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?

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 26-Jan-12 13:39:20

Am reading with pleasure. Lovely thread.

I was once flying back from Dubai on my own and DD was about 6 months. It was a night flight and she fell apart completely, noisy sobbing, full on. I wanted to join her, then these lovely guys I was sitting next to decided they would walk her up and down the plane for me, and got the steward to make me a cup of tea, made sure I drank it. She fell asleep in this man's arms and then slept on me for the rest of the flight.

Just gave myself goosebumps at the memory of their kindness, esp when they could have been so arsy.

In the days when we used to use travellers cheques to take money abroad, I was travelling through Europe with a pal, got separated in Avignon when we missed a rendezvous to catch a train together because I was late.

I hopped on a train with my interail pass to meet her at the next youth hostel on our itinerary as per our agreement if this happened, but I got caught out by there being a payable supplement on that route. I had literally only a few francs on me silly irresponsible teenager other than travellers cheques that I couldn't cash, it being a Sunday and no banks or exchanges open. The conductor would have been asked to leave the train at the next stop but a lovely couple paid it for me, and on arrival at the station, rang their 18 year old daughter to come to pick me up drive me to meet my friend in the youth hostel.

Not only that but they insisted on buying me a meal in the restaurant car, and the daughter wouldn't accept repayment for the meal or supplement when I met my friend. She said her dad had told her to refuse, and would like to think that someone would help his daughters if they were ever similarly so stupid stuck.

I would have been asked to leave the train, obviously not bleeding conductor

VivaLeBeaver Thu 26-Jan-12 13:46:30

Years ago on a campsite my tent pole snapped and tent collapsed. I went and bought a new tent, came back and got it half up to find it was broken.

Nice man tried to help but realised it was knackered and rang the tent sales people up for me and told them to come out to the campsite with another tent and put it up for me which they did. He then invited me to dinner with his family as I'd lost the plot by then. blush

Bramshott Thu 26-Jan-12 13:48:30

The couple who stopped when a wheel came off our car (and went hurtling down a hill into their car) and not only took me home to the babysitter while DH waited for the AA, but also refused to take any money for the scratches to their car. We sent them wine grin.

Piccalilli2 Thu 26-Jan-12 13:54:58

On way to dentist with dds, already having dreadful morning, got there to realise had no change for parking meter. Asked a man passing if he had change, he didn't, so was facing long walk to nearest shops to get change, reluctant dc in tow, which probably would have meant we got a ticket anyway and we'd have been monumentally late for dentist. Man passing came back and paid my parking. It was only about 40p but frankly it made my day

The lady who appeared beside me on my walk home one night when it had been snowing hard and said "I see you walk passed my house everyday and I know you are pregnant (was about 36wks) and I want to walk with you tonight to make sure you are ok"

Not me, but on crowded tube stuck in a tunnel somebody was sick, you've never seen so much space appear in a crowded tube, but once everyone had backed up a bit a carrier bag, bottle of water, tissues and a little hand held fan all emerged from bags and pockets for the poor sick person.

The entire campsite of people who rushed to DH and mine's aid when our windtunnel style tent took off while we were trying to put it up in a gale!

AnnaBegins Thu 26-Jan-12 13:59:04

When I was in America on a choir tour, my friend and I had our wallets stolen from a church. It was the first day so all our money was in there, $300 each, train tickets to get home, subway tickets to get to where we were staying etc etc.

We were both in tears, I had literally no money having maxed my overdraft to go on the trip, and no way of getting money anyway.

The lovely members of the congregation kept coming up to us and giving us money, from $10 to $100! When we added it up, we'd been given nearly as much as was stolen! We were able to survive the next 10 days thanks to their generosity, though we were careful about spending as it didn't feel like "our" money.

When I got home I gave what was left to charity, and hope I can "pass it on" in the future. Those lovely people made a nightmare trip into a lovely trip.

missdeelite Thu 26-Jan-12 14:07:51

When I filled my car with petrol and then realised I had left wallet at home blush and the man behind counter was being really mean... a black cabby offered to pay for me and said I could put money in his paypal account!!!

Peachy Thu 26-Jan-12 14:12:01

A few eyars ago someone came to the house to scream at me (understandably) that asd ds2 had threatened his son at school.

I apologised and explained about his SN.

