Random Act of Kindness - to balance all the ranty threads, tell me of a random act of kindness that you have never forgotten.

(340 Posts)
LynnCSchreiber Wed 25-Jan-12 16:33:42

There is a lovely thread in Classics about Random Acts of Kindness so I thought we could do with a lovely fluffy thread to distract us from the shooting and disembowelment going on at the moment.

I will start.

When DD was going through the "terrible twos", she had a tantrum at the supermarket. She lay on the floor and wept bitterly because I would not give her what she wanted it. I tried reasoning with her, I tried being stern, and finally I walked away.

The sound of her screams echoed in the supermarket, people were looking at us. I thought that they were judging me, thinking that I was a bad mother.

A man walked by with his two daughters - about 9 and 11yo they were. He stopped, patted my arm and said, "It is a phase. It passes. You are doing the right thing".

It meant so much to me, that I was not alone and that other people were not judging me but feeling sorry for me. And probably being thankful that their DC were past that stage.

Has a stranger ever done or said something nice to you that you still remember years later?

LynnCSchreiber Thu 26-Jan-12 07:19:41

CandR
I laughed at the thought of someone bringing out their duvet - that would never have occurred to me. How sweet.

Here is one the other way around.

We were in a restaurant in Zurich. Next to us sat two children while their mother bought the food. It was a self-service place and really busy so they were alone quite some time. The older child was about 9yo and he was looking after his 3yo sister. They sat quietly and drew pictures, the boy helping his sister until their mother came back. I heard them speaking English and so when we left I said to her, "I just wanted to compliment you on your very well behaved children, I am impressed how nicely they waited".

She was so chuffed. I got the impression that she had been having a difficult day until then and was a bit stressed out.

Whoever sent me a £50 note in the post when I was a studentgrin
The builders at DSs old school, who patiently answered all his questions, and the one who gave DS a toy of his own digger after months a while of DS watching them every day.
Everyone who helped out with my DCs while DH was ill, and we had barely any kitchen facilities. The cook at my work who bagged up a load of dinners in microwaveable portions for me and DCs to eat over that christmas.

nextphase Thu 26-Jan-12 08:20:25

So many, I've truly been blessed by some of the people who I've come into contact with.

Thank-you to the lovely guy in Tesco who when both boys were screaming came and told me to cuddle baby while he packed all the shopping away, then unloaded it all back into the car, and took the trolley away again afterwards.

Thank-you to the trainee Dr who sat with me for hours and hours in waiting rooms while my pregnancy was diagnosed as ectopic and DH was 500 miles away, and thank-you to the Sister on EPAC who, having told me I couldn't eat or drink whilst waiting for a result, then found me a corned beef sandwich and a cup of juice at about 3. I hate corned beef, but that was the nicest sandwich I have ever had.

festivalwidow Thu 26-Jan-12 11:07:40

I walked on crutches for a couple of years and found navigating public transport pretty tricky.
One particularly grim afternoon there was a Tube strike, the buses were packed and the one bus it looked like I might be able to get on was set too high for me to physically manage (not one of the low-rider buses IYSWIM). Lots of disgruntled passengers not happy with waiting while I tried to launch myself up the step.
Driver was ready to drive off without me until two punk/metal types scuttled from the back of the bus, lifted me in, paid for my ticket and sat with me so they could help me get off again. They were such a lovely couple and I never got the chance to buy them a beer.

Have encountered some truly lovely people when travelling - my favourite was the elderly lady in the middle of the Turkish countryside who gave me a bag of peanuts to help with morning sickness (it worked!)

bradbourne Thu 26-Jan-12 11:14:01

Some lovely stories here.

It's sometimes funny how even the smallest thing can make your day - like someone passing on their car-park ticket so you don't have to pay.

loopylou6 Thu 26-Jan-12 11:48:34

When dd was 2 we where in a card shop and she spotted one of those bears they always stock, she cried for it ( tbf that was unusual for her so she must of REALLY wanted it ) it was 10 pound and I couldn't afford it, told her so and left the shop.

When we where outside, a young woman ran after us and handed dd the bear, saying 'they're only young once' then walked off leaving me open mouthed and sputtering thank you's.

