I try to always look for the good in people. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t good going on around all of us constantly. And this is proof.
Over on the Single Dad Laughing Facebook wall I asked you all to share the nicest thing you’ve ever seen a stranger do for someone else. These were your replies.
Because. People really are good.
- A couple I’d never met in the middle of nowhere apparently had passed me. Took me to their home had my car fixed and sent me home the next day, feeding me and housing me. Then I apparently forgot my necklace there and they sent it to me a week later. I keep paying it forward. Knowing if I see someone stranded I can do my best to help out.
- A wonderful street performer in Branson let my then 3 year help him play keyboard after watching her dance with utter joy to his music. He gave her a note, and told her she could press it as much as she wanted. She did, and together they entertained everyone around. She was soooo happy.
- I recently donate a kidney to my little cousin. What i found out through that experience is that there are anonymous living organ donors out there. Lots of them. I’d say that’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever seen or heard of a stranger do for another person.
- A bunch of us frequent a local Sonic. ‘Our girl’ is young single mother of 3. She told one of my friends that she wasn’t going to be able to do Christmas until afterwards b/c she didn’t have enough money. My friend spread the word and early in December about 40 of us went through her drive-thru giving her money & presents (& needed things like free eye exams & glasses if needed). I heard she was crying from happiness all day long.
- In India I saw two elderly people (in their 80’s?), the woman was obviously blind, the husband was legless, and crippled and scooterd along on his stubs and bum. They were crossing over a short rickety plank over a deep gutter filled with garbage and sewage, the husband was behind her talking her through each gingerly step, both had the biggest smiles as they chatted back and forth. She had her arms filled with wood, they were Helping each other with lovely cheerfulness.
- Working with the teens at local boys and girls club… a really big teen stopped his bball game to help a kindergartner tie her shoe. Amidst his friends yelling at him to come on, he took his time to make sure that the little ones shoes were both tied correctly. Kids of all ages were playing in the gym, and for him to stop and do that was one of the most heartwarming things I have seen where I live.
- My engine overheated driving back to college from a visit home. I was having a heck of a time getting the hood open, the safety latch was terrible in that vehicle. I was about to have a breakdown, stranded at a random gas station, when a guy about my dad’s age came over and offered to help. He struggled with the latch too (which made me feel better)… and he didn’t just get the hood open. He checked my radiator, my oil, bought and filled my antifreeze and water, and gave me a hug when he was done. I thanked him profusely, I had been frustrated and trying for a good 20 minutes as people came and went, and even said that no one seems to help these days. All you hear about are the creepy ones. He said I reminded him of his daughter and he hoped if she was stuck that someone help her. I made it back to school before dark, safe and sound, thanks to him!
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When I was 22 I moved across the world to live in a new country for a job I thought was going to be amazing. I totally underestimated how lonely I would be and one morning, after a particularly horrendous argument with my then-boyfriend, I caught a cab and the elderly cab driver who I had never met before must've seen how alone I felt gave me his number and told me where I could find him if I ever needed anything. It still brings tears to my eyes that he was willing to do that for someone he didn't know at all.
I appreciate when you do this one. It always makes me cry, but it always restores my faith in humanity. Even though I think people suck (as a whole - jaded cop, sorry), Individually, if you take the time, people are pretty OK. And it encourages me not to be so jaded and give people the benefit of the doubt. And when I do little random acts of kindness, maybe somebody does see and is encouraged by it. Maybe it doesn't go in vain out into the universe.Maybe it's exactly what they need when they needed it. I should probably do more of it. :)
thank you! This gives me courage to follow through when I want to stop and talk to someone or offer a small helping hand...even though I've heard so many of the "it's not worth it, you'll get burned" kind of stories
I'd like to add one. My 5 year old has loved baking since she was 2. In the past year, she's started creating recipes for her brownies. Recently, she has decided to take brownies to her daddy's work at a retail store, and handing them out to the employees. I've decided to call this "Random Acts of Brownies." This morning, my girl decided we need to do this again this afternoon. My sweet girl does this without expecting anything from anyone. She loves making other people happy. I just hope it is a reflection of the type of parent I am.
