Relationships

What’s One Nice Thing Someone Has Done For You Recently?

Random Acts of Kindness

The other day, I was walking down the sidewalk minding my own business…

When a gust of wind blew my beloved cheetah-print baseball cap right off my head. It flew into the street, where it landed in the path of oncoming traffic. I stood on the curb, watching the scene play out, ultimately expecting to watch my hat get run over.

Instead, the approaching car rolled to a stop, as did the car behind it, and the car behind that one. A woman darted into the street where she retrieved my cap and handed it to me with a smile.

Honestly, the whole thing felt like a scene from a movie musical. I half expected someone to break into a spirited soft-shoe. Instead, I thanked her profusely and went on with my day, my faith in all things feeling somewhat restored.

In my neighborhood coffee shop, there is a tiny sign perched on the countertop alongside the wooden stir sticks and assorted pitchers of milk. “Remember kindness. It only takes a moment to make someone else’s day a little brighter.”

I often wondered what inspired someone to put it there. Did they witness a particularly sweet moment? Or rather, did they grow tired of watching one too many patrons not hold the door for the person behind them? (Maybe a little of both.) Either way, its point is a good one. You never know what the people around you are secretly grappling with. Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny thoughtful act to turn someone’s entire day (or week or month) around.

To that end, what’s one nice thing someone has done for you recently? It doesn’t have to cost anything or even require planning. Let’s give each other ideas so we can spread some kindness!

P.S. The strangers you see everywhere and a surprise I’m still thinking of two decades later.

  1. eM says...

    I’ve started wearing snickers at work recently. Still keep my heels in the drawer*just in case*, wear smart top and blazers, but dressing down my shoes for comfort. The best thing I’ve done recently.

    • LOVE Yoga with Adriene.

  2. Jennifer says...

    I was traveling with my 7 month old daughter in a carrier and had just gotten through TSA. It was the first time I had flown with her and we were moving across the country and it was 4:30am. I had put down all my things on that bench right after TSA and was struggling to retie my boots while wearing a baby, when an older woman came over to me and asked, “May I tie your shoes for you? We’ve all been there.” It was such a touching moment, especially since I was feeling so emotional about moving!

    • Agnès says...

      oh, that is sooo nice! (stop me before I comment on every comment!! that’s the best post!)

  3. My friend knows I love rhubarb but I live in a townhouse with no garden space. He has a huge plant and tells me I am welcome to it whenever I please. I always intend to run over there but… life. However once of twice during the summer months I am running out of my house (usually in a tizzy) to find a bunch of rhubarb wrapped in string in my mail box. It is THE most delightful surprise on my doorstep and totally makes my day. It’s just so kind that he already allows me to help myself but then goes out of his way to share his harvest with me.

  4. Tara says...

    Every Wednesday my best friend and I go to dance or some sort of class. We call it “Rose on Relevé”.

    We chose yoga last week since our ballet teacher was sick. (small town, lol). I was running late, it was cold as hell outside and I had lost my yoga mat weeks ago. As I shuffled into yoga embarrassingly late, my dear friend had not only bought me a new yoga mat- but had placed it beside her. I was mostly crying in bathrooms stage of my recent breakup and there she was, my dear friend, saying I see you, I hear you, and bitch let’s stretch now that have all your tools.

    • shelby says...

      “bitch let’s stretch now that you have all your tools” is the best thing I’ve read today. xx

  5. My mom and I were just in NYC and had a train snafu (got on the wrong train in the wrong direction, had to get off and run down and up 2 flights to catch the next train, get on the right train). We finally got off at the right stop and had to transfer to the L, but we were still struggling. A man heard us trying to figure out where to go, and told us to follow him out of the station. We did, but then didn’t realize we needed to keep following him and turned the wrong way. He chased us down, and led us across the street and around the corner. Then asked us where we were going to make sure we got on in the right direction. Thank you, directional angel!

  6. SuzieQ says...

    For several years, I’d cover a college friends meals when we went out to dinner without ever thinking or talking about it. Then, our financial fortunes changed – mine went down and hers up. Now, she is the one who invites me out and pays. It’s so odd that we talk about everything but never that. But, my heart swells and my eyes fill every time she reaches for her card and I put mine away.

  7. JT says...

    during the uncertain times that we are living in now, i feel like the news has been overwhelmingly scary and disheartening. reading these comments about small acts of kindness were such a bright spot in my day, thank you.

