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?

Califrau Tue 19-Feb-08 06:22:21

on the day I graduated someone gave me and my friends their parking voucher - just cos we looked so happy. tiny but still makes me smile.

I had a nightmare time when I was just 18. I went to the Costa Brava to au pair for a psychopath with hepatitis b. I had no idea the woman was nuts until I got there. I ended up grabbing my worldly goods and making a run for it in the night. I made it to Barcelona and was headed to Burgos to stay with the Spanish assistant from my school the year before - the only person I knew in the whole of Spain (random act of kindness 31 - her taking me in from a random and desperate phone call). I had FAR TOO MUCH luggage and there was a taxi strike so I couldn't get from where my bus arrived to the train station. I ended up dragging my cases sobbing (2 cases and massive ruck sack - I was v naive and v young and v stupid for taking that much) a young fella stopped me and offered to help. He put on my rucksack and took the heavier case, came with me all the way to the station, bought me food, sat with me til my train arrived, put my luggage on the train for me then waved me off. I don't even know his name but he was a complete lifesaver.

lovely thread.

Flllightattendant Tue 19-Feb-08 06:49:29

One puts oneself at the mercy of strangers when one travels naively and alone.
I was lost in Italy for about 3 weeks when I dropped out of school. So many people were kind.
One night in Rome I was watching the procession of costumed opera singers as they made their way into the Opera house...some guards gave me a ticket, for free. It would have cost hundreds.
Another day I was looking for hotel work and a very sweet old woman 'interviewed' me as she cleaned a bedroom on a top floor...we established that I did not have a visa to work so wouldn't be able to, but as I left she called out 'ciao, Bella' which touched me as I felt such a mess and hadn't changed my clothes for weeks. smile
(They say Bella to everyone i think, but still!)
Then coming slowly home, I ended up stranded one night in Genoa after having to get off the train due to a very scary man sitting in my compartment. It was a port town, really rough - I wandered a few streets with my huge backpack, very quickly realising it was not a place to be alone at night.
The police stopped and took me to a hostel, where there were no rooms but a little cubicle magically appeared and I was safe till morning.
No, I don't think I'll forget these things as long as I live!

belgo Tue 19-Feb-08 06:51:43

it's very interesting reading this thread.

GooseyLoosey Tue 19-Feb-08 06:52:37

When I was nearly 8 mnths preg and starting the very long commute home, there were no seats on the train. The guard told me to stand, but a lovely gentleman bought me a first class ticket (without me even being aware of it at the time).

Also thanks go to the 2 lovely ladies who when I fainted on the platform having run for (and missed) a train during same pregnancy, opted not to get on their own trains but to buy me a cup of tea, wait for my next train and sit with me all the way home.

ghosty Tue 19-Feb-08 07:02:07

Lisalisa ... don't tell me it was you??? That would be completely and totally bizarre ... shock
It was January 2000 in East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

GooseyLoosey Tue 19-Feb-08 07:03:21

Oh, one other one, infact it was probably a defining moment in my life.

I once fell out with the head teacher when I was doing my A levels over a decision of my parents. He said that in consequence, the (state) school would no longer support me in my application to Oxford, unless I conveyed a particularly unpleasant message to my parents. I refused and walked out of the school in tears vowing never to discuss the incident with my parents but believing my future potentially in tatters.

Before I had even reached home, one of my teachers rang my parents to congratulate them on the loyalty of their daughter and pledging his support to them and me. He then proceeded to get many of the other teachers to support me at the cost of his own relationship with the school. I did get in to Oxford and it was in part down to the dedication and support of those teachers.

Vulgar Tue 19-Feb-08 07:21:25

I love this thread.

I love the fact that so many of the stories involve a cup of tea! grin

Miaou Tue 19-Feb-08 07:29:26

Here is mine. It happened about 8 years ago. I took dd1 (then 3) to a local gala. By the gate was a man selling helium balloons and dd1 asked if she could have one. I said I would buy her one when we left, on the way home. She waited very patiently for her balloon at the gala but was getting more and more excited about it (bless). Naively, I thought that they cost about £1 so imagine my shock when I was told they were £4.50 each!! I didn't have enough money for one - poor dd was so upset. She held it together until we had gone about 10 yards away but then burst into tears. While I was consoling her I felt a tap on my shoulder - and the balloon man silently handed me a balloon. Dd1's face (and mine) were just a picture! She was so thrilled with the balloon and it lasted about three weeks too smile

