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to ask if a stranger has ever been kind to you?

(260 Posts)
Penguinsarethebestest Tue 30-Jun-20 08:45:11

On the back of the negative thread of 'nasty to you'

Standing at the toilets at a station, bursting, no coins on me, about put a £20 note in the change machine that would had given me £19.70 all in coins. Nice random bloke pays the 30p for me to use the loo...

Student, broke, knackered, walking home up a big hill after a shift in late night takeaway 3 am, Cabbie stops, insists on giving me a free ride home the last mile and waits til I'm safely in door.

OP’s posts: |
DelurkingAJ Tue 30-Jun-20 08:49:33

Many times. Often simple things like helping me with the pushchair on the Underground (I remember having a flagging four year old and a small baby in a sling and a chap marching up and asking if DS1 wanted a lift and carrying him through the endless corridors to the platform).

Breaking up with a boyfriend and in tears and a lady popping up with a pack of tissues and telling me he was clearly a waste of space.

Most people are lovely.

cherrypiepie Tue 30-Jun-20 08:55:44

I'd gone to a shop 40 mins away that I had a one off pass for (company shop).

It's a pile your trolly high kind of place and you get there at 8am opening And in the middle of an industrial estate.

Except I didn't have a coin or a trolly token. Some very kind lady gave me a trolly token. So lovely of her and I saw her at the end and she didn't want it back. Saved me having to drive to get some change and miss my place in the queue. And she was absolutely lovely.

TheIckabog Tue 30-Jun-20 08:56:01

Yes, when I was a uni student traveling to meet my then boyfriend who was at a different uni.

I had to change trains at one of the major stations in London (can’t remember which one now) and popped to the loo, which were down a flight of stairs. I slipped on the last stair and my foot crashed into the ground and I twisted it really badly. I just sat on the floor and cried, it was so painful.

This lovely kind lady stopped to check I was okay. I was so embarrassed at crying I just sort of mumbled ‘Yes I’m fine thanks’. She went off and came back a couple of minutes later with some pain killers and a bottle of water she’d bought from the newsagents at the top of the stairs. She helped me get up and hobble to the loo and watched my bags for me whilst I sorted myself out.

I did thank her but have no idea who she was but she was so kind to me and wouldn’t take any money for the things she’d bought. I hope she is doing well and she’s having a good life, wherever she is!

ToBBQorNotToBBQ Tue 30-Jun-20 08:56:42

Free bus ride when I was lost in London with my son. I asked a driver which way the coach station was and he said get on its ages away i will take you (had no oyster card I'm from the country side, he said it was fine). Free bus ride when had no money and was young walking in the dark in winter. I helped a lady in a wheelchair with her shopping last week who was dragging her trolley behind her while trying to push herself in her wheelchair (was one she had to turn the wheels). She was really struggling and no one else offered so I couldn't just leave her, corona or no corona.

Penguinsarethebestest Tue 30-Jun-20 08:56:44

Another one - nursing dying parent at home, car needed MOT/service. Took it to garage, bloke asked if I was okay, I got teary and said needed the car back asap for running errands, getting meds etc. Could he do it quickly please? I'll pick it up day end if that's possible?

2 hours later, he turns up with the car to the house and refuses to take any money off us for the service or MOT or the new tyre he had to replace.

OP’s posts: |
CherryPavlova Tue 30-Jun-20 08:59:30

Yes often. Small acts of kindness make the world a better place.

wrongsideofhistorymyarse Tue 30-Jun-20 09:00:03

Lots of times.

I lost my partner two years ago and for a while kept crying in the street. More than one person came up to check that I was okay.

I fell over on a London street and was helped up.

Years ago I was sitting outside a cafe passing the time when an older man came. We had a chat and he left. When I went to pay the bill he'd already paid it for me.

SapphosRock Tue 30-Jun-20 09:02:05

Yes, when DD was a toddler she had a meltdown and ran away from me and into a busy road. A quick thinking stranger dashed over and scooped her up and brought her back to me. I'll always be very grateful for that.

queenMab99 Tue 30-Jun-20 09:05:15

Visiting my very sick husband in hospital, as I set off, car was making a strange noise, left car in station carpark, and used my pensioners travel pass and got on a train instead, a lady sat next to me and started chatting, when I told her I where I was going, and that I would have to catch a bus to the hospital, she said she was getting a taxi home and would drop me off at the hospital as it was on the way. I was so grateful as I had no money with me for a taxi. We were told that afternoon that nothing more could be done, so I stayed sitting with my husband overnight and he died next day, I will always remember her kindness.

GettingUntrapped Tue 30-Jun-20 09:09:45

Last week my car battery ran out and car wouldn't start in Lidl carpark. I approached a man to ask if he had jumpleads. He didn't speak English and thought I was begging for money. He offered me 20 pounds. I declined but was very chuffed.
Then I asked another man and he went out of his way to help. It was a lovely exchange with both of them and made my day, especially as I'd been having several shit weeks/months.

