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This is a question Random Acts of Kindness

Crackhouseceilidhband asks: Has anyone ever been nice to you, out of the blue, for no reason? Have you ever helped an old lady across the road, even if she didn't want to? Make me believe that the world is a better place than the media and experience suggest

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:03)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The gift is in the giving
Years ago, in a cookery lesson in school, I made an apple pie. In a fit of righteous philanthropy I decided I was going to give the pie to my elderly neighbour (she was frail, half blind and had Parkinson's disease and lived alone - she was obviously in need of an entire apple pie).

She was delighted, or at least she pretended she was, but the next day she presented me with a box of chocolates to thank me. I was incredibly annoyed by this as my selfless gesture wasn't supposed to be rewarded and she was totally destroying my chance to bask in unadulterated altruism. I decided the only way to improve the situation was to bake another pie, and then when she'd paid me back for that I'd bake another, and another, and another, in some kind of fucked up cake arms race.

Fortunately she died a short time later. I don't think it was pie related.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:50, 13 replies)
I wobbled into the toilets of a club one night feeling a little unnecessary.
A lovely chap noticed my slight distress, wiped the space next to him with his sleeve, patted it lovingly and said "Come and have a sit down, mate. You look a bit ropey."
I'd probably have taken him up on the offer if he weren't sitting in the trench of the urinal.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:44, 7 replies)
Over in Florida I was buying some fags...
In Walgreens, which is sort of a boots/poundstretcher combo. Bought two packs, left the shop, looked at the receipt later and realised I'd only been charged for one.

Next day I went back to the shop with the receipt to pay for the other one, in a fit of honesty.

The woman behind the counter looked at me as if I'd just asked her to empty the till. Without breaking eye contact with me (which was difficult as it was on her right hand side behind her) she reached for the tannoy thing and shouted for the manager to the desk. Until he arrived she stood there looking suspiciously at me.

Some long, long minutes later he arrives and she tries to explain it to him - she's careful to use language to indicate I'm not to be trusted "he says he bought two but we only rang through one". Eventually the manager struggles to get her to ring it up on the till... and I leave without a thank you, being treated as if I'd coiled a hangover shite on her daughter's wedding dress in front of the entire family.

Apologies for the king size length.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:44, 15 replies)
When I was 12, and used to walk to school
there was always an old man sitting by the window of a basement maisonette, watching the world go by. When I caught his eye, he waved at me, and so every day I used to wave back at him, and be greeted with a lovely smile. I guess he was lonely, like most old people living on their own are.

When it came to the end of the December term, I gave him a Christmas card and some chocolates. He cried.

This was back in the 70s, before all the witch-hunting about paedophilia. Nowadays I guess everyone would think he was perving over the schoolchildren. Sad, how the world is now, isn't it.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:44, 3 replies)
The guy that stole my phone while I was passed out on a train after an all day drinking session
sold it back to me for twice what it was worth.

Which was kind of him.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:42, 5 replies)
I think this counts
My 8 year old daughter went back to school for year 3 last September, to find there were 2 new kids in the class.

One of them had just moved from Brazil, and spoke almost no English at all.

In a slight stroke of luck, my daughter is bilingual in English and Portuguese. She volunteered, receiving the teachers blessing, to look after this kid and has done so ever since. He's now quite capable of looking after himself, so she doesn't need to do too much. Still, must have made a big difference to him.

Pretty cool, I reckon.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:41, 3 replies)
London Underground
I was having a miserable day and sat on the circle line with a scowl upon my face when the bloke opposite me, high as a kite, offered me a sniff of his glue to cheer me up. I politely declined, but it's the thought that counts.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:40, 3 replies)
I used to make packed lunches and hand them out to tramps.
Alas,I can hardly afford to feed myself at the moment.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:34, Reply)
When I was in engineering school
I was walking to class one day and noticed some cash blowing across the sidewalk. I picked it up, then noticed more cash under a parked car. I bent to pick that up too, and noticed a wallet sitting there, open with cash blowing out of it.

I opened the wallet and found a school ID, driver's license, credit cards and a couple hundred dollars in cash.


Okay, I thought, I can take it to the police, and the girl will have to go through all manner of shit to get it back, and there might not be everything there when she gets it... or I can track her down myself. I sighed and put it in my backpack, then went to the engineering building and used the secretary's phone.

It was that evening when she called me back at home, and I agreed to meet her at the engineering building the following morning. I smiled and greeted her by name, holding out the wallet. She took it, opened it up, exclaimed "It's all still there!" and thanked me as she pressed a twenty into my hand and refused to take it back.