Their son is in ds2's class and most weeks their son turns up to take ds2 out with their family for a break and bike ride that we struggle to give him.

matters massive amounts and I am so grateful.

The aldy on our camping trip this year who took my boys off for 2 hours one evening- just 100m away but the first child free 2 hours without an important appt or anything that we've ahd in a good year (ds1 non sleeper)

I've been totally reliant on the kindness of strangers when travelling, but the one that sticks in my mind is the time I came down with altitude sickness on a train in China. I'd got up to go to the loo and on the way back to my cabin suddenly became so dizzy that I went completely blind and lost the ability to walk. All I could do was just stand there, clinging to the wall in the corridor. I was travelling totally alone and started to panic, when a lovely Chinese man found me. He guided me to an empty bunk where I could sit down, called the train guards, and woke up his friend (this was at about 3am) who spoke a few words of English to try and translate what the guards were saying. He came by to see me again the next morning to check that I was OK and to give me his address in case I ever wanted to visit him. I'll never forget it.

R2PeePoo Thu 26-Jan-12 14:14:53

The lovely lady who produced a packet of biscuits for DD when she was little and whinging on a bus.

The teen who held back all of her friends from running across the road 'because we have to set the little girl (DD who was holding my hand) a good example and wait for the green man'

The lady who gave DD a little bunch of redcurrants every market day when we lived abroad. DD went through a stage of munching buckets of them and I couldn't afford them one week. When we walked past her stall she came running after me with a bunch in her hand and presented it to DD and waved her hands at me when I tried to pay her. We were living abroad and I was so lonely and grateful for her noticing DD.

And a group of terrifying Croydon teenagers who I thought were going to mug me (lots of gold earrings, baggy trousers and slicked back ponytails) when they hopped off their bench and walked towards me one dark night, but instead carried the pushchair down an entire flight of stairs at a train station, before waiting for me at the other end to help me carry it up again. They put their cigarettes out first and one of the blokes was told 'to stop bloody swearing in front of the baby, you twat'

missdeelite Thu 26-Jan-12 14:24:25

Love R2PP post!!! Live near Croydon too can picture it sooo clearly...

stabiliser15 Thu 26-Jan-12 14:27:12

When I was in sixth form some friends were involved in a very bad car accident, including my best friend, and I went to the hospital to see them. I didnt have any change and was dithering about what to do, and a kind older chap paid for something like 8 hours parking for me.

Also when my siblings and I were little and we had gone to France with my mum to visit her sister. She'd kept driving despite it getting late and we were in the middle of the French countryside not near any towns or places likely to have BnBs. In desperation, my mum knocked on a farmhouse to see if they could point her anywhere. They insisted on putting us all up for the night and gave us a wonderful breakfast and tour of the farm which I remember now. They wouldnt take a franc from my mum.

When DD was about 2 weeks old, and I was recovering from an EMCS, we'd shuffled to the post office to post a letter, and the post office was full. We were in a long queue and I wasnt fantastic at manouvering her pram (still not great now!). DD started to cry and that always panicked me in the early days, and to make matters worse I was in a plain top which demonstrated all too clearly the physical reaction I had to DD's crying. The chap in front of me calmly cleared the queue, steered us to the front, and made everyone move agan so we could get out of the door. Of course that could have been his embarassment, but it was very kind as I was close to bursting into tears.

What a lovely thread.

Miette Thu 26-Jan-12 14:38:14

When my 2nd dd was born my 2 year old dd1 was quite jealous ad had a huge tantrum when it was time to leave the park. I had to carry her out screaming and a man looked at me and laughed and made some comment. It was just nice that he seemed to be sympathising rather than doing a car bum mouth.

When I was heavily pregnant with dd1 i got onto a packed train. (Previous train had been cancelled.) I was standing near the door and a man asked if i was pregnant and when i said i was he said "Right." and ordered some poor chap to get up for me. I thanked thenm both and sat down sheepishly. It was mildly embarrassing but very kind! grin

heliumballoon Thu 26-Jan-12 14:39:33

Last year I was in my first trimester and really sick. I was sitting on a tube platform looking green with my head between my knees and a lady's feet appeared in front of me and she said, are you OK? I said not really- just pregnant, and she said oh dear, you poor thing and went off and came back with a tube of mints and offered me one.