AbbeyA Tue 19-Feb-08 07:51:39

What a lovely thread! I am sitting here with tears running down my cheeks, especially with the hospital ones.
I was on a long distance train journey trying to breast feed a howling 3mth old baby, and getting more and more uptight, when the lovely lady opposite said not to worry she had breastfed in 1947 an old fashioned carriage full of men commuting to London.(they had all retreated behind their newspapers.)I felt so much better after that and was able to relax and consequently DS able to feed and stop crying.I was going from south coast to Scotland and remained confident even after she got off.

mrsruffallo Tue 19-Feb-08 08:06:34

This thread had made me cry!!!
No matter how often we are told the opposite the world can be a good and kind place....
I was travelling in Mexico and I ran out of money. I was trying to ring my mum and I couldn't get through and I just burst into tears.
A lovely Canadian man came up to me and asked what was wrong. He then handed me a wad of money, gave me a hug went on his way
So kind, I have never forgotten it

vonsudenfed Tue 19-Feb-08 08:13:48

The one I always think of wasn't for me at all.

We were on holiday in the UK, and driving through a town, can't remember which one. On this one way-system a cat had been knocked down. I didn't see it happen, but the cat was just lying in the road. But a woman was crouched next to it, amongst all the traffic, stroking it while it died. For some reaoon I will never forget that. Just writing it has made me cry.

chrissnow Tue 19-Feb-08 08:16:30

Now lets see if I can type through all these tears . . . Was travelling on the tube with DH dd1 (2.5) and dd2 (1.5) DD2 was fine happy on daddy's hip looking at all the people (she's a nosy one) but dd1 *freaked out* (she's shy anyway I think the madness just tipped her over the edge) A big old guy who was sat over in the corner seat basically moved everybody out of our faces (as much as he could) helped me pop her down on his seat and stood behind us the entire rest of the journey keeping everybody from crowding her. He didn't speak much English but just smiled at us on the way out and gave us a little wink. Never forget him.
I think we should all do a random act of kindness for someone who looks like they need it today and keep that karma going round. Its really not such a bad world we live in - lets keep it that way (sorry gone all poetic and soppy now)

hazygirl Tue 19-Feb-08 08:34:47

ill never forget when jayden died my parents in there seventies, my mum is unsteady on her feet,went to say goodbye its a long walk to a and e to chapel of rest , so sister went and made cup of tea then carried jayden from chapel of rest to them just snuggled in a blanket,and she ws so good to my dad who was sat sobbing hi heart out, i will never forget her kindness,and the way she treat jayden as long as i live

I had just found out I was pregnant and was ridiculously emotional; I worked in an inner city public library, when one particularly nasty piece of work decided that his fine was somehow my fault (he had a bit of a screw loose). He screamed and screamed at me, leaning right over the counter and threatened me. It was really busy and I could see everyone in the library looking at me as I struggled to stay calm and asked him to leave. One of the regulars came and stood by the counter. I was so embarrassed, finally he left throwing a final, "Watch your back" over his shoulder as he left.

I'd never known the place so quiet when he left! Then one by one everyone came up to me and told me they were so impressed with how I'd dealt with him and that they were all ready to step in to protect me if got violent. From tiny little old ladies to huge hulking men, they each offered me a little bit of human kindness. It really was a little community in itself that place.

A very bad day that made me realise just how much my job was appreciated by those around me smile

yurt1 Tue 19-Feb-08 08:44:00

OK a daft one, but I was moving back to the UK after living in Japan and I lugged a huge picture to the PO to send back home. It was far to heavy to carry, in the middle of a hot Japanese summer. I arrived and they said I couldn't send it because it wasn't packaged well enough. So my bottom lip started quivering blush- I was hot and bothered- and the guy took one look at me, walked me across to the local supermarket, got some boxes, took them back to the PO, then wrapped the parcel up for me! I've never forgotten that.

I also tend to remember people who are kind when things are kicking off with ds1 in public. The latest one over Xmas was mentioned in a thread. We had to queue in tesco. DS1 was screaming and hitting himself and the woman behind me held my stuff for me "I think you need 2 hands", and then just let me know that she knew what was happening and why. I'm not sure whether she was another parent or had worked with children with learning difficulties but she just said 'It's OK I know what it's like'.

