Has a random act of kindness stayed in your memory forever?(310 Posts)
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?
Last year I was riding home on my motorbike and someone wasn't looking where they were going, pulled out of a side road and hit me. Whilst I was lying in the road, waiting for an ambulance one woman (from a rather large crowd of people who had rushed over to help) managed to interpret my garbling and call DP then sat with me for the twenty minutes it took to for the paramedics to arrive. She held my hand the whole time and encouraged me to talk and not to move (it was suspected that I had broken my spine) and just generally kept me calm. I wish I could find her and say thank you.
I'll never forget the kindness that was shown to me one year when I nearly spent a very miserable christmas alone.
I was a student working abroad on my year off, and was looking forward to flying home to see my family at xmas (had never been away from them before), but unfortunately due to problems with my boss having to go back to the UK and leave me in charge, I was left in the apartment, all on my own, to face a lonely christmas with not a single soul for company. I phoned my family in tears on xmas eve, absolutely devastated to have to tell my mum I wouldn't be coming home, I had to stay. She also got teary which made me feel even worse
So I basically went to the shop, loaded up on snacks and wine, and spent xmas eve watching foreign telly, while crying into my drink. I felt so lonely and so sad that I wasn't with all my family having the nice xmas that I was so looking forward to. I just wanted to get myself drunk and hopefully sleep through it.
Until....I had a knock on the door, about 11pm, it was the housemaid who cleaned the apartment...I'll never forget it, she said "Hello I was going past the road and I saw the lights on, I couldnt help it, I wanted to check you were not alone, I thought you would be going home?"
Anyway I told her my sob story (through tears), and she said to me "this is not right for a young girl to spend xmas alone!! You must come with me, I hope you like chicken and beef because we are having a BBQ at my house, quickly put your shoes on, Im taking you to spend xmas with my family, they will welcome you with open arms.."
Well of course I pathetically blubbed even more at her generosity, and I had the most amazing xmas eve ever, it was the best...there was a huge BBQ, lots of her friends and family who welcomed me like theyd known me for years, and we laughed and talked all night...Also, we all spent xmas day together too!! I helped cook the lunch, entertain the kids etc..I ended up having a wonderful day, and not once did I feel out of place, they truly welcomed me like one of the family. I will never forget that lovely lady or her family....because of her I had one of the best xmas' ever, when I so nearly could have spent it depressed and drunk.
Few years back christmas shopping in a shopping centre i felt very hot suddenly and felt like i was going to faint and i just collapsed by the side of some steps, i was all dizzy, clammy, just awful. Felt like I was really ill. Most people ignored me or just stared at me like i chose to sit collapsed but one woman stopped me, called for help and got me a wheelchair from upstairs, WHEELED me up to the food court bought me a jacket potato and refused to take any money for it, sat with me to while we ate together and wished me well.
A few years back I was taken into A&E and admitted to hospital, really not very well. The Dr ordered all sorts of tests and I was none the wiser what was wrong. I was due to go for exploratory surgery about 5pm so DH was told not to bother coming in for evening visiting. There was a delay in surgery so I hadn't gone down by visiting, every other person on the ward had visitors, happy and laughing. I was curled up crying and feeling very sorry for myself when this nurse appeared, very matronly 'now now what's all this silly crying about' type person, gave me a huge hug and sat with me for half an hour until I had calmed down.
Incidently didn't get taken down to theatre until 11.30pm in the end!
Despite working in the hospital and being aware of the no flowers rule, DH sent a huge bunch of flowers for me. Ended up giving them to this lovely nurse to take home.
Dh and I just got first place together (pre marriage) all doe eyed and misty... And forgot we had no furniture
Next door Neighbour appeared with 2 garden chairs for us
Weirdly I then worked with him, and now he's v poorly so hoping the kindness will bring him good get well karma
I've had a few. One night when I was about 18 I was going out to a club. After waiting ages for what was probably the last bus I realised that I didn't have any change on me for the fare (this was in Dublin where you can only pay with coins because they go in a coin collector thingy and you get a receipt for any over payment). The bus driver saw that I was upset about not having money for the fare so he let me on for free. I was the only person on the bus so I sat up the front chatting to him. He asked me where I was going and I said I was going to the Temple Theatre. Since I was the only person on the bus he decided to take a detour and drop me off right outside the club. Absolute legend!
