Author Topic: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers  (Read 54533 times)

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who_said_what_now

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #105 on: September 16, 2009, 01:44:12 PM »
This happened to me today.

My driver's license is going to expire shortly.  I, DS(3) and DD(1) arrived at the Registry of Motor Vehicles 40 minutes after it opened.  There were already 32 people ahead of me so I was in for a bit of a wait.  As I was struggling with both kids (both wanted out of the stroller), a woman walked up and switched numbers with me, saying that she had to wait for someone else anyway.  Instead of waiting for 35 or more minutes, I waited for fewer than 10 minutes.

juliasqueezer

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #106 on: October 07, 2009, 09:43:48 AM »
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.

I wouldn't normally quote myself, but I wanted to give an update. Dad passed away a week after I posted this. In spite of the progress he was making with physical therapy, he contracted pneumonia and just wasn't strong enough to fight it. Those beautiful flowers were still sitting on his nightstand when we said goodbye, a lovely reminder of how generous people can be.

geordicat

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #107 on: October 07, 2009, 05:15:37 PM »
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.

I wouldn't normally quote myself, but I wanted to give an update. Dad passed away a week after I posted this. In spite of the progress he was making with physical therapy, he contracted pneumonia and just wasn't strong enough to fight it. Those beautiful flowers were still sitting on his nightstand when we said goodbye, a lovely reminder of how generous people can be.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
Light travels faster than sound.  That's why some people appear bright until they open their mouth.

Daffydilly

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #108 on: October 07, 2009, 06:11:10 PM »
I waited in line today behind a dad and his cheerfully cute kids. They made me smile and we ended up chatting during the time it took for the line to winnow down. Then they asked me go ahead of them since I wouldn't take as long with my order. They really made my day just when I was starting to see the worst in people and forgot that everyone has a bad day once in a while. The special ingredient in life is adding a full smile and being willing to talk to someone, even if you never see them again, it may just make your day!

mmmchocolate

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #109 on: October 08, 2009, 11:50:28 PM »
Hundreds of years ago when I was a nursing student, before the age of cell phones and instant technology, 4 of my fellow students and I were driving home from a clinical on back country roads in Georgia at midnight.  I hit a pot hole and blew a tire-of course the spare was flat.

So here we were in our stupid little white uniforms with the blue stripe bibs trying to decide who got to hitch hike when a beat up old pick up pulled alongside.  Two scruffy, disreputable looking guys with old army fatigues got out and asked if we needed help.  We explained the situation-they said they knew someone with a tire that might fit and 2 of my friends went with them in the truck to a pay phone to call our families.  Soon, here they all came back again with a tire that would work-they put it on for us and we were on our way.

The next day, my dad and I went to the bar where my friends had used the pay phone, found the guys and gave them a case of beer.

Did they look like preppies?  No.  Did my friends take a chance by riding with them?  Sure.  But sometimes you get a vibe from people.  These were just a couple of honorable veterans back in the day when vets did not get the accolades they deserved and are getting now.

I have never forgotten them, either.

Also, juliasqueezer, I am so very sorry for you loss.

juliasqueezer

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #110 on: October 09, 2009, 11:30:30 AM »
Thanks, geordicat and mmmchocolate  :-*

Having gone through the hospital to rehab to funeral experience with Dad, I was continually reminded of people's genuine kindness and generosity. The nurses and aides who cared for him were just wonderful, and people who paid their respects after his death overwhelmed us at times.

I'm working at staying conscious of the importance of paying it forward.   

PitBullMom

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #111 on: November 08, 2009, 12:05:14 AM »
The other day I was in the drive thru for lunch.  When I pulled up to pay, the cashier told me that the car in front of me had paid my order.  :)  She said that the woman who paid had told her that someone else had paid for her order the last time she was in the drive thru, so she was paying it forward.  I was so thrilled!  It had been a pretty bad couple of days with DH being deployed and work not going so well, etc.  It really made my day.  I was sure to wave to her while in line and I yelled, "Thank you!" out my window.  She smiled, waved, and said, "You're welcome."