I used it to buy food, as I was flat broke at the time.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:32, 2 replies)
Not sure it's good form to claim this for yourself, but . . .
2 stories down reminds me of one.

I used to commute by tube. One day I'm sitting reading the paper, when a rather grubby looking man, with his foot in plaster stumbles in on a pair of crutches, and sits down next to one of the passengers in front of me.

The passenger was what looked like the dad of an Italian family, his wife and kids were sitting next to him.

Mr Foot-in-plaster immediately starts talking to Italian dad, spouting absolute nonsense - 'Hello, my mate is the world train driving champion you know' . . .

Italian Dad is totally nonplussed, looks very uncomfortable as the barage of bullshit continues. Mum and kids are looking frightened.

So, doing my bit for UK/Italian relations, I got up, went to the other side of hopalong and engaged him in an absorbing conversation, along the lines of 'Mate, he hasn't got a clue what you're talking about, what's up with your foot, do you like football, I went wo Wales once, how about Eastenders . . .', etc, with short pauses for breath.

Actually, turns out the guy had just left the casualty department, having broken his foot. Seems they'd given him some kind of painkillers, not having checked if he'd been drinking, which probably explained his wierd behaviour.

Anyway, the effect was he left the tourists alone, and talked to me. Have never had a wierder conversation in my life.

The tourists eventually left, without a word, maybe not even realising what had happened. When the noisy guy left, a woman sitting nearby said 'Hey, that was really nice of you', so I did get some credit.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:31, Reply)
Some sort of inter-school talent competition
My oldest (9) and his friend had practised their song and were word (if not quite pitch) perfect. They even had some 'Funky dance moves' and were quietly confident.

The school my kids go to is great; they have a specialist teaching unit but try to integrate the special kids into normal class, this means that most classes have 3 adults at all times, which is fantastic.

Anyway, one of the kids from the unit had been taken under the wing of my son and they got on really well. In fact my son is one of only a few people who can communicate with him and understands everything he says (I can't make out a word of it).

So, to the day of the competition and the school turns out to support the kids performing. The competition is good but we are better! It is time for #1 son to go on and while he is nervous, he knows what to do and has practised (of his own volition) for weeks. Suddenly special friend starts making a scene and while no one knows what the matter is, #1 calls him over. Apparently he REALLY wants to join in and can not understand why he is not allowed to.

#1 and co-star decide that he should join them on stage and as the lights go up and the first notes drift out they start, now as a threesome, to perform...

They came 2nd from last, the performance was totally ruined. It would almost have been funny if we did not know how much effort had gone into it.

Afterwards, expecting some sort of fall out #1 son announced that it did not matter and that it was better for special friend to get a go than to worry about winning.

Kids today eh? All asbos and nintendos according to the Daily Mail.

I is very proud.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:23, 3 replies)
Not meaning to further stereotype the good peoples of Liverpool, but
Many moons ago I was in Liverpool with my Dad trying hard not to simultaneously laugh and cry because he'd just locked the car keys inside his knackered old Morris Marina at 11 at night with a long drive ahead of us back to Wales.

While we were busy throwing around all manner of petty recriminations, a stereotypically pickey lad with hoodie asked us what was the matter. Upon explaining to him, he proceeded to pull a long bit of metal out of his pocket (possibly a coat hanger of some description), jiggled it down between the glass and the inside of the car door, tutted tutted for a second or two, pulled and... click. Open.

"Er, thanks."
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 14:00, Reply)
Me, the girl, the nutter and the bus....
I used to work for a well known insurance 'institution'. From that I'm sure you can guess which. The old "It's always been done this way" stands true there more so than anywhere I have ever worked....and this includes the 'meeting clients' down the pub.

After one such 'meeting' I decided to leave my car in the work carpark and bus it home. I got on the bus and sitting in front of me was a petite young girl, maybe 16/17 and very innocent looking. As she was the only other person on the bus, I decided to sit as far away from her as possible and walked to the back of the bus so she didn't feel intimidated.
A couple more stops along and Eddie the fucking Eagle gets on the bus - well, Ok, probably not the *real* Eagle, but by Christ this bloke looked like his evil twin. He makes a bee-line for the girl and sits right next to her...nay, almost on top of her. She looks visibly distressed, confirmed by the pleading 'please help me' look in her eyes.
He starts asking her where she's been, what's her name, where does she live, what drugs she's taken, to which she replies that she's taken none - the reply of "what do you want? I've got it all" did nothing to allay her fears.
Sighing, I moved forward a couple of seats and tried to engage the bloke in conversation.
He, expectedly, gets defensive, then offensive, then downright nasty towards me AND the girl.
I continued to remain calm and continued to draw his attention away from the now terrified teenager...with some success.
About 40 minutes later, we've arrived at my stop, and I go to stand up and press the button...but...the girl looks me in the eye, and mouths "Please don't leave. Help me".

