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 Whatsamatterbaby
Joined: 11/7/2015
Msg: 1
The Kindness of StrangersPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I've been thinking about all the times I've been fortunate enough to experience kind acts from random strangers. I couldn't even begin to list them all. One that stands out in my mind was back when I was a student and single mother living hand to mouth, and accidentally left my wallet on the roof of someone's car and we drove away. A guy saw a bunch of twenty dollar bills scattered on the road, collected them all along with my wallet, and spent weeks tracking me down.

What you all got? :)
 bamagrl68
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 2
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/16/2015 6:38:20 PM
Whatsamatterbaby- Good thread, and a chance to be positive. :)
One of my earliest memory's is of getting separated from my grandparents at a Christmas parade.
I remember being terrified and crying and a woman came up to me and asked me what was wrong and I told her.
She was SO sweet to me, she got down to my eye level and told me I would be fine, she promised to stand right there with me until they found me and that's what she did AND she gave me a big hug before she left. I will never forget it.
One more recent is I got WAY lost going driving somewhere unfamiliar and had to pull over at a gas station.
The man I asked for instructions not only gave me instructions, but went out of his way to drive ahead of me and point the way to the exit, just to make sure I found my way. (that is when I FINALLY got a GPS)
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 3
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/16/2015 7:17:02 PM
About 20yrs ago, the car I had broke down as I was going across the George Washington Bridge
Of all places to get stuck, it had to be on this bridge, where you could not even get out of the car (i had no cell phone then).

All I could hear was cars blowing their horns, even with my hazard lights on!
Luckily, after 10 minutes, 2 guys in a pick-up truck stopped behind me, and one of them jumped out when he could, and screamed out to "put my the car in neutral" and he would push-tow me across the bridge into the NJ side. I grew concerned at this gesture but needless to say, I had little choice, so I did what he asked!

Slowly but surely we got across; and then when we could pull over they took a look at the car and saw that my thermostat failed and the car over heated. Not only did they tow me to safety, they had some wires handy that that were able to by-pass current to my engine fan to run again so that the engine could cool down. When it did, I was then able to start the car and drive. I was able to get back on the bridge (going the other way), and slowly made it home!

With the help of these 2 guys; It didn't cost me a dime (other than the repair when I got home).
when I tried to give them some money for their trouble; they declined to take it!

These were true gentle-men and true saviors, who did something they didn't have to do!
I'll never forget it!
 Sweet_Danimal
Joined: 10/31/2015
Msg: 4
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History
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 11:38:51 AM
I'm sure there are a bazillion stories of generosity that circle the Net every day - I like this one...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHSaHRd4Q48

For anyone that sings solo, the National Anthem is a very high-pressure situation, since you have all eyes on you, usually without any accompaniment, it's a **** to stay in tune, and nobody moves until you get it done. Having the microphone crap out is incredibly embarrassing. It's cool that literally thousands of Canadians helped finish the American anthem. I highly doubt if the opposite happened in an American arena that enough people would even know the Canadian words to finish it.
 deetristate
Joined: 12/4/2014
Msg: 5
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 1:13:40 PM
My daughter left her diary in DC (a Teen, so it was THE END). She had her name in it, which is pretty unique, the guy found her on some site, emailed her and then mailed it to her.
 AussieNancy
Joined: 2/19/2015
Msg: 6
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 6:09:00 PM
Thankyou for starting this thread Whatsamatter.... I'm sure this will be a long one with many stories to tell.

I have had a few experiences but I'll think of them later on. In the mean time, some time back I was on the train coming home from work in tears. I'd had a fight with my boss, left my purse on a previous train I'd caught in a hurry to catch the next (current) one. I was beside myself.

A lady sitting opposite me gave me some tissues and asked me what's wrong? I told her. I said I have no money now or my purse or car keys. I was carrying other bags and could not believe my negligence. She called the railway line Customer Support for me about my forgotten purse. She gave me the number and name of the person she spoke to so I could call them back when I got home.

