“What’s the Nicest Thing a Complete Stranger has Ever Done for You?”

Here are some replies:

1) DeditaNodi wrote this:

“Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of some amazing acts of kindness.

“In July of last year, my mother was told that her rare eye cancer had returned, and had metastasized to her liver. It is one of those cancers that no one really survives, and it is a quick death sentence. My mom and I are very close, and we took a few weeks to process the news together, and then she decided to tell the rest of our close-knit family in person all at once. My mom asked me to plan a family reunion of sorts in our hometown in northern Maine. I was the support system for my mom on this trip, and I resolved to be strong, make all the arrangements, be a shoulder for her to cry on, and be the person to take care of all of the details so she could just focus on saying goodbye.

“There is this saying in Maine that when someone asks you for directions, the response is usually, ‘You can’t get there from here,’ because northern Maine is pretty isolated. I live in Illinois and my mom lives in the Carolinas, so we both hopped planes and met in Boston, then took a six-seater puddle jumper. The plan was to arrive in Augusta, pick up the rental car we had reserved, and then drive several hours north, sometimes over dirt roads, to get home.

“When we arrived at this tiny airport in Augusta, the guy who worked at the one rental car agency there had closed up shop for the day and left early. He didn’t leave a car for us. There are no other rental car companies open within hours’ drive. No cabs to take us four hours north. We were the last flight and the airport was closed. My sick mom and I found ourselves standing outside the airport stranded four hours from family. 

“And I just lost it. Started sobbing. Lost all my ability to handle logistics, figure out a solution, even get us a hotel. Just sat on the curb, wrapped my arms around my knees, and fell apart while my mom put her hand on my shoulder and tried to be my comfort. Such a sh[*]tty feeling.

“And then this magical lady who worked at the airport saw us. She was off work for the day and pulling out of the parking lot. And without even knowing the situation, she pulled over, got out of the car, and took charge. She used my phone to call a family member and arranged to meet them halfway to pick us up. And then this kind stranger, after a long day at work, went two hours out of her way just to get us to our destination. She gave me a moment to breathe, to not be in charge, and to just be a grieving daughter.”

2) NigNagNug wrote, “I was moving out of an apartment, trying to pack heavy things into my car. A stranger witnessed this, offered to help, and spent a solid hour helping me carry furniture, densely packed clothes, and a TV down some stairs into my car. He was either an absolute gentleman or a criminal who was casing my apartment building for entry points.”

3) mistapapageorgio wrote, “A homeless guy camped out in front of a Dunkin Donuts ran inside to tell me the meter maid was coming. Saved me $45 and he wouldn’t even let me buy him breakfast.”

4) redditcommander wrote, “I was driving on the NJ Turnpike down the middle lane of the truck side with my then-girlfriend-now-wife when we had a blowout. Somehow we managed to stay in lane, I hit the hazards and the truck to my right slowed to let me limp over to the shoulder. He then stopped behind me on the shoulder, parked right up to the line and close to the back of my car specifically to shield me from traffic with his truck (it was a driver’s side tire and my car at the time was a small VW Golf) and stayed and talked about welding and stuff while I changed the tire. After that he was off on the road again, wouldn’t even take a reward or a free cup of coffee. At the time I was nervous because this strange trucker is walking over while my vehicle is disabled in middle-of-nowhere Jersey, but in hindsight, folks get hit all the time when on the side of the road by inattentive drivers, and he put his load and rig on the line — not to mention sacrificed time, that most precious trucker commodity — just to help.”

5) birkenstocksNsocks wrote this:

“Warped Tour was one of the first concerts I ever went to. The very first stage I went to was ADTR [A Day to Remember]. At 4’10”, 13-year-old me was right about elbow height and had no idea what I was in for. They started playing “My Life for Hire,” and I was getting tossed around in the crowd as I pushed my way towards the stage. 

“Right as I was in the center of it all, they were splitting the crowd in half for ‘the wall of death’ and there I was left alone in the empty space between two crowds, right as Jeremy yelled, ‘THIS IS A BATTLEGROUND!’

“Both masses of moshing humans rushed in towards me, and I basically watched my life flash before my eyes. Right then, I felt a massive pair of arms lift me up onto his shoulders. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the gratitude and relief I felt as he advised me that ‘little girls don’t belong in mosh pits.’”

Nebulousprariedogs commented, “In my experience metal heads are 95% the nicest people you will meet. There’s a bit of an expectation that if you’re in the pit, you know what you’re doing, but if you fall down there will be several people trying to pick you up. If you drop something, everyone will shift back and make a wall to help you look for it. If you look uncomfortable, there will be someone to make some space and stop you getting smooshed. If you look ill, we will crowd surf you the f[**]k out of there. While [I was] at Download in 2013, there was a pregnant woman enjoying the bands, and her partner was trying to keep people from knocking into her too hard. Had a chat, he mentioned she was pregnant, we spread it around to the people near. Ended up with about 10 people circling her, keeping the over enthusiastic from giving the baby a headache. I love metalheads \m/.”

6) s0mexguy wrote, “About three-four winters ago, I had a 5am shift on Thanksgiving, it was freezing cold outside perhaps 10-15 degrees (I live in Philly), and I had to catch public transportation to get to my job. So there I was on Broad Street for a good ten-twenty minutes freezing my [*]ss off. Until a taxi driver waves me down and asked if I need a ride but me being super broke at the time couldn’t afford it so I wave him off. Couple of minutes pass by and he drives by me again, waves me down once more. I tell him I could afford to take only public transportation, but he insisted on driving me telling me not to worry about the money. I hopped in the car and was the most gracious person in the world. Not all taxi drivers are [*]ssholes.”

flowerpuffgirl commented:

“I was a drunk student, far too drunk far too early and ready to go home just after midnight, but my friends left me. I went to the bus stop and saw the last bus pulling away. Phone was dead, I was an hour’s walk from home so set off. Got about 20 minutes from the club, still 40 minutes from home, drunk and exhausted I lay down in a bush to sleep it off. Taxi driver pulled up god knows how long later, asked if I needed to go somewhere. I said I couldn’t afford the fare, he said no bother. I ended up home safe and sound. Wish I’d got his name.

“Edit: I’m a girl. We were all 18-20, and had been drinking all day and into the night, I should have left earlier but didn’t want to leave alone. They all said, ‘Yeah, we’re getting the last bus,’ until I pushed them on it and they said, ‘No, we’re actually staying out.’ This was first year at uni, middle of freshers week. Those people aren’t my friends anymore. Pretty sure we were mere acquaintances by the end of the month. I no longer pass out in bushes. I’m glad y’all got home safe, too!”

Source: zefjen, “What’s the Nicest Thing a Complete Stranger has Ever Done for You?” Reddit. 12 August 2017 <http://tinyurl.com/y77t7mkj>.

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