“What is the Kindest Thing a Complete Stranger has Done For You?”

In October 2013, throwaway_2222 asked on Reddit, “What is the kindest thing a complete stranger has done for you?” As usual, Redditors had some heartwarming answers:

1) smpb responded, “I used to work the morning shift at a really busy gas station in a small town. I had a back tooth that was starting to go bad, and one day I woke up in horrible pain. With no insurance and no savings, I took a bunch of ibuprofen and went to work, hoping to just tough it out until I could figure out what I was going to do about it. It turns out that the tooth had decayed and gotten infected and a big chunk had broken off in the night. My jaw began to swell, and by 7am or so, my face was a swollen mess, and I was fighting back tears of pain. At the gas station, we had a group of old guys who would come in every morning and b.s. over coffee. So one of these guys got his coffee, came over to pay, and I waved him off, like I always did with the regulars. It wasn’t policy, but the old guys really liked it, and giving away free coffee now and then wasn’t a big deal. So he asks me what’s wrong, and I tell him about my tooth, and I guess a combination of pain and feeling sorry for myself, I started crying, and had to go in the back. Well, he followed me back there, and put his arm around me and said something along the lines of well, sh[*]t, we can fix that up, no problem. Turns out he was a dentist. He ended up talking to my boss so I could leave work and taking me to his office, where he did a pulpectomy and then basically rebuilt my tooth. In the end, he ended up charging me 70 dollars for the whole thing, and he said that the only reason he was charging me anything was because he had to pay his hygienist who helped him with the procedure. With no insurance, this kind of thing would have cost thousands of dollars. Definitely the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me.”

2) akambe responded, “Many years ago, when I was first married, we had very little money and were living paycheck to paycheck. You know how it is — stretching that last few bucks for a week or longer, just trying to scrape by until payday. My wife was pregnant with our first, and I was working a part-time job. I went to the store a few days before payday to get only what we absolutely needed. Some bread. Some dishwashing soap. I think a jar of mayo. In all, about $10 worth of stuff. At checkout, I swiped my debit card, hoping it would clear (I didn’t know my balance). The cashier deadpanned, ‘Declined. Try again.’ I asked her to put an item back, then I swiped with the new total as a line formed behind me. The cashier, now perturbed, ‘Declined again.’ Please take this other thing out, cashier. Swiped again. Declined again. I felt the eyes of the shopper queue on me, the pressure of the cashier’s impatience, the shame of not being able to afford basic groceries, the shame of everyone in line having a pretty good idea of my pathetic bank balance. I hung my head when I swiped that last time, yet was still ashamed when the card was approved for buying that loaf of bread. I took my receipt and slunk out to my car, wanting to disappear, feeling absolutely humiliated. Almost to the car, I heard the voice of a little girl behind me, the girl who was standing with her mother right behind me in line. ‘Mister! Mister!’ I turned around, and she reached out to hand me a plastic grocery bag. It was full of each item I had the cashier put back. ‘It’s okay — we bought this for you.’ Surprised — no, shocked — and humbled, I mumbled a ‘thank you,’ walked to my car, put my head on the steering wheel and sobbed my eyes out. With shame, with gratitude, with the absurdity of my situation, with disappointment in myself as the ‘breadwinner’ yet not being able to take care of basic obligations. It’s been about 20 years, but that memory is still vivid, and I’m still grateful to that little girl and her mom, and I still cry when I think of how such a small act can mean so much for a person in need. Since then, I’ve helped people whenever we could afford it (yes, even in grocery lines), and I remind myself that sometimes angels have bodies of flesh and bone.”

3) pic- responded, “When I was in Vietnam, I was trying to cross a street. People are driving like crazy there, don’t stop even if it’s a red light. A Vietnamese girl saw this and came up to me, grabbed my hand and helped me to cross the street safely. Such a small thing, but it was so genuine and sweet. I’ll never forget it.”

4) OverWilliam responded, “Two complete strangers saved my life. Donate blood, you guys.”

Source: throwaway_2222, “What is the kindest thing a complete stranger has done for you?” Reddit. 4 October 2013

http://tinyurl.com/psmeda8

Check out some FREE eBooks about good deeds (and some books for SALE, and some FREE literature discussion guides):

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/bruceb

For some stories of good deeds and anecdotes, check out the rest of

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