Kindness is what makes the world go around and around, my friends!
And sometimes, when you’re really down and you think there is nothing wholesome in the world, a complete stranger does something nice for you and it totally changes your perspective.
What random act of kindness in your life has stuck with you?
People on AskReddit shared their stories.
1. That was nice.
“Twenty years ago, an old man saw me struggling to find a quarter in the bottom of my purse near the gumball machines.
I had a baby on my hip and a 2 year old melting down. In one swoop, he took the baby and held out a handful of change. Little man got his gumball, grandpa got baby kisses, I took a breath.
I never carry cash but I always have change now, in case I’m ever the old woman in this scenario.”
2. I got it.
“I work at a restaurant in Texas.
We were one of the only ones working during the winter storm. Our card machine was broke and this guy didn’t have cash to pay for his meal. This woman just came up and covered the $40 bill.
It was super nice considering everyone was going through it in Texas during this time. Also, people were extremely grateful to us for being open. We were getting like $20 tips “just because”.”
3. Pay it forward.
“A man I was chatting with while waiting on our cars bring fixed left the service department $100 toward my car repair and then left before I could thank him.
I paid it back by gifting a non refundable hotel room to a random stranger via the manager of the hotel.”
4. That’s awesome.
“During an interview for a minimum wage, fast food job, the manager asked why I didn’t have a high school diploma or GED. After explaining why I had neither, he offered me the job and to pay for me to get my GED.
If I passed, I didn’t owe him a thing. If I failed, I owed him the $50 it took for me to take the test. I passed and even won a one year academic scholarship to the community college that I went through to get my GED. While I did not excel at being a student once again, I never would have had the opportunity to learn that without that manager’s generosity.
I am forever thankful for the risk that man took on me. I would not be where I’m at without him.”
5. Thanks, boss.
“My manager texted me with a random cartoon question.
He came in on Monday with $100 for me cause I apparently had won him some money.
Felt pretty random since we nearly never talked and I think he just knew I was the office nerd.”
6. Words of wisdom.
“I was a frazzled new mom in the grocery store about the third time I passed this older women she said stop clenching your teeth and you’ll feel better, something in her voice just told me she really cared.
10 years later I still think of that woman and try to relax my face when I’m stressed.”
7. People are good.
“In August of 2019, I loaded a bunch of camping gear onto my bicycle and spent the better part of the next seven months riding 5,300 miles around the US.
Along the way, everyone I met wanted to be a positive part of my story in whatever way they were able. Many incredibly kind locals opened their homes to me for a night, providing me a warm bed, a hot shower, and their wonderful company over a delicious home cooked meal. Drivers would see me stopped on the side of a desolate road and pull over to offer me an extra bottle of water when I was a million miles from the next town.
Neighbors in the next campsite over, after seeing me ride into camp on my bike with all my stuff on it, would come over to ask about my adventure. I’d give them a summary of where I’d come from and I was going, and they’d invite me to join them around their fire to exchange their food and beer for my stories. It was absolutely incredible, the unending kindness of so many people.
I could go on and on and on about those people, but I’ll share just one story. In mid January, I was cycling south along the Big Sur coastline of California. One evening, I rolled into a small campground to spend the night. After picking out my campsite and locking the bike there, I walked up to the place where you register and pay for the campsite.
There was another camper there, and he started chatting with me as we each filled out the form for our sites. When I told him I’d biked all the way to California from my home in Wisconsin, he invited me to join him for some dinner, and I was happy to accept.
Over beers and fire-roasted vegetables, I learned that Moe had driven up that way from San Diego, and the next afternoon he was heading to another nearby campground for a small music festival.
The two of us really hit it off, and he actually invited me to make myself at home in campsite for that night. I quite enjoy traveling on my own, but it does get lonely at times, so I took him up on that and pitched my tent in his campsite. The next morning, I woke up to the soft patter of rain falling on my tent
. Thankfully Moe had strung up a tarp over the picnic table, so we were able to cook and eat breakfast under its cover. By the time we finished breakfast, the light drizzle of rain had turned into a full-on downpour. My tent —which had kept me dry through many rainstorms in the preceding five months— was absolutely soaked. We packed up camp as quickly as possible and sat in Moe’s truck while I tried to figure out what I’d do that day.
