"I left my wallet on a bus during a particularly stressful time in my life, but I didn't realize until later when I couldn't find my pass at the gym. Cursing my own stupidity and knowing immediately a thief had already stolen my wallet, I abandoned the gym class and raced home to cancel and replace my entire card life: debit, credit, driver's license. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to discover a letter posted through the slot. This lovely woman had gone out of her way to get this note to me. I got in touch with her immediately. The next morning, she detoured from her usual journey to hand-deliver the wallet. That gesture transformed a completely bad month for me. Thank you, Sara."
"I have pretty bad luck with subways; I always seem to arrive in the station as the train is pulling out. Yesterday, I was running late to my anniversary dinner with my girlfriend, and it was a day like any other. The train was sitting in the station, doors closing, ready to depart. Seeing me running to try and catch the train, the conductor waved me on, reopening the doors for me. Thank you, G train conductor. You got me to my dinner safely and on time."
"All my stuff was stolen on a work trip. Our van was broken into, and it was a major bummer. When I finally made it back to the office, my bike was (thankfully) still locked to a piece of scaffolding, safe and sound. Only problem was: Someone had just stolen my lock key — along with the rest of my stuff. So I went to Home Depot, hoping I could rent some pliers to cut my heavy-duty U-lock, knowing full well that my noodle arms weren't up to the job. I soon learned that (a) Home Depot does not rent pliers and (b) buying pliers is surprisingly cost-prohibitive. An employee took pity on me. He asked his manager, 'Can I help this lady out?' And his manager said, 'Do what you gotta do.' So I led him and his co-worker six blocks away to my sad little bike. After 15 minutes, they managed to free her. They were a beacon of light after a truly bad day, and they would NOT take tips."
"I was staying at my hotel and having dinner in the restaurant when I got chatting to a family next to me. It had been my first day in New York (having traveled from England), and I'd encountered an obnoxious idiot who'd shouted at me. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling totally enthralled with New Yorkers. This family came to this restaurant regularly. They were so kind and friendly in the 10 minutes we were talking. After they had left, I asked for my bill and found they'd paid for the entire meal. They left a note saying that I shouldn't be put off by one jerk in a city full of wonderful people and things to see. Never have truer words been said. I've never experienced such kindness. It completely restored my faith in humanity on the spot."
"Once, I accidentally locked myself out of my house. I had a spare key in my office, but that was all the way across town, and I'd left my keys, my wallet, everything inside the house. I took my chances and went to the bus stop with no better plan than to beg the bus driver for a free ride. As I was explaining my situation to the driver, someone else getting on the bus stopped and paid my fare. They saved me from both excessive pleading and a really, really long walk across town!"
"Friends and I were hiking a challenging trail. After we finished, we decided we'd do another trail because we were still THIRSTY FOR ADVENTURE. But first we headed back into town for water because we'd decimated our supply on the first hike and were like legit thirsty as well. We stopped at a place and found it was cash only, and their ATM was broken. Naturally. (If you've ever been really thirsty, like true dehydration thirst, you'll know that it seems like not a big deal until you experience it, and then IT'S THE BIGGEST PROBLEM.) A kind man in the store overheard our ughs and sighs. He produced a crisp five-dollar bill and bought each of us a water. We thanked him heartily and drank like kings that day."
"My husband and I were celebrating his 30th birthday in Maui. The night before his actual birthday, we decided to hit up a local brewery. I am the social one in our relationship, so I started talking to a gentleman at a nearby table. He lived on the island. I told him it was my husband's 30th birthday the next day. He said we had to meet him at this resort the next morning, gave us his phone number, and told us we better not no-show him. My husband wanted no part of this strange deal, but I had a good feeling about the guy, so I convinced him. The next morning, we arrived at the five-star resort and asked for our new friend by name. The valet clapped his hands and said, 'You must be here for the 30th birthday celebration!' He led us to a private cabana with champagne, beer, fruit platters, and birthday cake waiting. Our new friend completely hooked us up for the day and made the birthday celebration absolutely perfect. Lesson learned: Be nice to everyone you meet!"
"We moved offices at work. On our first day in the new space, the across-the-street neighbors on floor 15 made contact with a window sign. We wrote back with our own sign. They posted another sign that said 'tweet @ us and we'll share the best coffeeshops in the neighborhood!' It was a nice gesture that made everyone feel welcome. Corporations are people too, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
"I woke up one Saturday morning after a night out to about 17 missed calls from this unknown number. Apparently, my tiny wallet had fallen onto the street as I got out of a ride-share the night before, and at 5 a.m. a landscaper guy had pulled up to work at my neighbor's garden and found it. He had already driven back to his home by the time I woke up, but he drove all the way back across town (a one-hour trip) to deliver it to me. Returning a stranger's wallet seems like a common courtesy, but making it the immediate priority of your day is really above and beyond. It was such a nice thing to do."
"I was at a bar with my roommate when a guy sitting down the bar sent a round of beers. The mystical and elusive free round! We called him over. Turns out, he was from Belgium and in town for business. Today was also his birthday, but he didn't know a soul in the city. We invited him to sit down for dinner with us. He was extremely interesting and well traveled. We enjoyed a pleasant conversation. At the end of the meal, the check came, and we pulled out our cards to split it. Our new friend, Tom, protested: 'Today is my birthday,' he said, 'and I will have what I want. And what I want is to buy your dinner because you have been so gracious as to invite me to your table.' The waitress overheard all this as she collected the check. When she came back, she brought a birthday cake with candles. Tom might have been alone in a strange country on his birthday, but everyone in the place that night sang him happy birthday!"