Author Topic: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers  (Read 56383 times)

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Daffydilly

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #60 on: March 22, 2009, 11:41:23 AM »
The guys at my shop have been great about supporting little fundraisers of mine. One of them fell and fractured an ankle several weeks ago. Well, it hasn't healed properly and he had surgery to put in screws for it. I don't have a car and he lives over in Cambridge. But I got to tag team with a friend from work the day of the surgery. I made several easy to heat up meals, took them to work and handed them over to my friend who was finishing his shift.
He promptly drove out to Cambridge and dropped them off for our poor patient. (Surgery was in the morning and they sent him home that afternoon). I heard that the surgery went well and he loved the food!

Alida

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2009, 12:12:51 AM »
I thought about this thread when this happened, but then forgot about it :)

I had the day off of work, so I took advantage of that to run errands, including going to the bank to set up a new account.  The bank was understaffed, only one person to set up accounts, talk to people, etc.  When I got there, she was with someone, so I sat to wait.  A little while after I arrived, a man came in and asked to talk to someone. He was told she was with someone and had a customer waiting, and would be with him as soon as she could be.  I heard him say something about having to get back to work fast, was anyone else there?  He was told no, he'd have to wait.  And he did, with good grace, no grumbling or arguing, though it sounded from the few things I'd heard that his day had not been a stellar one.

When it was my turn, I told the woman to take the gentleman. He was surprised, but very happy, and asked if I was sure.  I told him I had the day off and was in no rush to get anywhere :).  And it didn't even take long for him to take care of what he'd gone there for.  As he was leaving, he waited for me to pass by so he could thank me again for letting him go ahead of me.  I told him something along the lines of hoping his day got better and he said it already had.

You know, I just about floated the rest of the day, it made me feel good to be able to do something for someone else, even it if was just a small thing.

momto3daughters

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2009, 08:51:02 AM »
You know along with this really makes me smile, I am a girl scout leader to 30 girls. Just this weekend at an event one of them came rusing up to me adn had to tell me she did her Girl Scout Good Deed of the day. An elderly lady in a motorized scooter asked her if she'd mind handing her something off a shelf. Noticing she was having a hard time my girl scout asked her mom if they could ask if the lady needed more help. They ended up going around the entire grocery section helping the woman getting things she needed.

My girl scout was so proud of her self and So was I.

Elfqueen13

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #63 on: April 07, 2009, 01:41:42 PM »
About 10 years ago I was driving a borrowed car which stopped on the side of the road for no apparant reason.  The owners were out of town, which is how I came to be using it in the first place.  I didn't have a cell phone at the time and I had a teenaged friend with me.  The 2 of us started walking.  A car pulled over and a lady got out and offered us a ride.  She took us amost 20 miles to my house where we called the car owners and my now-ex was able to arrange a tow truck for the car to their mechanic.  As I got out of the lady's car she asked me to help another woman someday.

A couple of years later I was driving up the same stretch of road and saw a car pull over to the shoulder, clearly not functioning.  I pulled over and let her use my cell phone.  I remembered the first woman's words and passed them on to the woman I'd just helped. 

A few weeks ago I left for work, as usual, went to my local Starbucks then got on the highway towards the tunnel.  A car fire had the tunnel completely shut off and 90 minutes later I got off the highway right back into my own neighborhood.  Now, I don't live in a stellar part of town so when I saw the gentleman in the car behind me had out-of-state plates and was looking at a set of MapQuest directions with kind of a panicked look on his face I pulled over.  When he stopped his car, I went back to see if he needed directions.  I ended up using the GPS in my phone to figure out how to get him where he needed to be.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2009, 01:50:47 PM »
Many years ago, my Mom, Dad and I were driving when the right front tire blew.  A gentleman going the opposite direction saw us pulled over, trying to change the tire.  He wheeled around and came in behind us, pulled a full sized jack out of his truck and helped my Dad change the tire.  He refused all offers of payment, loaded his jack back up and took off.  We stopped at the next town to buy new tires since they were all the same age and we had a ways to go, yet.