Another one was quite recently. I have anxiety issues and for a long time I couldn't even get on the tube. I've been better recently after some CBT but really I need a seat or I start panicking. I got on the tube and there weren't any seats so I decided the best thing to do would be to go to the end of the carriage and sit down against the door between carriages. I did that and immediately a guy got up and gave me his seat even though he wasn't getting off for another few stops. I really wanted to explain to him just how much it meant to me but I was worried it would make him uncomfortable if I talked to him about my mental health issues. If anyone knows the man in vibram five fingers who gave me his seat and got off at Fulham Broadway about two months ago, please do tell him how much I appreciate his kindness.
<Injects thread with secret serum and brings back to life>.
Today a young member of a well know supermarket's staff was walking into the store as I was trying to leave and saw that I was completely incapable of carrying all my bags, he walked half of them to the bus stop around the corner despite my protestations and despite the fact that I am neither a hot babe nor obviously old and frail. Frankly I would have been buggered without his help.
I must buy a shopping trolley.
This is a wonderful thread! I have a couple of stories to add.
When I was at university, I was travelling back to Reading from London on a lateish train. I closed my eyes for a minute on a packed train and woke up to find it completely empty. I'd arrived at the final destination (Bristol) at about 2am. I found a platform guard and burst into tears.
He took me to the guard's room and told me I could sleep on the sofa and he would wake me up in time for the first train back. This he did and then got on the train with me, told me to sleep again and he would wake me up at Reading to make sure I made it home!
My second also involves falling asleep on a train (running theme in my life). I woke up, realised I'd missed my stop and jumped off at the next station. I then realised I had no clue where it was, it had been the last train, there was no-one around, it was dark and a tiny place. I phoned the taxi number on the wall at the station. A lady answered and said that all the taxis in the area were tied up at a big function. I burst into tears and asked what I should do. She said that she could tell that I was a woman on my own in great distress and she would sort something out. She phoned me back and said that she had rearranged the work schedule and she was on her way to pick me up herself, as she didn't want me to feel uncomfortable with a male taxi driver in the middle of nowhere at that time of night. I am still very grateful to her.
Yes, one act of kindness really sticks in my mind.
About fifteen years ago I applied for a job. I had just left a job where I had not got on with the manager (none of the staff did).
I went for the interview for the new job which went very well...afterwards the lady interviewer (my new potential manager) took me to one side and said that she wanted to offer me the job but I would need to get a different reference as my previous manager had not given a good one (barstard). I got the different reference and got the job.
I owe that woman my entire career. She gave me a massive break and I did well in my work, progressing well along the career ladder. She could easily have not offered me the job at all due to the poor reference.
I was sorry to hear a couple of years ago that she had passed away from cancer.
Thank you ** I will always remember the opportunity that you gave me.
In LA I stopped to ask a homeless guy for directions and he gave me $5! I was so startled I just said, "thank you".
When I was working in central London and used to leave my newspaper at the coffee shop each day. There would always be a guy sitting there, he looked homeless. Every day I used to think, "One day I'll give him some money/do something for him.". Then he approached me and gave me two quid saying he always read the newspaper I left and it was time he gave me some money.!
At a coffee shop I got to the counter to find I'd left my purse behind and the guy next in line said, "I'll get it for you" - wow, so kind.
When my baby son was well enough to be discharged from hospital, the staff offered to bring him home so I didn't have to drive into the city again as they knew how exhausted I was. Amazing.
I was 8 and a half months pg with DD. We are travellers and were on the road at the time.
I travelled with horses (they pulled my home). My main horse was also pg (10 and a half months, due at the same time as me).
I had had a hard time with XP who had left me and didn't want to know. So a few months previously I'd travelled (without my horses) to southern europe to stay with friends and had just returned to the UK after deciding that Spanish maternity 'care' was slightly rudimentary and not for me.
My horses had been in the care of a traveller friend while I was away but it was time to gather my possessions around me in time for myself and my mare to deliver.
