What's the kindest thing a stranger has done for you?(394 Posts)
Equally, what is the kindest thing you have done for a stranger?
I was at the park with my ds and dd and dn, all aged under 8 and they all had bikes or scooters. I was 15 mins walk from home. Suddenly heard screaming as my dd had come off her bike and got a big bleeding wound on her chin and teeth.
I had to walk home and had two hysterical kids (my ds stayed calm bless him) and three bikes/scooters! Remember calling my dh wondering what the hell to do next, I was like a rabbit in the headlamps freaking out about the kids and their bikes.
I walked by a house where a woman got out her car with her own little kids and saw my dd screaming and bloody, and she said, what can I do to help? I said, I needed a safe place to leave the bikes and then would call an ambulance, so she took in my bikes and scooters and drove us all to the hospital in her people carrier!
Went back the next day to collect bikes and gave her a box of chocolates. She was an angel.
I try to always help with pushchairs/child-wrangling etc because I've been there. There's other stuff I've done too but don't want to go into detail - a weird thing is that I always end up bursting into tears once the good deed is over and I'm walking away. My counsellor reckoned I do this because I was taking care of vulnerable people and subconsciously wishing someone had done the same for me back when I was the vulnerable one
I lost a necklace with high sentimental value when in Greece and a kind Greek man found it and returned it to me - he then insisted on serving me coffee along with the rest of his friends. We had no language in common I still remember him and smile.
I had a bad headache recently and
snapped at told DS1 (3.8yo) as I was putting him to bed that I just wanted him to be QUIET, PLEASE as I didn't want to read and my head hurt. I curled up under the covers feeling dreadful and half-noticed him padding off. He then pulled the covers back and said 'Mummy I brought you some water'. Bless him, he is a sweetie.
A co-worker whom I hardly know recently saved a non-dairy milk voucher and brought it in for me because she 'thought of me when she saw it'. I was quite touched!
Another ex-colleague seemed like a right grumpyguts but brought in a large bag of swim nappies that his kids never used just before I was due to leave my post (and the city!) for maternity leave. Again, a lesson in not judging grumpy people too harshly.
The vehicle recovery man who towed me all the way home at 2am rather than to the nearest garage as my coverage permited, and also the vehicle recovery man who basically stitched my car together with string and made it possible for me to complete a 100 mile journey (at 50 mpa max, but still)!
I'd forgotten those kindnesses
I normally rant and rave about chuggers, but one day made me reevaluate them. I was heading to a meeting in London and running the gamut of chuggers down a a busy central road. I noticed a very confused, elderly man trying to get a newspaper out of the recycling. He wasn't dressed quite right - buttons wrongly done up etc - and was muttering about the newspaper and was quite distressed. I dashed back to the tube station to get a metro paper for him, but I didn't have time to wait with him to find his home or carer. He was pleased with his paper that I had given him but he wasn't sure where he had to go. I spoke to the team leader of the chuggers and she was really happy to take over and was very kind to the old man. She was A Scope rep.
This thread has been lovely and has really touched me. I have had a lot on my plate recently and I have realised I am no longer doing good deeds like I used to. I'm going to start again! So thanks you.
One that sticks in my head is the old lady with her dog I met on my way to work several years ago. She was looking for the vets and seemed confused and had walked quite far. She asked me for directions and the vets was a good half mile away. I walked her there and the dog and gave her a tenner to get home afterwards. I knew she would get completely lost otherwise.
By complete coincidence, the vet nurse knew me from school and a few days later I received a lovely thank you card at my work saying how grateful she was. I was so touched.
I regularly help people cross roads/let drivers through/give people parking tickets with money left but it's been a long time since I did anything more major.
forgot to add "it was in the summer and I was shopping in a supermarket"
when I was pregnant with my first. It was hot outside and cold inside so I think that did me. I was pushing the trolley and I went 'blind' and my legs stopped working and I just slid to the ground. I couldn't hear anything either. It was horrible. A member of staff came over and brought me orange juice to get my sugar levels up and sat with me on the floor whilst I waited for my DH. (both myself and baby were fine) I was so very grateful that the member of staff stayed with me and bought me juice. little things.
I was on a train in the rush hour going to look at a room in a flat - having recently broken up with a boyfriend - when the train didn't stop at the station I was meant to get off at. I asked the man standing next to me and it turned out I'd got on a fast train and would be going miles & miles out of town before it stopped again.
The man got chatting to me and I explained I was trying to find somewhere to live and (eventually) admitted I'd been dumped and how hard it was.
