We've all heard the phrase "treat others how you want to be treated." Some of us even try our best to practice it in our lives, 'cause if you're anything like me, you're deathly afraid of karma.
Well, Reddit user Pielef asked, "What's the most intimate moment you've had with a stranger?" and these pure and tender moments definitely proved that there's still good in the world.
Here are some of the most heartwarming stories:
1. This much-needed run-in at a school dance:
"It was at my year 11 inter-school dance. I had what I can now say was a panic attack and retreated to the bathroom. My best friend tried to get me out, but I couldn't leave. I told her to go back out and I would be fine.
A girl from another school came in and saw I was obviously distressed. She didn't ask me what was wrong or if I was okay. She said she loved my dress and asked me about it. She then told me about hers and we started talking about school and what we wanted to do when we graduated. Her friends eventually came in and found her and she said goodbye. I felt so much better so I went out and joined my friends.
I never got her name and don't remember which school she went to, but I am so incredibly grateful to her and I hope she is having a wonderful life."
2. This helpful exchange at a Kinkos:
"I was living in Houston and working at a FedEx Kinkos when Hurricane Katrina happened. An older woman came in a with photo of her son who was missing that she wanted to post online. She had no idea how to really use a computer and certainly no idea how to scan and upload a photo. We were way backed up on the in-house side of things, so I set her up at a self-service computer and did it all myself. I scanned and burned her a copy of the photo, uploaded it online to where she wanted, and walked her through everything I did in case she found other places to post the photo. She was immensely grateful.
Roughly two months later, she came in and brought her son because he wanted to thank me for helping his mom find him. We hugged. I cried. Most intimate stranger moment of my life."
3. This ~what could have been~ encounter:
"When I was about 14, I was at a road-stop restaurant with my family, and from the moment we entered, I made eye contact with this girl about my age at another table. Our eyes just kept meeting while we were eating and I couldn't really focus on what anyone in my family was saying. When we left the place, I looked over my shoulder outside, and met her eyes one last time. I held it for a good 10–15 seconds before my mother called me over to the car.
I still think of her sometimes."
4. This comforting moment:
"I once sat next to a middle-aged lady on an airplane. It was her first time flying and she was freaking out. I held her hand and arm through takeoff, landing, and during the slight turbulence during the flight. Normally I'm not a touchy person, but this felt natural."
5. This conversation among good Samaritans:
"I got into a car with a stranger who was asking for directions so I could show him the way — in hindsight, a little naïve and would not recommend. We ended up spending the entire day together. I talked about all of my problems, including my inferiority complex, with him. He had a degree in psychology so he gave me some useful tips. Afterwards, we became kind of friends. It's crazy how sometimes a complete stranger can care about you more than some of your 'friends.'"
6. This simple exchange between like-minded individuals:
"Today is the 24th anniversary of me forgetting to do my taxes on time. I ran with my documents to the downtown Denver tax office and found a crowd of equally irresponsible people. Once the crowd and I had acquired the forms we needed, we scattered off to fill them out. I found myself sharing a pen with a young woman, doing our taxes together, on the hood of her car. We helped each other, line by line, go through our pathetic financial documents. We parted ways and I never talked to her again."
7. This tender moment between dog lovers:
"Once, when my dog was just a few months old, we were out for a walk and we passed this guy on the street who was just leaning against a wall. My dog stopped, and refused to budge. She looked at me, looked up at the guy, then looked back at me and wagged her tail a little. So I said, "Do you want to say hello?" And she turned to the guy and put her paws on his knee. Just for the record, my dog doesn't like people — she's really shy and doesn't approach strangers — so I was kind of surprised that she wanted to interact. The guy bent down and petted her for a minute or two. Then, he stood up, looked at me, and said thank you. The look on his face was so vulnerable, like he was about to cry. That was over a year ago and I think about that guy once in a while. He was so grateful to just pet a cute puppy for a few minutes, and my dog just seemed to know that he needed it."
8. This heartbreaking moment between an EMT and a patient's family:
"Former EMT here. I remember crying with a family whose grandfather got his pulse back after five minutes of me giving him CPR. Unfortunately, he didn't survive the brain damage, but they were so grateful to me for giving them a chance to say goodbye."
9. This tender conversation between chilly strangers:
"I was on a ski lift with a total stranger. For whatever reason we started talking about our respective faiths almost immediately, but in a totally chill kind of way, without any weirdness or awkwardness. The dude then admitted he was going through a pretty rough patch and was doing some soul searching as a result. I offered my consolations and encouraged him to open up if he wanted to, which is out of character for me since I'm an introvert.
So then this dude, who I had just met as we sat down on a ski lift, opened up and told me all about his struggles. I won't repeat what he said, as almost all of it was deeply personal, but he really did have it rough. Some of it was his fault, he acknowledged, but most of it was out of his control. He started tearing up at the end and had to remove his ski goggles just to wipe away the tears. As we neared the top, he thanked me for listening and gave me a coupon for a free hot chocolate from a restaurant on the slopes.
