The Kindness of Strangers

@GreenMoo (11842)
February 7, 2013 8:53am CST
At a rough moment, I was lucky enough to receive a message which made me smile from someone who I barely know. The kindness of that stranger made me feel enormously better and got me thinking. We all like to be the recipients of kindness, but I think we come to expect it from our close friends, family and loved ones. When a stranger is kind to us it is generally a very welcome surprise. I don't know if you agree with me, but that makes it sweeter. What do you think? Have you received a kindness from a stranger recently? How did it make you feel? Do you think it feels different to receive a kindness out of the blue from a stranger than it does to receive one from those we know and love?
4 people like this
12 responses
@vernaC (1493)
• Romania
7 Feb 13
I recall that moment when I had difficulty in buying a ticket for a ride home. I don't know romanian language well and I only speak what was taught to me from my husband. Then a young woman came to me and helped me by interpreting the conversation of me and the saleslday. Very nice, I could never forget that, she's beautiful and kind.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
That is lovely, and wonderful gesture. I have been on the receiving end of help like that myself, and so much appreciated it.
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@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
7 Feb 13
Yes I did years ago when I felt terrible, this was a stranger for real I met on the street. That woman just said: good morning, how are you doing. I said: bad. And she took the time for me. Still strangers say great things to brighten up my day. Just people who pass by. BTW someone who can send you a message is not a stranger or?
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@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
Just a smile or a hello can make all the difference if you are feeling low. Are we strangers? You can send me a message, but I don't know you particularly well.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
7 Feb 13
It is more touching as we feel like our friends have an obligation.. but strangers have no obligation what so ever. I can't really think of anything recent.. but in the past there were times when my car had broken down and a stranger would pull over to offer help or a ride.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
I always insist that we stop and my partner help if we spot someone who has broken down. I just think how awful I would feel if my car broke down and I was alone.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 13
I tend not to stop because I'm usually by myself and wouldn't be of much assistance anyway. If I felt I could help I probably would.. but I also worry about the dangers of stopping when I'm by myself.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
Ditto, I only stop when I'm with my partner. Other than a loan of my phone, I wouldn't be much help to anyone who had broken down anyway. I think the exception would be if it was one of the deserted back roads we have around here, because if you break down there you really are stuck.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
7 Feb 13
It does kind of restore your faith in humanity when you receive kindness from a stranger, and it does make you feel good inside, that a complete stranger went out of their way to help you. There are good people in the world, we should never forget that.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
The vast majority of people are good, I firmly believe. Sometimes they are scared to show it though.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
9 Feb 13
I haven't felt that in years. I hardly get any kind of surprise like that. Maybe no one like me, I don't know and I don't care. I have no problem being kind to a stranger if they deserve it. Like if they need help or just a nice word. I find it really to be more kindness comes from strangers then family or friends. The reason I say this is because family and friends know you and they are always there for you, or supposed to be.
@GreenMoo (11842)
10 Feb 13
I think it's because it happens so rarely that it feels so special. I can't imagine you aren't liked inertia! If you haven't had any nice interactions recently it's maybe just because you don't get out too much.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
11 Feb 13
Thats not it. I get out. But I have been dealing with issues with my kids and the evil ex. So that stuff has been on my mind. I think people shy away from me because I speak the truth and speak bluntly also. Most people don't like the truth and my delivery of it. I see nothing wrong with it. Why should I lie just to be nice? Strangers are strangers. A smile here and a smile there, a hello here and a hello there. No biggie. I just happen to say things as I seem them. That must be why.
@GreenMoo (11842)
12 Feb 13
There's people who appreciate bluntness Inertia. Most can tell the difference between being deliberately rude or unpleasant and telling the unvarnished truth. If that's the way you are, it's the way you are.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
11 Feb 13
Yes it does make it sweeter! I think I may have been a recepient of a 'stranger's kindness' last night. I went out to a get-together in the city last night. A friend was celebrating a birthday, and it was in some restaurant in the city. I hate going to the city as the parking is really expensive. I could have sworn I didn't have enough coins for the parking meter, and we overstayed at the restaurant so I was running to the car when we finally said our goodbyes. I was surprised I still had 15 mins to spare! Somebody must have put in a few coins in the meter! Whover it was, may he/she be blessed for the kindness!
@GreenMoo (11842)
12 Feb 13
That's an amazing things to happen, and you'll never know who or why. You'll just have to pass the good deed on yourself sometime. When I stay at my Mum's I often use a pay and display car park. I often just need to park for 10 minutes whilst I pop into a shop, but the minimum parking ticket is for 2 hours. I always cruise around before I leave, looking for someone I can pass it on to who can use the remaining hour and a half or whatever, and if I can't see someone then I stick the ticket gently onto the pay machine and hope someone finds it when they're about to buy one.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Feb 13
Yes I will pass it on! I don't go to the city often, but the next time I do. I'll put in extra coins so that whoever parks in my spot afterwards don't need to put in a lot, or at all.
@BarBaraPrz (20504)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
7 Feb 13
One expects friends and family to be kind, but when it comes from a stranger, it's extra nice. And sometimes a shock.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
It shouldn't be a shock though really, should it? I mean, we should all be kind to each other all the time.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (20504)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
7 Feb 13
Yes. The Golden Rule and all that.
19 Feb 13
Not really to be honest. I read this discussion and I racked my brain to think of anyone who was a stranger being kind, but anyone who has ever done anything for me has usually been known to me in some respects. Myabe northern ireland doesn't have nice "strangers" lol..
@GreenMoo (11842)
19 Feb 13
I'm sure it does, but maybe you're such a wonderfully sociable person that there's noone you don't know?
@MsTickle (24983)
• Australia
13 Feb 13
I can't answer that my friend. Wish I could though. Actually though, just before Christmas I called in on a friend to drop off some jewellery she had ordered and she was surprised to see me and her reaction was lovely and made me feel really good. I think I will always remember that time. Maybe not quite what you meant but that's the closest I can get.
@GreenMoo (11842)
13 Feb 13
That's brilliant
1 person likes this
@jenny1015 (13389)
• Philippines
8 Feb 13
Yes. I think that being genuinely appreciated and given kindness from a total stranger could actually make my day. It will surely leave you a smile and most probably your heart would skip a beat for just feeling so great.
@GreenMoo (11842)
8 Feb 13
Even a smile unexpectedly can make you feel better. It's something we don't expect from people we meet on the street.
@redredrose (1107)
• United States
7 Feb 13
I cant think of anything recently a stranger has done for me. Only when a stranger does something kind for you it feeks wonderfukl and more so than when a friend or family member does because family and friends always do nice things for you a stranger wouldnt always. When a stranger does sonething out of kindess for someone its called a random act of kindess and if eceryone in the wold did more of that wed have a better world.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Feb 13
Indeed, if anyone performed random acts of kindness there would certainly be more smiles around.
@Beatburn (3904)
• Philippines
2 Nov 15
It's an unexpected act of kindness especially from a stranger that can make one happy. I tend to believe that there is goodness in everyone. Or am I being naive?