I was able to pay it forward many years later.  I was in stop and go traffic on a major highway.  When I got to the front of the line, it was a family with two small children in the car and two flat tires on the driver's side.  I hollered out that I would call a tow truck for them but the Mom was frantic.  Turns out, they were Orthodox Jews (I think) and only had a couple of hours before they couldn't use their car from sundown to sundown the next day.  They were only about 30 minutes from their destination so they wanted to call a relative to come get them.  I let her use my car phone, she offered to pay me for the call (this was early 90's - it cost me about $5) but I said that it was fine, they had enough issues today.

Had I been able to, I might have loaded Mom and kids in my vehicle and given them a ride but I had a truck and not enough seats for them all.
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Corbin

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2009, 02:43:23 PM »
When I was a kid, my mother moved herself and all three of us kids a long way from family so that she could go back to college and get her teaching degree. So, we were in the middle of the move, and she had been driving for about 10 hours, when we pulled into a hotel for the night. When she got up to the desk to get us a room, her wallet was missing. Just gone. We found out later that she had set it on top of the car when she had gassed up about three hours prior, and driven off.

Anyway, she asked the clerk if she could just sit in the front area while she figured out what to do. I am sure this was not at all a restful time for her; we were bugging her "mom, what are we going to do now?" And she was trying not to cry. Suddenly the manager came up and informed us that the man behind her in line had paid for our room! He refused to stick around to be thanked. The next morning when we checked out, there was a gas card waiting for us. We had enough gas money to get us to our new house, where mom started sorting out all the "I lost my wallet" hassles.


Another one: It was just a couple days after 9-11, and I had drill. I was in uniform, fueling up my car at 4 am at this little truck stop. I went in, ordered breakfast, and went to pay for my gas and food. The lady at the till told me "Nope, no charge." I argued, telling her we had rules about this and I couldnt accept favors, but she insisted that it had already been paid and if I paid again the numbers on the register would be off. On the way out, a woman about my mothers age, dressed like a bussiness woman came up to me and said that seeing me made her feel safe again. All I could think was "lady, I am a 22 year old newly wed who just found out I am pregnant, the whole world is crazy, I am exhausted, stressed, and fighting some serious morning sickness, and I make you feel safe?!"
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Silversurfer

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2009, 02:26:38 AM »
I was sitting outside a shopping center waiting for DF to pick me up.
We are not rich, but were both working at the time.
The outside of the shops was a bit dodgy with trollys everywhere, and a guy asked me if i could spare $2.
I looked in my wallet, and only had a $20 note and some smaller coins.
He looked a bit worse for wear, so i gave him the $20 note.

He was so amazed, he asked me if i was sure about five times, and i told him i was, and that he could get himself some dinner.
He was so thankful.

I think i learnt this from my dad - he would always hand out money to anyone who really needed it.

rhirhi

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2009, 05:01:59 PM »
DH and I (DBF at the time) were walking back to my car from the gas station with the fuel can and someone stopped (we were on the interstate) and drove us to the car.

Later that evening, after I had filled the car and the spare can, I was able to help a guy in a minivan with his kids. If we hadn't run out of gas on the interstate, I wouldn't have thought to fill the can when we stopped for fuel.

An Ex-BF's Mom's (Mrs.B) coworker passed away (she had kinda mentored him, and was the one to find him- in the bathroom at work) and his family didn't know what to do with his car- they didn't want to bring it back up north, but didn't want to scrap it (worked great- it's the car in the first story). I was looking for work (just gotten fired) but had no ride, so Mrs.B told them about me, and they said that if I pay for the car to get out of Impound, I could have it, F&C. Mr.B paid for it to get out of Impound, and wouldn't let me pay him back. I got some side jobs and 2F/T jobs because of that car before I had to scrap it. But if they hadn't helped me, I would've been in a bad spot.

