People Share The Most Memorable Moment They Had With A Complete Stranger
People Share The Most Memorable Moment They Had With A Complete Stranger
Life is unpredictable. With seven billion people in this world and counting, you never know who you’re going to meet next. There’s a kind of thrill to not knowing which human soul will end up impacting your life for the better… or for worse. The following stories are about people’s most memorable moments with complete strangers they met unexpectedly. Read on for some interesting encounters:
#1 My Future Self
A stranger in a small boat saved me from drowning in a river when I was 14. I didn’t know how to swim. While waiting for an ambulance, he told me that he, too, almost drowned in that same river when he was a teenager. I never saw him again, but I still think of him whenever I go for a walk near that river. Sometimes I like to think that was my future self saving me.
#2 The Proud Mary Duet
I was shopping at an outlet store in Florida when Tina Turner’s Proud Mary came on. I started singing along quietly. There was a big male employee stocking shelves nearby and he started to sing the Ike parts while I sang the Tina parts. It was magical! It really made my day because he made me feel so much comfortable in my own skin, just by singing along with me.
#3 Dancing The YMCA
I was standing next to this guy, showing him a huge wall of jeans and talking about what he was looking for. Neither one of us had given the slightest indication we had been listening to the background music, which at the moment was YMCA. You guessed it, the second the chorus came on we both busted out the arm movements with an equal level of enthusiasm, and then we both started laughing. In addition to being funny, it was also a brush with fame since he was the drummer for the Robert Cray band, in town to play a music festival. I still chuckle 20 years later.
#4 One Kiss Is All It Takes
I was, of all places, a Jimmy Buffet concert. I was kind of buzzing, walking around to get another drink. A beautiful hippy girl glided up to me saying, “Hey, do you have a dollar?” So I gave her a dollar and she gave me one of the most perfect kisses I had ever had. “You know, you’re a beautiful person all over,” and she glided away. At that time in my life, I had big-time self-esteem issues, that little interaction was what began to turn the whole thing in a positive direction.
#5 Wine Love
I was at a “wine tasting,” but not like a classy one… Basically, it was just an all-you-can-drink fest. I was tipsy and I needed to go #1, so I left my friends to find the bathroom. This woman in her mid-40s came out of the hall I was walking into and looked at me. I smiled and she said, “You’re hot, if you weren’t gay I would kiss you.” I said, “I’m not gay,” because, you know, I’m not. We made out, then her friends pulled her away, so I continued to the washroom.
#6 Raised Right
When I was 21, I worked retail and had a kid maybe around 11 come in with his mom looking for clothes. Kids that age can be brutal but that kid was sweet and complimented me a ton. I also had self-esteem issues and felt very unattractive—I’d been overweight as a teenager and only slimmed down in college, but even that hasn’t really adjusted my self-image accordingly. He was just so earnest and obviously saying what he believed that I had to accept it.
#7 Funny Foreigner
A few years back, my mom and I visited a local theme park that involved a little gladiator ring with figures painted onto the wall, gladiators. I jumped down into it and screamed, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???” It turned out that we weren’t alone. I spun around to find a Japanese tourist staring at me in wonder, who then grinned nervously, snapped a picture, and gave me a thumbs up.
#8 Just A Dad Joke
My wife and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. We were at Volcano National Park overlooking the craters. There was an older gentleman near us admiring the view. We were waiting for a guided tour to start for one of the lava tubes or something. A car pulled up with a family with a young child who was crying and whining and throwing a fit about something as they opened the door. Making a scene, we looked back and so did the older gentleman. He said, quietly, “Oh good! The sacrifice is here,” and kind of meandered off. My wife was appalled. I laughed, and still laugh about it.
#9 Kind Strangers
My friend and I were on a road trip. We were 19 and inexperienced with all things in life. After driving about 500 miles, I collided at about 50 mph into a car that jutted out in front of me. We spun around and rolled across the road into a ditch. A moment after escaping the car, it was in flames. The other car was no better and I assumed the driver was a goner. No witnesses.