The next time I'm in the drive thru, I'm going to pay for the next person's meal.
~PitBullMom

Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die.  Adopt your soul pet at your local animal shelter.

simplysouthern

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #112 on: November 18, 2009, 08:46:06 AM »
DF and I were in the grocery store on valentines day, a few days away from payday trying to figure out what we could afford. An older gentleman in an army uniform walked up to us and handed DF a 20 and told him to take me out to dinner, he'd been there.

It was incredibly kind.

the Wyffe

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #113 on: December 03, 2009, 10:03:14 AM »
I was having a very, very, very difficult time.  I was walking home through central London and my husband rang with another piece of bad news that was too much - I got into a doorway, rang my mum and burst into tears.

While I was sobbing away, a lady walked past, took out a clean tissue, and then gave it to me with a quick pat on the shoulder and a very kind smile, before walking away.

It was over in five seconds but I still think of her.  We were in a really grotty part of Soho (the red light district) as well so it was even more unexpected - just very fleeting, sensitive and very kind-hearted.

Edited: I'm normally very stiff-upper lip English so the fleeting contact was culturally perfect.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 10:09:59 AM by the Wyffe »

Musicwoman

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #114 on: December 05, 2009, 11:19:08 PM »
I was about 2 years pregnant with my son (he was born 3 weeks early and still weighed 9lb 3oz) I went to a performance of Handel's Messiah.  At interval I (of course) needed the Ladies.  There was a line which seemed to contain half the population of China.  As one, the line looked at my elepahintine belly...and waved me to the front.  My thanks were greeted with murmers of ''I remember what it's like to be that pregnant...you need that stall more than I do!"

At a later date I was waiting in line in the bank, sans kids.  Again, huge line-the wait time was about half an hour.  I was third in line when in walked a heavily pregnant woman, trailing a grizzling toddler.  She looked aghast at the line, then sighed and took her place at the very end.  I insisted she change places with me and when she thanked me, I replied ''I remember what it's like to be that pregnant...you need that place more than I do!"
Changing the world...one Thank You note at a time.

RooRoo

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #115 on: December 06, 2009, 02:33:05 PM »
I'm sick and it's snowing and I have to miss my niece's birthday party and I feel like crud and and...

And reading this thread was just what I needed. Now I feel able to be nice again. Thanks, all!

Way back there I told two tales of kindness in Flyover Country. I have another. This was the day after we slid off the road, in the rain, into a deep, muddy gully, in the middle of Kansas, on our way to my mother's funeral, and those three nice guys pushed us back on, getting filthy in the process.

Once we were back on the road, it was obvious that there was something deeply wrong with the front end. We rocked and rolled and vibrated our way to the nearest motel. In the morning, we asked where the nearest mechanic was, and were directed to the Ford dealership.

We all know how money-grubbing dealerships are, right? And how mechanics next to the Interstates rip people off? We were pretty worried. We were already running on credit cards. So we were happy happy happy when they charged us a whole $20 for hosing the sticks, stones, mud, and grass out of our wheel wells, and running an alignment test. Diety bless them for helping and caring and honesty!

A bus story: In my city days, I rode the same route at the same time every day, and got to be friends with the drivers. The bus stop, a busy one, was three houses down from mine.

One morning, I ran just a few minutes late. I scrambled, but knew I was in trouble because I heard the bus stopping. I flew out the door, hoping there would be enough passengers so I could still make it. Lo and behold, there it was, right at my door!  The door was open, and the driver had a big grin on his face.

It doesn't take a lot to make someone's day. Just a few words at the right time. I've gotten them and I've given them. Just having someone notice that you're a fellow human being... Not to mention that doing small kindnesses really helps my depression.

I had a good pay-forward a few months ago. BG: I don't use exact change. Instead, I throw all my change into a little change purse, and when it's full I empty it into a big jar at home. It amounts to a surprising amount of money.

At the grocery store one night, DH and I were accosted by a ratty-looking Mexican guy, asking for spare change. Usually, I don't give, because most of the time the beggars (not all Mexican, of course) are just looking for money for booze, plus the store is in an area with a heavy Mexican gang problem, making me wary. But on taking a second look, I saw a couple of things. There was dirt ingrained into his hands, but not his face, he didn't look like a drunk, and there was a tidy woman with a clean and well-wrapped infant in her arms watching him from the sidewalk.