Growing up, there was a family that my family was (and is) close to. when my mom was suddenly diagnosed with stage IV cancer, we knew we had to move my mom out of her house. The parents of my friends came and helped me clean and prepare my townhouse for my mom to live in (which,msadly, was a very short period).
When my mom passed away, my brother and I were overwhelmed, both emotionally from the loss as well as psychologically due to the fact that we had to clean out the house of a woman who had been hoarding for 20 plus years. My brother and I would pick through things, but just mostly sit and stare. Our two friends who grew up down the street came every Saturday for 6 weeks for about 6 hours per day to help us. I stopped counting at 77 bags of trash, plus all the stuff we gave away, sold, put into storage or kept. The final week, they brought their husbands who helped fill up a rented 40x8x8 ft demolition dumpster.
First of all, it was easy to work faster and harder while we were having fun. But truly, I don't know how we would have ever made it through that hell without them. We don't see each other often, but this was more than I would have asked, let alone would have ever expected anyone to do for us, given the enormity of the task. One of them made memorial shirts for us to wear in the Komen walk, which we all did together in memory of my mom. There are not enough words or ways for us to thank them enough. Ever.
I was having one of those really tough moments as a new parent. My son and I were out alone for the first time and he was just losing his marbles over something and we had to up and leave the mall. (That kind of crying where nothing is working.) I felt like such a failure as a parent. I put him in his car seat and leaned against the car crying as he carried on. A wonderful woman was walking by with her two grade school aged kids. She heard him yelling and saw me wiping my face. She stopped as she went by and said, "Trust me, it will get better. Everyone has been there, so just hang on It's just one of those day, but it will be alright." It was so what I needed to hear at that moment and I felt like she saved me. I PIF by saying the same thing to a new mom that I saw in a parking lot, crying against her car, while her kid had a meltdown.
My three year old son managed a fast one on me. I was on WIC and had no cash, with my baby girl and my son in the cart. While I was either unloading the cart or doing something with my daughter, my little clever son decided to reach out and grab a candy bar and open it. So of course I was upset because I didn't even have the money to pay for a candy bar, and since it was opened, it had to be bought. It's not like my son could be arrested for shoplifting, so I had no idea what to do. The cashier put the money in the register and told me not to worry about it, that she had kids too. My upset must have done the trick, though, because he's never done that again.
I had just left my husband and was driving cross-country back to my parents' house. I was driving a 10 foot U-Haul with a car trailer on the back. I had already had the truck break down on me, and had to drive through the Rocky Mountains in the dead of night. I pulled into a truck stop gas station with my 3 cats and a dog in the cab with me. There was a camper parked in front of me that had packed it in for the night. I tried to back out, but to no avail, because of the trailer. I then spent the next half hour trying to get around the camper without hitting a gas pump or the building. i was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, tears streaming down my face. A 'hippie' looking guy approached me, and asked if I needed a hand. He pointed to a teal blue 18-wheeler and said,"I drive that for a living. I'm pretty sure I can get you out of here." Once he had moved the U-Haul to a place that I could handle, he proceeded to get out his map and tell me the best way home. And, to top it all off, he gave me his cell phone number and talked to me the entire night while I was driving so that I wouldn't fall asleep on the highway. I have since lost touch with him, but will NEVER forget the kindness he showed me, for no other reason than that he was just a nice guy. We need more of them in this world. Thanks again, Renegade (that was his 'handle' on the CB).
Tears yet again... tears of joy because of the heartwarming stories, but still tears... crying at work is NOT a good thing. TGIF. :)
These posts are so inspiring. I don't know that I believe people are inherently good but my heart never gives up hope and these stories keep me hoping that way. Thank you.
There are so many beautiful people in this world! It's so nice to hear about the positive things when we seem to be bombarded w/ negatives on a daily basis.
Here's my family's sweetest act of kindness story: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201586108921101&set=o.12375354406&type=1&ref=nf
To Marysmuse...re: all of us being flawed and broken...not me! Nor are any of the people I know and love. We are fabulous, imperfect people who sometimes make mistakes but in general are kind, compassionate, loving human beings. Thanks so much for posting these stories, Dan...they really do "balance things out" in a world overrun with tragic news stories. YAY for the loving, kind people in the world!
