I was in the laundry with my dog and an old man with his dog approached, our pets met and the man said “When Jesus said love your neighbour as you love yourself, only the dogs understood it” After that we had an small chat, then he left and I have never seen him again.
I will never forget that man
Took a train to NYC by myself for the first time. I was 18. Second time to NYC, first time ever on a train. I told the kiosk lady that I’d never been on a train before and asked if she might give me a quick run down of what to do. Another train station employee was nearby and was so interested and amused that I was taking a train for the first time and was alone. He walked me through what to do, down to the smallest detail. No judgement, no meanness. He was just a guy with a silly disposition, delighting in a young person’s naivety breaking up the doldrums of his week. I aspire to be that way when people ask me for help. Thanks, Frank P. You were a peach.
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 immediately 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 a yes. She was not a mom herself, but immediately 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.
I was in my freshman year of college and while alone in my dorm room a light fixture fell on my head giving me a concussion and a major gash. After being taken to the hospital and getting 10 staples in the scalp and simultaneously being diagnosed with a raging UTI I was dumped in the parking lot with glass in my hair and blood covering my face and 15 miles away from the campus at 2 AM.
This was before Uber and I didn’t know who I could call to help me. A female cop drove by and offered to take me back to campus, along the way she stopped at a CVS and paid for my prescriptions out of her own pocket. Once back at campus she made sure I got back to my room and let my RA know what had happened and to keep an eye on me.
I truly don’t know what I would have done without her. I was freshly 17, new to the area, it was very rural, I didn’t have my wallet, and I was bleeding and concussed. I will forever be grateful for her help.
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.
A prisoner on a greyhound bus. There were two of them, but I remember one specifically. Apparently, they send prisoners who are transferring from max to minimum security on greyhound buses. They didn’t have a guard or anything, and from what she said, they had no motivation at all to run. She had already served 5 years, and only had 6 months left. If she tried to run, she would serve at least 10 more years.
I was 17 and pregnant, and completely broke. I was starving and scared. My life was in shambles, and everyone in my family had abandoned me. She bought me food and was kind to me. She was old enough to be my mother, and I really wished she was. She didn’t judge me…she just bought me food and drinks and offered kind words. I really wish I could find her and repay her kindness.
My dad is a truck driver, at the time he was probably about 55-56(it was a long time ago i cant remember) and we were waiting for a train to pass. so there was then this black guy that looked rather homeless and he knocked on the glass of our truck and he said something along the lines of “can i give you something for your grandson?” and pulls out this model freight train. my dad insisted on giving him $20 dollars but the guy refused saying “im just trying to make people happy”
When I was in elementary school I fell through ice. A man who was walking his dog saw me fall and rushed to the shore. I frantically swam back to the shore, I was only about 5 meters in to the pond so it wasn’t a long way, but it took some with soaked winter clothes. 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 knows I was grateful, and 20 years later I still hope I would had thanked him.
I was driving down south with my girlfriend, we have a blowout so I put on the donut. The donut blows out while we’re exiting the very next exit. So there we are maybe 19 and at least a hundred miles from anyone we know at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I’m thinking on what to do next, and probably looked like there was something wrong so this older man offered to help. He drives me 20 or so minutes to a junk yard to get a cheap tire. Then he puts the tires on the rim with no more than a pry bar and some soapy water. Had a compressor on his truck so he aired it up and I put it on. And we went on our way.
I volunteer at a suicide hotline.
Some guy, Bob, called in and we started talking about his home situation. Nothing absolutely horrendous… But he felt trapped, and stressed, and felt like he didn’t have options. When people use language like that, our training says we should ask if they are thinking of suicide.
Many volunteers have trouble with this. But if you mention suicide to someone who is not suicidal, it doesn’t make them more suicidal – they just correct you and say “No… I feel more like XYZ”.
So I asked Bob, “Bob, you’re using a lot of language that people use when they’re thinking of suicide. Are you thinking of suicide?”
There was a pause. And then a huge wail. I could hear so much pain in his voice. I listened to him cry for at least 5 minutes.
I’ve talked to people who had suicidal ideation before “it would be better if I were dead” kind of thinking, but with no plan.
Bob said yes he was considering suicide and we talked it out a bit more.
After the pause and wail, that was the most concerned I’ve ever been for a human being outside my family. This wasn’t just talking, I felt like he had already made up his mind about it which was so scary.
I only know what he told me. I know he was in his car parked somewhere. I know we got a few short laughs out of each other and we made some plans for him. Plans are important because it gives you a sense that if he has something to do, to plan for, he can’t commit suicide.
Anyway, he truly is a stranger – I don’t know his real name or what he looks like. I just know his story, and I know that he was in immense pain that day. He had a particular kind of accent, and, whenever I meet someone with that same accent, I think of him and hope he’s ok.