Dd is nearly 8 now and is still inseparable from this bear, sleeps with him every night, he's her special bear. smile

LemonEmmaP Thu 26-Jan-12 12:12:42

A few years ago when DS2 was a toddler, we were in the supermarket, looking at some of the bath toys etc. DS2 saw a Makka Pakka toy that he really wanted, and he was asking me to buy it. I told him we didn't have enough money so couldn't buy it. An elderly lady overheard and got the £5 out of her purse, and insisted that I took it to buy him the toy - I tried to refuse (not least because the tale about not having enough money was not true - I really didn't think the toy was worth £5 and didn't want to buy it). However, the lady was quite insistent, so I took the money and bought DS the toy, explaining how lucky he had been to be given the money.

When I got home, I made a £10 donation to charity to make peace with myself! DS2 still has the toy in his bed every night, and when I see it I am reminded of that lady's generosity.

MentalOriental Thu 26-Jan-12 12:33:17

Just a couple of months ago, we were travelling home from a wedding in the States. DS had been woken really early to catch the flight, so was sleeping while we waited to board our flight. In the meantime, DH and I were chatting to some fellow travellers sitting by us. When the time came to wake up DS, he proceeded to be violently sick all over himself and his Dad! The people we'd been chatting to, fished tissues out of their bags and told us not to worry, that they'd tell the airline staff what had happened and make sure the flight didn't leave without us. They got DS a bottle of water and even helped to clear up the vomit from the airport lounge chairs! When we got to our destination and got off the plane, they sought us out to make sure that DS was ok. They were so sweet, it almost brought me to tears! blush

mustdash Thu 26-Jan-12 12:40:03

A couple of years ago when my DM became very very ill, my DB and I were quite at a loss at what to do, just to organise "stuff". One of the nurses on my DMs ward suggested a visit to the Maggie's Centre, so the next day we wandered over there.

We were completely bewildered, and at a loss as to how to cope with what the coming months were to bring us. DB had given up work to look after DM, and I lived 500 miles away. We walked in to the Centre, and immediately were offered coffee, and some home made treats by a very frail woman who was clearly undergoing chemo. Despite us being fit and healthy, just a bit fragile and upset, she sat with us till we gathered ourselves a bit, and waited till someone could come and talk to us.

We left that day with my DB sorted out with benefits, a social worker to organise care for my DM, and a blue badge form all filled out. More than that though, we realised just how marvellous and giving people can be.

Walking into the Maggie's Centre that day was like walking into a hug. I really can't describe it any other way.

pinkappleby Thu 26-Jan-12 12:46:53

I was at a car park pay machine with my 3 under 5 and the oldest 2 were being horrible brats and there was a big queue beside me. I had planned to pay by card but the machine was broken and would only take cash. I was 20p short of the cash total and was about to load everyone into the lift to go back to the shopping centre for cash when I found the man behind had paid the whole lot for me smile I was very grateful.

And lots of people who have helped me on and off the train with my double buggy and up and down the stairs at the station, which has no lift.

someone came chasing after me recently and handed me my shiny new treasured iphone - I had no idea I'd left it behind (distracted by children). very grateful!

spendthrift Thu 26-Jan-12 12:50:38

The young man in McDonalds who realised DS (7) and I were there and asked his friends not to swear in front of us.

The young black men who were the only ones to give up their seats on te Tube to me when I was pregnant.

The lovely man who realised I had dropped my teddy when I was three and chased after us to bring it to me. I can still remember him.

The people this summer who realised I had hurt myself really badly and came over and helped.

The wonderful couple who looked after DS (6) and me when DH had a bad accident abroad and just absorbed him into their Halloween festivities, with him accompanying me to the hospital following the ambulance, and her looking after three boys. If she's ever on this thread, you are remembered with affection and gratitude

pissovski Thu 26-Jan-12 12:52:15

All the lovely (16+) students (there are some among the not so pleasant ones!) who I have taught who have said lovely things. I don't know that they would realise it, but when i was having some very dark days, they could really make a difference. Just things like 'you're a great teacher - don't let anyone tell you otherwise' and 'we are so glad you're back!'. I hope that in return I have been able to do things they will remember (like being there when they wanted a cry and simply listening and passing tissues - nothing much really!)

The nurse who sorted me out with sleeping pills when i was in hospital with jaundice and hadn't slept more than an hour in 3 days. I slept like never before that night. And on the same day, the ex student who phoned me (got my number off his mum, who I had been ringing as he was a bit of bugger (lovely but still!) - and had had to use my mobile to phone) not long after i had a huge crying fit on the ward because of lack of sleep. He was so concerned when one of his friends told him I was in hospital that he wanted to say he hoped i would be ok. It really cheered me up.