What she didn't know was that earlier that week I had sat with my father as he died. So I really really was pathetically grateful for that mint and her nice words. I think I will probably remember that tiny gesture forever. <sniff>

mummysfunny Thu 26-Jan-12 14:43:33

Heather Mills rang me before I had my amputation to wish me luck and offer some kind words, it was very much appreciated.

jennifersofia Thu 26-Jan-12 14:44:35

Gosh, lots. Just the other day I was struggling walking home with two substantial wooden chairs I had found and a man (whom I didn't know) just walked up to me holding out a hand, saying "Give me one" - he meant to carry it for me, not take it, I hasten to add!
Also loads of people offering to help with pram up steps - thank you!

ajandjjmum Thu 26-Jan-12 14:45:25

Just to show my age!!! We visited London when I was around 6/7, and I wanted a postcard from the shop at the Tower of London. DM gave me the 6d (not a mistake!!) that I needed, and sent me to queue and pay for it. When my turn came, the lady told me that the man in front had paid for the postcard for me. I remember running back to DM and telling her, and we spotted the man, so she sent me over to thank him. So sweet of him.

swangirl Thu 26-Jan-12 14:50:20

R2PP your post made me laugh.
When Ds1 was a newborn myself and DD were leaving the post office and Ds starting crying for a feed. I sat down on a bench near a pub trying to get DS to latch on but it wasn't working. I was getting upset with myself for in eyes letting DS1 down . A lovely lady came over to me and calmed me down. She sent DD who was 4 at the time to the shop buy herself some crisps and a drink for me.I tried to give her the money for the crisp and drink but she refused.She then told me not to be embrassed about feeding Ds1 in public its what boobs are there for.DS had a lovely long feed and that lady's kindness has never been forgotten.
The lady in Tokyo who helped me and DH get to the correct bus so we could get back to our hotel eventhough she could not speak any english. We were both very grateful.
To my homestart voluneteer (sp?) who helped me through a dark time and eventhough she is no longer my voluneteer still takes my DS and DD out for a couple of hours every few weeks and spoils them words will never express enough my gratefulness.

marmiteandjam Thu 26-Jan-12 14:51:52

I lost my electricity key and needed a replacement urgently as we were down to about 40p on the emergency credit. We had to walk to a specific shop to collect a replacement and on the way the heavens opened and we looked like drowned rats. I was dreading the 20 min walk home and then a lovely lady in the shop insisted on giving us a lift home!!

oh gosh - the young chap (early 20's) who paid for my purchase at a Tesco Metro when I realised when I had left my wallet at home - 10 miles away. I was buying pudding blush - he insisted. so sweet

Aw, these are lovely!
<sniffles a bit>

Lots of lovely little gestures from people, but here are a couple:

When I was a teenager I went on a school trip to Russia. The women who cleaned the hotel rooms were notorious for scrounging odds and ends from the guests, so when the woman cleaning my room took an interest in my things on the dressing table, I assumed she wanted something. I gave her a cheapish pair of sunglasses I happened to have and was quite happy to do so, I didn't really need them.
But this woman was different. As well as almost prostrating herself with gratitude when I gave her the glasses, she unexpectedly turned up in my room a little later and presented me with the last two sections of a Russian doll as a thank you. I was very touched and well over 20 years later, DD still plays with it.

Also, DD was toddling through the supermarket with me a few weeks back when an elderly woman started admiring her. Then the woman fumbled in her purse and produced a coin, "That's a pound, isn't it?" she said, squinting. "Get something nice for the little girl."
it was 10p but the gesture was so sweet, bless her.

NoMoreInsomnia12 Thu 26-Jan-12 14:59:34

I left £60 in cash and £60 cheque in my purse on the bus as a student. Most money I'd ever had in my purse at once. University was in an area where most people are not exactly well-off. I realised straight away, skipped my lecture and walked to the bus station. It had already been handed in, completely intact.

BikeRunSki Thu 26-Jan-12 14:59:42

Three weeks after CS, and the day after DH was put on reduced hours, a lady I don't really know at all well came round with:
1 - present for new baby
2 - Lunch (and she had taken the trouble to find out from mutual friend what I'd like and got my favorite)
3 - A bag of "basic" shopping - bread, milk etc

The next week she drove me into town (we are pretty rural and I was still not able to drive) to meet friends and go to supermarket.

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