I had found a field which I could just about afford to rent, which was near a traveller site, where some friends were, and hopefully we could stay in one place for long enough for me to have the baby.
This was about 25 miles away from the place where my mare was and it was spring. Having no money at all now that I had paid four weeks advance rent on the field, and having six legs between us, I decided we should just get out there and start walking.
Unfortunately since I was too round to get on and off the horse on my own, and she was a bit round too, I knew that we wouldn't make it in a day. But there was no other option available, and I decided that something would turn up.
We happily strolled and munched the verges for around 13 miles in faint sunshine and light drizzle, looking possibly a bit Nativity, if Mary's donkey had been a nice bay mare too many hands high for her to get onto... and then the daylight started to fade.
We came into in a little Cotswold village. I stopped everyone I saw and asked if they knew any of the owners of the fields around us. Eventually someone pointed me in the direction of the vicarage, because they told me that vicar's wife ran a Riding for The Disabled scheme.
I walked up to the lovely old stone building across a gravel drive with a horse in my hand. I knocked on the door and a lovely lady answered. I explained that I was travelling with my horse and asked if I could pop her into the field with her horses for the night, I would be back first thing in the morning to pick her up and continue my journey.
The vicar's wife was delighted to help, and we'd let my mare loose in her field with the other horses within minutes. The horse kicked up her heels and ran around in excitement. I asked the lady if I could use her phone as my friend who had a car had arranged to be in the pub in the place I was headed for - this was in the days before mobile phones! The lady said of course, and would you like some food too? Before I knew it I was wolfing down a huge plate of veggie lasagne straight out of her Aga.
As my friend with the car arrived to pick me up for the night, the vicar's wife asked me as a kind of afterthought, why was I walking with the horse and not transporting her in a horsebox? Was she difficult to box? I told her that I didn't have any money to rent a horsebox, and she asked very politely if I would possibly accept the use of her horsebox the next morning?
Reader, I could have wept. I hichhiked back there the next morning (friend with car had other business to attend to) and we popped that pregnant mare in the horsebox and drove her the remaining 12 miles to her new field. This was really brilliant as the final 3 miles would have meant walking through a town centre and then up a massive hill. Feisty and independent though I was, I'm no fool and my motto is always never look a gift horsebox in the mouth.
Within 10 days both myself and my mare had been delivered of two females of the species.
I will never forget that vicar's wife. My DD is now at university and I think I should go back to the vicarage to see if I can leave a message of thanks.
Have really enjoyed reading this old thread and wanted to add a couple myself. Years ago whilst travelling alone in the States, had a really long walk from the underground station to the youth hostel in North Carolina, carrying 2 v heavy suitcases (without wheels) and therefore could only walk about 5 steps before stopping for a rest, when a guy appeared out of nowhere and carried them the entire rest of the way for me (about a mile). He simply dropped them off for me and walked back the way we came, not looking for anything in return.
Another was not long after I'd moved to England. On a night out with my new flatmate in Birmingham, we ended up having a row and I stormed off out of the nightclub (very drunk!). I didn't know where I was or where to go to get a taxi home and was staggering aimlessly when a young couple stopped and asked me what I was doing. When I told them what happened, they told me to go with them took me to the main area, hailed a taxi and gave me £20 for the taxi home! They said they were off duty police officers and had seen too many bad things happen to girls like me so wanted to be sure I got home safely. They also told the taxi driver who they were and to make sure I got home ok.
Will always be grateful to them for looking after a drunk lost girl.
After withdrawing a whole lot of money from my first paycheck for a proper job when I was 20, I accidentally dropped it while trying to pocket it. About 10 minutes later, a man and child approached me with the cash. They had seen me drop the money and had followed me down some busy city streets to catch up with me. They had not given up when they called me to turn around and I didn't hear due to the traffic noise. My heroes!
I know this is old ish now but i wanted to add a few...
Me and some friends hitchhiked across Europe for charity when we were at uni and some of the kindness from total strangers was amazing. There was the couple who loaded all 3 of us complete with huge backpacks into their tiny citiron already filled with their luggage and drove us for 2 hours and ended up taking us 50km out of their way so we could catch a midnight ferry and save a fortune.