TobyLeWolef Thu 26-Jan-12 13:04:32

The one about the lady in the shop putting £10 on the electric card has made me well up blush

Years ago, when DS was almost a year old and I was pregnant with DD, we went on a huge family holiday to Cornwall. We were walking into the town (me, XH, DS in the buggy, my mum and sisters and my grandad) when XH suddenly hit the ground like a sack of potatoes and began fitting. He's not epileptic and this had never happened before. I went to pieces a bit. My mum is a nurse, so managed the situation somewhat, but some very kind people came out of their houses and called an ambulance, and a couple of lads in their late teens pulled their car over, bundled their designer jumpers and coats and used them to put under XH's head to stop him damaging it on the pavement, and as blankets to keep him warm while we waited for the ambulance. They waited until the ambulance came, then just collected their things and left. I never got a chance to say thank you, but I'm sure my mum did.

ArtVandelay Thu 26-Jan-12 13:06:08

Years ago, I left my handbag on the tube on a Saturday because I had loads of shopping bags and I was distracted. When I realised I was very upset and went to TFL lost property for that line but they didn't have it. Lost my phone, purse, keys, some cash, everything sad Had spent loads that day and was feeling very stupid.

Anyway, Sunday night my Granma calls me - "a young man" had called her to say he had my bag and he had left his number. So I called him, turns out he'd waited till he went to his Mums then got her to go through my bag and phone and the only identifying number was 'Granma' every other number was just a name! So thats why he'd phoned Granma.

I met him at Farringdon the next evening and he was v.posh and good looking and embarrassed that I'd brought him a bottle of champagne to say thankyou.

God knows why he went through all that rigmarole (or needed a female to investigate the handbag!) and didn't just hand it in but I will never forget the delight of getting everything back exactly as I'd left it on the tube. I never thought I'd see it again in a million years. Thank you kind and handsome young man (who must by now be getting on a bit).

NoMoreCakeOclock Thu 26-Jan-12 13:07:41

The lovely guy who jumped out of his car when I was involved in a crash in the fast lane of the motorway who shouted stay in your car, no one is hurt get on the hard shoulder. He then followed all the cars onto the hard shoulder helped us all swap details etc then went on his way. We were all so shocked I don't think we could have managed without him. He felt like a guardian angel.

The lovely family who drove us home (miles out of their way) when our car broke down on a major holiday and we couldn't get a taxi for love nor money, my DH did the same for a lady weeks later.

Pay it forward

WaitingForMe Thu 26-Jan-12 13:13:47

I used to live in the Far East and used to get a bit uncomfortable by the way all the men at the hawker stand at the end of my road would watch me walk up the road, pass them and head along the road to my apartment block.

Until one evening a man followed me home. I asked him to go away and then ignored him as he continued following me. As I neared home I wondered whether to head off and go to a nearby hotel for a bit but suddenly all of the men at the hawker stand stood up. The man bothering me paused and when they started walking towards us he ran. I smiled at them as I passed them and they all nodded their heads and smiled back.

All along they had been watching out for the young woman who lived alone.

TobyLeWolef Thu 26-Jan-12 13:15:26

On our honeymoon in Cyprus we met a woman who had gone on holiday with her small daughter, having just split up with her husband. We tended to have drinks with her in the evening etc because everyone else in the hotel was elderly (it was February) and she was the only person near to our ages.
One evening we all walked into the town centre to go for a drink, and on the way back the lady's daughter got very tired. My (now ex-) H picked her up and carried her while we looked out for a taxi as we walked (it was a fair way back to the hotel). A young local couple pulled up and asked us if we wanted a lift. We debated, but figured we were safe enough as 3 adults. So we asked them how much they wanted. They said 'nothing', and took us all the way to our hotel. Even when we tried to pay them, they wouldn't let us and just wished us a lovely holiday and drove away.