"I can't get home as I live in a rural area; no busses. I have to drive." I said. She gave me $40 to catch a taxi. Next stop was hers and she insisted I take the money and she wished me well.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 7
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History
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 7:24:59 PM
I can tell you about the kindness of POF posters. When I lost my son a little over 10 years ago, they came to my rescue so to speak.

I had been on POF for a while and had made friends with several ... had exchanged telephone numbers with several and was a regular poster here in the forums. When my daughter called to tell me that my son (her dear brother) had suddenly passed away, I was beside myself. I deleted my profile and just wanted to crawl into a corner and die as well.

My POF friends started calling me and asking me where my profile went, what happened, was there anything they could do to help? They all told me to get back on POF and let them help me. I put my profile back up and the emails started pouring in. I was getting emails from all over the world ... folks who had been following me in the forums.

It was like these arms from all over the world just came down and held me and embraced me ... and many have been there for me through all these years here on POF.
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 7:57:06 PM
I'm in one of those 'it has been a battle' days... so this thread is timely...
I'm struggling to find a 'good' stranger memory in all my 50 years... as my memories are all so conflicted...

I guess that two that come to mind:

When I was on my travels in USA, one was the 'bear claw' cook who drove me back to base in Tacoma. This was after I had had a falling out with an acquaintance who had taken me to a folk festival and then changed her/our [post festival return] plans when she decided she to cavort over Washington while I wanted to go back home. (more details but not necessary here)

The other was when I was travelling back across country here in Aus, and I was on the Adelaide to Melbourne 'driving' leg (after two nights on the train) and had to find the Melbourne port to catch the ferry to Tasmania... and I was continually getting lost in hot January Melbourne with less time to get onto the ferry.. panicking about driving there and also missing my son (who I hadn't seen in days - our first time separated at night) and a random taxi driver helped me out - letting me follow him to the port to arrive just in time so that I was third last onto the ferry...

Oh, and I guess adding on to that is number three is my kindly landlord who was himself, poverty poor at one stage, and has built himself up to millionaire status... who lets me stay here [not for free mind you] until he's ready to develop; letting me play 'farm girl' with my egg layers, sheep dog and practicing building stuff and gardening... without any quarterly rental inspections of the house that are 'normally' associated with renting here in Australia... he has treated me well.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 9
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/17/2015 10:51:30 PM
They are very rare. One might say they are almost extinct, but kind, honest folks still exist.
 Whatsamatterbaby
Joined: 11/7/2015
Msg: 10
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/18/2015 7:57:28 AM
^ I'm so sorry that's your outlook - it can't be a pleasant place to be. I feel like I'm constantly hearing about or experiencing the sorts of things mentioned above.

Just a little thing, but yesterday my co-worker and I were going through a Starbucks drive thru and when we went to pay we were told our orders had already been paid for by the car in front of us. (I hear about this happening all the time - not sure if it's just a local thing?)
 benartflick
Joined: 3/8/2012
Msg: 11
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/18/2015 9:07:43 AM
"What you all got? :)"

I've got plenty! Too bad most are NOT too positive. I give you the most shocking one.

On Sept. 8th, 2001 Stephanie, my sister-in-law, attempted to help someone involved in a serious car accident. She was on the way home from work about 2 AM and noticed the front of a car against a damaged utility pole. After parking her vehicle she rushed over to the car to see if anyone was hurt.

A power line had broken when the car struck the pole. The wire landed on the roof of the car. The driver, drunk, left the car there and staggered away long before Stephanie arrived on the side - not too busy - road.

While looking through a side window Stephanie placed both hands on roof of the car.

The driver of another car approaching the scene saw the huge fireball immediately after she touched the car. Nothing was left of Stephanie, age 27, mother of two.

The drunk driver wasn't charged with any crime since his brother was a local politician.