The first car to drive past was a family driving back from the beach and headed to their little vacation cottage nearby. The dad was a flight medic home on leave from Iraq. He checked on the lady in the other car and she wasn’t dead. Then he checked on us. He handled the firemen and cops when they arrived, backing up our story that it was the other driver’s fault. The family took us to the hospital to get checked out, then boarded us for the night, fed us, and took pictures of our wounds to submit to insurance. The next day took us to the junkyard to get my title and dropped us off at the Greyhound station to go home.
We were just kids and we were in shock. This family took care of us as if we were their own and handled all my business for me so I didn’t get blamed or ripped off by any cops or junkmen or insurance investigators. We did get their name and I think my mom sent them a fruit basket but I’ve since forgotten and never spoke to or heard from them again.
#10 Great Wall, Great Company
When I went traveling on my first solo trip, I was on a cable cart going up to the Great Wall of China and was sat with some other random guy. Our cart got stuck for over three hours and he was such a lovely person to be stuck with. We chatted the whole time and shared images of family. He comforted me when I was upset (after the second hour, I was really worried we would die). The scenery, however, and being suspended in time almost makes it one of the scariest and most memorable moments for me. We got to the top and both went our separate ways. Obviously, we never saw each other again.
#11 A Comforting Presence
Not funny, but memorable. When I was 19, I worked at a record store. One night, I confronted and tussled with a booster (a shoplifter targeting bulk amounts for resale). Unbeknownst to me, he had a sharp object and he used it on me. I started bleeding all over the place and freaking out (as one does). A random customer dressed in chef’s whites was the only person in the store not freaking out. He took me calmly to the employee bathroom, applied a wet compress to my face, and just talked to me very nicely, keeping me as relaxed as possible, until the ambulance and police arrived. I’ll never forget that guy’s kindness and composed demeanor. I never got his name and never saw him again.
#12 The Flight Fright
I shared the most terrifying plane ride ever, sitting next to a foreigner who didn’t speak English. We managed to communicate perfectly through exchanging glances at each other, with expressive eyebrows as if to say, “Is this really happening?” I was in a little puddle jumper to Charlotte, NC and it was stormy out. All of a sudden the plane dropped like 50 feet in a second. The pilot came over the speakers and said calmly “Alrighty folks we’re coming up to a little bit of turbulence here, the seatbelts will remain buckled the rest of the flight.”
The lights inside the plane and the speakers died out, and the plane dropped another 50 feet. This trend continued pretty much the entire rest of the ride. When we did get to Charlotte, the pilot MISSED the runway. We were looking out the window and seeing the runway to the left of us thinking, “How is this going to work?” Then, ALL OF A SUDDEN, the plane jerked upwards at a 45-degree angle.
The pilot came over the speakers calmly again and said, “Sorry about that folks, we caught a strong tailwind— just going to have another go!”
The guy sitting next to me and I kept looking at each other like, “Is this for real? Are we going to die?” We didn’t though.
#13 The Lovely Lady
I was on the metro when it made a sudden stop and an older woman who had been standing was thrown to the ground. I helped her up and asked how she was. She kept saying she was fine, but it was a bad spill and I was a bit concerned. I wanted to take her to the emergency room, but she wouldn’t have it. I made her a bargain, if she let me do a bit of an exam myself, found she was OK to probably spend the night at home, and she let me take her all the way home, we could do that instead.
I rode with her to her stop at the end of the line, making light conversation so it would seem like I was just enjoying her company and it was no problem at all (both of which were true, but I wasn’t doing it only for the chatting). She really didn’t want to inconvenience me. She had such an interesting life, she lived her whole life in the city that I had just moved to. The stories about the history of the city and her life blew me away.
When we got to the station, we sat on a bench and I called my father who is an MD (I am a medical researcher myself, but I have no clinical experience). He talked me through all the questions to ask her and some quick tests to see if she had a head injury or damage to her ribs. Her head seemed fine, but it did seem like she had some trauma to the ribcage. I conferred with my dear old dad, and three of us compromised that, if she was still having pain in the morning, she would go see her doctor.
She kept telling me how much I reminded her of her daughter, which I took as one of the highest of compliments. She was bashful the whole journey for putting me out, but I kept assuring her I was enjoying it, and I was a terrible klutz and always falling on the train, so I could relate. I took her the rest of the way home in a cab (my treat) and walked to the house. Only after that did I realize I was in a residential part of the city I had never been to in my life.