There was also the well dressed business man who picked us up in france in the early hours after wed spent the night sleeping rough in a field because we couldnt get a life anywhere else. He stopped for 3 dirty rough looking hitchhikers in his brand new audi and even put the heating on because i was so cold i couldnt feel my feet.
They 2 lads when i was travelling in Bali and mis judged the prices and gave me and a friend their hotel room for the night and slept in a shared room with friends becuase we couldnt afford a room. This was the first time wed had running water and air con for 2 weeks ! We left all the money we had but it didnt feel like enough of a thank you !
Anyway , all you you thank you so so much , you restored my faith in people !
I've reagents while thread and sobbed like a child at all the wonderful stories.
Mine are fairly small things, but nice nonetheless;
I at Download Festival in 2010, when managed to lose my purse with all my money and bank cards (a festival virgin who didn't separate my money!). I was distraught and luckily my friends lent me some cash for food. I was made up the next day when I found that my purse was handed in to lost property - complete with every penny of my £200+ and my bank cards! Thank you to whoever handed that in - just shows we metalheads aren't as scary as we look I repaid my friends plus bought us all beer.
(Bit different to my experience at Sonisphere Festival later that year. On my first night, despite being super cautious about separating my cash/cards and hiding spare in my bra, I put it all together when I went to sleep. Someone broke into my tent and stole the (same) purse from out of my bag from next to my sleeping face . Thankfully (?) I didn't know until I woke up the next day, but I was once again at a festival with no money. Again, my fab friends (different ones) lent me food money and bought me cider. The purse was handed in - but this time sadly stripped of cash. The card was there but i had already cancelled it. Luckily my travel insurance covered me and I got all my money back, less the excess fee. Again I repaid my friends - but I got rid of that damn purse as I'm sure it was cursed)
When I started high school, we has not long moved to a "rough" estate (not that rough in comparison to some, but the worst here). We were considered "posh" for some reason as we spoke a bit nicer, and as a result used to have things thrown through our windows etc. I didn't make any friends on the estate because of this and because I was incredibly shy at that age. One day on the bus home, I was sat in my usual area at the front downstairs when some older boys started picking on me; calling me names, throwing sweets and eventually culminating in squashing a tangerine in my hair . Some older "hard" girls had somehow heard about what was happening and come down the stairs, shouted at the boys to stop and told me that from now on, I was to come and sit upstairs at the back of the bus with them. I sat on the second back seat on the top deck til the say I left school - long after those older is had gone. I was still a shy mouse who had no friends on the estate, but no one questioned my right to sit up there
Beautiful, beautiful thread. So lovely it seems to be revived around this time of year.
This is very very random. When I was about 13 I was in the Scouts and we started talking on CB radio (I think it was CB, possibly not). Anyway over a period of weeks and months we started talking to what we believed was a group of Scouts in Czechoslovakia. Our Scout leader was a lovely man but random to say the least and in the course of these conversations it was decided we would go over there on our summer camp and meet up with these Scouts. We loaded up the minibus and drove to Czechoslovakia. In case anyone is wondering that takes a long time.
When we got to what we thought was the rendez vous - nothing. No campsite, no Scouts. We spent a night in a layby and drove into Prague (about an hour fortunately so not far) where we contacted the British Consulate for advice and also to get in touch with parents at home to discuss what we should do and, I suppose, get some money wired. Whilst in Prague our random Scout leader ended up chatting to some young bloke
who was gorgeous I might inconsequentially add who was a doctor and, hey presto, an actual Scout leader. His troop were going on camp two days later and they invited us to join them. So we spent the next two nights in a youth hostel we found and then joined this completely random set of Scouts in their camp. They shared their food, drink, tents, everything with us.
We never knew whether the other Scouts were just a massive wind up, whether there had been a miscommunication, whatever. But the bunch we ended up with were the nicest people in the world and the following year me, my mum and one other girl went to stay with gorgeous young doctor's parents in their flat in Prague, and afterwards the troop came back with us for a week's camp.
