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Old 12-22-2018, 01:35 PM #1
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Heart The Kindness of Strangers

Hello folks,

I know that many of us feel isolated and very lonely when we are depressed. I though it could be helpful to recall and reflect on times when strangers have shown us empathy and compassion. This also helps to remind us that the world is not full of bad, destructive people. Ten minutes of watching "The News" can quickly give that impression. Are there some awful things happening in the world? No doubt. But there is also a great deal of goodness.

So, I will start the thread by recalling a kindness shown to me by a stranger:

Many years ago, I had a case of shingles. I had never had it before. I lived alone at the time and did not have any close friends. My family lived far away and they are not the type of people I turn to for support. I had recently survived a major trauma in my life. The shingles appeared to be getting worse and I was frightened. I went to the ER because I knew that shingles can be dangerous if not kept under control (can spread to the eye etc).

I was sitting alone in the ER waiting room. The physical pain, nausea, and dizziness were intense and I was anxious about what was happening to my body. But the worst part was my feeling of deep loneliness. I had my head down because I was sobbing...as quietly as possible...I try very hard never to cry in front of others. But those tears kept coming because I was overwhelmed. After only a few minutes in the waiting room, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder.

I looked up and saw a woman with a kind and concerned face. She handed me a box of tissues and quietly asked: "Is there anything I can do for you, honey?" The tears kept rolling down my cheeks. I took the box of tissues and said: "would you mind sitting next to me for a minute? Could you hold my hand?" She immediately did what I asked without a word. No judgment. No unsolicited advice. No prying for information.

We sat like that until my name was called to see the doctor. It turned out that I was having a bad reaction to my shingles medication and needed a new one. The ER doc resolved that quickly after giving me a few condescending comments and zero empathy. Who do you think really helped me most that day? The stranger who was under no obligation to help me at all. But she brought a box of tissues and compassion.

I didn't give you folks all the details of my life back then (too sad) but I felt like I was alone in hell. And then this wonderful stranger showed me a kindness which I have never forgotten. To this day, years later, I am grateful for her...she gave me hope and comfort when I was frightened and alone. May she always have the help she needs...wherever she is now.

Would anyone else like to share a story from a kind stranger?

Peace and love to all
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:05 PM #2
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Default Re: The Kindness of Strangers

just yesterday I was out shopping and someone came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder and said merry christmas

when I replied, she asked me what I was doing for the holidays, and then directed me to some stuff I needed in the store
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:09 PM #3
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one time (when I was waiting in line for something), the woman in front of me saw I was struggling to remain standing because of the pain in my legs.

her and her 4 kids were standing on the steps, but they moved away off the steps so that I could sit down and rest

I looked at her and thanked her and she smiled back at me
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:11 PM #4
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Default Re: The Kindness of Strangers

I remember another time my nose started bleeding in class.

one of the children stopped what she was doing straight away, came over to me, and made sure I was okay- and that I got to the nurse
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:33 PM #5
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Default Re: The Kindness of Strangers

Thank you for making this thread, HopefullyLost1211! I hope you're feeling better now. Some strangers have definitely been kind to me in the past - others, not so much. Sending many hugs to everyone
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:40 PM #6
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There was a very specific game of chess I remember. Never having had played chess before, I said "ok, let's give this a try", sat down and joined in on the longest game of chess ever. Little did I know, I stood no chance. My chess partner had been letting me win
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Old 12-22-2018, 02:48 PM #7
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Most of the time strangers don't show me kindness... not real kindness. I think it is due to an independent "persona" that I have.

But
(1) A few years ago I had lost some weight and I don't know if that had anything to do with it but I got on the train at a time that I would have thought would have been drama free (11 AM) But some guy was hassling me. I really was a little desperate as I had a 1 hour trip coming my way and it was just me and this guy in the car. He was turned around 1/2 way in the seat doing what all losers who hassle women do -- acting as if I was "shy" -- when I don't want to talk to him. I was considering leaving but I knew he would just come after me. I heard the conductor come in a few seconds after he actually did, must have heard this guy, came up behind quickly behind me , smacked the guy's feet forward and said, "sit forward and shut up." And that was the end of that. I acted like I didn't even notice but man I was soooo grateful.

(2) My local store has a promotion where if you buy food you get tickets toward like plates or something. One day this lady in front of me had bought like $400 dollars worth of food and when they asked if she was playing he goes, no but this nice lady can have my tickets. That got me a utensil set on the spot. Later I learned it was common practice to pay it forward in this manner but at the time I was BLOWN away.
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:05 PM #8
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Quote:
(2) My local store has a promotion where if buy food you get tickets toward like plates or something. One day this lady in front of me had bought like $400 dollars worth of food and when they asked if she was playing he goes, no but this nice lady can have my tickets. That got me a utensil set on the spot. Later I learned it was common practice to pay it forward in this manner but at the time I was BLOWN away.
Lol, something like this has happened to me before and I too was blown away by how generous people can be. I sat there blankly for a second, - reminded myself there was little chance I could reject this offer tactfully, gave a big smile and went on my merry way.. First chance I saw, I payed forward the same act of kindness, noting even on a day when skies are grey, a small act of kindness can brighten someone else day
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:11 PM #9
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Default Re: The Kindness of Strangers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyCheeky View Post
Thank you for making this thread, HopefullyLost1211! I hope you're feeling better now. Some strangers have definitely been kind to me in the past - others, not so much. Sending many hugs to everyone
Oh yes, I realize that some strangers are not to be trusted. It just helps me to remember the good, safe ones. My life is much better now, thank you.
Still have depression and PTSD but things are much, much better now...I worked hard for a better life and now thank myself for it...and the people who helped me along the way...

Peace
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:15 PM #10
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Default Re: The Kindness of Strangers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Fox Seaton View Post
Most of the time strangers don't show me kindness... not real kindness. I think it is due to an independent "persona" that I have.

But
(1) A few years ago I had lost some weight and I don't know if that had anything to do with it but I got on the train at a time that I would have thought would have been drama free (11 AM) But some guy was hassling me. I really was a little desperate as I had a 1 hour trip coming my way and it was just me and this guy in the car. He was turned around 1/2 way in the seat doing what all losers who hassle women do -- acting as if I was "shy" -- when I don't want to talk to him. I was considering leaving but I knew he would just come after me. I heard the conductor come in a few seconds after he actually did, must have heard this guy, came up behind quickly behind me , smacked the guy's feet forward and said, "sit forward and shut up." And that was the end of that. I acted like I didn't even notice but man I was soooo grateful.

(2) My local store has a promotion where if you buy food you get tickets toward like plates or something. One day this lady in front of me had bought like $400 dollars worth of food and when they asked if she was playing he goes, no but this nice lady can have my tickets. That got me a utensil set on the spot. Later I learned it was common practice to pay it forward in this manner but at the time I was BLOWN away.
Pay it Forward is a beautiful thing. I've done it several times....positive ripple effect.

Last edited by Anonymous57363; 12-22-2018 at 04:28 PM.
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