Early the day before, Moe had gotten a tattoo in a nearby town, and his tattoo artist told him of this small dirt road somewhere off the Pacific Coast Highway. This road twisted its way through the rugged hills just east of the highway, and it was supposed to be a beautiful drive.
Moe suggested we check it out together, and I was all for it, so we threw my bike in the back of his truck and got on our way. We eventually found the road, and there was a big sign by the turnoff warning about the dangers of driving it when wet, that a vehicle with high ground clearance and four wheel drive was strongly recommended.
Moe’s truck had both of those things, but we still weren’t sure about it, because of the weather that day. But when we saw a tiny little sedan coming from the dirt road, we decided to go for it.
It was an absolutely beautiful, if a bit hair-raising, drive. And I think the foggy weather made it even more beautiful than it would have been on a clear day. After that little adventure, we drove to the campground of that music festival he was heading to. By that time, the rain had cleared up, so we went ahead and set up camp together.
We spent the afternoon hanging out in a little bar in the campground, where he beat me several times at chess, and I bought a ticket to that night’s music. We walked back to the campground to cook some dinner, then headed back to the bar for the music. The band that played that night was not the type of music I would normally listen, though they were still good. And the atmosphere and all the people there were super cool.
The next morning, it was another beautiful day with clear skies, so I was ready to get back on the bike. I loaded all my camping gear onto my bike and said goodbye to my new friend. The afternoon of the next day, I would actually see Moe once more. As I was cycling along that day, a driver lightly tapped their horn before passing me.
I recognized the rather unique bike on the back of his truck, and he pulled over a short ways ahead of me. We stopped to chat for a few minutes before he continued on his way back home to San Diego. He would be there that evening, but I would be a few weeks behind him!
He had given me his phone number, with the idea that when I got to the city we could get back in touch. But as I got closer to San Diego, I came to realize I had somehow accidentally deleted his number from my phone, or perhaps it didn’t get saved properly.
I was pretty disappointed to see that, but I suppose that’s the nature of friendships formed while traveling. They’re great while they last, but they never last long.”
8. I’ll pay for it.
“When I was 20, I worked at a fabric/craft store.
A lady came to the register to checkout with probably $100+ worth of stuff. It was all like… just random cuts of fabric, paint, assorted craft supplies. A LOT of stuff.
Her card got declined, and she looked really upset. Started putting it all back in the cart, trying to determine what she could pay for. The lady behind her in line just stepped forward and said “put it all back, I’ll pay for it.” Put her card in the reader and the first lady started crying, quietly thanking her.
The cynical side of me thinks it was a scam by the lady to get free s**t, as I’d definitely seen that s**t before. (Another woman a few weeks before literally said “can anyone pay for me?”)
But the good part of me believes that lady just needed a little bit of happiness in her craft supplies during a hard time. The lady who paid for it just did so with no hesitation.”
9. Staying dry.
“When I was in college I was walking back to my apartment and it starting pouring rain. I was getting drenched and of course got stuck at a crosswalk.
Out of nowhere the rain stopped pouring and I looked up and saw an umbrella a girl behind me had put over me.
She went past my apartment and then walked away. No one ever had done something that nice in my life, I was just shocked.”
10. Caught in the rain.
“It was pouring one day while I was on the way home. I got off the bus and decided to walk in the rain as I did not have an umbrella with me.
This little boy, who was on the same bus as me, walked next to me with his umbrella over us, without saying a word. Once we were out of the rain, he smiled, waved and walked off.
I thought it was cute.”
11. Hold on.
“When I was maybe 19 I was flying back home to see family. I had a layover in Atlanta, it was short. I had to absolutely haul *ss to make my flight.