I can't remember now much of what he said, but I remember he was so kind and reassuring and when I made some comment along the lines of 'perhaps I'd better just look for a flat by myself, I'm probably going to be on my own for life now, better get used to it', he said 'no, that's not going to happen, you won't always be on your own'. The conviction with which he said it gave me a real sense of confidence and I left that train feeling like I could do anything.
He was so lovely and gave me that little boost of self esteem when I most needed it, I've never forgotten it. And of course he was right, I wasn't on my own forever.
The midwives in hospital when I had my DD by emergency c-section recently. During the labour we were looked after by 6 different midwives - 4 of them came to see me after their shifts finished to see how I was doing. Two of them gave me a hug and a kiss and said how brave I'd been. It meant the world after a traumatic delivery and a baby in the special care unit.
One spent an hour with me as I cried my eyes out and shared stories of her own emergency section and that she'd felt exactly the same. Made me feel 'normal' at a time when I was feeling anything but!
I truly felt I had friends with me, during a very, very hard week.
Amazing people, midwives.
My DP was also knocked off his motorbike just under 12m ago, after losing a fight with a lorry . He had a broken back, a shredded knee and other injuries. A lady, who was a nurse, left her children in her car and ran up to help, made him comfortable and phoned me. I had then 3month old DD and of course no one answered their phones when I tried to call them to have her so I could go to him. I arrived at the scene to find the nurse lady had gone, but there was a couple who lived opposite who looked after me and held baby DD whilst I flapped about, and a man who had abandoned his wife and toddlers in the car to make sure DP was ok. I took cakes round to both of their houses in the week after, but I still think about them!
My dp was knocked off his motorbike 16 months ago, his injuries were life threatening and he ended up in the hdu after major surgery. I was a wreck, juggling the house, kids, school run and the two hour round trip to the hospital every day. I was really stressing about money, it was 9 days before Xmas, dp was self employed and I knew we would have no money coming in any time soon. Five days after the accident I got a knock at the door and opened it to find a man from ocado with a ton of bags. I'm in a secret group on fb and my lovely friends, most of whom I'd never met, had clubbed together and ordered a huge delivery of essentials, treats for us all and flowers. I cried my eyes out.
The day after another delivery arrived, our Xmas dinner, Turkey, veg, crackers..the lot. All sent from a veterans charity which one of dps mates organised. I cried again.
Dp got out of hospital the day before Xmas eve and it was probably one of the best Christmases I've ever had.
One of the nicest things I was able to do was made possible by the kindness of many other people.
We adopted our children from Russia. It was a long road for us and finally we got word that we had been matched with a baby boy and would be travelling to meet him . We had about a month to wait. A friend of mine was a dance teacher and she passed round a bucket at her end of year performance to collect money for us to bring. Another lady we knew was getting married and asked that in lieu of gifts people dontate to us. And lots of other people donated money too.
So we headed off to Russia with about £1500 to donate to the orphange. When we met director of the orphange and asked her what they needed she said that they wanted to buy some new beds and that some of the money could be used for that. She said that they would be very grateful for shoes or clothes also.
So DH and I went shopping. We were helped by our lovely translator, Alex who came with us. We went to a little shoe shop and Alex explained that we wanted to buy as many pairs of shoes as possible with money we had. The shop assistants were a bit confused but eventually they understood and they actually told the other customers to leave the shop so that they could lock the door and give us their undivided attention.
They packaged up about 50 pairs of childrens shoes, all the time saying how good we were and God bless us and all our friends, They couldn't believe people from a far away country would even care about children in a Russian orphanage.
It was a wonderful experience for us and one we often re-tell.
Talking about adoption, we had so many people help us on both our adoption journey but one in particular was a Notary. All our adoption paperwork had to be notarised and we always used the same one. A few days before we were due to leave for Russia to adopt our daughter the judge requested several additional documents. We rushed around the get them organised and translated and they contacted our notary but he was on holiday. So we got out the phone book and started to ring around. Only the second or third person we talked to told us that he could help. This was at around 5pm, he said he was just about to leave for the day but if we came straight over he would do the job for us. So rushed over to him, about 20 mins away and he did the work for us and didn't even charge us. He said it was for a good cause.
That was one of many very kind deeds people did for us at that time.
Years ago. There was a teacher I hadn't got on well with at school, I had probably been a bit of a bitch (low level disruption, arrogance, generally being a bratty 14 year old). Anyway I couldn't find my name on the list for exam room before one of my GCSEs and managed to get myself into a state. She calmed me down and was really nice to me while dispatching another teacher to sort out the missing name situation. I didn't deserve her kindness.