I didn’t speak the language all that well (fortunately her English was perfect), and I was completely disoriented. I have no memory of how I made it home, but the next day there was a message on my voicemail from Mary saying her daughter had taken her to the doctor that morning and my diagnosis of a fractured rib was correct. She was a lovely lady and I was so glad to help. I really have a lot of affection for her to this day, more than ten years later.
#14 Calling Nana
When I was 10, I was at K-Mart and I used the bathroom. There was another guy in there in the other stall and we realized that there was no toilet paper, so we called Nana loudly together for over five minutes until she cracked open the door. We told her our predicament and she helped. I washed my hands and left. I never saw what he looked like not did I learn his name. It was funny hearing a grown man shout for my grandma.
#15 Big Sports Fan
When I was probably about eight, I went to a Penguins-Bruins game in Pittsburgh with my dad. I’m a Penguins fan, he’s a Bruins fan. A couple of guys behind us (probably in their 30s or 40s) were super nice and talking to me for a bit during the game, asking like, “Why are you here with this Bruins fan?!” and making jokes like that.
The Penguins ended up losing, but towards the end of the game, one of them jokingly said they had season tickets and they would pick me for the next game; I just couldn’t bring my dad because he was bad luck. Living out of state, I obviously never saw those guys again, but them being that nice to a random kid and making sure I had a good time has stuck with me all these years later. I love sports.
#16 Kindness Is Universal
While I was visiting London, I met this French girl on the train who wasn’t sure where her stop was and how to get to her final destination. I’ve lived in English speaking countries my whole life and have never known anyone who didn’t speak English, but somehow we managed to communicate and I rode the train with her to her stop. She gave me the biggest hug before I headed back to where I was going originally.
#17 German Kindness
When I arrived in Germany, I was jetlagged and distressed on a train platform because I was unsure if I was in the right place. A little old German man who spoke no English saw me panicking and looked at my ticket, walked me to the right platform, waited for the train, and helped me load my bag. It was such a relief; I wish I could have expressed to him how much that meant to me.
#18 Best Compliment Ever
I was on a bridge in Paris and I always had trouble accepting my physical appearance. When you have gorgeous friends and see gorgeous people all over the Internet and in games, movies, books, it can make you feel like trash some days. Anyway, I was listening to music and I saw a guy waving at me, standing in front of me with a smile. He was really cute, beautiful green eyes and a friendly face. I removed my headphones and he said (you’ll never guess): “I’m gay.”
So yeah, I was a bit confused. I thought he wanted me to sign something or maybe he just realized it and wanted to share it with someone. But he added: “I saw you and for the first time in my life I felt attracted to a girl. You’ve changed me. I wanted to tell you.” …And then he just went on with a smile on his face. I actually cried. I’ll probably never see him again but I’ll never forget what he said. It helps me cope when I feel really insecure.
Thank you, stranger, I’ll never forget you!
#19 Grandma’s Last Hug
I was out shopping and in the parking lot in a shopping center. I got a Facebook alert and casually read it. My beloved grandmother had died. My cousin posted the news not thinking about me being notified. I dropped to the ground and lost it. I wailed and had zero situational awareness. A woman rushed over to help me. I only remember showing her my phone. She helped me get to my car and she held me for minutes why I grieved. I don’t know how long I was overcome but I know she held me and comforted me.
She got me calm enough to call my husband and she stayed with me until he got me settled. She held my hand until I could drive. I know she spent at least 30 minutes with me. All I did was say thank you. Those words are not enough. She is the angel that got me through that week. I always feel her hug and her kindness. I think of it like grandma’s last hug.
#20 Find Her And Marry Her
I was 16, waiting in the car parked at some store. While sitting there, I saw a girl who looked my age also in the same situation. She was dancing in her seat, singing along to some song I couldn’t hear. She noticed me watching and we laughed together from our separate cars. We shared a moment I will never forget, even though we never spoke a word, nor saw each other again.
#21 A Tragedy Averted
I traveled about 100 miles with a group of maybe 20 friends who knew some spelunkers in an adjacent state. We were complete amateurs. Our plan was to camp out, then hit the caves the next morning with them to guide us. That evening at the campsite, a couple of the spelunkers got sideways with some of the people in our group, but it was more like petty jealousy than an actual argument.
