Has a random act of kindness stayed in your memory forever?

(310 Posts)
CrushWithEyeliner Mon 18-Feb-08 20:09:17

Once when I was 21 I was on the tube going home after work when I suddenly felt really really awful and had to get off the train. I wandered up to the ticket barrier when a guard saw me and asked me if I was OK. I was feeling so faint I couldn't even talk I just said I felt sick. He then took me into the back room where he and his colleagues made me sweet tea, toast and talked to me for ages until I felt better then called me a cab home, they were really concerned.

I know it sounds really silly but I have never forgotten how sweet they were to me and how much better I felt for it and it was so long ago and such a little thing - does anyone have any similar experiences?

Wisteria Tue 19-Feb-08 10:01:44

Yes - my camper caught fire on 30th January on the A46 between M69 and Coventry on our way to Newquay for the party on fistral beach via Leamington, it was pouring with rain and I had both children with me.

We were huddled together in a lay-by waiting for the RAC, freezing, miserable and wet (although the fire had gone out I was too nervous to get back in).

A big silver car pulled up and I was petrified that we were about to be attacked but a man got out and tentatively told me not to be scared that he wasn't going to come any closer, asked if I was ok and whether I needed to use his phone; I explained that I was ok and the rescue mission was in hand but thank you - he then explained that he'd been driving the other way and saw me so went all the way up to the next roundabout to come back and check we were ok smile, he then gave me the biggest golfing umbrella you'd ever seen but refused to give me his address so that I could send it back.
I think it was a Lexus and it was millennium NY.

oljam Tue 19-Feb-08 10:25:39

I've got two; the first I was about 8 months pregnant with DS1 and travelling home from Liverpool Street, the trains were all up the spout and I had to be crammed like a sardine with everyone else. Well I started to feel very, very faint and knew I was going to faint, so I asked this guy in a suit if I could please take his seat because I thought I was going to faint. He told me if I felt that bad I should sit on the floor, and I was going to as well, until the guy with the piercings, dreadlocks, tattoos etc sat opposite him gave me his seat and gave the suit a mouthful. I was so grateful.

My second was just a few weeks ago. The local river burst its banks and the children and I had to be rescued in the night by boat and we were shown on local telly. The next day when I went to drop the kids off at school, the acts of kindness that were shown to me by the staff and parents were unbeleivable. Clothes and toys for children, a shoulder to cry on for me, loads of offers of help and assistance. The thing is we live in France and my French although passable isn't great and I do struggle to communicate with everyone at school. They were amazing, the offers of help were unbelievable, they were even going to set up a cleaning rota with all the parents to come and clean my house when the water went. I even went into a local shop to buy some pants and socks for me and the kids as we couldn't get back to the house and all the clothes had obviously been in a basket waiting to be ironed on the floor of the utility room, the shop had seen me on the telly and gave me all my stuff for free. I spent a lot of time in tears that week, but mostly it was because of the kindness of the people around me. I am so grateful to everyone in those weeks after the flood and somehow merci bien and merci beaucoup just doesn't cut the mustard, I've found myself giving hugs to virtual strangers trying to express my thanks, I think they just think I'm the weirdo English woman now. I will never forget their kindness though and hope one day that I can be as selfless to others if they're in a similar situation.

Kewcumber Tue 19-Feb-08 10:28:37

Mine was really nothing much compared to some of these.

When I was adopting DS, I saw his carers every day on our endless twice daily visits. It was difficult trying to keep a 1yr old occupied for 2 hours at a stretch in a small ante-room off the main sick bay he was in at the time.

One day two of the carers led me into the main sickbay and sat me down on a tiny childrens chair in front of a tiny table laid with food of various sorts. They made me a cup of very weak very sugary coffee and gestured at the food and told me to eat and sat and watched beaming all the time as I struggled to swallow the raw bacon fat, pickled tomatoes and potato pastries they had brought.

