was a younger someone tried to make a snatch for my 200 dollar longboard. I was playing in the creek so I left my board at the top of the hill. I hear shouts ring out and me and my friend check it out. There was a group of homeless people stopping the man from taking the board. This changed my perspective on the homeless.
5. Yeah, be more careful.
I had a guy running behind me, he scared me senseless. He was huge, and he grabs my shoulder and says; ay dawg, you dropped your wallet, be careful homie.
6. Brilliant Tuk Tuk driver.
I was 19, in Bangkok with no money and a big backpack, just getting off a long flight from Calcutta. I needed to make a collect call home and then desperately get my parents to wire some money through the western union. I was pretty stressed out. I barely managed to get out of the airport, because they don't exchange Indian currency there. So I had to beg some guy to swap currencies just for 5 dollars so I could get out of the airport.
Then this Tuk Tuk driver came up to me and started talking. At first I figured he would just try and take advantage of me because I am a tourist. On the contrary, he helped me find a post office where I could make the international collect call, as well as where the western union was, and even showed me a cheap hotel right by Kho San road. All of this he did for free and out of the kindness of his heart.
So the few days I was there I would always see him and he would want to give me free rides even though I had money now.
What a great guy. Perhaps some people can easily recognize another who is in trouble and just feel the need to intervene.
7. "I had finally gotten one of my wishes and driven into a musical."
I once took a wrong turn in a sketchy part of downtown San Francisco that resulted in me driving the wrong way down a one-way street in the middle of the night.
All the homeless people on the sidewalk immediately started waving frantically at me and yelling (I presume they were yelling--I could see their mouths moving) "Wrong way! Wrong way!" It made me feel great about the state of human altruism.
It also made me feel like I had finally gotten one of my wishes and driven into a musical where you go down some random street and all the strangers magically know the words and moves to the song.
8. "I vowed that if I ever saw him again I would give him a nice donation."
I was locked out of my house one day because I forgot my wallet which has my house key in it. I had six hours to spare before my SO got out of work so I was quite hungry and just trying to pass time sitting near a river that was quite a popular restaurant location as well.
A homeless man came up and asked me if I had a couple of dollars to spare and I explained the story to him (briefly).
What does he do? Reaches into his pocket for the few coins he had just got and he offered them to me.
I refused to take them because I would be eating like a king in a couple of hours anyway, but I vowed that if I ever saw him again I would give him a nice donation.
9. Gimme my pop or else!
When I was a freshman in high school I got picked on, mostly by three guys that were in my grade, and it usually happened in seminar class (study hall I guess?). Anyway, somebody would be appointed to go on a "pop run" every day.
One day one of these kids was appointed, and I gave him my dollar. When he got back, he said that they were out of the soda that I had asked for, and he refused to give me my dollar back. One of the jock seniors saw what was going on, and he confronted him. He asked him why he wouldn't give the dollar back, and he said that he was just joking around.
Realizing that this douche was lying, he said "give me your shoes." The kid took off his shoes, and the senior walked out with them. He came back about 5 minutes later and said, "If you want your shoes back, they are in the dumpster out back". He never messed with me again.
10. "I do this all the time."
I had a beautiful cherry wood upright piano. I had to sell it when I moved into a tiny apartment for college. It broke my heart. To keep in practice, I decided to buy an electric keyboard. Believe me, it's NOT the same as a piano, but it's been enough to practice on.
Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I went to a pawn shop for the keyboard. As they tend to be, this pawn shop was not in the best neighborhood, so-- this is important-- I make extra-sure to lock my car. I buy a pretty decent keyboard for $80, just as the shop was closing for the day. I carry it out to my locked car and realize my keys are sitting in the passenger seat.
So here I am, a tiny girl, locked out of her car, lugging a huge keyboard, on the wrong side of the tracks, outside of a now-closed pawn shop. I turn around to go back inside, thinking I can call a locksmith and MAYBE they will let me wait inside, since by now, it's starting to snow.
Just then, a huge blue Suburban screeches into the parking lot, bumping music with that typical obnoxious bass thumping away. A man hops out of the driver's seat. "'Scuse me, miss. You in trouble?" he asks.
"No," I stammer. "I, uh--"
"You lock your keys in your car?"
"Yeah. I've got a locksmith on the way."
"Nah, don't bother." He reaches back into his car and pulls out a long, slender piece of metal. "This my friend, his name is Slim Jim."
So he picks the lock and gets me my keys.
I stammer my thanks.
"Don't worry, miss, I do this all the time."
The day was saved, I drove away with my new keyboard, and I felt terrible for misjudging the man's character. (Although, I realized later, if he carried around a Slim Jim and "did this all the time," I might not have been wrong in general, just in his intentions for me.)
