Author Topic: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers  (Read 51401 times)

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StaciNadia

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2009, 11:15:32 PM »
When I lived with my mother and grandmother, I worked in a nearby mall.  I had to walk about 10-15 minutes to the bus stop, and then rode the bus for a bit to the mall.  Well, that day, I made the walk and was standing at the bus stop, and the bus just zoomed by the stop, not even noticing me.  Well, I was freaking out, because the next bus would get me to my job late.  I went to the gas station across the street and called my mom, even though I knew she couldn't help, because she was at her own job, and my grandmother didn't drive at all.

Well, when I hung up the phone and went off to mope by myself, an older gentleman asked what was wrong, and I said that the bus didn't stop for me and I'd be late to my job at the mall.  The gentleman said that he and his wife would take me as soon as she got out of the station.  I thanked them so much.  They chatted with me during the ride, and when we arrived, they refused the money I tried to pay them with.  I arrived in time for my shift.

Maybe I was crazy to get in a strange car, and I wouldn't do it again, but they were so nice and helpful.

Alida

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2009, 11:33:02 PM »
Big blizzard.  Daughter was just a baby.  The ex was on the road, and DD and I ended up being snowed in at my parents' house.  With no milk.  Mom and I trudged two miles through the snow to the only store that was still open (and they stayed open 10 extra minutes for us and a few others!) and headed back to the house.  Only medical and emergency personnel were allowed on the road and someone on his way home from the hospital stopped and gave us a ride home. A small thing, maybe, in the grand scheme of things, but for two exhausted, freezing cold women, it was the best thing EVER.

DottyG

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2009, 11:54:32 PM »
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)


squeakers

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2009, 12:05:08 AM »
It was winter and I was at the convenience  station.  When I pulled out I saw that the mini-van in front of me was stalled.  I waited a few minutes and then got out of my van.  2 little old ladies were stuck and couldn't get their mini-van started.  I used my behemoth to push them to the side of the road, gave them a ride home and carried their groceries inside.

Summer time.  I had all my kids in the van when it died.  No clicky sound when I tried to turn it over so I deduced it was the alternator. Just as we had locked up the van and were preparing to walk home a car stopped and the guy got out.  He poked around under the hood and said he thought the battery was dead.  He tried to jump me but the van didn't start.  So he gave us a ride home.  It was the alternator  ;)

Winter again.  We came upon a car stranded by the side of the road.  It was on a hill going up and around a bend so a bad spot to be.  Hubby talked to the lady driver and then we pushed her to the gas station (half a block a way) with my van.  She had someone coming to pick her up so we went on our merry way.

Hopefully the next time I am in stranded... something nice will happen again.
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HonorH

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2009, 04:54:08 AM »
Oh, there have been so many, but let's just go with my first few days in Small-Town Japan.  I'd ridden trains for five hours from Tokyo to Small Town (we'll call it Komura), and by the time I finally got there, I was tired and feeling rather isolated.  I had instructions to go to a particular hotel, where I had a room reserved by my company.  Unfortunately, being new in town, I had no idea where it was, even with a map.  I wandered around a bit and finally just bit the bullet and asked a woman at a nearby fish market where the hotel was.  She spoke about as much English as I speak Japanese, but she got what I was asking after.  Rather than pointing me the way, she quickly finished loading up her delivery truck, invited me to take the passenger seat and drove me to the hotel.  Domo arigato!

After I'd gotten settled in the hotel room (total fleabag hotel, by the way; the company had no clue of just how bad it was, as I later learned), I started feeling really lonely and homesick.  I called the head of my local branch just to check in and say I was in Komura and everything had gone smoothly.  He seemed to sense how I was feeling, and shortly after I hung up, he called again to say the other ALT in town wanted to know if it was all right to visit me--in other words, he called her to let her know I was there.  I gladly accepted the offer, and she turned up bearing Calpis (a very odd Japanese soft drink that's a bit like chalky-tasting Sprite and has yogurt in it) for us both to sample.  Later, she told me she was worried her visit had been an imposition.  I assured her it was the opposite, and I was so glad of her company that evening.  She and I have since become good friends.