MariaE

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2009, 05:30:08 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"!
Dotty, I did pay it forward, several years later when I had the means to do so. I just thought that making a post specifically about that was a bit much like tooting my own horn, so I left it out on purpose.
 
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M-theory

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #69 on: April 12, 2009, 12:00:23 AM »
Another one: It was just a couple days after 9-11, and I had drill. I was in uniform, fueling up my car at 4 am at this little truck stop. I went in, ordered breakfast, and went to pay for my gas and food. The lady at the till told me "Nope, no charge." I argued, telling her we had rules about this and I couldnt accept favors, but she insisted that it had already been paid and if I paid again the numbers on the register would be off. On the way out, a woman about my mothers age, dressed like a bussiness woman came up to me and said that seeing me made her feel safe again. All I could think was "lady, I am a 22 year old newly wed who just found out I am pregnant, the whole world is crazy, I am exhausted, stressed, and fighting some serious morning sickness, and I make you feel safe?!"

This made me tear up.

And yes, you make us feel safe.

Lysitheia

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2009, 04:33:40 AM »
I ruptured a spinal disc last year. BF and I had been dating a month or so at this point. He not only moved me into his dorm room ( with permission), he took total care of me for almost two weeks. His day looked something like this:

-Wake up at nine, get me up and walk me to the ladies. Get me my pain meds, put me back in bed and go to class.

-Come back at eleven, bring me snack, get me meds, take me to the ladies room. Help me shower, washing my hair for me and holding me up the whole time. Back in bed and to class for twelve thirty.

- Come back at two, get my meds. Back in bed while he went and studied.

- Get me dressed and comb my hair. More pain meds, then dinner.

-Load me in the car so I could have some fresh air.

-Go to library to study for finals.

-Bed by one, then up at five to give me meds and get me to the ladies.

Repeat fourteen times. During finals.

The pain pills took my pain from a ten to a seven, at best, so imagine doing this for someone so racked with pain they pretty much lay in bed screaming if they aren't unconcious or hallucinating. On top of all that, I was torn up about my mom and the meds disinhibited me, so I spent a lot of time crying for no reason.

Yeah, he's awesome.

PeasNCues

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2009, 07:15:27 AM »
I think I paid it forward at puppy training class!

We were introduced to the Halti by our vet to use on Bourbon. He was a love bug, but thought that part of walking was helping you forward (i.e. pulling). Things were much easier once we got it and he seemed annoyed by it, but tolerant as he didn't have to wear it that often. We now have a halti that we use on Scotch (although still a baby, he's going to be a big dog so we're acclimating him to it early).

At puppy training class we are assigned an aisle in which to train our dog. This little old woman comes around the corner with her dog - this was like a lab on crack. It was easily the height of a great dane with the muscular build of a lab and he was pulling like a freight train. I have literally never seen a lab this big. The little old woman was leaning back with her heels dug in, but was still being pulled forward. I noticed that she was using a collar and leash - which basically does nothing.

So as the huge dog came up to sniff Scotch (who rolled over on his back right away with an o goodness you're bigger than me look on his face), I asked her if she had ever tried a halti. She said that they look "mean" so I explained to her how it was the same concept as with a horse - you control the head, you control the animal. All a halti does is when a dog tries to pull, it turns their head back towards you to break their focus on what they are pulling towards and to keep them beside you. Since she seemed hesitant still, i told her jokingly that Guinness (as she told me was his name) was easily the size of a horse and could hurt her pulling so hard (I can imagine how much agony her hands and arms must have been in from holding on to that leash for dear life).

As my sister and I were leaving (with Scotch now firmly knowing Stay), we passed her in the check out line - she was buying a halti. She stopped and she thanked me. She said she really had not known what to do with Guinness and had stopped taking him out because she couldn't walk him. Evidently last year he had pulled her down some stairs and she broke her ribs.

So, hopefully it works out for her! I think she and Guinness both will be much happier using it. And maybe she will pass on some useful advice!