I managed to get to one of the trains that take you to the next terminal. I had never been on one before and had my ear buds in so I didn’t hear the automated voice telling me to “hold on”.
The train lurched forward and before I could fall on my *ss, a guy next to me grabbed my arm and stopped me from falling. I thanked him and he just nodded.
That was a decade ago and I am still appreciative.”
12. That’s awesome.
“A few years ago, living in South Korea.
Just gotten back from a trip, and was trying to get a taxi from a highway rest stop at like 2am (aka, very difficult). Finally managed to book a taxi, but I couldn’t find the driver when he got there. He was calling me and getting frustrated, and I was getting overwhelmed.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to exist in a language that’s not your native language, but there usually comes a point where you’re so tired, you just can’t anymore, and even if you know you understand, it’s just not making sense. I had reached that point, so I sat down and resigned myself to losing the taxi and having to camp at the rest stop for the night.
Some random old Korean man saw me crying and saying “I don’t speak Korean well. I’m sorry. I don’t understand.” and grabbed the phone, got me to the taxi, and his wife (I assume) handed me some candy and patted my arm and told me I’d be okay. And then the taxi driver was super sweet and was all like “It’s okay. You’ll be home soon.”
All of them could have very easily ignored me, but were just like “Here’s a person who obviously needs help, so I’m gonna help.””
13. A ride home.
“In 7th grade, I wasn’t allowed to board a bus for one reason or the other, I forget.
So I’m standing outside in the dark at 7 in the morning quietly crying when this kind old lady who just dropped off her grandchildren offered to take me home.
I’d seen her around before so I knew she was safe. We talked for a bit and she let me off at my house. Never forgetting that.”
14. A real saint.
“Ran out of gas on a large interstate in the Midwest in the middle of the day.
I was headed home (3+ hour drive) for the weekend with my fiance for wedding planning stuff. Got out and walked with a makeshift container in hand to haul gas back to the car and asked my fiance to stay seated with the only cell phone between us.
As I walked up and got gas a mile down at a major interchange, a skeezy looking dude rolled up in a Thunderbird. He says, “Hey man, can I take you back up to your car?” I must have given him a look, he’s dismissive, waves off my concerns and and says I can trust him.
I don’t want to walk but I figure it’s broad daylight, so we leave and he’s going off on a state highway in the literal opposite direction I need to go. I’m sweating my a** off and it is not hot out.
He asks about 5 minutes in where I’m coming from and where I’m going. I give as little info as possible and mention that my fiance has a phone in I don’t show up soon. I am absolutely shaking at this point.
The guy says, “Hey, man, you seem nervous….what music are you into?” I tell him I’m honestly open minded, which I’m sure doesn’t mean a thing. He hits the power button on the cd player and, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the cd player plays the same d**n record on the exact same song that my wife and I were playing when the car ran out of gas.
This dude takes a few quick backroad turns and pops out on the interstate behind my car in no time. I ask him why he helped me, he says he’s a dishwasher at the Cracker Barrel next to the gas station. He was on smoke break and saw me coming a way off.
When he pulls up, he refuses any acknowledgement of his good deed and literally pulls off when I say “hold up, let me throw you a five for your troubles”. Probably sounds stupid but I just want to be as anonymously awesome as this dude was.
He saved me from suffering just to save me from suffering. I don’t know what saints are, but this felt saintly AF.”
“On a very hot summer day, I passed out on the sidewalk from dehydration/heat exhaustion.
Two older women picked me up off the ground, carried/dragged me into a nearby Chipotle, and sat with me while I drank water.
They were really nice about it.”
“When I broke my ankle, every single person looked at me on the ground bleeding and walked on. It was really strange to experience.
One guy saw me, brought his whole truck around and offered to take me to the hospital. There was already an ambulance coming so I declined, but he sat there and talked to me and told me it’s going to be okay.
He really sticks out. Almost 10 people walked by and minded their business while I was on the ground, my bone sticking out of my leg. He came up and helped. I really hope he’s doing okay.”