I wished him the best of luck with what he was going through and told him he seemed like an outstanding guy who had it in him to make it through this. He thanked me again, then we both parted ways. I never saw him again, but I truly hope things got better for him."
10. This catch-and-release between pedestrians:
"I dropped my keys on the way to my car once. I had just begun to retrace my steps when a dude walked by on the sidewalk. He gave me a small 'Hey' to get my attention, and without hesitation, threw my keys over to me. Mid-flight I said, 'Thank you,' and in one fluid motion, I caught the keys and sat down in the drivers seat. It was so smooth and effortless. Good on that guy, my hero."
11. This kind act from a good human:
"On a cold winter day, there was a homeless man sitting on the front steps of the church where I was music director. As I unlocked the door to enter the building for practice, I noticed the man was shivering and looked especially destitute. So I invited him inside and fixed food for him in the parish hall kitchen. I noticed a profound difference after I fed him some food, coffee, and cookies. Also, the church's rummage sale had a heavy winter coat and hat that fit him perfectly, so I gave that to him. As he departed, the man gave me a warm smile, followed by a bear hug — a moment I'll never forget."
12. This cute jam session:
"I'm a dude in my mid-twenties and I drive for Uber/Lyft. One time, on a really busy night, a young woman got in my car while I had my Guardians of the Galaxy Pandora station playing. We were exchanging simple pleasantries when "American Pie" came on. Now, I don't really sing along with my passengers, or sing in general on account of the fact that I'm not good at singing. But this young woman in my car just started singing along to the song. After a verse or two, I decided to join in. She then started to harmonize with my off-pitch singing. The song ended right as I pulled up to her hotel, we exchanged minimal pleasantries again, and went on our separate ways. I don't even remember her name or face, but I definitely remember the random jam session that was good enough to join in on."
13. This adorable mom moment:
"Once when I was in a public bathroom, a very pregnant lady was there with her two young daughters. Neither of the girls could reach the sink to wash their hands, and the mom was too pregnant to be lifting them. I'm a mom, so I offered. I held the girls up one at a time while they each washed and dried their hands and then sent them back to mom."
14. This fun sleepover:
"I remember the time I ended up sharing a hotel room with three other strangers. When I was in law school and was flying back to New Orleans, my flight got diverted to Birmingham due to fog. We had to stay overnight and no one really knew what to do. I found myself in a hotel lobby with three other student-aged people — two guys and one other girl — and we decided to bunk together to save money. It wound up being a fun night — we drake booze, ate food, stayed up talking, and then we all went to sleep innocently enough. The next morning we got on our flight and I never heard from them again."
15. This endearingly awkward misunderstanding:
"A customer went to give me a fist bump; I went for a high five. We just stood there for a moment, me holding his fist in my hand."
16. This clairvoyant embrace:
"I was walking down the street when this white-haired hippie woman looked me up and down and said, 'OK, now I'm going to hug you.' And she did. It was a strong, loving hug. Then she said, 'A lot of people need you to be strong for them. So keep on keepin' on.' And off she went to run her errands. As it turned out, my family went through some rough times soon after, and I was there for them all, though it was a struggle. And now, years later, everyone's doing just fine."
17. This savior in the night:
"I was at a bus station a few years back. A girl I didn't know was being bothered by some guy. He was being very pushy and she had a hard time telling him off. I walked up and acted like she was a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. She immediately went with it, and we walked away from the guy but he hovered. So we kept up the act, and we had a conversation as if we were old pals catching up. I learned so much about this girl and her life in those 10 minutes we spoke. I made sure she got on her bus, and the guy disappeared. I never saw her again, but I hope she's still doing well."
18. Finally, this heartbreaking moment between two women who've lost loved ones:
"I had to put down my dog Rocco last Christmas because of age-related health problems. I spoiled him rotten the whole week before. On his last day, I took him for one final walk at the local dog park. He was a big guy, 135 pounds of pure love. The first thing I saw as we began our walk was an older lady with a tiny little dog that was not even the size of Rocco’s head. Of course, Rocco went on his way to say hello and I called out to reassure the woman that he was very gentle. She smiled and replied she wasn’t worried.
As our dogs got to know each other we started chatting and she commented on what a beautiful, wonderful dog Rocco was. I thanked her and told her that sadly it was his last day and I had to put him to sleep later on that day. She immediately burst into tears and looked at me with such compassion and asked if she could hug me. I agreed and we were both in tears.
Afterwards, she told me that she knew how much a dog could make a difference in your life and that just two weeks prior her husband had passed away and she didn’t know how she would have got through it all without her dog. At this point, I was crying again and I asked if I could give her a hug. So there we stood, two complete strangers, hugging and crying. I will never forget that woman and the genuine love and compassion she showed me when I needed it the most."