I fell off my bike recently and lots of strangers stopped to help, got me up, righted my bike etc lots of people all very nice to me.
I had too many food shopping bags and a strapped up wrist on the train the other day. I couldn't scoop them all up. A man lent over and gathered them up for me.
I have a large musical instrument. The amount of people who offer to help on the tube is amazing. I don't need any help with it (my choice to play it!) but always thank them and joke that I'm well practiced now.
When I was little I fell and cut my face open, LOADS of blood. We were quite far from the car. Some strangers stopped, helped keep the cut together with some plasters they had in there car and have us a lift back to our car. That was nice.
In terms of paying it forward, I try to be nice and generally a bit helpful, very small things mainly. One bigger thing recently which was quite alt after people helped me when i came off my bike. A lady fell of her bike outside my flat. People outside got her and her bike out the road and stayed with her for a little bit. I was watching out the window. Then people kinda drifted away.
After about 5 mins I decided she really didn't look like she was ok - went out and she kept saying she was fine, no ambulance, she was fine. But she wasn't moving from her sitting position and was very white. I called an ambulance, sat with her quietly letting her know one was on its way.
I took her bike into the flat for her as she didn't have a bike lock with her and the ambulance wouldn't take it too (obviously). She wasn't ok, had hit her head and dislocated her shoulder. Couldn't believe how quickly the ambulance got there to be honest.
Some lovely stories on here.
My parents once did a RAOK which I still think about. About 25 years ago they came back from a holiday in Italy, arrived at Heathrow in foul weather ( it was autumn). Dm just longing to get home for a nice cup of tea. They got approached by an Italian couple in their late 20s/ early 30s with very poor English, wanting directions to Cambridge. DM tried to explain about getting to Kings Cross, getting train to Cambridge, but they didn't seem to grasp it.
So DF says to DM that he thinks they'll get lost, so why don't they drive this couple to Cambridge. My parents don't live anywhere near Cambridge, so what should have been a 2 hour journey home became a 5 hour journey. It was a Sunday evening, DM had to be at work the next morning. She was not impressed.
So, when they get to Cambridge, the Italian woman gives DM the phone number of the B and B they're booked into. Parents find phone box and DM phones B and B to get directions. Woman who answers phone is Italian but with good English, gives directions and explains to DM that couple are relatives of hers, and that
they have come to UK for IVF treatment at Bourn Hall, because they can't get it in Italy. They'd saved for years for the opportunity.
DM still says occasionally that she's so pleased they gave the couple a lift, and wonders if they ever had their longed-for baby. I now coincidentally live very near Bourn Hall and sometimes when I'm passing there wonder the same.
Way before mobile phones I was due to meet a friend at a taxi station. She didn't turn up, I was only about 13. A kind driver gave me 50p for a drink which I have never forgotten. And indeed, I will always offer help to those who seem in trouble
Gorgeous thread which has made me sniffle and also inspired me to do more than the little raok's I do. (Parking tickets, money for the homeless, etc.)
The biggest raok ever done for me was this Easter. Me, DH, Ds1,ds2 and DD were on holiday in the USA and had driven up a woodland road in Vermont in search of the Appalachian trail ( I had read Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods and wanted to just have a little walk on the trail!)
Anyway, the track suddenly got v. muddy and of course the car got stuck. We tried everything we could but there was no getting out. It being Easter most of the (sporadic) houses we had passed were empty due to being summer houses. It also suddenly turned really cold and mist started rolling in.
So after walking down this path for about 2 hours and having paranoid thoughts about being eaten by a bear we knock un-optimistically at yet another house only to have it answered - hurrah! In this house lived the loveliest couple you could hope to meet, and amazingly they had a truck with a winch on the front! We all climbed in the truck, drove back up to the stuck car (having a lovely chat with them learning all about their family) and within 5 minutes the lovely man had got our car out, despite being well over 80 years old! It turned out that sat navs often wrongly sent people down this dead end track when they typed Appalachian trail into them and we were about the 50th set of people they'd helped get unstuck in the 30 years they'd lived there.
They would accept no offers of money to cover their petrol or anything else other than a handshake and our immensely heartfelt thanks, they said the fact that they managed to help us was reward enough. Having got back in their car they gave us a wave and drove off.
The final lovely bit was as we drove back past their house (after stopping for 5 minutes to take photos of where we'd been stuck!) the lady was sitting in the window and waved as we drove past, she'd obviously been sitting there waiting for us to drive past to make sure we got back ok.
Such a lovely couple and if we ever go back I'm going to find their house and secretly deliver a massive box of chocs and bunch of flowers as we had to leave Vermont that evening and didn't have a chance to go back to their house with a thank you gift.