Next day, we were both very busy as our company-hired helper took us around to our schools and boards of education and also started the process of getting me settled in.  By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, still badly jet-lagged, and homesick.  I must've looked pretty bad, because when the helper and I stopped in at the real estate office to get my apartment keys, instead of offering us tea (absolutely de rigeur in Japan), the agent plopped a vitamin drink in front of me, bless him.  That didn't stop me from bursting into tears on the way to my apartment when I found out I wouldn't have a phone or Internet access there, and I really wanted to communicate with my family.  My helper, lovely woman that she is, called my company, and next thing I know, they're telling me I can wait another couple of days to get into my apartment, because they're putting me up in a much nicer hotel for the weekend.  I tried saying it wasn't necessary, but my boss told me he understood completely how I was feeling, and they wanted me to get some rest and relax before plowing into my job come Monday.  He told me to go to the hotel, contact my family, get some sleep and get my feet under me.  All on the company's dime.  Oh, and they shelled out for me to have breakfast at the hotel each morning, too.

Is it any wonder I love my job?

I'm loving these stories.  Keep 'em coming!
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

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Ferrets

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2009, 05:11:40 AM »
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).

Lauren

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2009, 05:42:17 AM »
Quote
When I was younger there were tough times at home...my mom was sick and in and out of the hospitol, on occasion for months at a time, and my dad took full advantage of her absence by being a big bully and very abusive both physcially and verbally.  I also was given full charge of my much younger siblings and all of the housework and cooking.  I was so sad, lonely, and desperately wanted to be mothered.

My parents never came with me to church and I was always sent by my myself.  One day at church I was sitting next to a red haired woman.  I don't even remember her name and I don't think she even knew who I was except that I was part of the congregation.  For some reason to me she just glowed like an angel.  I don't know what gave me the courage as I was horribly shy but I asked her if I could sit on her lap.  She let me sit on her lap and hugged me through the whole service and she even gave me a dollar to put in the collection plate.  I remember she was really soft and smelled like flowers.  Just sitting like that on her lap made me so happy that I cried silently throughout the whole service.  At the end she gave me a kiss on my forehead.

It was such a small act of kindness but it meant so much to me... 
\

I've never been reduced to a sobbing mess in front of my screen, but that story has done it. What a wonderful person to recognise what you needed.


Mine happened a couple of months ago, I'm really struggling financially. Due to my regional manager forgetting to sign off our weekend work I got underpaid by $400. It was the week before I was due to be paid again, I had no petrol, no money and my credit cards were maxed out. I thankfully had enough food, but had no idea how i was going to drive at all that week. A customer gave me a $50 tip that day and it saved me. I'm not at a point where I can afford to pay it forward, but I will when I can.

Dazi

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2009, 06:52:31 AM »
When I was 16 I got stuck in Atlanta's airport for 12hrs or so on my way home from visiting my father.  Almost all flights were grounded due to the horrible weather...some people had been waiting days to get out.  A very nice older gentleman gave up his seat so I could get home...

I was out at a restaurant near my work and paid for a woman's lunch.  She didn't remember who I was but she lived next door to me when I was a child (she was suffering from mild dementia then and that was like 15 years ago).  She made the best cookies   :)
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2009, 08:36:14 AM »
I have had many kindnesses performed on me during my dirt-poor days, but this is just one of my times to pay it forward:

I had just gotten out of work, so it was early morning. On the highway, I noticed that another small car was belching black smoke from everywhere.  Knowing that she wasn't going far, I just pulled in behind her and followed.  Sure enough, a few miles later she pulled over.  I pulled over ahead of her and offered her a ride home. She was actually right on my way home, too.  I gave her the number of my favorite mechanic, and he told me later (when I dropped by for my own work), that she had a blown head gasket.  It really felt good to help someone else.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2009, 02:56:36 PM »
I'm sitting here in my cube hoping no one comes around the corner because of the tears rolling down my face - especially Linda and the lady with the lap in church.