So the next day, we went into the caverns and got a decent amount of walking and climbing when the spelunkers told us that they were going a more complicated way, but if we just go down a certain chute for a while, we’d find a chimney to get out of. Then they bailed. I was stuck in the middle of this group and didn’t fully realize what was going on, but when we started moving forward, I followed. Then we ended up completely lost, since the chimney was a narrow opening, and we were crawling on our bellies through a stream at that point.
Then, a complete stranger came into the caverns and rescued us. He’d apparently heard the spelunkers, who had already gotten out, laughing about stranding us and he came down to get us out. I never saw him again, but to this day I’m incredibly grateful that this stranger came for us.
#22 The Unimaginable
I have two. Once, I met a priest at the airport who told me he was dying from leukemia. He told me his first symptoms were bruises all over his body. Another was I was to attend an Amway meeting in another city and drove there with a sponsor. We arrived at the district manager’s house where we were supposed to spend the night. Their teenage children let us in and showed us to our rooms.
They said their parents were at a meeting and would not be in until later. The sponsor and I went to bed. In the middle of the night, the sponsor received a phone call that the parents were in an automobile accident. The mom was ended and the dad was in the hospital in critical condition. We had to wake up the kids and give them the bad news. I had never met the parents or children before. I never saw them again.
#23 Meaningful Ramblings
Years ago, I had reached an incredibly low point in my life. I was feeling more and more isolated, and I was suffering from what I would later find out was undiagnosed mental health issues. It was a rough time. I felt I needed to just run away, so I booked a flight to literally the first destination that was available, the Dominican Republic; not to a resort mind you, but Santiago.
As soon as I landed, I got a ride towards the coast and found a place to stay in a very seedy room. It was then I realized that I had no real plan; heck, I didn’t even speak Spanish. I spent a couple of days just lost in a haze, realizing that running away didn’t solve anything. Well, one evening I went to get something to eat, at what best could be described as a kind of semi-permanent food cart. I sat there, eating and this old Dominican man sat down beside me to eat his dinner.
For some reason, he just started talking to me, nonstop. Thing was, I didn’t understand a word he said. But there was something about just the whole situation that captivated me, so I listened. He just kept talking and I kept listening, nodding and smiling at his words. I ordered both of us another drink, and after that, he pulled out a bottle of some nondescript liquid that he shared with me. We were there for a good couple of hours, and finally, when I guess he finished his story, and we finished that bottle, he got up and went his separate way.
That point marked a big change for me. Something inside felt ready to go back to my own life and move forward. The next day I went back to Santiago and arranged for a flight home. Obviously, I will never see that man again. I don’t even know what he said to me all those hours, but I’d like to think it was something real as opposed to insane ramblings. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. I will never forget that meal and one-sided conversation with that man, I marked the end of one stage of my life and what would become the next stage.
#24 Making His Day
In Hong Kong, my girlfriend and I were walking to the gondola that takes you to the Tian Buddha. I am 6″4, bald with a beard, and I saw this 5-foot tall Chinese man trying to hide taking a picture of me. I walked over waved, pointed at his phone then at my girlfriend, he gave her the phone and I picked him up like I was carrying him across the threshold. She took the pic. He had a huge smile on his face and took off. It was pretty funny.
#25 A Wholesome Encounter
Traveling has really changed my perspective on the world. Taking a little time to make someone’s day is totally worth it when I get to experience their culture. I was in Latvia years ago during a crazy cold spell, walking home from doing something I saw this beautiful church, I tried to go inside and found the door locked. As I was walking away I heard someone call something to me, I turned around and this little lady was standing at the door.
She let me in and showed me the art exhibit they had which was mosaics from the locals, let me walk to the top of the bell tower and let me warm up near the fire. I left a tip and was leaving, thanked her in Latvian and she got the biggest smile I have ever seen. She tried to talk to me in Latvian but realized all I knew was how to say thanks. She gave me a hug and I was on my way.
#26 Conversation Over Coffee
I met an Australian gentleman at a coach station in Brussels. We were both going to a centenary in France. He was going to the Somme and I was heading to Vimy. We both had to get the coach into Belgium for some reason but our connecting one was in a few hours. We decided to head to a cafe and grab a few coffees. We shared each other’s life stories and the conversation was remarkable.