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M-theory

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2009, 11:29:49 AM »
I ruptured a spinal disc last year. BF and I had been d@ting a month or so at this point. He not only moved me into his dorm room ( with permission), he took total care of me for almost two weeks. His day looked something like this:

-Wake up at nine, get me up and walk me to the ladies. Get me my pain meds, put me back in bed and go to class.

-Come back at eleven, bring me snack, get me meds, take me to the ladies room. Help me shower, washing my hair for me and holding me up the whole time. Back in bed and to class for twelve thirty.

- Come back at two, get my meds. Back in bed while he went and studied.

- Get me dressed and comb my hair. More pain meds, then dinner.

-Load me in the car so I could have some fresh air.

-Go to library to study for finals.

-Bed by one, then up at five to give me meds and get me to the ladies.

Repeat fourteen times. During finals.

The pain pills took my pain from a ten to a seven, at best, so imagine doing this for someone so racked with pain they pretty much lay in bed screaming if they aren't unconcious or hallucinating. On top of all that, I was torn up about my mom and the meds disinhibited me, so I spent a lot of time crying for no reason.

Yeah, he's awesome.

Ladies, we've found a keeper!

Daffydilly

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2009, 06:59:09 PM »
Some friends and I were going to the movies to see Wolverine! And to make sure we got seats, I ordered them online in the morning. That afternoon, we show up at the theater minus one body. No responses to calls or knocks on his door. And I was left holding one extra ticket. So we hung around the lobby while I scouted out the people going up to buy tickets.
And a single guy finally came in and got into line. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he'd like one for free. I couldn't use it and hated to see it go to waste. He smiled and took it! I hope that it made his day!

abfabmom

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2009, 05:42:45 PM »
I'd like to share the act of kindness that was offered to my sister.

This would be about 15 or 20 years ago by now.  She had been living with a man (whom she later married then divorced) who was an airline pilot.  With no notice, he was transferred from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix, and had to start working from the new hub right away.  This left her to do the move by herself.  She boxed up everything they owned, packed up the back of her pick-up truck and his compact car, then hitched the car to the back of the pick up, and headed to Arizona.  After driving for 11 hours, she unloaded, slept for two hours, then got back on the road for another 11 hour drive back to Cali.  The last load was another truck full of boxes, plus the horse trailer, which had her horse on one side, and the BF's motorcycle in the other.  She headed out for the 11 hour drive AGAIN, having only a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in the old apartment (with no bed or even a couch). 

Unfortunately, her poor old pick up had seen better days, and it gave out on her in Los Angeles.  In the middle of the night.  Being as she had a live animal with her (not to mention her BF's 'precious' motorcycle), she couldn't really just hike up the freeway, and leave it behind.  So, she propped up the hood of the truck, and waited for a Highway Patrolman.  And waited.  And waited.  After a couple of hours, the sun started to come up, and she was trying to figure out how to find some repairs.

It's at this point that a man stops on the highway and offers his help.  Unfortunately, his offer was not genuine, and my sister ended up running (literally) around the truck/trailer combo trying to get away from him.   >:D   Luckily, she was pretty fit, and managed to get into the cab of the truck and get the door closed before he caught up. 

More time has gone by, and she's beginning to be convinced that she'll be raped and murdered on a Los Angeles highway, with no one even noticing.  So, she decides that she'll bridle the horse, and ride her to a gas station (bareback, of course because the saddle went in the first load).  As she's coming off the closest exit, an angel came over the overpass!  A wonderful old cowboy stopped to find out why "a little filly" like her would be riding a horse on the street.  After hearing the story, he got his horse trailer and loaded the horse in.  He brought my sister and the horse to his home.  She was able to home, and we called my Aunt & Uncle, who really lived only about 20 minutes away from where she'd been stuck.  Aunt & Uncle got the truck repaired, and made her stay and sleep until the next morning.  That wonderful cowboy boarded and fed her horse overnight so that she wouldn't have to worry.

Thank God for cowboys!