On occasion a random friendly act might end tragically. I apologize for sharing this negative story. On a somewhat strange note to me: her wake (without a body) was on 9-11-2001. Odd that I can remember those dates.
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/18/2015 6:15:53 PM
This might be the place to tell a story that I've held onto for about 40 years and been waiting for a good opportunity to give due credit and memorialize someone, so to speak. I'll never forget this, because it's a really cool example of honesty and bravery. (Now that I think about it, I may have finally told this story once before, but I can't remember where or when, if so. But so what...it's worth repeating.)

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it was about 5th grade...about 10 years old.

A public school. In the classroom. It's math time. The teacher had shown us how to do some new math problem. Now she was having each row of desks...everyone in a row at a time...go up to the chalk board and demonstrate how to do this math calculation.

When it was my row of desks's turn (plural possessive is correct??), which was the first row as it turned out, I stated that I didn't know how to do it. I didn't understand it yet.

Actually, I had excellent natural aptitude in math while in school...along with language and arts and lots of other things for that matter. If I was able to go very far with it beyond high school, or even before then, who knows what I'd be today. But anyway, I was 10 then, and this was also just a moment when ms teach didn't get it across well the first time.

But again, I said that I didn't know how to do it. And that's when things started to get weird.

Teacher didn't believe me. Kind of scolded me, said that I wasn't telling the truth, and demanded that I do it while at the chalk board.

Everything came to a halt. We now had to undergo a whole new activity. Teacher told everyone to get up and stand together in a certain place in the classroom, while I was to stand apart in my own location. She explained that she was going to ask each student one by one if they believed that I could do the math problem or not, and depending on if they said yes or no, they were to go stand in a designated spot on one side of the room or the other...one side being for the 'yes', and another side for the 'no'.

To be honest, as much as I understood such things at that age, this didn't traumatize me any. That's not what this story is about. But I did understand that it was a little strange. What this story is about, though, is what one particular classmate did which at that time I was still able to barely comprehend was surprising and impressive...whether I could've explained it as such then or not. What he did is the only reason that I remember this incident.

It was a situation that felt kind of oppressive and intimidating, I could tell, for all of the other students. The way that ms. teacher did it created a bad atmosphere for everyone. She made a formal show of asking each one by one if they believed me when I claimed that I couldn't do this new math problem, and it was like each kid was scared to disagree with her. They didn't really put any thought into it, and I don't think that these kids at that age were capable of being confronted with such a question. It was just a bit out of place and irregular. So they just practically all said 'no' they didn't believe me, going with the flow. Towing the line. Needing to join everyone else in the one group and not go to the other side of the room if they said 'yes'.

It may have been when she was two-thirds or halfway through everyone, and everybody so far had went to the 'no' side of the room, when this one dude who I didn't know or interact with gave a different answer. She formally posed her question to him, and he answered that he didn't know and couldn't give an answer. When she told him to explain what he meant, he explained that he didn't know whether or not I knew how to do the new math problem, so he wasn't able to answer yes or no.

The teacher and this one little dude went back and forth for about a minute, for a few exchanges, during which she practically demanded that he choose a yes or no but he refused to do so explaining that he couldn't honestly say one way or the other, and that he didn't even know me. I swear that he even said something equivalent to he 'couldn't read my mind'. (It's at least a little bit relevant indirectly that I was almost always new at a school, my family moving and me going to a new school practically every-other-year from kindergarten to 12th.)

If you can kind-of imagine what the atmosphere was like here, and the social maturity and level of inner will and ability to think in certain ways of us kids at that time...then you can get an idea of how, in the applicable context, this was an impressive act of bravery, honesty, and logical reasoning which may even include some 'out of the box' thinking of some sort.

This little farce that the teacher was conducting ended at that point. I think that she didn't know how to digest this dude's answer and subsequent explanation. Wasn't prepared for it at all. We just resumed class in some way after that moment. But I daresay that this event must have done something to the other children at that point...opened a little door in their minds concerning social maturity and reasoning skills, as well as their perception of the idea of being free to exercise one's own will. I think that this guy who didn't know me either 'had my back', or was just acting for the sake of impartiality and honesty - for the sake of his own dignity and self respect. Maybe both. Either way, I feel that it was noble, no matter which it was.