#27 The Nicest Guy
A stranger in a small village outside of Buzios, Brazil once helped four pasty Americans repair a broken fuel line as well as hook up a cable to his car to tow us 30 minutes back to our rented house. We tried to pay him but the only thing he accepted was a warm bottle of champagne. We gladly agreed to his terms—he was the nicest guy we met on our trip.
#28 In A Pickle
I was working at Costco and was standing near the exit. A man with three of the giant jars of pickles was walking out with a very delicately balanced hold on them. Someone cut him off with an orange flatbed cart and he tripped. While falling he launched one of the jars which I caught before grabbing hold of him before he fell. All pickles were saved. I’ve never been looked at with such gratitude and I’ve never been more proud of myself.
#29 Happiness In A Cake
I was on a bus and a guy got on. We began to talk and he said to me that he was a baker in the local bakery. The cakes of this bakery are delicious, my favorites. I told him that and he began to cry. That day, his boss told him that his cakes were garbage. My commentary made him so happy, and he asked me what my favorite cake of his was. It’s a cheesecake named “Mouse.” He told me that the next day I must go to the bakery and say to the girl in the cash that I was his friend.
The next day, I went to the bakery and did just what he said. The girl talked to another woman and she gave me a little “Mouse” cake. Then, she said to me, “Thank you. He was very sad yesterday and you made him smile again.” She then returned to her work. The cake had my name written over the cream and the little mouse of cheese had glasses like me. The cake was delicious, but the memory makes me so happy until today.
#30 Git Jiggy With It
I was at the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney. We were in the circular room before the ride and when the walls rose and the lights shut off, the audio played a scream. This random man said, “Git jiggy with it!” And everyone started laughing uncontrollably. I will never forget that man. Being a young kid at the time, he really calmed my nerves.
#31 Adrenaline Junkies
My first time at Disney, at the Aerosmith ride, I went with a random guy who had his kids behind us. When I sat, he said, “First time?” I said, “Of many, I hope.” He smiled and replied, “That’s the spirit.” During the ride we had a blast, screaming and singing. When it finished, we fist-bumped and he asked me “ANOTHER?” We ended up riding two more times. Best guy ever.
#32 Scaredy Cat
I was at Hurricane Harbor about to go down that one ride where you go up one side then up the other and you keep going until you stop at the bottom in the middle. There was a lady and her husband about to go down and the lady was clearly very scared (screaming, holding onto the tube tightly, etc). It only made it worse when the lifeguard was about to push their tube down by yelling, “You had a nice life, goodbye!” I will never forget her terrified, “WHAT?!” Before being pushed down.
#33 Rock, Paper, Scissors
It was a small, beachfront parking lot in San Diego. Naturally, it was absolutely packed and so a lot of people were driving laps looking for open spaces. I had passed this car several times as we both searched. We both pulled down a lane at the same time but from different sides. As a car pulled out, both of us threw on our turn signal at the same time, and we were both the same distance from this soon-to-be empty spot.
If anyone has ever lived in a crowded city or tried to park at a packed event, you know how tense moments like these are… Not this time though. Me and this stranger both threw up our hands at the same time and played rock-paper-scissors for the spot, completely unprompted, without talking, in our cars a few hundred feet away from each other. He won and got the spot, I drove away to keep searching.
#34 Friends For A Night
I was in NYC for New Year’s in 2014. I was 19 at the time. I got separated from my group of friends and I didn’t have my phone on me, but I happened upon this group of girls a bit older than me and asked if I could borrow their phone. I called my group of friends and told them where I was so they could meet me, but they were probably an hour-ish away, so I had some time to kill. The group of girls took me under their collective wing and bought me a ticket to a club’s NYE party.
I was underage, so one of the girls realized she looked fairly similar to me, entered the club and got stamped, came back out and gave me her passport. I got into the club, was given free drinks, and shared the midnight countdown with all of them. My friend showed up at the club a little later and I left with him, never to see those girls again. It’s one of my favorite holiday memories, and they all made me feel safe and special, especially since that I was an underage female wandering the streets of Brooklyn.
#35 Chaotic Energy
It was Friday the 13th and we were in line for $13 tattoos. Everyone in line was limited to only one tattoo on the board; some cute, some classic, some nerdy, some clearly a joke the artist just made to see if anyone would get it. I convinced this guy (a stranger that I met in line) to get a really provocative tattoo, and I happily paid for it! The artist was so excited to do it they waived the one tattoo limit for him.