They were so pleased to share what they had which was really very little and so very much less really than I had. My lovely lovely ladies

My whole trip was littered with random acts of kindness.

Kewcumber Tue 19-Feb-08 10:31:17

and they bought us presents to go home with - a little pottery figure saying "don't forget Ust Kamenogorsk" (as if I could!), a little crocheted mat one of them had made and a little bib for DS. I cried blush

eidsvold Tue 19-Feb-08 10:37:31

when dd1 was in having her 1st open heart operation - another mother whose child was in ICU recovering from open heart surgery was kind enough to let us look at her little one whilst the nurse explained that this is how dd1 would be when she got back from surgery.

The mother then went to great lengths to assure me that all would be well with dd1 and that she would be fine etc.

We learnt later that the woman's baby had what dd1 had originally been tentatively diagnosed with - a heart defect that had not such a good outcome - lots of surgery and a heart transplant as teenager if they survived that long.

I felt so blessed that a mother who would face a much tougher time than me could find it in her heart to reassure me that all would be well when she had her own little one to worry about.

I now try to repay that kindness by assisting others when and where I can.

Belgianchox Tue 19-Feb-08 10:45:30

On our way home from a skiing holiday we stopped for tea at a hamburger place. When we got back to the car it had been broken into and several bags stolen. It was nighttime and freezing cold and we still had a 4 hour drive home to finish. A random man in the carpark noticed our plight, and told us to stay put. He came back with a sheet of mdf and some duck tape and proceeded to patch up our broken window just so we could get home without freezing to death. A really lovely thing to do for complete strangers.

iloverosycheeks Tue 19-Feb-08 10:54:11

When heavily pregnant and suffering from really sore back, I hobbled out to nearest chemist to ask if I could use deep heat or similar while pregnant - when young girl behind counter told me I couldn't I just burst into tears, really kind old lady chemist brought me round back of counter and into wee room, sat me down, gave me drink of water and tissues, her kindness just made me cry more. She then went off did some research and advised me what I could do for my back. She was just so concerned and motherly. Once I'd had DS I brought him in to show her and nearly starting crying again because early new born days so awful!!

theboob Tue 19-Feb-08 11:02:02

when i was having ds2 last year a hca on the ward never left my side ,she got my contractions stronger and rubbed my back and walked me up and down the corridors endless times ,showing my dh the best way to comfort me,because they were getting close she stayed with me through her break,when i came back to the ward she was the first person there to greet me and could not do enough for me my whole time there,i am thinking about this even more now as ds2 is 1 tommorow ,
did anybody feel really emotional when there dc turned 1 or is it just me being softblush
there are some lovely stories on this thread

dizzydixies Tue 19-Feb-08 11:21:26

OMG, there should be a warning on this thread so as not to read when Pg - am a complete snivelling mess, at least am not at my work

what a great thread and how humbling to read, I can't think of an example right now but am sure something will come to me when I stop sobbing!

chrissnow Tue 19-Feb-08 11:25:26

dizzy - I'm not pregnant, not recently post-natal and not PMTish and I'm still snivelling!!!

peppamum Tue 19-Feb-08 11:35:27

When I was backpacking in Australia I had a bust up with my friend and ended up on my own, and was devastated (slightly embarrassingly so - I passed out in the bar!). This Aussie lad I met in a hostel (he was on holiday) took me back to his flat, let me stay in the spare room for a few days until the only other person I knew in Australia, who lived in teh same town, was back. He showed me round and I met his mum and aunt.

When I was getting an onward coach, my friend wasn't free so he came and picked me up, drove me to the station and waved me off on the coach. I was so grateful for being seen off, it was like having family around and he didn't expect anything back off me in return. His name was Jonathon and I often think what a lovely thing that was to do for a stranger.