I went out for dinner and drinks with my friends this evening for a birthday. We were all feeling very old as most of the people hitting the clubs were teens and early 20's!
My DP offered to collect us about 40 min ago from by a taxi rank. We got there and I saw a young girl, must have been about 20, barefoot and hobbling between taxis appearing to beg them to take her home as her dad would pay when they got her home. She was crying and looked really distressed.
I gave her a hug and she said that she had twisted her ankle and just wanted to go home but only had £12.50 for the £20 cab and her "friends" had abandoned her.
I gave her my last £10 and set her off on a cab.
I can't really tell anyone IRL as I'm self employed, struggling (tonight was a lot of vouchers and saving) and that £10 is a big deal to me. My DP would be really cross on my behalf.
But she needed help and I believe she was sincere.
Hopefully she will be able to help someone else one day.
Last Christmas Eve we were without power and mobile phone signal in our village. A gentleman who had broken down driving through flood water a short walk from our house, knocked and asked to use our landline to phone the AA. I suggested he give the AA our number in case they needed to get a message to him. Sure enough about an hour later they rang and said they wouldn't be with him for several hours.
I relayed the message to him at which point he told me he was a Priest and was supposed to be doing four services that afternoon (including two prison ones) I ended up driving him to the town he needed to get to. Due to the flood water the round trip took 3 hours. To be fair all the Christmas baking I had planned to do during this time wasn't going to happen anyway without the power.
He arrived on Christmas Day with flowers and chocolates to say he had arrived back 15 minutes before the car hire closed, got the last car and made it to all his services I am not particularly religious but hope this puts me in a good light when the time comes
My car broke down on Autoroute in Northern France once, just outside Calais. Mechanic in lorry pulled up, fixed my car and wouldn't take a single Euro payment.
Lovely thread. I've done little random acts of kindness for others, and they have done them for me. There are lots of very decent, kind people in the world, and a small thing can make a complete stranger's day.
Kindest thing I did for a stranger... I tend to stop and help people in accidents.
One time I stayed with an older woman who had got a concussion from hitting a pole at a bus. I was also the first to reach her.
And I stopped on a motorway to help a couple who had crashed their car. The woman was bleeding from her forehead and I stayed with her till the ambulance arrived.
Another time, I stayed with another woman in another bus who had a tachycardia crisis.
That a stranger did for me...
It has to be the two times strangers approached us and called the police when already ex was being violent on the street. And offered their details as witnesses.
The midwife who held my hand the whole way through my emergency c-section. I was 18 and the baby's dad decided he couldn't cope with the idea of coming into theatre.
It doesn't sound like much, but I was really poorly and my daughter had to be taken into special care. That was nearly 18 years ago and. My daughter died aged 5 months (unrelated to the birth) but the kindness of the midwife made the birth a lovely experience I still look back and can have fond memories.
I know its an older thread now, but...
The midwife who stayed on for about 4 hours after her shift ended rather than me have to change yet again, her having been on duty the day before when I came in, had done a shift, gone home and another full shift while i was there, still labouring. Some flowers got sent to the hospital for me a few days later after I had finally had DS1 and left. I asked them to give them to her. She wrote me a lovely letter, no one else had ever given her their flowers before.
The lady whose car I accidentally reversed into when I was 18 and did several hundred pounds of damage, but she didn't ask for a penny towards it, just said she hoped I'd be similarly kind in future if a new driver ran into my car.
The lady with the broken arm in a plaster who was the only person to help me with my suitcase on and off three trains when we found ourselves on the same route on a train strike day when I was 38 weeks pregnant, with SPD and finishing work that day for mat leave.
I was shopping in a busy shopping centre once alone, suddenly I went all clammy and dizzy, was still far from a bench and knew I wouldn't make it so just sort of collapsed on the floor near the steps leaning against this glass window, bags all sprawed out. Most people just stared but after about 2 minutes a woman came over and asked if I was ok and I said no, I felt like I was going to pass out. She ran into Boots opposite, got me a drink and obviously spoke to a member of staff as she sat with me and 5 minutes later, security brought a wheelchair down. I don't drive so security wanted to call someone for me, but the lady insisted she looked after me. She wheeled me up to the food court, bought me a jacket potato and made sure I was OK. I felt better after about an hour, she wouldn't take any money, nothing, just said she was glad to help and off she went! I was so thankful.
Also thankful to the people that called an ambulance when I had a seizure at a bus stop. I didn't know I had epilepsy at the time. They weren't about when I came around but glad someone helped me.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.