11. Pay it forward.
I was traveling with my dad for medical reasons. Anyways I ended up homeless with a 1 year old for a night..my dad gave me $50 bucks or so and I called a cabby we had used earlier and told what hotel my dad said..the cabby guy was like uhh..ohh...yeah..no good for baby...he ended up driving me around to different hotels but I didn't have a credit card so nothing worked out. In the end he let me borrow $100 for a hotel and waived the cab fee. He was so kind. I payed him back including the cab fee and tip.
12. Well, if she's only "slightly" racist...
When I was visiting Los Angeles with my slightly racist mom, we ran out of gas right around Boyle Heights; not the worst neighborhood, but also not the best one to be in a BMW in (disclaimer: Mom's car, not mine. I use my turn signals.).
Anyways, we were forced to fill up the car at the only Exxon we could find, at an intersection populated by gangs. It was around 9 at night, and we were getting some looks, when this guy approached us.
He then went on to tell us that he would stand guard while we refuelled to make sure no one bothered us, and gave us directions to our hotel. Despite this generosity, my mom still thinks he was scoping us out for a carjacking. But yeah, he was a cool guy.
13. Don't judge a book by its cover!
I was riding the subway when it was jam-packed. At one stop, this guy shoved his way off to grab a tiny blond woman who'd slipped out the doors...
In order to get back the wallet she'd lifted out of the purse of a tourist standing next to me.
14. What the heck!?
I was working at my fast food job the other day.. Some lady dropped $100 and didn't notice. I ran it out to her and didn't even get a thanks.
15. Happy Christmas, fellow human.
Might seem insignificant but a few years ago, on Christmas day I was feeling really lonely and bored (my family doesn't celebrate Christmas) so I went for a walk. It felt like a winter wonderland. There was snow everywhere and it was simply enchanting.
I was all alone while all my friends were at home celebrating. When I go to the corner of my block I saw a drug dealer friend of mine who was really friendly and he was walking his dog. He said Merry Christmas to me and I just felt all fuzzy and stuff. It was one of those moments that when you tell someone, they'll just look at you and say "uhh, what's the big deal". You have to be there to understand.
16. Thank you, kind hipster!
So I'm leaving a job interview, about to turn onto the freeway on one of the busiest intersections in the city when I see this guy on his bike.
All of a sudden my engine explodes and white smoke pours into the air. The light turns green as I walk out to check the damage on my stalled car thats now blocking the street, meanwhile traffic is screaming at me calling me a jerk and telling me "get that piece of crap off the road!" I'm royally screwed as I block midday traffic while I helplessly have no clue what to do.
Suddenly out of left field the guy on his bike rides up "blown engine? Throw it in neutral, I'll push it." I didn't have time to insist that he drive and I push so I obliged. Dude pushes my car a good 1/4 mile in blazing California heat as people honked and screamed.
We get to a good spot and I thank him over and over. I had just gotten paid so I immediately insisted he let me pay him for helping but when I pulled out my wallet he laughed and said "dude, no. Glad I could help, enjoy the day man." He then got on his bike and rode off. That guy saved the day.
17. Only in Texas.
Some friends and I went to a large water park. We bought these "waterproof" containers to keep our money and smokes in. We'd do this thing where we ran into wave shooting canal of the lazy river. It would roll you like a tsunami.
In the process, two of us lost our cases.
On our way out, my friend wanted to check the lost and found. Mine had about $60 in it, his about $40. I told him that it was gone. Low and behold, he checks and they are both there, money intact. His Dad, from out of state, shook his head and said "Only in Texas".
18. Thank you, indeed!
I left my motorcycle keys in the ignition accidentally while hanging out with some friends at a bar in town. After realizing that I did not have my keys at the end of the night, I went back to my bike to see if they were still in the ignition, but they were gone. I then spent half an hour scouring the sidewalks trying to see if I had dropped them somewhere. Finally, I gave up and called a friend for a ride. While waiting, I happened to glance at my seat, and there I saw something poking out from under it. Turns out, someone had seen the keys and stuffed them under my seat so no one could see them from the sidewalk. Thank you stranger!
19. Nice one!
I didn't experience it today, but I let someone experience one by being their random act of kindness.
While at the store I found their 32 gb iPhone 4S with an Otterbox case on it in the parking lot while walking to my car. I picked it up, and was able to unlock since there wasn't a passcode on. I then called the last number called which was labeled "Wife" and was immediately greeted with a "Where are you?? I've been trying to get a hold of you!"
So I explained that it was not in fact her husband, Jeff, but it was me and that I had found his phone in the parking lot. So we arranged to meet at a gas station in town and I was able to give him his phone back. He even offered me a reward, but I kindly refused it saying I shouldn't be payed for doing something I'd want done to me and that his gratitude was payment enough. He said "It's nice to know there are still people like you in the world."
It felt great.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.