“My husband and I were in a car accident where a drunk guy ran onto the highway and we hit him (in the middle of the day, just bolted in front of the car).
We sat there in a smashed up car with a d**d body lying behind the car for 15 minutes before a car stopped and helped us. Neither of us could speak because of the shock. This lady saw us in the car and made her husband come back around so she could help. Hundreds of cars passed, she was the only one who stopped.
She called the police and ambulance, and waited until they arrived. Really grateful for her and her husband.”
18. Really nice.
“Working the register and a guy’s car battery was shot and his bank froze his card so he couldn’t pay.
This other guy sees what’s going on walks up and pays for the battery then walks out.”
19. An awesome day.
“I was backpacking in Central American and ended up on the island Flores in Guatemala. My travel buddy and I wanted to see ruins nearby.
We took a bus out there, got lost a little, but eventually found the trail to the town(ruins). So we’re walking for about 3 hours and realize once the we get to the gate of the ruins we may just have to turn right back around to catch the last bus back. We decide to move forward and try to hitch hike our way back since we really wanted to see these ruins.
Right when we finally reach the gate a truck pulls up and offers us a ride in, we decline saying we’ve already made it so we were good. The guy informs us it’s about another hour or so walk past the gate to even get to the town so we take him up on the offer. We find out he works for the government and he gave us an hours long in depth tour of this historical site.
This was especially awesome because it wasn’t a popular spot so there wasn’t a ton of informational placards around. Then at the end he asked us where we were staying and he told us he was also staying on Flores for a few days so he offered us a ride back. On the way back, him and his wife bought us dinner and then dropped us off and gave us their contact in case we got lost somewhere or needed suggestions on places to visit.
It really made me feel like there is always help out there for you, sometimes you have to search and sometimes it falls into your lap. It was an awesome day I’ll remember forever.”
20. Christmas Eve.
“I was working a seven hour drive away helping to open a new location of our business I got a flat hours from home.
I pulled into the shoulder and started limping my car to a nearby petrol station. I usually had chocks and a full tyre change kit but I had lent them to a friend only a few days earlier. It was about 11pm. It was raining. I had just worked a twelve hour shift and was desperate to just get home. It was Christmas Eve.
I struggled to try and get my tyre off with the limited tools I had. I tried re-inflating the tyre but that didn’t work either.
I asked in the shop of the petrol station if they sold tyre change kits and they didn’t. I rang my roadside assistance company and there was a three hour wait for a truck.
I went back to my car and cried. I was tired and drenched and just wanted to get home for Christmas.
Suddenly there was a knock on my window and a man waving at me. He held up a jack and a tyre iron.
He said he heard me asking for help in the shop. He helped me change my tyre in the pouring rain and had bought me a coffee. He gave me his number and insisted I text him when I was safely home.
When I asked if I could give him money for his time he just said ‘ My girl is about your age. I would hope someone would do the same for her if she were in your position.’
All I could do was hug him in thanks. He wanted to get home for Christmas too but stopped and helped me.
I did text him when I got home. A picture of my family with a sign saying thank you. They were extremely grateful.
I learned a valuable lesson that day about lending out essential tools but also about kindness and the impact it can have.
Random man at the servo who helped a twenty odd year old girl sobbing in the rain get home for Christmas, your kindness has stuck with me for nearly twenty years and I think of you every time I go to walk by someone in need and choose to help instead.”
21. Almost stranded.
“I was almost stranded in a small town where I knew no one as an international student in Scotland.
I had just finished hiking when I discovered that all trains heading back to my city got cancelled. I was in a resort kind of town where they had no taxi services and it was already cold and dark. My phone was also d**d by this point.
The people waiting with me at a bus stop were very kind tho and started ringing different places until they finally found one with a vacant room (it was peak season). They were employees who had just finished their shift at the “Oak Tree Inn”.
Go there people! The least I could do is advertise them when they saved my life 🙂 I could’ve slept in the forest that night.”
What’s a random act of kindness that’s stuck with you?
Please share your stories with us in the comments.
We’d really appreciate it!