OrmIrian Thu 26-Jan-12 13:21:09

Had to use DH's ratty old car one morning because he had taken mine. I was on the way to drop DS2 and DS at CMs before taking DS1 to school and then drive to work. Ratty old car broke down on the dual carriageway in heavy traffic and pouring rain. No mobile. Had just gathered all the kids together incl DS2 (babe in arms) to struggle to Morrisons to use phone to call breakdown people, when such a kind man and his daughter stopped and asked if we needed help. He towed us to CMs. I managed to call breakdown people who came and took me to the garage to get car fixed - left kids at CMs for the day. Above and beyond IMO.

Lots of other incidents. More good than bad. Which has made me offer help to total strangers in my turn. Life is so much easier that way.

BenderBendingRodriguez Thu 26-Jan-12 13:21:54

what a lovely thread.

i am horribly sleep deprived atm and having one of those days where everything feels like a dark, joyless slog. was sitting in the library cafe earlier having lunch with 3yo and 6mo, thinking crap thoughts about my mothering skills (v snappy today blush). an old man came over and told me how well behaved and handsome my children were. it brightened my day no end, and i told him so smile

garlicfrother Thu 26-Jan-12 13:23:28

Lots and lots here, too smile

After another storming row with X1, I went to walk off my anger on Clapham Common. It was raining hard, about 3am, and I was charging along crying buckets. A black cab stopped, offered me a lift home and threw in a very calming chat. London cabbies have 'rescued' me a few times, free of charge. Most of them are really top geezers.

I left home under distressed circumstances and headed off to the Channel ferry (RIP) by myself, with an absurdly large suitcase. I messed up every single connection, but the same nice man kept turning up to help me find out where I was supposed to be and carried my suitcase! No idea who he was, but he must have put himself out quite a bit.

Lovely people - customers and staff - have often given me small amounts of money when I found I hadn't enough for my shopping. I used to do this, too, and am hugely touched by so many other people doing it for me now I need it.

Somebody posted my lost purse back to me. The cash had gone, but everything else was intact. I thought it was kind of them to realise I'd be missing my appointment cards, season ticket and so on - was very glad to see it again!

I could write a whole thread about random acts of kindness, all by myself grin
The vast majority of people are nice. I think those who refuse to believe it (and to pay it forward) are missing out on the best parts of life.

I was once on a packed tube train when a toddler started whining in her mother's lap saying she was bored and hot. She was on a verge of a tantrum when a man who was sat next to them (clearly a stranger), took out a toy and a children's book from his bag and started reading a story to the little girl. Her face lit up and she quietly played with the toy as he read. It was lovely smile.

thegruffalossecretlovechild Thu 26-Jan-12 13:24:27

The two lovely ladies who got a book and rugby ball signed for DH and DS by Jonny Wilkinson last year. We'd been queing for nearly three hours on a cold Friday evening outside Twickenham Stadium and DS(3) was understandably getting tired and crotchety having been an absolute star for ages. I had to admit defeat and as I was leaving the queue they offered to get our stuff signed as well. I picked it all up a couple of days later from one of the ladies and gave her some flowers as a thank you but I never got to thank the other lady properly. They ended up queing until nearly 1.30 in the morning!! Great presents for DS and DH, gutted I didn't get to meet Jonny grin!

The lovely old gentlemen who bought DS a drink at Painshill Park when we were waiting to meet Santa Claus. I'd got caught short with no change on me and DS was having a meltdown...... The gentlemen even looked a bit like Santa off duty with twinkly eyes, beard and a tweed jacket!

BlackSwan Thu 26-Jan-12 13:31:09

ArtVandalay, couldn't you have just told us you went on to marry the handsome stranger on the tube? <grumble>

Tabbykat Thu 26-Jan-12 13:32:56

A few years ago DH and I took my younger student Dsis to Heathrow where she was flying to China to spend Xmas with my parents out there. Her luggage was 4 kilos overweight with all the presents/ revision books etc and check-in staff said it was £100 shock in excess. DH and I were saving to get married and just couldn't afford it so we went to the airport coffee place to unload the presents and I said to Dsis I would just ship them out another time, although they wouldn't get there for Xmas. Two lovely older ladies at the next table overheard and offered to pay the money for us as they thought it was so sad there wouldn't be any presents at Xmas for my family. I was so shocked that somebody would be so kind. It was so much money so of course we said thanks but no thanks, we couldn't accept. I was so touched that they would make an offer like that.
We then went back to check Dsis in, and the (different) check-in girl on seeing what we had taken out to lighten the case, just told us to put it back in and she would just put it through anyway. So grateful for the thoughtfulness

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