When I went for my first scan (first baby), very exciting, had drank lots of water - all ready to go in. They couldn't see the baby properly and told me to go back and drink another jug of water. I was panicking at this point (not believing I was pregnant anyway until I saw evidence) just wanted to see my baby! So I drank the jug of water and waited...and waited. By this point I was so desperate for a wee I was actually about to wet myself, I could feel myself filling up. I ran to the toilet and did the biggest wee ever. I came back to the sonography room, and was looking for a Sonographer to tell, but instead the little old lady who was a volunteer asked me if I was okay, I burst into tears and told her "I had to go for a wee" she told me that it was fine, got me another jug of water and made sure that I was next in the queue and didn't have to wait any longer.
DD eventually showed up on the scan and is now 15months.
Believe in the power of random acts of kindness. Many years ago I was coming home from work on the train when there was a catastrophic overhead power line pull down and a 45 min journey took 7 hours and ended 30 miles from my destination. In my carriage was an elderly man getting increasingly worried about it. I told him to stick with me and and when we finally arrived at a station I was able to call my brother in law to collect me and take me and my new friend back to our respective houses.
Fast forward to the terrible snow of last year when my son and his girlfriend were trying to get home for Christmas laden with laptops, revision and presents and all but a handful of trains were cancelled. As they set out for an hours walk to the station as there were no taxis or buses in operation a young man in a car stopped and took them right to the station entrance and refused to take any payment.
In the supermarket an elderly lady in front of me at the checkout had a dizzy turn and clearly her frail husband could not cope with her and their shopping. After a sit down and a glass of water she rallied a bit and I offered to drive them home. As it turned out they were not even far out of my way. This small act has been repaid multiple times over by so many kind people who helped my Mum in her earlier stages of dementia when she went out and forgot how to get home and later when she went AWOL from her care home and turned up in random places miles away from home.
I was 22 weeks pregnant and started miscarrying. I was moved into a side ward and realised there was no TV. I was dreading a whole night of silent worrying. A care assistant who had just finished her shift, searched the whole hospital to find me a TV and was an hour late home. Will never forget that.
My best friend was in Sydney on a gap year and I was visiting. The place she was living was about 10 miles out of town. We had mis-budgeted in the bar (!) and had no money to get a bus home, so were wandering the streets of Sydney at 3am.
A huge guy with shades and designer stubble approached us and asked if we wanted to buy drugs. We said that we didn't even have enough for the bus fare home and showed him our empty wallets.
He gave us 10 dollars for the bus fare home, walked us to the busstop and said "stay safe, ladies".
Everything that mumsnet posters have done since DS dog went missing! The kindness of strangers should never be underestimated
I have some:
I was at chemist, dd2 was 3 weeks old and had been in so much pain from gallstones (didn't know that's what it was) I started being sick outside chemist. 2 little old ladies walked me home, and stayed with me till my mum arrived
Another was the night we received a call to say dh blood results were "off" and he had to go to local hospital. It was 4am and I was shattered, dd2 was 18 months and still waking and I knew as soon as I got home she would want a feed. The nurse there saw me leave dh room and start crying and she just stood there, hugged me and waited for me to calm down and then walked me to the car.
I've just found this thread. It's lovely!
My friend's father was dying in a hospice. The first time she went to see him, they'd taken him into the garden in his bed so he could enjoy the sunshine and flowers. When he was dying, a nurse called my friend and said 'You should come soon.' She was just getting ready to go, and she got a call back. 'He's just passed. He wasn't on his own, someone was holding his hand.'
My mum lives abroad and was mugged recently. She doesn't earn much and the bastard took every penny she had. The day after she found an envelope full of cash in her letter box. All of her friends deny knowledge of where the money comes from.
My brother broke his neck and had to have a tube put down his neck before his operation while conscious. A lovely trainee nurse held his hand through the procedure.
When I was a teen my lovely uncle went walkabout for a week. He'd had a breakdown, and left the house with a few coins and the clothes he was wearing. Travellers made sure that he was sheltered, fed and clothed for a few days. He'd got very far from where he lived, and when he 'came to' a friend of the family paid for him to have a flight home, and got him to the airport.