Here are some replies:
1) electricalmusic wrote, “I was in an abusive relationship when I was way too young to be in a relationship. The guy I was seeing told me to meet him at his house, but he never showed up; after waiting for him in the rain for hours, I decided to walk home. I got very lost and ended up walking across the Williamsburg Bridge instead of the Manhattan Bridge. When I was about halfway over, it started to rain again and I thought about trying to jump.
“A man on a bike came over and asked if I needed a ride, to which I said no and started walking away very fast. He followed along beside me and started telling me about his life, how things are hard but they get better, how things can seem like they’re too much but they’re just lessons you have to learn…. He followed me all the way across the bridge while I kind of just mumbled responses and cried. When I got to the other side, he said he knew I was lost and told me how to get to a train station. I think he knew what I was thinking and he saved my life.
“I think about that man very often; I’m grateful that I’ve never given up on life.”
noodle-face commented, “Had something sort of similar happen.
“I was in a pretty bad place, living in my parent’s basement and working a sh[*]tty part-time job in my 20s at a supermarket. One day I decided I was just going to end it. I went to work that day because I was still thinking about what I was going to do, and this elderly man came up to me and started talking to me. He told me all about how we are the masters of our destiny, how we need to take charge, how things will get better. He ended up talking to me for over an hour on the sales floor and handed me a card — that I lost 😦 — with his name and number on it to talk.
“Dude saved my life. Never saw him again.”
2) Bryfliesme wrote, “Good question. I was flying from San Jose to Miami. My father was dying after 2 liver transplants. Anyhow, I was in first class and proceeded to get hammered. The kind handsome gentleman next to me set aside his work, and helped me. He went out of his way to come with me and make sure I got to Jackson Memorial Hospital and meet up with my family without incident. I don’t know his name.”
Bryfliesme added, “I believe the airline took pity on me, knowing that I was on my way to Miami to pull the plug on my father. Upgrades don’t happen to me very often… But that was surely appreciated.”
3) misswimp wrote, “About five years ago I took a solo trip out to England for a month because I’m self employed and well, why not? The day before my last day of my trip I decided to hop a train from London to the town my family name originated in hundreds of years ago.
“I had tracked down a church that had some tombs of my ancestors. The church was in a small town and their website listed an email address for their ‘keymaster’. I shot off an email and awoke the next morning to find it had a reply! This woman I’d never met before picked me up at the train station, drove me to the church, opened it for me and spent HOURS telling me all about the history of my family. It was amazing. As a photographer I got to take some once-in-a-lifetime photos inside and out. I also have a video documenting the experience.
“It doesn’t end there. Then my new friend drove me to this old estate where the family used to live. The home had a moat around it. I kid you not. And stunning grounds with English gardens… unbelievable. After my tour there, she took me back to her home for tea and sandwiches where her husband the historian got out his old dusty books to go over my family’s pedigree and I got to fill in some holes in the family tree. I also left with a lot more questions!
“When it came time for me to leave, they packed me some dinner for my train ride back to London and left me at the train station. I lived more in that day than most people get to their whole lives, I think. The generosity of complete strangers changed my perspective on a lot of things.”
4) throwitaway7n8 wrote, “I was in Korea, teaching English. My Korean boss was scummy and went behind my back to hire someone for cheaper when we got to the 6-month point at which she had agreed to give us a pay bump. I ended up moving out of my apartment and staying at a hostel/dorm-like place (called a goshiwon).
“My physically abusive parents were having a lot of issues back in the U.S. then and kept messaging me to fight through me as neither would talk to the other. Most of the guys at the goshiwon were super creepy and would wiggle the doorknob at night to check if it was locked. (I was one of the few girls there, and all of the guys made it clear that they were after one thing.)
“A new guy showed up — a Thai guy who was a visiting professor of Buddhist Studies. While all the other people in the goshiwon were typically super cold towards me or trying to pressure me into sleeping with them, this Thai guy shared his food with me that he had cooked and sat with me for nearly two hours, telling me stories about the Thai royal family and about his research. He was so animated and hilarious and sweet. I saw him around the goshiwon a few times after that, and he always was sweet and smiled at me — and that made my day.
“I was so stressed out at the time that I didn’t even think to get some contact info from him or to tell him how much I appreciated his gift of food and his time when I needed a friend the most.”
5) khegiobridge wrote, “Teacher, too, in 1990’s Taipei [Taiwan]. Spoke zero Mandarin. I bought an old 50 cc scooter and armed myself with an English-Pinyin bus map and learned the main streets. Late one night, I took a ride and took a wrong turn; I ended up crossing a bridge and realized I had no idea where I was; I was hopelessly lost in a part of the city with no English-Mandarin street signs at 1 am. I parked at a 7/11 and went in to ask directions; most clerks will be 19- or 20-year-old college kids with some grasp of English. I explained I was lost to the two kids in the store and wrote down the name of my street in English and repeated Ming Shung Dong Lu several times. The guys had a long discussion in Chinese, and finally one guy took his 7/11 blouse [American shirt] off and beckoned me to follow him. I had no idea what was going on. He got on his scooter and had me follow him about ten miles back to my street and my apartment. I thanked him a dozen times. Wow. Thanks, guy.”
6) gogojack wrote, “About a year and a half ago, I met this old folk musician. I never was a big fan of folk music, but long story short I wound up talking to this guy on the phone and he invited me to come to his concert. After we’d talked for awhile, he said, ‘Hey, man, I feel like we’re brothers of the spirit,’ and he promised that he’d give me a hug when we met.
“So what could I do? I went to the show. During the intermission, I got to go up and introduce myself and sure enough, he gave me a big hug.
“It took awhile to sink in. The old folk guy was Peter Yarrow… one third of Peter, Paul, and Mary. “Puff the Magic Dragon” guy. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” He played the March on Washington in 1963. Was friends with Mandela. Hung out with the Dalai Lama.
“He told me that we’re ‘brothers of the spirit’ and gave me a hug.
“Pretty monumental, actually.”
7) cheesiestcheese wrote, “First time I went out with friends after chemo, my friend brought a girl with him and his gf [girlfriend]. She was really sweet, didn’t treat me weird for being bald and obviously sick, laughed at my jokes, etc. She had a bf [boyfriend], and lived 100 miles away and I never talked to her again.”
Timeshift3r commented, “That’s the person I want to strive to be someday. I hope you meet this person later on in life.”
8) modern_messiah43 wrote, “Not as great as some others here, but I once randomly held hands with the lady working at subway [Subway restaurant? A subway?]. I was digging in my pocket for change and said, ‘Hold on.’ She asked, ‘What am I supposed to hold on to?’ So I put out my other hand and we had a beautiful moment until I pulled the appropriate amount of change from my pocket.”
Source: clawish3, “What is your most cherished memory of an encounter with someone who you met and then never saw again?” Reddit. <http://tinyurl.com/z64yhnw>.
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