Oh dear God.

It's simply not possible for a grown man to resist this plea. It's just not.
Ok...this is the last bus...there will be no more coming back the other way. How much further am I going to have to stay on this bus and how much further am I going to have to walk back...and how much more abuse am I going to have to take?
As it happens...not too much of any of it thankfully. She got off at the next but one stop, meaning about a mile, mile and half, walk back for me. I get off at the same stop with her...where her father is waiting.
He then starts shouting at me and hurling abuse my way; I'm thinking "What the flying frig is this about?".
Of course, discretely, whilst on the bus, she's sent a text to her dad telling him of this pissed, drugged up, Eddie the Eagle lookalike giving her abuse and he goes to meet her at her stop. He naturally assumes that it is me (for I too must look like the famously bad skiier, although I have yet to see the similarity), and that not only am I giving her abuse, but following her home off the bus as well.
Thankfully, she puts him straight and he lays off a bit - still unconvinced. After thanking me, begrudginly mind, I start to walk the mile or so in the direction of home and the bloody heavens open up and soak me to the bone.
So, yeah. Karma is bullshit.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:56, 2 replies)
Sainsbury's 6pm on a week night, some years ago
I'd just paid for my shopping and was packing it into bags. In the meantime a very old man, frail, thin and shaky was unloading his meagre purchases onto the conveyor belt very slowly. One tomato, 2 slices of ham, 1 roll, a tin of peas, that kind of thing.

This yuppie bitch was behind him tutting and huffing because he was taking so long.

I stood there glaring at her while she pulled an impatient face and when the shopping was rung up and the man was fumbling in his skinny, almost empty wallet, sorting out his coins, I paid the bill and fled (because I thought he's probably a very proud man and wouldn't accept it).

It came to just over a fiver. That's all.

Thing is, this woman, who was obviously very well-to-do, could have assisted.

I know this QOTW is going to be very fluffy (yay!) and sorry to put a bit of a "there's nasty people out there too" post in.

Random acts of kindness make the world a much better place and the warm glow both the giver and receiver get can made their days.

I can be quite evangelical sbout this!
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:53, 3 replies)
On Monday night
I gave my spare Mastodon ticket to a kid who didn't have one and didn't have the £60 to buy one off the touts (the original price was £20, and they sold out quickly).

Basically, I would rather be out of pocket than have these scumbag fuckers make a big profit out of the fact that this kid wanted to see his favourite band and couldn't get a ticket. And the reason he couldn't get a ticket? The touts buy them all up in the first couple of hours so they can flog them back to you a three times the fucking price.

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:46, 8 replies)
When driving home through town with my mum
She'd regularly drop me off next to an old lady with shopping, and instruct me to carry said shopping for the old lady to wherever she was going, and then walk home.

This was good for me, and taught me a sense of community, apparently.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:38, 1 reply)
I check ladies' jubblies
on the Tube to make sure they don't have breast cancer. I don't even ask for payment.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:35, 5 replies)
A homeless guy once gave me change for parking.
I bought him a pizza and a large tea when I returned but he was gone.

Giving the offerings to a homeless girl who'd taken up his spot, I walked away with the words "I'm allergic to pizza" ringing in my ears.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:31, 7 replies)
No good deed goes unpunished.
I used to work on Gower Street, walking past the UCL hospital from Warren Street to get to the office. It was my first job, I didn't much care about it and was frequently late. One morning there was an old lady, just standing, crying, on the Euston Road, so I stopped to ask if she was OK. Apparently she'd been taken to a hospital appointment that morning by ambulence, but been left to make her own way home and had no idea where she was. I managed to get out of her that she lived near Kings Cross, so tried to give her directions but coudl tell she wasn't understanding me at all. (Although 'Kings Cross? well, if you just keep walking straight in that direction...*points*...you'll get to the station' doesn't seem too hard to grasp, but hey...). I eventually asked if she would like me to walk her home and I've never seen anyone so grateful and relieved in all my life. It took about 45 minutes to do the 15-20 minute walk with her, and all the way we talked and actually, it was really lovely. I saw her to her door, declined her offer of a cup of tea and headed back to the office, about an hour and a half late.