  8. Hilary says...

    Not a recent kindness, but one I still remember: I was a high school sophomore, heading to homecoming with a crew of people–probably 10 or 12 of us? I didn’t know most of them well, as my date was part of their friend group but I wasn’t. We went to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner before the dance, and when it came time to pay the bill, the waitress said it had all been covered. We were shocked. Turns out, a sweet elderly couple had paid for our dinner. The waitress (with their permission, I’m guessing) indicated who they were, and we waved and smiled. Before we could get up to thank them, they came over and told us how happy they felt to see us all “gussied up” and wished us a wonderful evening. That amazing act of generosity became the central conversation piece of our evening and bonded us in sheer delight. I’m planning to be the person who picks up the bill for young people’s dinners when I’m old and gray. :)

  9. JoAnne H Anderson says...

    I was in line at McDonald’s to get my morning Diet Coke – as I rolled up to the window to make payment, the attendant said – “Your Diet Coke is free – compliments of the car in front of you…they wanted to pay it forward.” Funny, I started to tear up a bit. I am a successful real estate agent who isn’t looking for charity but this truly touched me. Strange how a little kindness can make a big impression.

  10. Ramona says...

    Sometimes I leave little ($5 or less) gifts (Starbucks gift card, chocolate, something cute from the dollar section at Target) anonymously in my co-workers mailboxes. We are Caregivers but sometimes it’s nice to be on the receiving end. ?

  11. Elizabeth says...

    I was recently going through a hard time. Feeling very down, like nothing in my world was going right. During this time, I had an interaction with a stranger at work. I work in retail at a specialty food store, so pretty much everyone comes in to shop in a good mood. Being that I’m somewhat of a ‘people person’ I find it easy to connect to people and have conversations. After my conversation with this particular stranger, before he left the store, he said to me “you have been blessed with a beautiful personality.” The compliment was so completely unexpected I stood in shock for a moment before thanking him profusely. I almost teared up because I so needed to hear something nice, and the compliment was so genuine and kind. It didn’t cost him a cent, but it made my entire day!

  12. Jess. says...

    I recently bought myself what I thought was going to be the perfect purse for my needs. It was splurgy, for me, and I bought it on Etsy. There was only one picture, so I didn’t realize that it was more “magazine tote” than actual tote (the bottom was tapered, not squared off.) I liked it, but I had really wanted to love it, and my budget was exhausted.

    A dear friend got me a tote from Portland Leather Goods, and it arrived in the mail with a note that said “A beautiful purse with a flat bottom–you deserve one.” It made me feel so loved, so seen. Obviously, nice things don’t have to have a price tag, but this really warmed my heart. xox

  13. Jane says...

    I recently moved to a new city and found myself lost one day when my phone died on a run. I knew I wasn’t too far from home, but had no idea how to get back. I ended up asking a stranger for directions. She didn’t know how to get to my address of the top of her head, but she plugged it into her phone and offered to walk the half mile home with me just to make sure I got there safe. We spent the 10 minute walk chatting about life, our respective children, all her favorite things about my new city, etc. It was so lovely to ask a stranger for help and to get such a kind response.

  14. Anonymous says...

    It was pouring rain a few weeks ago and it was trash night. I had just arrived home and was well decked in my rain coat and boots, so while I was taking our trash and recycle bins to the street, I decided to take my neighbors’ as well. No need for others to get soaked when I was already prepared.

  15. Danielle says...

    I’m doing a research project for which data collection is basically me emailing strangers at different hospitals across america asking for a piece of information. It’s slow-going and tedious, and lots of people are probably too busy to help me find the right person to ask at their institution. Every time someone responds with the information I need, it feels like a present. Doubly so when they also include something like, “this is a great project.”

    It’s been really affirming to have strangers support what I’m doing over and over again over the last few months.

  16. Christine says...

    We were in Zion National Park and I stumbled getting into my partners very high truck. In doing so, my camera fell out of the carwithout realizing. When I went to take a look at our pics from our beautifully scenic hike, I noticed my camera was gone. We turned around, going back to our parking spot and the camera was sitting in clear view, on top of a log, with the last picture being of an adorably cute little boy. Thanks to him and his family we have our pics of this gorgeous national treasure!

  17. Cynthia Miller says...

    There are so many moments- not recent particularly-
    Pulling up to a small town in the middle of nowhere Colombia after dark, no hotel, and a man offers us rooms in his home.
    Trying to carry a heavy mattress up the stairs to my first Texas apartment. A stranger stops on the busy street, runs over, helps my friend and I get it up the stairs, and drives off again.
    Husband out of town, I’m 5 months pregnant, and we have an ice-storm. My next-door neighbor clears off my icy stairs so I can get to work. She also had me over for dinner and just gave me so much mom support during that time.
    As I turn 50 this year, I am reflecting on things I want to do to celebrate. I think 50 acts of kindness. I want to be a kinder person- people in my friends and community go through huge life events and I want to make them a casserole or cookies or muffins, but I’ve been paralyzed by inertia, ennui, I don’t really know what, and it hasn’t happened. Too many times I hesitate and lose the chance to show grace, even in small things. (Why didn’t I buy that hot dog for the kid at IKEA years ago?)
    This is going on my list.

    • S says...

      Thank you for saying this! “ Too many times I hesitate and lose the chance to show grace, even in small things.” is so poignant and I completely relate. I’m going to try harder too. Thank you for helping me feel I’m not the only one who doesn’t always know what to do or figure out how to do it at just the right time.