So I said, sure! and reached for my little purse, which was bulging. He held out a hand, and I said, no, and gestured for him to make a bowl with his hands. The look on his face as I dumped out all that money (about half quarters), and when he showed it to his wife, just made me feel like an angel or something.

Thanks again for the badly-needed lift, you guys.

Ruthie
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Hanna

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #116 on: December 12, 2009, 01:32:47 AM »
My Mom was recently on a short vacation with a friend.  One of their stops was to see the childhood home of a popular musician, in an area that was and remains impoverished.

They stopped in the little store down the road and while they were there a little girl about 9 came in and very quietly said to the clerk "Momma wanted to know if we charge something until Friday."  The clerk said "Sure, sure." I burst into tears as mom described how the little girl stood deciding between a can a beans or spaghetti.  It was only Sunday.  I kept thinking I just wouldn't know the right way to help someone in that situation.

Mom stepped over and put a $20 into the girl's hands and said, "This is for you."  She eyed the money but said "Oh, I can't take that."  To which Mom replied "Yes, you can because I've been in your shoes. People helped me more than once along the way. And when you are my age you can pass it on."  The little girl thought for a minute and then grinned and said "How old are you?"  Mom said "I'm 70." and the child grew wide-eyed and said "I can wait THAT long?"  

« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 01:39:55 AM by Hanna »

Daffydilly

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #117 on: December 12, 2009, 10:43:18 AM »
I finally got to visit my best friend for the first time in years. But there wasn't much to do that day because it was raining outside. So we wandered around the mall talking and then went to build a bear. And we got a really cute polar bear with an Air Force Blues uniform. It was too cute. But my rule of thumb is, if I go to build a bear... I can't keep it. I always try to find someone to give it to. And hopefully make their day a little bit better.
And we went to the local hospital and visited a gentleman who hasn't had many visitors. He had the biggest smile when we gave him the bear. And I'm praying that he really was able to go home for the holidays. He was such a sweetheart to visit with.

Alida

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #118 on: December 12, 2009, 06:52:08 PM »
Today, DD, Midalah and I hit the mall.  I went to get DD something from her grandparents, as well as look for ideas when I go shopping with Midalah's BF tomorrow (he's clueless, it's cute).  DD went with Midalah to go shopping for friends and for me.

The Marines were there, doing the Toys for Tots drive.  So we headed to a store and bought 2 gifts to bring over.  As we were checking out, just after I was given my total, I noted to DD how nice it was we could just walk them across the food court to where they were.

The woman behind the register asked me about them being there and said a former co-worker was over there. Then, out of the blue, she asked me if I had their special friends and family discount.  I told her I didn't, getting my money out.  She pulled one out, scanned it for a discount and told me to keep it for any other shopping.

I thought that was so sweet of her!

snowdragon

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #119 on: May 22, 2012, 01:22:01 AM »
reviving this because it seems to be something we need to be reminded of time after time.

  I have two stories:

 A few years ago I was on my way to a concert traveling from Buffalo, NY to Ottawa, ON, driving alone for the first time. I had an old car with old tires but I never expected a blow out on the Q.E.W. Now in certain sections there are access roads that run parallel to it, separated by a chain link fence. I am not capable of getting the lug nuts off my car as I found out that day.
 I was struggling with the nuts, jumping on the crowbar I was using to get them off when I heard a voice. If you'll step aside, miss..." I looked up expecting an O.P.P office or perhaps an RCMP officer, but the person who stood before me was a young high school aged boy who had been riding his bike and saw me. He hopped the fence, leaving his bike along the fence. He changed the tire, put the spare on and put everything back in the trunk. He would not hear of me giving him money, saying he hoped if his mom or sister needed help that someone would do the same for them. Then he turned and left going back to his ride. I made the concert - made it home and got new tires the next day.

2nd one came about 6 months ago:

  I am unemployed and  having a hard time of it. I have enough for basic foods but little in the way of luxuries.  It was just before my birthday and I was feeling really low when I came home from school and found that someone in Pittsburgh, PA had sent me a $50 gift certificate for Tops supermarket. Did I mention I am in Buffalo, NY? The note the sent indicated that they paid for these by collecting bottles as a family and had gotten  my name from someone who knew me. It was unexpected and made my 50th birthday so much better.  I can't pay them back or even pass on gift certificates but I try to pay it forward by helping folks whenever I can.