Penguinsarethebestest Tue 30-Jun-20 09:13:39

Here's one I did... driving home in lashing rain, saw a woman with a buggy and toddler and bags struggling along, head down trying to walk. I pulled up and offered a lift. She hesitated a few seconds but I pointed out that I had a baby car seat and a booster in my car for my kids who were in nursery so hauled them all in, blasted the heat, and took them the 2 miles home.
She was a young mum, didn't look like she had much money and where she lived was rubbish for public transport.

OP’s posts: |
YeahWhatevver Tue 30-Jun-20 09:19:31

Colleague of mine years ago used to go out every lunchtime for an hour. Assumed he was going out for a walk and to get something to eat.

Months later found out he used to go and sit with an elderly woman and read her the newspaper. Not sure how the arrangement started but I expect it was the only contact she used to get.

He said he thought he got more out of it than she did and it was often the best part of his working day.

crossstitchingnana Tue 30-Jun-20 09:20:36

These are bringing me to tears.

Dragonfruits Tue 30-Jun-20 09:22:57

I went to a bird sanctuary with a friend for a day out. We were looking at the little RSPB badges in the gift shop and saying how we were annoyed that we didn’t have any change on us (nowhere nearby to get cash out). A few seconds later an elderly gentleman came over and gave us a £1 coin each for the box and told us to get ourselves a badge. smile

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 30-Jun-20 09:24:37

My mum's car broke whilst going around a spot roundabout. Essentially one of the front wheels pretty much fell off.
Some people drove straight on, but a tall man in a white BMW stopped to help. Also a van driver pulled up and offered to take her to a nearby garage his mate owned. The BMW driver insisted on going too. Mum said he didn't say very much, just went to the garage and made sure everything was above board and then left.
Someone from my church told us that she was taking her dog for a walk and then came over all funny and had to sit down. Every time she tried to move she felt awful. She saw a white BMW go past one way and then a few minutes later come back the other way then pull over. The driver, a tall man, wanted to know if she was ok or needed a lift anywhere.
She initially said she was fine, just needed a rest but the driver wasn't convinced. In the end she asked for a lift to a nearby friends house, but said she was worried her dog would damage his car. He said it wasn't a problem and took her and her dog to her friends house. Didn't give his name, didn't want anything for his trouble.
My mum and this lady are convinced it's the same man.

As for me -
Ds1 fell off some play equipment after school. He was distressed but calmed down quickly and we started walking home. He went very quiet and then at about the half way point turned grey and couldn't walk any further. We were 10 minutes from home or school. So I rang my mum.
While we sat and waited a very nice lady came out of a nearby house to see if we were ok. I explained that ds1 had hurt himself and we were waiting for a lift. She then bought us out a drink and a snack. She then waited until my mum arrived.
Ds1 turned out to have broken his arm. blush

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Tue 30-Jun-20 09:27:04

Ok only once that I can remember. On the train and the step from the train to platform was about 50 cms off the ground (it has been fixed now. The conductors just used to watch people struggle off with prams and give them "tips" in how to do it properly 🙄. One day a girl, who was at the other end of the carriage and got off at a different door, walked down to my door just to help me off the train with the buggy! I was so grateful.
On the flipside, I got a train to a rough area to visit a friend with 5 year old ds1 and tiny baby ds2. The station we got off at didn't have a lift and I was faced with a flight of about 80 steps (very small in width so I couldn't even bump the pram up because I was to scared I would drop it) they were split into 2. I had to take baby D's put the pram get ds 5 to hold him half way up the steps till I carted the pram up, and then do the same for the next half. About 30 people got off that train and just walked passed me.

AssangesCat Tue 30-Jun-20 09:27:17

When I lived rurally, a lady who had just got off the train asked for directions and bus stop. She was from London and where we lived there were two buses a day. I gave her a lift to where she was going and she gave me an Easter egg for DS.

I remember a young man just grabbing the bottom of the buggy when I got to a flight of steps in a busy train station without pausing to break stride. Like having an extra pair of hands.

Backpacking in a far off land many moons ago, we got chatting to someone while queueing at post office for a phone to call my parents and tell them to cancel my credit card as it had been stolen. The lady we got chatting to was horrified when we told her where we were staying, we said it was fine, just no hot water. She invited us for dinner and told us to bring shower kit. We had hot showers, washed our hair and sat down to a feast with her extended family, who gave us photos of the Trans Siberian Railway being built in the area and regaled us with stories of the time.

oldstripeyNEWname1 Tue 30-Jun-20 09:35:57

I've been the recipient of, and giver of, help lots of times. You just do, it makes the world go around. Sometimes big, sometimes small. When I had dd was a toddler with me on chemo (no hair), and I was heavily pregnant, people fell over themselves to help, pressing pound coins in my hand, taking the basket to finish shopping.

I saw a lady fall, stopped the car, gave first aid, found out she needed to take two buses home so drove her the 10 minutes home. Stuff like that. It's no bother.

