Kind Strangers Kindness

Newfound Love In A Hopeless Place

| UK | Holidays, Kind Strangers

I’ve struggled with depression for a few years, and, for some reason, this Christmas period has been particularly hard. I’ve felt miserable and run ragged for about a month straight, and am spending my last day off before Christmas Day with my partner. As we are walking into the large supermarket near our flat, he points to a huge, black dog in front of us. It is a Newfoundland — my favourite breed in the world. The lady walking him lets me have a cuddle, and says that, when we come out of the shop, there will be more Newfoundlands waiting to take our shopping to the car in their carts!

I am so excited. We run around the shop, grab our stuff, and come out to find six beautiful dogs waiting for us, each with a little cart or a silly Christmas outfit. They are collecting money for an Alzheimer’s charity, so I give them as much money as I can, and get to hug all of them, as well as have my shopping taken to the car.

I can’t remember the last time I smiled that much. They really lifted my spirits, enough to get through the last week before Christmas.


Giving An Ear To History

| Wichita Falls, TX, USA | History

(I’m a server at a restaurant that’s really loved by the older crowd. I get my first table of the day, and it’s an older German lady and a middle-aged lady. I’m wearing pearl and diamond earrings that I got for Hanukkah a few years ago.)

German Lady: “What beautiful earrings! They are so very elegant.”

Me: “Thank you.”

German Lady: “Where did you get them?”

Me: “I got them for Hanukkah a while back from my mom.”

(The lady smiled for a second, then looked troubled.)

German Lady: “I am so sorry.”

(I assume she meant she was sorry for asking about something personal, but I get asked about my religion a lot, and I certainly wasn’t offended by it.)

Me: “Oh, ma’am, it’s no problem. Don’t worry.”

German Lady: “No, you don’t understand. I’m sorry for what my country did to your people.”

(I just stood there, shocked, not knowing what to say, because this honestly had never happened.)

Me: “It’s okay. You don’t have to apologize.”

German Lady: “I want to. Because you see, I was a kid when the Holocaust happened.”

(She went on to tell me what it had been like, how people were scared to speak up, if they even knew what was happening. She talked about when the American soldiers came in, and how nice they had been. She said one soldier even gave her her first stick of bubblegum! By the end of the conversation, I was tearing up. We hugged and she demanded I take a $20 tip from her. She promised to come back soon and tell me more if I wanted to hear. I can’t wait to see her again!)


A Mechanical Heart

| Canada | Kind Strangers, Transportation

(I’m a university student changing tires on my truck for the first time. It is minus-20-ish degrees outside and I mess up and break my jack. I am outside for a couple hours, freezing, and am about to give up. Then this guy shows up.)

Guy: “Hey, your truck looks bad; is it all right?”

Me: “I was trying to change a busted tire, broke the jack, and now my whole axle is on the floor.”

Guy: “I just finished delivering pizza to your landlord. I can help you out. Move over.” *he then takes everything from me* “Go warm up. I’ll be done soon.”

Me: “How do you know so much?”

Guy: “I was a truck mechanic for [Company] for 20 years. You’re doing it completely wrong. You could have broken something, eh?”

Me: “Oh, man, you just saved me 100 bucks from bringing it into a shop!”

Guy: “Just trying to help.”

Me: “Okay, I think I got it. Thanks!” *I felt bad and somewhat embarrassed*

Guy: “No, I can’t just leave. You could be killed. How would you feel if you left and someone died?”

Me: *speechless*

(After he was done in a flash, I paid him 15 dollars for his help. Love being a Canadian!)


Kindness On Their Dime

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Kind Strangers, Money

I’m in line at the dollar store, a basket full of about a dozen items. I’ve had a long day and just want to get home. There’s only one checkout lane open, and the customer in front of me asks for a few balloons that they sell and inflate there. I’m thinking, great, it’s going to take forever for the checkout person to do them. However, the customer checking out notices the line behind her and says to the checkout person to take care of me first.

I thank her, but the checkout person goes into awesome mode, simultaneously blowing up the woman’s balloons and checking out my items.

As she tells me the total, $10.12, I groan, as I’ve only got a couple of $1s and $20s and a couple of pennies. I hand her the $20, apologizing that I don’t have exact change.

Around here, the dollar stores request smaller bills, as they get inundated with $20s and can’t make proper change sometimes.

I then tell her I only had a couple of pennies, when I thought I’d had more change, and apologize again.

Then, to my surprise, the person behind me places 12 cents on the counter. And a few seconds later, the woman in front of me who was waiting for her balloons to be inflated handed me a dime.

I was weirdly flustered because I’d never been in a situation where strangers are just handing me money.

To make it fair, I went ahead and took the woman’s dime and gave the 12 cents back to the man behind me, and thanked them both profusely.


Make Your Next Roommate A Puppy

| IL, USA | Kind Strangers, Pets & Animals

(I’ve always had a hard time controlling my emotions, and taking my roommate’s emotional abuse has NOT helped. On this particular day maybe two months in, I am curled up outside our building, failing – as per usual – to stop crying. I hear a voice.)

Stranger: “Go say hi.”

(I look up to see a Chihuahua puppy clamber into my lap and lick my face. A man stands nearby, smiling at me as I stroke his dog’s ears.  My roommate moved out a month later.)

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