Check out what's happening in southern Alberta if you need a boost :) We've had massive flooding, many many homes just gone... and our communities are pulling together in a big way :) #yychelps
These are some of my favorite of your posts! We all need to be reminded of the good things! Especially, with the negativity in the news these days! :) Thank you and keep these coming!
I really enjoy and appreciate these stories. It's a much needed reminder of the goodness in people. Thank you!
A little over 10 years ago, myself, my mom and a group of girl friends were on a bicycle trip. About half way into our first day, we pulled over on the side of the road to have our packed lunch. Clouds moved in and it started to torrential downpour on us. We packed up to ride up the road to an old school house to hunker down until the rain passed, when an old car came up the driveway across the highway from us. The older couple inside invited us to their house to wait out the storm. They fixed us coffee, gave us snacks, pumped up our bike tires, and chatted with us on their covered deck for over an hour. To this day, I still remember their name, and can pick out their house when I drive through the area. Their kindness definitely left an impression. <3
I love these posts. While I understand the "truth box," and your reason for posting it, I always skip it because it makes me feel more flawed for looking at someone else's secret.
These, on the other hand, are like coming home and finding my favorite dinner waiting for me, my favorite show on the television, and a room full of hugs, smiles and laughter.
People can be so amazing!! It's great to be able to read these stories of love and care. Makes me think that maybe the world isn't so bad with these people around.
These stories are wonderful, I wish there were more kind people in the world!! So I actually listened to your pod cast today as I read the blog, that was fun. I am usually reading it in a voice like yours in my head but hearing your voice was fun!!! thanks again!
We are, every one of us, flawed and broken... but we also have this indomitable spirit to fight back against the brokenness and to try to set things right. It's a choice... and every time we make it, this world gets a little closer to being a better place.
Have faith, Dan. When light and darkness compete, the light will always win, no matter how small it may seem. Always.
#9 best of luck with your adoption!! I have a daughter from China myself :) I hope everything goes well for you! Enjoy your precious child!
#7 made me cry. I had a similar experience when I was a teenager. I had a flat tire on the side of the road in a bad neighborhood. I was nervous about walking, so decided to try and change the tire myself. As I started getting the jack out of the car, a gentleman walked up and asked if he could do it for me. He was a Godsend! I will never forget him or his kindness.
It makes me feel so good knowing that there are people who care. Random acts of kindness give us hope. I recently managed to get away from my abusive husband. Finally coming forward with things. A random stranger came up to me and told me everything is going to be ok. She said she recognized the signs because she used to be in an abusive relationship. She gave me a hug and told me to not give up. I am so glad she had approached me. I was about to breakdown and go back to him, he wouldnt stop calling and texting me, demanding that I come home, begging and then threatening.
Kindness makes a difference.
THANK YOU, for doing what you do. I am from a cop family, i know how easy it is to become jaded. You have to deal with people at their worst, every day. Thank you for doing every little act of kindness that you can muster, they do make a difference!
Wow they must be real friends to do all that. I remember clearing out mother in laws house and I had to do the bulk of it as my wife and her brother weren't good at it. hoarding is an hereditary thing I think!!!!! I filled 3 big skips in two hours just with the rubbish in her sheds.
@prettyprl My dad was exhausted one night; he was driving a semi and I had the opportunity to ride with him. I asked if there was anyone who would be willing to help keep Dad awake, and this gentleman got on the CB and told stories most the night. His handle was "Storyteller". He was an awesome guy, even if the help wasn't as much as many of the stories, it was still fantastic.
Well, the link didn't really work, so here's the story: My niece, Madelaine, was hospitalized recently. The day she was discharged, a group of Navy Reservists came for a visit. The young man in the lower right corner of the group shot had two hats with him. One was his uniform hat, the other was a baseball cap that said "USS Nimitz". When they left, he handed Madelaine the USS Nimitz hat. Madelaine pointed to the uniform hat and said, "I like that one better." Everyone laughed and explained that he couldn't give that one away. The men went into the hallway, presumably to visit other patients. A few moments later, they all came back in and presented the other hat to Madelaine! Thank you, Navy Reservists, for brightening her day! She will always remember your kindness. All of us will.