That's lovely hazygirl

bubblagirl Tue 19-Feb-08 08:51:59

when i was very heavily pregnant and at bus stop all the old people kicked all my shopping all over the place to get on bus pushing me out the way also

every one got on and my shopping was every where i was in tears as couldnt bend down to pick it up i was huge no one offered to come and help me

disabled lady coming along struggling herself helped me pick it all up it really touched my heart

driver in meantime had got off bus carried all my shopping on had stern word with them all about there actions and dropped me at my front door even carrying shopping bags up for me

never seen a bunch of frail looking people sprint so fast onto a bus knocking over heavily pregnant woman and shopping then have the cheek to moan about the youngsters these days

thank you very much to the kind disabled lady and bus driver

Just after my beloved Grandma died, (who I lived with) I was at the solicitors wioth my Mum and my aunt and uncle. My A&U were desperate to get their hands on my grandma's house, and me and my mum were fuming about it. Anyway, they made the appointment with the probate solicitor the day after my Gran's funeral angry My uncle (who is a cunt) said that I used my Gran's house as a "dosshouse" and that I was alwayus off gallivanting (I was living away at the time - I used to go home every other weekend to help my mum, as my Gran was gravely ill) This was while he sat in the solicitors reading a holiday brocure angry x8736283746

Anyway, I pushed the brouchure in his face and stormed out and sat outside this solicitors in the centre of Birmingham and sobbed. This lovely man came and sat next to me and had a chat, and put his arm round me. He really was lovely. He listened to me whiule I looked a state with a red tear stained face and snot gushing from my nose, and was really reassuring <swoon>

He took me to the pub across the road, and bought me a drink. I ended up going out with him for 2 years blush

Anyway, I returned the favour

Last paragrapg shouls have read

He took me to the pub across the road, and bought me a drink.

Anyway, I returened the favour, as I ended up going out with him for 2 years blush

DS2 is "helping"

What a scumbag! shock (Your uncle, Sheik, not the lovely man!)

A week after I had a mc I was on the tube on my way home from the doctor's. I was exhausted and miserable and standing with my head leaning against one of the poles you can hold on to.

A man stood up and took me by the arm and led me to the seat he had just vacated, without a word. I was so grateful I wanted to cry. I also wanted to tell him what had just happened so he would know that he had really helped someone in need. I didn't. But thank you.

Hassled Tue 19-Feb-08 09:34:25

I had never been scared of heights until I took DS1 and DD (then about 5 & 3) to the "Battlements Tour" of the local castle - and had a very scary panic attack. I just couldn't move, but a lovely elderly man spent ages coaxing me along so I could get back inside while his wife looked after the kids. I would still be up on the battlements now, still paralysed with fear, if he hadn't been on the tour . And now I have a real problem with heights.

When I was about 7 I used to carry a comfort blanket everywhere (it was really just a handkerchief of a certain texture), we were on a family day out to a Koikarp fair hmm when I found a handkerchief with a beautiful embroidered fish on it for £1 (I might be sounding a little strange now grin) I begged my mum who finally consented to buy one and with beams of joy was presented with my prize!

We traipsed around all day looking at fish but when it was time to go... my handkerchief was gone. Nowhere to be found. My mum was angry because I was holding us all up as we went all the way round again looking for it (me in floods of tears). We finally got all the way back to the stall and there was no sign. Mum wouldn't let me have another as I couldn't be trusted with one.

Kindly, the lovely lady behind the stall reached over and handed me a brand new handkerchief. She said she'd never had a customer so happy to buy a handkerchief before grin

I still remember it like it was yesterday.

when ds2 was really tiny i had gone into the city with ds1, ds2 and my mil. ds2 was in his big pram-i was majorly post natal -hormones running around all over the place, and a baby body still.

we got on a bus to come home and mil took ds1 to the back of the bus and i sat right at the front with ds2 in his pram.

a horrid, filthy old drunk got on the bus and started shouting and kicking off.he kept shouting and point ing at me 'look at her! she's fucking obese!'-then went on to sout at everyone, grab a lad by the throat, wail and roar and just generally be vile. everyoe was tittering in that british way we do but i was absolutely terrified.every single one of my new mummy 'protect baby' nerves was stretched to breaking point.and i just started weeping.
i couldn't get off the bus as it was heaving and mil and ds1 were at the back and i couldn't reach them, plus we were nowhere near home and it was dark and raining.

a young, pierced, dreadlocked student who was sitting opposite me, challenged this guy told him to shut up as he as 'upsetting the girl' and then stood between us for the rest of the journey-protecting me.
what a lovely man. i hoped his mother was proud of him.

Squiffy Tue 19-Feb-08 09:58:17

A life-changing moment for me. I had just started Uni and fell in with a crowd of Hoorays, and I couldn't possibly keep up with them because my parents hadn't been able to pay their bit of the grant (dad off ill in hospital). I was flat broke and thought that I would never make any friends because I didn't have any money left. I spent the Friday night alone because they all went out partying, and I cried myself to sleep.

Next day the post arrived and in it was a cheque sent by an old friend who I hadn't seen for months. But it wasn't money though. He had written "Pay X, Twenty Thousand happy days". I learnt a big lesson and sobbed my heart out.

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