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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!)

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Steering You Away From Harm

| USA | Health & Body

I am 17, and due to the super-high pressure of having to get perfect grades, work, and be in many activities, plus already having anxiety, I am not doing well, and have gotten into self-harm for some time. I often take a break from all this by staying with my best friend and her family. I am especially close to her mom, who is a doctor, since I’m really interested in medicine. However, one very early morning after staying over, I can’t stop myself from self-harming at my friend’s place. I hope to go back to bed unnoticed, as it’s just after five am, but her mom is also up early and almost literally runs into me.

She barks at me to sit down, because I look so pale and am carefully cradling my injured arm. Before I can do much more than stammer my protests, my friend’s mom has taken my vital signs and tries to roll up my sleeve. I frantically shake my head and try to jerk away, until she promises that she just wants to see that I’m all right and won’t get angry at me.

When she sees the injury, she pauses, takes a deep breath, assures me it’s OK, and tells me to stay where I am. Instead of calling my parents, 911, or starting in on me, she comes back with a massive, well-stocked first aid box, and calmly patches me up.

She then says that speaking as a professional, I need counseling and to have complete blood testing done, to check my iron levels and rule out physical causes for why I feel so bad emotionally. And, speaking as a mother, she would want to know if her daughter felt bad enough to self-harm, so I need to tell my parents.

This was a really small act of kindness, but ensured I got the help I needed, and knew someone cared about me in that dark time.

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A Top Fatherly Performance

| PA, USA | Family & Kids

(My best friend has gone to college several towns away, just far enough that I can’t visit her more often than once a year with the rest of her family. Since most of my friends have moved away or lost touch, I’m pretty lonely a lot of the time, especially since I have a hard time making friends to begin with. I am just sitting down to play Minecraft on a Saturday, probably looking forlorn and upset, anticipating just staying home all day and playing video games. A little before then, I’d just wished said best friend luck on the last performance of a play she is in that night, expressing just how much I want to be there. Out of the blue, my father walks in and looks at me with a big grin.)

Father: “Hey, anyone interested in going to [College] to see [Play being performed] had best start getting ready. We leave in ten minutes!”

(And that is the story of how my daddy took an entire day driving several hours to make sure I saw my best friend on a day that I really needed it! He already works several jobs, and he probably had some work that he needed to do that day, but he wanted to make sure that I got to see my bestie in a performance! I will never forget that day, and the play was amazing! THANK YOU, DADDY! AND THE FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO…)

Kind Strangers Kindness

The Epicenter Of Understanding

| OK, USA | Kind Strangers

(I am awakened this morning just after 7 am by a 5.6 earthquake with an epicenter about 50 miles away. We’ve had quakes before but this was the strongest and longest. I go downstairs, annoyed to be starting a holiday weekend in such a way and check on the computer to get details. My phone rings; it’s not even 8 am yet. I do not recognize the number but answer anyway.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hey there!”

Me: “Hi.”

Caller: “Watcha doing?”

Me: “Talking on the phone.”

Caller: “Ha ha, you sure are.”

Me: “…”

Caller: “Is this Vicky?”

Me: “Nope.”

Caller: “Oh, no! I’m so sorry! I dialed the wrong dang number!”

(I’m not a cheerful or friendly person, especially in the morning, especially when I’d hoped to sleep in but something about this guy made me turn off the sour.)

Me: “Don’t worry about it. The earthquake woke me up anyway.”

Caller: “Oh, man! Me, too! I’m up here in Missouri and it shook the bed. I’m on the third floor and the place was just rocking!”

Me: “I’m in Tulsa. This was a big one. And it just kept going.”

Caller: “That’s it, right there. It did not seem to stop. I’m thinking this could be big.”

Me: “Yup, the shaking woke me up but when it didn’t stop I began to think it might be bad.”

Caller: “But nothing too bad, right? You’re okay?”

Me: “Oh, sure. Just the walls and windows rattling. Nothing dangerous.”

Caller: “Good, good. I thought I’d call my cousin and see how she was doing. Just dialed wrong, I guess.”

Me: “Well, if your cousin lives near here, I’m sure she’s fine but she’ll be happy to hear from you.”

Caller: “Yeah. Sorry, again. You take care.”

Me: “Tell Vicky I said hi.”

(I hung up. Weird way to start a day for sure, but I kind of liked it.)

Kind Strangers Kindness

It’s Snow Problem

| Denver, CO, USA | Denver, CO, USA | Denver, CO, USA | Kind Strangers, Transportation

My hometown gets about one to two feet of snow in a very short time. I live with my mom, and we decide to take a walk around the neighborhood to look at the newly-fallen snow. Around the corner, we find a public bus that has gotten stuck. Upon further inspection, we see that there are several people still on the bus.

My mom and I get on the bus and asked if everyone was okay. The bus driver says they are waiting for someone to come and help them, but it would probably be a while. Several people on the bus are from out of town and haven’t eaten in a while.

My mom and I said we’d be right back and we tramp back through the snow to our house to make a bunch of PB&J sandwiches and coffee.

We also took out some old blankets. We took all of this back to the people on the bus, telling them to not worry about giving the blankets back. It was a small thing, but the people were very grateful for the meal and a chance to warm up a bit.

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