WhatWouldJanewayDo Tue 30-Jun-20 09:36:09

A hangover from Guiding days, its nice to try and do a 'good turn every day'.
The disabled lady struggling to get her shopping in the car was (sadly) amazed someone had offered to help. I remember another lady asking if I had car park change, she only had a £10 note. I gave her 70p for the two hours and asked her to give it to the next person who needed it. We never know what someone else is dealing with, it's good to be kind where possible. Small gestures make a big difference to many.

FredaFrogspawn Tue 30-Jun-20 09:37:58

Thank you for this thread- the other one was upsetting to read (but important and valid of course).

When I was heavily pregnant at 20, and had left my handbag on the train on my way to work. Had a tough day with a nursing exam and was weeping quietly in the train on the way home, trying to hide it. An older woman sat beside me and patted my hand gently, saying that things would get better.

(My bag was handed in with nothing missing and I passed the exam. A few weeks later I had a beautiful baby, now a lovely adult- so she was right.)

When my son was tiny, a few weeks old, I was trying to shop when he woke up distressed. After paying for the shopping I realised I’d have to feed him or he’d cry all the way home (long walk and no car). So I breast fed him as surreptitiously as I could on the chairs by the checkout, bracing myself for tuts and dirty looks (this was in the early 80s) I didn’t really have much confidence as a mum. An older woman came and sat with me - she told me how wonderful it was to see a baby being breast fed and how she could tell I was good mother by the way I was handling him. Changed the whole way I saw myself as a young mum. Such a kind thing to say. I will never forget her.

And recently, now I’m nearing 60 - a couple of days ago I was hurrying and tripped on a kerb, falling smack on the ground. Completely my own fault for not paying attention. A very scruffy man who looked like he may have been homeless rushed over, helped me up and wouldn’t let me go until he was sure I was ok. (My leg, hand and arm were grazed and bleeding). I collected myself and limped off after reassuring him I was ok, walked round the corner and leant on a wall to look at the damage on my hand. A group of young lads came over and said they’d seen me fall, was I sure I was ok? Asked if they could do anything to help and checked I was walking ok before they left.

Not that it’s relevant but the man was perhaps North African or Syrian and the boys were Black (I’m white) so it’s unlikely they were helping me because I reminded them of their mum!

Some people are so kind.

The other thread described some deeply unpleasant experiences of the type most woman have had, unfortunately, including me, but overall I’d say I’ve had more kindness than negative encounters from strangers throughout life.

It takes so little to be kind and can make so much difference. It’s worth remembering that as you go through life - however you see yourself, you can make someone else’s life a bit better by an act of kindness at a critical point for them, which they probably won’t ever forget.

romdowa Tue 30-Jun-20 09:38:53

Yes , a couple of years ago I was due to fly for a private medical appointment, I was very unwell and this dr was my last hope for answers. Appointment was in the evening and flight was in the morning. Got the the airport at just as we were supposed to board the flight was delayed. Flight kept being delayed over the course of two hours and eventually was cancelled. Meaning I would miss the appointment that I had waited 4 months for and I had a massive panic attack in the airport. I was alone and a woman sitting next to me spoke to me , hugged me , sent her daughters to get me water and tissues, offered me money for a taxi home (which thankfully I didnt need ) . That woman's kindness that day touched me greatly. I was so vunerable and to have someone mind me at that time meant the world.

NutellaFitzgerald Tue 30-Jun-20 09:40:33

cycle touring with my husband we had loads.

when cycling across the US, we often just aimed for midsize towns that likely have a.campsite (this was pre-smartphone, so not easy to research on the go)

usually that worked well but one evening we got to a town that turned out had no accommodation. the campsite had closed and motel nearby was closed and it was getting late.
we asked a lady how far to the next place that might have accommodation.
my heart sank as the distance was too far to do before nightfall and we were tired.

wel, in no time at all she'd phoned the local parky who unlocked the loo block for us and allowed us to camp in the town park.

another time we arrived at a municipal site (this was also in the US) and had passed no shops and had no means of getting groceries. we asked the ranger where wed be able to buy milk nearby and he not only gave us 2 pints of milk, he turned up a bit later with generous helpings from his barbecue. that was amazing because we were going to go to bed hungry after a 60 mile ride.

another time we got to a town and discovered the campsite was flooded and out of bounds. a local woman (beside herself at having discovered genuine British people with British accents in her tiny, mid-nowhere town) put us in touch with someone who alowed us to camp on her land. Next morning she'd made a packed lunch for each of us to take with us for the next day's ride.

Hairyfairy01 Tue 30-Jun-20 09:40:31

Struggling with loads of bags and toddler coming out of large supermarket. Lovely lady came over to help me.
Struggling with buggy walking down very steep hill (plus toddler). Lovely man came running up the hill to help with buggy.
Flat tyre in service station on M6. Early 20's, no idea what I was doing. Lovely man came and sorted it for me.
Whilst inter railing around Europe in my teens so many people helped. From free taxis and accommodation to recommendations and good company.
There are a lot of lovely people in the world.

MsTSwift Tue 30-Jun-20 09:41:41

Don’t know why people criticise Londoners numerous people would pick up bottom of buggy and carry it down steps on tube without breaking their stride!

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