I spoke to my boss, explained what had happened and he listened, nodded politely and promptly told me I was now going to get my first written warning for my timekeeping.

Oh well, it was worth it.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:27, 14 replies)
I try to educate everyone in how to think correctly
and on what opinions to hold.

It's tough, but I do it out of love.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:25, 6 replies)
me and my mate phil
when we were younger (maybe 12/13) in winter would go around the old peoples bungalows round where we lived and clear the snow and ice from their paths. We didn't ask for money, they'd sometimes bring us a mince pie, but we did it to keep the old dears safe.
One of them wrote to the local paper to say that not all kids are mischievous, and thank us.
My mum kept the paper clipping.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:22, 4 replies)
Repost (originally from the botched jobs question if that isn't self-evident)
Bought our first house earlier this last year - Victorian terrace. Needed a whole load of work doing, including getting a radiator moved and a bunch of dead pipe taken out from under the floors.

The plumbers came and went - all good. Mrs. H went off on a Saturday to catch up with a mate leaving me to sort everything out after them.

I was in the middle of replacing the floorboards when I put a nail right through the brand new radiator spur I'd just had installed.

There are 2 lessons in this:

1 - Do not do it.
2 - If you're stupid enough to do it, then leave the nail where it is until you have taken the pressure off your heating system.

I failed on both counts, put the nail through the pipe, and as soon as I heard the water hissing I yanked the nail out, thereby breaking the partial seal it had created and causing the entire pressure of the central heating system to discharge over me, the walls and ceiling.

So I then - completely unnecessarily as it happens, turned off the water at the main and drained off every drop of water from the whole house. An overreaction yeah, but I wasn't thinking most clearly at the time.

I then did what any calm and rational man does in such a circumstance - started wandering up and down the street swearing profusely under my breath, wondering what the bloody hell I was going to do and how I was going to explain to the missus that we had no water and would need to call out a plumber to sort this schoolboy bloody error of mine out. Thinking as a minimum a weekend callout and replace the entire length of pipe... Expense... Fear...

When suddenly...

I passed a van marked "JBW Building Services" (www.jbwbuildingservices.co.uk - I carry their card to this day). In hope against hope I rang the number on the side of the van. Heard the answering voice in my phone, and also in my free ear coming from round the side of the house the van was next to. Not daring to think that there might be a way out of my stupidity, I located the guy in the yard. Turns out he was just in the neighbourhood doing a bit of work for his ex. I explained my predicament and threw myself at his mercy.

Half an hour later he's round at my house. Rather than replace the length of pipe he cut a small length of slightly wider pipe, removed the section where my nail had buckled the original pipe, and soldered a very neat little cuff over the site of the damage. Everything then refilled, up to pressure, good as new.

I had to physically press a tenner on him for this service - he'd happily have walked out of the door with nothing.

By the time the missus got home, I had everything cleaned up and dried off, the boards back in place, and no evidence whatsoever of my complete idiocy. It would have been the perfect crime, but I 'fessed up, purely because I just had to tell someone!

John - you don't strike me as a b3ta person, but if you are and you read this, then know that you are a god among men.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:21, 2 replies)
This morning I visited a small cornershop on the way to taking my 3 year old son to nursery
My son wanted me to buy a bunch of bananas to share with his nursery friends. The shopkeeper thought that his sharing instinct was great and gave us 70p off our bananas and zeroed his profit.

It's not a big thing but it touched me a little. It's not all about money, life is about people, little moments in time, small kindnesses.

Also hooray for small shops where they have the autonomy to do stuff like this.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:20, 7 replies)

I once bought an egg, bacon & sausage muffin with a cup of tea for a tramp who lived under a bridge in Manchester on my way to work as it was snowing and had been all night. I knew he must have been really cold and as I had passed him every day for a week or so and he had not harassed me for cash I thought it would be a nice gesture (payday flashness). When I passed him the said fayre he looked me in the eye, not with gratitude but with anger. "I dont fucking drink tea, can you go back and change it for a coffee" were the words ringing in my ears as I walked off cursing. "And theres no brown sauce either" was the last I heard and saw of him.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:20, 6 replies)
i helped a blind lady find her dogs shit the other day.

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:17, 8 replies)
No, no,
After you.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:15, Reply)
I once helped an old lady across the road.
She said thank you, we both walked away with a happy feeling in our hearts.

Snuggle time everyone.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:12, 7 replies)
I'll let you guys go first.

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:11, Reply)

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:07, 4 replies)

I should let someone else go first
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:05, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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