#36 A Friendly Copycat
My cousin and I were sitting in traffic (we were about 8 or 9 years old). I was drinking water when we looked to the left and saw a taxi driver. He noticed us and he started to copy how I was drinking water. I laughed and proceeded to do more silly things and he looked like he was genuinely enjoying being with kids. I vividly remember showing him my nonexistent biceps and he copied me. Except, this dude had like REAL biceps and somehow it amused both me and my cousin.
#37 Impromptu Date
I met a girl who was sad because her boyfriend broke up with her and stole her money. I invited her to an amusement park hoping that she might recover. We had a fun time together, well until the sunset came up. We were riding in the Ferris wheel and while we were rising up, she thanked me for my kindness. While she was leaving, I called her name and gave her some money. She replied with a sentence that surprised me. She said, “I want you to be my boyfriend, but I know I’m not good enough”. I replied, “You’re good enough to be my girlfriend,” and left. While I was leaving, she cried happily and left as well.
#38 In A Hot Spring
In a hot spring in the mountains north of Kyoto, I was sitting next to some older guys who I overheard speaking in German. I asked them in broken tourist guidebook German if they came to Japan from Germany, and—in the most German response ever—one guy immediately corrected my grammar. He spoke excellent English and asked me how long Japanese people usually stay in the hot springs. I turned to some college-aged guys sitting across from us and asked them, and then relayed their answer to the Germans.
Then they spent the next hour or so asking me questions and chatting. They all went to college in the city, and one of them was a big pro baseball fan and Star Wars nerd. I am one of those things also. He was looking at study abroad programs in America, and I told him that my old school in Atlanta had a good exchange program. He seemed very excited about being near the Braves, and he told me he was going home that night to look up programs about my school.
#39 A Haunting Experience
I was in France. We had a really uncomfortable tent at the time and I hadn’t slept a wink. On top of that, I was also a socially awkward 13-year-old, and I was at this castle thing up in this big tower and these two French girls came up to me. They asked in rough English if I would take a picture of them. I misheard them and ended up taking the picture with them, I even tried to do some kind of pose. Upon realizing what they had actually asked, I contemplated jumping off the tower. I pray I never see them again, that experience will haunt me every time I try and sleep.
#40 Meeting My Father
My dad. I grew up with only my mother and was never able to meet my father. My mother didn’t talk about him and I guess I didn’t want to ask questions about it. I took one of those DNA tests a little over a year ago to see what my background was like and got a hit on a potential match for my dad. I did a little research on him, found out he owned a small restaurant in New York.
I’m in college now, so I was able to take a bus ride north to the restaurant. I went there for lunch. I didn’t really have a plan, I just went there to maybe get a glimpse of him. I didn’t see him anywhere, but at the end of the meal, I asked to speak to the owner, just to tell him how wonderful the food was (it actually wasn’t that great, but I figured it was my best chance to see him). He came out and said hi to me and I complimented him on the food.
It was definitely him, clear as day. You could just tell by looking at him that we were related. He seemed like a nice guy, but I never said anything to him other than that I liked the meal. I paid with my debit card hoping he may recognize the name, but I guess he didn’t see it or didn’t follow up if he did. That was the only time I ever met him, but I will never forget it.
#41 The Bike Mishap
I was riding my bike down some trails in the woods and as I leaned into a turn, my front wheel slipped out from beneath, spinning the handlebars and driving the brake handle into my left thigh. It didn’t really hurt at first but when I couldn’t lift the bike off of me, I knew something was wrong.
So there I sat screaming (more so in fear rather than pain) in the middle of the woods with one of my friends as his father went to get help. I had no way of getting this bike off of me as I was still quite literally attached to it via the brake line. These two hikers came upon us and did what they could to help. One of them reached into their backpack and pulled out wire cutters which I thought was a pretty odd thing to bring on a hike. They cut the brake cable and I was finally able to get the bike off of me.
#42 A Stranger’s Arms
I worked in a photo lab in my freshman year of college. I was closing up when a woman sat down at the kiosk to start an order. I was anxious to leave so I asked if she needed anything, hoping I could help hurry up her order. She told me she had lost her only grandson a day or so ago and she was trying to put something together for the funeral the next day. He was only three years old.