I don't know who that kid was. Don't know his name nor remember what he looked like. Even went to yet another new school eventually after that, as was the norm for me. I don't know what kind of person that this one kid turned out to be in adulthood. Will never know where he is, or what kind of life he's had. But this is just one of those many things that I'll never forget, and because of which I've always had a compulsion to proclaim to the world from some high place that this unknown human being from long ago demonstrated very noble, brave, intelligent, and honest character. This particular event a feat for that age and situation. I've always wanted to have some way of giving due credit here. I don't think that I so much felt that he was 'taking up for me' nearly as much as what he did made an impression for the other reasons, and have always felt that he deserved recognition.

So...all hail this unknown kid! Hail!


...and also a 'kiss' for Stephanie in benartflick's story.
 shutterblink
Joined: 5/17/2015
Msg: 13
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History
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/18/2015 10:07:15 PM

So...all hail this unknown kid! Hail!

Three cheers for the noble unknown child.
It is a lovely story that you have told very well.
 throttle_junkie
Joined: 7/13/2013
Msg: 14
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 12:56:54 AM
IMO, No good deed shall go unpunished :-)

My ex-brother-in-law and I witnessed an accident and one driver ran from the scene. The other car (a station wagon) was totalled. We stopped, and asked if we could help, the driver was a 30ish gal with her mom and the car was full of stuff as she was moving to a new apartment. I offered (I had a full sized van) to take her and all her stuff to her new apartment, so we loaded it all up, dropped my ex-wife at her mom's house and traipsed all the way out to her new apartment, brought it into the living room, gave her my business card in case she needed a witness to the accident and left.

So the next day a New York City police officer comes to my mother in law's house saying the woman from the accident filed a THEFT complaint against me with the PD because the next morning her car was stripped!!!

WTF???

I explained the situation, and the cop said she was crazy, and to forget it. Later that day she called me on my cell SCREAMING at me and telling me I "Lured" her away from the car to strip the tires and battery! Yeah, crooks do this type of thing, show them where you are staying, introduce them to your family, drive a LONG way and move her, give your business card, offer to be a witness just so I could stuff her stripped car stuff in my van for the return trip to Florida?

Since then (I was in my mid 20's) I've become convinced that the world is filled with people like that woman and I REALLY understand those who look the other way and "don't get involved"
 hondahank
Joined: 12/3/2015
Msg: 15
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 3:26:55 AM

just a little thing, but yesterday my co-worker and I were going through a Starbucks drive thru and when we went to pay we were told our orders had already been paid for by the car in front of us.


I had someone do that for me about ten years ago and it kind of made my day. Since then I try and do that 2-3 times a month.

When I can I'll pick up a check at a restaurant on the sly.
 Dragracer428
Joined: 1/1/2012
Msg: 16
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 6:24:18 AM


Just a little thing, but yesterday my co-worker and I were going through a Starbucks drive thru and when we went to pay we were told our orders had already been paid for by the car in front of us. (I hear about this happening all the time - not sure if it's just a local thing?)


My question is did you then 'pay it forward' and do an act of kindness for the person behind you???
 Whatsamatterbaby
Joined: 11/7/2015
Msg: 17
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 8:11:36 AM
Oh, for crying out loud. No, we used the money we saved to buy ammunition, and went on a shooting spree. Moral of the story: Never conduct yourself with kindness - it turns people into monsters!

* Below: I'll bet she also offered to have her teeth removed first.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 18
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 8:19:47 AM
I had a stranger offer me oral sex recently. Don't know if that counts.
 Dragracer428
Joined: 1/1/2012
Msg: 19
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 9:15:31 AM


Oh, for crying out loud. No, we used the money we saved to buy ammunition, and went on a shooting spree. Moral of the story: Never conduct yourself with kindness - it turns people into monsters!


Hummm seems a little drastic but what do I know.

