People Are Sharing Their Unforgettable Stranger Encounters And My Faith In Humanity Is Restored
"20 years later I still wish I could've thanked him."
TW: this post contains references to suicide.
1. "When my wife and I first started dating, we were walking into a Trader Joe's holding hands. This elderly woman looks at us and says rather loudly, 'CUTE COUPLE ALERT!'"
"My wife and I still laugh about it – it’s been 12 years at least."
2. "When I was a broke 18-year-old trying to make ends meet, I had a side-hustle providing households IT support. Mostly, I would set up computers for old people."
"This Korean gentleman hired me to set up his new computer for him. I spent an hour setting it up and teaching him how to use it, and two more hours eating a wonderful lunch with him and his wife. He wouldn't accept my invoice, and instead he paid me three times my hourly rate and asked me to come back next week.
Over the course of about a month I came back four times – each time I would do some work for him and he would prepare a lovely meal for me and tell me about his kids. By the end of the month he was pretty comfortable on the PC. I thanked him profusely for how kind he was and how much he'd overpaid me! He told me I reminded him of his son who was estranged for some reason. He said he hoped somewhere out there somebody was being kind to his son, and sharing a home cooked meal with him."
3. "The lady who told me I looked great in blue, and that it was clearly my color."
"To this day, if I'm deciding between shirts to buy or wear, I'll go with blue. That compliment was about fifteen years ago at least."
4. "When I was in elementary school, I fell through ice. A man who was walking his dog saw me fall and rushed to help me."
"I was only about five meters into the pond, so it wasn't a long way, but swimming back to shore with soaked winter clothes took a lot of effort. When I reached the shore, the man pulled me up by my jacket. It would've been difficult to get up, as there was a steep incline. I didn't thank him, because I was in shock, but I bet he knew I was grateful. 20 years later I still wish I could've thanked him."
5. "The gentleman in a business suit handing me his umbrella in the middle of a downpour."
"We just were passing each other on the sidewalk, our eyes met and he just handed over the umbrella with a 'hear ya go.' Never saw him again."
6. "I was waiting for my optometrist appointment when an old Haitian man walked in with a grocery bags. He walked up to me and proceeded to ask me riddles. When I finally got the answer to one, he reached into his bag, gave me a Snickers and then left."
"To this day, I wonder what would motivate a man to become such a wholesome riddler."
– deleted user
7. "I was on a tram and I didn't have a ticket. When the ticket inspectors came on, I got asked to have mine seen and I said I couldn’t find it on me. The inspector said he'd come back so I could have time to look for it. There was a stranger sat on the seat behind me who had a ticket; he gave it to me and he got off at the next stop."
"Guy gave me his ticket so I wouldn’t be issued a fine."
8. "When I was super overweight and I was just starting to work out regularly – I had never felt more eyes on me before in my life."
"I was on a treadmill and a super fit girl got on the machine next to me. She did a short warm-up, and before she got off the treadmill she turned to me and gave me a high five and told me to keep it up. It was so encouraging to have that support, when I was used to getting stared at by everyone else in the gym. Her small, kind gesture went a long way!"
9. "I was by myself in a restaurant bathroom with my screaming newborn baby. As his cries intensified, I started to crumble knowing that we somehow had to walk all the way through the massive restaurant as the bathroom was tucked away in the back."
"A woman close to my age walked in. I apologized for the crying and she smiled and responded with 'don’t even worry about it'. On her way out, she walked up to me and my baby and asked if this was my first. I responded with yes. She wasn't a mom herself, but immediately she became empathetic to my situation.
After a few minutes of conversation, I told her that I was nervous about walking my crying baby through the busy restaurant. She looked at me and said, 'let’s get you out of here'. She then opened the door and walked behind me softly rooting me on all the way back to my table. She had no idea how much I needed her in that moment and I’m forever grateful."
10. "When I was younger, I went grocery shopping with my dad. As we were walking, an old man stopped us and handed both me and my sister a shiny one dollar coin."
"He told us that he wanted us to have them and to have a Merry Christmas. I never saw him again, but I think of that kind old man from time to time."
11. "My lost wallet was returned in the mail."
"The anonymous stranger sent it back at their own expense ($9.75 postage) with all the money, credit cards, drivers license, and other items intact – nothing was missing. A note enclosed read – please do something kind for a stranger whenever you have the opportunity."