She was alone, so I sat with her for the next hour helping her upload pictures from her phone and putting together a photo book of his birth, a few short years of life, and finally, hospital photos hooked up to machines as she told me stories about him. I switched the printers back on, put the book together, and before she left, she asked if it would be alright if she could have a hug. It was a strange thing to be allowed so close to so much grief in a complete stranger but I’ll never forget the feeling.
#43 Free Birthday Gifts
My sister and I were skiing on New Year’s Day. We shared a chair lift with an older man and started chatting with him on the way up. He mentioned it was his birthday and he had got a free ski pass for the day. My sister and I wished him a happy birthday and joked about being on the slopes on the wrong day—my sister’s birthday is on the 26th of December and mine is on the 3rd of January, so we both missed a free ski pass by a few days! We parted ways at the top of the slope, then later in the day as my sister and I were having lunch in the restaurant on the slopes, the man we met on the chair lift walked over and handed us $20 each, wishing us a happy birthday!! The most random act of kindness I’ve ever experienced in my life.
#44 A Fleeting Moment
On a train from Denmark into Sweden, I sat next to a Chinese foreign exchange student. We were both 20 or 21. We had a nice, pleasant conversation, mutual attraction, and we had our bare arms against each other, but that was that. We both had things we had to do and we weren’t going to meet again. How often do you meet a person on public transit and both like each other enough and be comfortable around that you’d do something so insignificant but felt meaningful? I still think about that sometimes. Never even knew her name.
#45 Meme Interaction
I was in line at the supermarket. This absolute Karen of a person was in front of me and this random guy behind me. As she started to do her Karen thing, this man walked up next to me and said, “Hey man, look at this meme.” His phone was recording the entire exchange and we just stood there recording this woman scream for the manager, all the while laughing like we were in the 5th grade. I’ll never forget you, whoever you are. You made my week better. To this day, when I think about it, I smile.
#46 The Power Of Kindness
I was crabby, hangry, and depressed. I went to Wendy’s for a Frosty and the drive-through person was so unbelievably sweet, bubbly, and simply delightful. When I got my order, she was on the microphone with another customer, so I waited. Another worker asked if I was still waiting for something and I said I needed to talk to her. When she came to the window, I said, “Thanks. You were such a spot of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy day and I wanted to tell you I appreciated it and it made my day.” She tested up and said, “Honey, you just made my day too! Thanks for waiting to tell me that!” Random acts of kindness go a long way. I was smiling when I left and so was she.
#47 My Dog Zeke
I encountered a man walking his dog on a busy street. The dog was the spitting image of our childhood family dog that we had when I was around 10. The dog stopped and sat down as I approached, never taking his eyes away from mine. I stopped to admire him and casually said, “Hello Zeke.” His owner turned to me astonished and said: “How did you know his name?” I just answered him back with, “He used to be my dog when I was a boy. Take care of him. He’s a good dog,” and walked away.
#48 Chivalry Isn’t Dead
My 21-year-old self decided to strut into a bar and I promptly fell down the stairs. I landed in a stunned heap at the bottom with my dress around my thighs when a guy scooped me up and tucked his arm around me. He drew me to his table and quietly said to just stay. After 30 seconds, he released me saying no one was looking anymore. Thank you, stranger, for that chivalry.
#49 Our Saviour
I had a stranger beating on my bedroom window which was situated in the back of our house one morning. Turns out, two of my roommates had gone out partying the night before and stayed over at a friend’s… One of them happened to leave a candle burning. The stranger noticed as he was driving by that smoke was billowing out the front window. I was dead asleep since I’d been working 12 hours days and hadn’t heard him at the front door. I had another roommate in the house that day that was in a room right below the room on fire. I’m sure the dude probably saved our lives that day.
#50 To The Rescue
Some guy ran to help me when I was getting mugged in New Orleans.
I was trying to fight the dude off, but I was so tipsy. I held my own for a minute but I saw some people down the street and started yelling for help. Three guys came running but by the time they got there, the attacker had run away. One of them stuck around and talked to me for a minute and let me use his phone since mine was missing. Real nice guy.