Do know now though not to buy anyone in Kamloops a coffee, well not at Starbucks anyway, probably a bit friendlier at Tim's.
 AussieNancy
Joined: 2/19/2015
Msg: 20
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 2:46:55 PM
@ Drinkwiththesun. What a lovely story! Amazing how some things stick in our minds.

When I was 20 I had my baby son. Just me and him. It was winter and my only form of heating in the crappy little place was an open fire place. I didn't have the money to buy wood so I collected pinecones and sticks. Terrible idea as they simply smouldered and went to ash.

A few streets away there was a house being built so early one Sunday morning I took it upon myself to collect off cuts of timber scattered around the site. Well, the owner of the house - to - be turned up and told me off for trespassing and stealing and threatened to have me charged. I burst into tears and pointed to my baby in the car, saying "we're cold and I have no wood." He asked for my address and I gave it to him thinking he wanted it to have me arrested. "I'm sorry". I said. "I don't want any trouble." Dropping the arm full of small offcuts I got in the car and drove away.

Next morning I woke to find a pile of firewood carefully stacked in my front yard with a note saying "God Bless and take care of your baby."
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 21
The strangeness of kinder people
Posted: 12/19/2015 3:02:07 PM
I have a friend who's offering me oral sex--we're going to talk about the dude who's screwed her and now is screwing her over. not sure if that counts either, but i'm betting....not. And whatsbaby, that was a funny wise-assery.

I've enjoyed the, how does Blanche Debois say it, kindness of strangers, and tried to return it. These days with computerized cars and cellphones, however, there ain't a lot I can do that they can't do themselves. TJ, that does suck when you try to help, and your extended hand gets bitten off. Last summer I remember being at an Alan & Wright and I helped carry the full tray of a mom who's hands were full of her kids. when I returned, a young (Well, younger than I) lad commented on how he'd love to be nice like that.

I figured out what he was really saying, and told him that, yeah, sometimes a good deed gets punished. and you're gun shy for a little while to do THAT again. but eventually you forget and you return to your nature. having said that, however, where I grocery shop the counter by the register is short and not a motorized belt, so people will dump everything and not push it towards the cashier, typically an older lady who has to try to reach to get the last item.

if i'm next in line, I try to push things closer...but...that means i'm touching someone else's food. not that should be a big deal, but one of these days....some idiot will turn on me and let me have it. i'm figuring the best response will be to smile widely, like one does for a senile aunt. maybe i'll have a better response by the time it happens.
 Whatsamatterbaby
Joined: 11/7/2015
Msg: 22
The strangeness of kinder people
Posted: 12/19/2015 3:37:45 PM
I will admit that there are some things in today's society that are trickier for men. I could do anything for anyone - from approaching, as a stranger, a child in distress, to helping anyone of either gender - and no one would question my motives. Men can still be kind though, I'm thinking - they just have to be more careful to not come off creepy or aggressive. (It goes without saying, I think, that no man should ever approach a child he doesn't know. But there are other ways to be of assistance in such circumstances.)
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 23
The strangeness of kinder people
Posted: 12/19/2015 4:07:53 PM
Twice I've come across small, distressed children whose parents were not around. Once I just stayed with him until his mother came back. The other time was at Granville Island so I took her to the market office, and went back to where I found her keeping an eye out for anyone looking for a small child.

Both times I got the stink eye from the mother.
 Whatsamatterbaby
Joined: 11/7/2015
Msg: 24
The strangeness of kinder people
Posted: 12/19/2015 4:26:44 PM
^ See, this is what I'm talking about. You could have handled the situation a bit differently. Transperancy works. For example, you could have said to the distraught women, "I swear, I was just hoping you would be grateful enough to put out!"
 caballerosiempre
Joined: 12/5/2015
Msg: 25
The Kindness of Strangers
Posted: 12/19/2015 8:27:06 PM
Halftime was the stranger offering the oral sex female or male?
does offering oral sex mean offering to give or receive?


And we must know,,did you accept the offer?
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