12. "There are a few. The biggest one was when I was homeless and asked a lady for the time. She told me and asked if I wanted to share her sandwich and the paper."
"She was the first person to treat me like a person, like I was worth something in years. I never got her name but I will remember her fondly for the rest of my life. I know that she'll never, ever know what a difference she made in my life. Just that one simple thing she did and the humanity she showed me changed my life. I got sober just a few days later and completely turned my life around.
One person, one smile, one kindness that you may never think of again in your life can change someone else's life beyond measure."
13. "I was on a solo trip to Amsterdam last year, partying it up as one does. I was out in a bar having a few drinks when a gorgeous British woman a seat or two over from me grabs my arm (I'm a very gay man by the way) and starts going on about how good it is to see me."
"I got the hint and noticed an older guy bothering her and a friend. So I played along with them as their long lost BFF until he left. We ended up spending the rest of the night bar crawling and getting trashed together, having the best time. I’ll never forget you B!"
14. "A man at Walmart around the holidays a few years ago paid our bill of over $200."
"It was at a time where we were struggling to make ends meet, so the timing could not have been any better."
15. "My son was a week old, and had to go to the doctor. I had severe early onset post-partum depression, and I hadn't slept more than an hour at a time since his birth. I locked my keys, phone, and son in the car."
"This incredibly wonderful older couple calmed me down, called CAA, parked beside my car, and sat with me until the tow truck came and unlocked the car. The tow driver refused payment. I will never forget those three people."
16. "About nine years ago I got my first vehicle. First day on the road I decide to impress a girl by picking her up to go to the mall. We had a great time, and as we were going to leave she starts messing with my nether bits as I’m pulling out of the mall. I’m distracted, so I turn without even looking and BLAM."
"My truck was relatively undamaged, but the other guy's car was absolutely fucked. I start panicking as I hop out. I’m a big dude, I’ve always been large, but this guy is BIG. And I’m like, 'oh fuck, he is gonna beat my ass.'
I ask him if he's alright and then what to do. 'We call the police, that’s all'. In my head that means I’m going to jail or something, so I freak out and start crying, telling him, 'I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention'. Out of nowhere this man just grabs me in a huge hug. Like embraces me. Put his hand on the back of my head and says, 'bro, it’s all good. Calm down. It’s just a car, we pay out the ass for insurance for a reason. It’s just an item, everyone gonna walk away fine.' And the dude just kinda held me for a minute.
The police came and took statements. No tickets. He got his car towed and his girlfriend came and picked him up. Right before he got in her car, he looked back and said, 'pay attention, people die every day from carelessness. I’m glad to see you’re alright now.'
I will never forget that man, and I've made sure to bring his mentality into my future life."
17. "I was the closing cashier at a grocery store when a very tired looking lady came through. I'll never forget what she bought because she had a steak, and some seafood, and a frozen bag of Arby's fries."
"I was just trying to make light conversation when I said something along the lines of 'looks like a good time'. She just said in a hollow voice that it was the first thing she was eating in days because her son had just passed away and this is a meal he would have liked.
I talked to the lady and found out more about her son, he was around my age and had died of cancer. She went on her way, but she always would come back to my register whenever I was working. When I left the job, I told her it was my last day and she asked me for a hug. Never saw her again, but I think of her when I see Arby's fries and hope that she is doing okay."
18. "A fine young man on a bus I took to Orlando."
"We talked in line as we got on the bus and we sat next to each other the whole time, just talking and even flirting a bit. He was funny and thoughtful. We talked so candidly during those last few hours that it made a real impression on me. We didn't exchange numbers or anything, but we both wished each other the best when he got off at the stop before mine.
I don't even remember his name and I probably wouldn't know him if I saw him, but I remember the feeling of talking to him and, weirdly enough, I even miss him. I hope he's alright."
19. "The woman who pulled over in the pouring rain and talked me down off the railing of a bridge over a highway when I was 18."
"She looked like she had just left a business meeting. She stayed with me for probably an hour, no umbrella, no raincoat, car still running, listening to me, offering words of encouragement. I’m 51 now."
20. "I was fiddling with my camera on a train platform in Melbourne, trying to take an artsy shot of the trains or something, when I noticed through my viewfinder a guy flipping me off on the train on the opposite platform."
"I lowered my camera, laughing, and flipped him off back. He laughed. The train started to pull away, and I waved, and he waved back. Australia!"
Note: Some entries were edited for length and/or clarity.