AbbeyA Tue 19-Feb-08 11:41:58

There are lots of nice people about.Last time I went to London with my mother I automatically went on the underground (with 2 small children in tow).I didn't think about her getting elderly until we were crammed on the platform like sardines. I knew there was no point letting a train go because it would be just as bad by the next one, but neither was I sure that she would cope standing up-however as we got on a young man instantly stood up and gave her his seat-we were so grateful.

lisalisa Tue 19-Feb-08 11:50:54

Message withdrawn

TotalChaos Tue 19-Feb-08 12:04:18

Virgin train buffet staff who were concerned that I couldn't afford to get a drink for DS (some misunderstanding, not quite sure how it happened!!), so brought out two bottles of mineral water and insisted on giving them to us for free blush

When DS and I were in hospital for prolonged jaundice, a lovely nurse who had previously done breastfeeding counselling work spent a lot of time talking and helping me out, even though technically DS wasn't one of her patients.

Lady on Dublin flight who offered to carry me bags as I was dealing with DS having a screaming tantrum when he woke up when the flight touched down.

Another MNer crying ehre!

There have been a few in my life I can think of straight away.

First one I was met of my school bus by three 'friends' who then proceeded to assault me, everythign from whipping my hands with canes and breaking my knuckles to slashing my face with glass and rubbing mud in it to 'show me'. (Apparently one of their boyfriends ahd said I was pretty), I'd been with them for about an hour, had no chance of leaving and they dragged me across a bridge where an old lady saw us and asked if I was okay. She chased them off and took me home.

Another time when pg with DS I was walking DD to nursery and I fainted, falling on top of her, about four different people tn the street I was walking down came and and picked us up and one of them drove me to the nursery and then to the doctors to my midwife.

Lastly when I was being attacked by my XP my neighbour had seen him come home drunk and came and knocked on my door, took my DD to their house and warned my XP that they would be back and expected me to be ok.

Chuffinnora Tue 19-Feb-08 13:17:24

For me I received numerous small kindness in one day which completely puts paid to the 'all Londoners are rude and selfish' theory.
Dh working in London during half term so DD, DS and myself went along for a bit of a jolly. Took tube to Science Museum and my brand new sandal fell apart making it impossible to walk. Found a heel bar and asked if he could fix it - he didn't think so but applied a strong glue to tide me over til I could buy a new pair, he wouldn't let me pay. Someone else told me where I could pick up a cheap pair of sandals close to the tube station and every set of stairs we met that day we had someone to help lift the buggy. IME Londoners are kind and helpful. The worst were the other parents with prams in the science museum pretending they didn't see the queue for the lift.

dizzydixies Tue 19-Feb-08 13:22:26

VS what a terrible things to happen to you, thank god for old ladies and neighbours

Shit happens, but in most of my really crap times someone came to my aid, gives me faith in humankind. smile

dizzydixies Tue 19-Feb-08 13:34:25

am pleased, am afraid in my job you see mostly only the 'shit happens' side of stuff, this thread has restored some of my faith in human kindness!

RubySlippers Tue 19-Feb-08 13:35:01

when i was in the very early stages of pregnancy i was working FT and i felt exhausted and rotten

One day, when i felt spectacularly bad, my colleague insisted i had a nap whilst she fielded all my phone calls and made sure no-one disturbed me

Also, all the people who gave their seat up for me on the tube when i was PG

Phono Tue 19-Feb-08 14:09:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

funnyhaha Tue 19-Feb-08 14:23:30

<sniff>
<Goes off to find person to inflict act of random kindness on>

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 19-Feb-08 16:41:45

bump? xx m

lucylala Tue 19-Feb-08 16:57:36

bumpity bump - come on ladies - let's keep us all smiling - great thread!

Sparkler Tue 19-Feb-08 17:50:24

I was having a down in the dumps day and Surfermum popped up on MSN. We were chatting and I told her how I was feeling. She was really supportive. I went offline and did stuff around the house. Next thing the phone rings and it's Surfermum telling me to look outside. She driven from her home and left a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate on the doorstep with a message to cheer me up on it. It was so kind and thoughtful of her. It started me off crying again - but in a good way wink smile She's a sweetheart.

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