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What very small unexpected kindness really struck you?

-- Kymm Zuckert (hedgehog@hedgehog.net), December 07, 2000


Okay, this doesn't exactly qualify under "very small," but just go with it...

I started college this year, and for a variety of reasons didn't feel I was ready to be there. Long story. Anyway, I didn't want to stay at school and be massively depressed, and I didn't want to go home and be even more massively depressed. What I wanted to do was move out on my own... so my now-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend offered to drive from Newport News, VA to Illinois State, pick me up, drive back, and let me live with her.

Like I said, not very small... but very kind indeed.

-- Katie (ktrame@digink.net), December 07, 2000.

I guess I should define "on my own," considering living with somebody else isn't technically on your own. I meant, away from my parents' control.

-- Katie (ktrame@digink.net), December 07, 2000.

The one small kindness that really sticks out in my mind happened when I was in college. I was dirt-poor, and working in a drugstore. It was a couple of days before payday, and I had withdrawn my last $10 on my way to work, so I'd have money to eat dinner. On my dinner break, I went to a nearby, cheap pizza place, ordered, got my food, and opened my wallet to discover that my ten bucks had been stolen. (I knew who did it, but couldn't prove it -- I had left my wallet in my coa pocket in the employee break room, and I'd seen the person walk hurriedly out of the room as I was heading in to grab my coat...) The woman at the pizza place told me to go ahead and take my food, and pay next time (I went there all the time). I thanked her, and went back to work, where I sat in the break room in tears -- I was broke enough without someone ripping me off, you know? Anyway. There was an older man, George, who was very slightly mentally disabled, and who liked to hang around in the store. He overheard me talking to my boss, telling him the whole story in hopes that he could do something about it. George left, and came back about ten minutes later to tell me he'd paid for my dinner... it was very sweet, particularly because I knew George only worked part-time as a janitor, and was probably about as poor as me. And he certainly didn't have to do that.

-- Mary Ellen (sarcasticah@yahoo.com), December 07, 2000.

I’d had a terrible day at work—17 instances of having to knuckle under to petty authority, with at least one involving a disgusting misuse of bacon, but that’s another discussion topic. I came home in a foul mood and threw myself on the couch, ready to bury my sorrow in Coke and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. I must have sighed a heavy sigh, for in that instant, my less-than-3-year-old son walked up to me and said, “I will give you a hug so you will be happy, Daddy.” That was one small kindness, and if my wife put him up to it, that would be two.

I wonder if someone could make this story into a Robin Williams movie.

-- Stu Ackerman (Ackerfamily@mindspring.com), December 07, 2000.

January 17th two years ago, my 7 year old son came home from the hospital in a full body cast AND his arm in a cast to the shoulder. That same night my poor little boy came down with a nasty case of chicken pox! I was at my wit's end . . . he was itching and in pain and just plain unhappy. My other kids (4 of 'em) were all down with them too.

Someone at our church heard about what all was going on at our house and delivered hot, meals every night for a week.

There is no way I could have made it through that week without that help.

How do you say thank you for something like that?!

-- Tracey (icemouse@mdvl.net), December 07, 2000.

I was making a dip with 8 ingredients in it and only had time before I had to go to stop in a Diary Mart to purchase all the ingredients, including a tomato and an onion. They did not sell produce in this store. I said, do you have any tomatoes or onions or anything laying around where you make these yummy sandwiches and he looked really skeptical and said...they are not for sale. So I humphed because it would make me really late to stop again to get the last two ingrediants for the dip I explained and so I went and got the other 6 but when I went to the counter he presented me with a tomato and onion in great consdition, smiling and said, don't worry about it, I hope they like the dip. It was a very nice moment and I have considered making the dip andbringing it to his store.

-- tango (tango@stratos.net), December 08, 2000.

I live in a 3rd floor flat on a main street near shops. Today we are under 15 inches of snow and it is minus 10c outside. I was looking out of the window when I saw two ladies standing chatting. Lots of people were around so this wasn't unusual. A few minutes later a very old man came walking along, carrying a small supermarket shopping bag. The two ladies smiled at him. He nodded back and went on his way, slowly and hesitantly, probably due to the fear of slipping and falling on the frozen ground. I looked away back at the sky, which was the reason I was looking out of the window in the first place, would there be more snow tonight? I glanced down again as I made to come away from the window and the scene below did strike me ... The two ladies had followed the old man a few steps, one had taken off her gloves and had insisted on putting them on the (gloveless) old man's hands... he was protesting but they were smiling and insisting, gesturing towards his hands and shopping bag. The old man let them put the gloves on his hands, smiled and spoke to the two women, and walked on... It made my day and I can only imagine the effect it had on his! Sometimes people are so wonderful to each other.

-- yvonne campbell-lennie (yvonne@lennie.co.uk), December 28, 2000.

I went to get a flu shot for the first time a few years ago. I didn't know they charged for them, and didn't have any cash on me. The woman behind me in line paid for it, saying, "Don't go and get sick just because you don't have the money on you."

-- Colin (ethilrist@prodigy.net), December 29, 2000.

I've experienced many kindnesses, both large + small, but the most recent small kindness that struck me was this morning. I was having a terrible morning, and had been waiting 25 minutes for a train I could squeeze on without puncturing the kidneys of my fellow passengers and being forced to rely upon sheer squashedness to keep me from falling over without a handhold. I was getting grumpier + grumpier, and my subway grumpiness is never helped by those people who insist upon pushing in front of you to get on the train when you've been waiting patiently while 3 packed trains got by + they just walked in front of you 2 seconds ago. Anyway, nevermind. When I finally got on a train, I was all harumphy, and it was PACKED. But there was one open seat, although it was somewhat blocked. I assumed the big man standing in front of it wanted to take the free seat that had just opened up (as he'd obviously been riding for a while), and gestured to him to take it. But then he said "Would you like to sit?" and moved back (as much as he could) so I could squeeze by. I bumped him with my bag + apologized, and he just calmly replied "That's okay." Later I heard him politely apologize to someone for inadvertedly bumping their knee (which was out far further than it should have been). It was a small thing, but I wanted to stop him and tell him how much of a difference he made in my morning. Not only did I get to sit + not be shoved & squashed on the packed train (& be made more grumpy + unhappy), but it was such a nice escape I wasn't expecting. And he was so calm + polite + pleasant, that it really restored my faith in humanity (which the subway often rips from me) and made me stop grousing altogether. And that, even more than the seat, was the kindness I really needed.

-- Juliet (copperblu@hotmail.com), January 09, 2001.

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