My Dad has always been helpful when people need something.  It's coming back on him (and my brother and I indirectly) ten-fold.  He has fantastic neighbours who are always checking on him (he's in his 70's, living alone in a big house in a rural area).  They were subtle about it at first, but now they are open about it because Dad figured out what was going on.

When the power goes out, one of them pops over to see if he needs help getting the generator going.  When they hear the chainsaw in the bush, one or more of them goes over to help.  When sugarbush is up and running, they help collect the sap and help boil it down in the sugarshack until the point it is brought into the house for finishing off.

They invite him for supper, just because.  Just this past weekend, they invited him over for a bonfire.  They invite him over for New Year's Eve.  We always spend Christmas together as a family but usually do our own thing for New Year's so Dad will often be alone.

I live 1.5 hours away and my brother lives 2.5 hours away from my Dad so this family has been a blessing.  It is a relief to know that they are there.  I do call Dad several times a week and visit fairly regularly but it isn't the same as being there all the time.  And when I call and repeatedly get a busy signal because Dad left a phone off the hook, I can call the neighbours and ask them to run over when they get a chance and tell Dad to hang up the dang phone!   :)
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DottyG

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2009, 03:19:57 PM »
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).

It could very well be.  But, how cool would it be if the poster would then pay their kindness forward as well?  After all, that's the true concept of "pay it forward"!


ET is the best alien.

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2009, 03:30:40 PM »
When I was 16 I got stuck in Atlanta's airport for 12hrs or so on my way home from visiting my father.  Almost all flights were grounded due to the horrible weather...some people had been waiting days to get out.  A very nice older gentleman gave up his seat so I could get home...

I was out at a restaurant near my work and paid for a woman's lunch.  She didn't remember who I was but she lived next door to me when I was a child (she was suffering from mild dementia then and that was like 15 years ago).  She made the best cookies   :)
Be funny if that was Warbaby, dosen't he live in the Atlanta area or is it just Ballentara?

Sirius

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2009, 04:09:37 PM »
Just a few days ago, a friend of ours who is in a very bad way financially brought us some soup and fruit.  Mr. Sirius and I both have the flu, and we really appreciated the soup.  I thanked her profusely for it, and we will give her Mason jar back to her because she uses them for food storage and her situation is such that she couldn't afford to replace even one. 

Does anyone have any ideas what we could do for her?  I was thinking of getting a gift card to a local grocery store and mailing it to her anonymously.  There's one just a short distance from where she lives where she could use such a card for food or gas for her car, whatever she needed most.  I know that she wouldn't want to take it if I tried to hand it to her.  Or does anyone have a better idea?

Megan

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2009, 04:12:34 PM »
Just a few days ago, a friend of ours who is in a very bad way financially brought us some soup and fruit.  Mr. Sirius and I both have the flu, and we really appreciated the soup.  I thanked her profusely for it, and we will give her Mason jar back to her because she uses them for food storage and her situation is such that she couldn't afford to replace even one. 

Does anyone have any ideas what we could do for her?  I was thinking of getting a gift card to a local grocery store and mailing it to her anonymously.  There's one just a short distance from where she lives where she could use such a card for food or gas for her car, whatever she needed most.  I know that she wouldn't want to take it if I tried to hand it to her.  Or does anyone have a better idea?

Could you fill the mason jar with something?  you could even put the gift card in there with some cookies, so she wouldn't notice it right away to refuse to take it.  I don't know if this is just my family, but my grandma (and mom) always taught that you never return a container empty if you can help it.  In later years when she wasn't well Grandma used to buy candy to put in containers when she couldn't send home baked goods.  She said she just didn't feel right sending back containers empty.

angilamae

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2009, 06:50:29 PM »
Mine was so simple and just happened recently:

Valentines day night i came home and was chatting on the phone.  On the ground was a little envelope.  It was a little valentine (the kind kids get, it had a ram on it).  Just said to 214 (my apt) from us so very impersonal but I liked it anyways.  i was feeling bad for not having a valentine and the closest i got was a text message from the ex.  This made me feel warm and fuzzy.  It's still up on the fridge.  The ram is cute
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