  18. A says...

    **don’t mind me over here quietly crying at my desk**

    Thank you CoJ for posting something like this, and to all you wonderful commenters sharing your experiences. It has been a tough couple of months, and reading these has lifted my little spirits a bit higher. <3

    • Abigail says...

      I hope your spirits soar even higher soon! <3

  19. Emily says...

    This is my favorite Cup of Jo post I’ve ever read and reading these comments has made me tear up multiple times!!

    I’m a full time working mom with three small kids at home. My husband is a teacher and coach who is away from home a lot of nights. I live and work in a rural small town. My coworker who is a single man about 10 years older than me lives about 45 min away in a larger town. Out of the blue, he showed up at work today with my favorite sushi takeout from the town he lives in for me to eat for lunch today!! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more surprised, he said he’d also gotten my husband’s favorite order (he knew our favorites just from a casual conversation we’d had weeks ago) for me to take home to him tonight!! He knows we’re a busy family and wanted to do something to lighten our load. Literally made my week!!

  20. Katie Jane says...

    I was a new mom last year and went to the grocery store with my son who was only a few months old at the time. I had him in a wrap on me, thinking it would be the easiest way to shop. When I got to the checkout line, I realized I had to hold him with one arm as I bent down to get my groceries out of my cart. Needless to say I was slowly, with one arm, picking up my items and putting them on the belt. Two sweet older women behind me in line, started to help me and put all my groceries on the belt. They didn’t speak great english but I understood them enough that they said they wanted to help me. Not only that, they then proceeded to bag all my groceries at the end. I was so overwhelmed with their kindness to me that I gave them both big hugs. I still think about it sometimes when I’m checking out at the grocery store :)

  21. Lauren E. says...

    My co-worker took a well-deserved vacation, but knew I’d be totally overwhelmed covering for him so he VenMo’d me $25 to buy myself lunch. It’s a simple thing but it was so thoughtful, I teared up when I saw it!

  22. Audrey says...

    My boyfriend and I broke up recently, and two of my girlfriends dropped everything to meet me for a drink and cleared the next day for a hike with me. My very tech-bro roommate also surprised me with a sweet crepe and a few goofy figurines for my dresser to make me smile. Another friend even brought my flowers. I was overwhelmed with kindness during a time I thought I’d only feel sad.

  23. Emma says...

    Today, I was out walking my 3-month-old puppy, and she was being really difficult — playing tug-of-war with the leash, sprinting and then suddenly sitting, trying to eat everything in site (especially cigarette butts! so dangerous for her!). I’m trying really hard to use positive reinforcement when I train her, so it can take a LONG time for her to pick up on things. In a particularly difficult moment, in front of a line of cars stopped at a red light, I asked her to drop the leash about 20 times before she finally did it. I was feeling really worn out and frustrated, but rewarded her (with a tiny piece of boiled chicken, her favorite haha) and then went through a little sit-lie down-roll over sequence before rewarding her again, to try to reinforce the moment. I felt a little frustrated and down about it, but then looked up to see a sweet old man applauding from his car while he waited for the light to change. It was like he had just seen the most amazing theatrical performance. That little moment really brightened my morning!

  24. Golden says...

    Caroline, “Hi From Your Childless Friend” was my nice thing this week. We’re important, too! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Reba says...

      Your comment stopped me from several snarky replies to other people’s comments. Seriously: I had one typed up after the, like, fifth “everyone’s been there!” pregnancy story (because, uhm, no, everyone hasn’t). So thanks for helping me remember that other people’s kindnesses do not detract from mine!

  25. Tali says...

    I was checking out at the grocery store, with my two small kids in tow and crabby. I was in a rush and accidentally left a bag of food behind. The woman behind me in the checkout line ran out to the parking lot where I was loading my car and handed it to me. It was such a small thing but meant so much to a tired mom!

  26. Meredith says...

    My friend left chili and garlic bread on my front porch last week when I had a cold. I felt so seen and loved in that moment. It was nice to feel cared for.

  27. Emiley says...

    A few months back, I was flying with my daughter and infant son. A man came to sit in the aisle seat and the woman in the aisle across the way (with an open middle seat next to her), said: “if you don’t mind taking my seat, I’ll move over to the middle so the baby and his family can have some space.” It was such a small, but kind thing and was so helpful on a flight where I was wrangling toys and books and snacks etc. When I flew solo a few weeks later, I determined to pay it forward if the opportunity arose. Sure enough, a mother boarding in front of me was flying alone with more bags and kids than hands. I asked if I could help and carried some of their luggage. Then we boarded to realize I was in her row but her young daughter wasn’t. So I switched my seat for her daughter’s. In a lucky twist, the woman next to me in my new seat worked for the tourism office in the city we were headed toward (where I had never been) and offered amazing recommendations that led to some of my favorite memories from the trip!

  28. George says...

    Just yesterday I was struggling with a large parcel that I was carrying home and a man helped me carry it to my door. I was half expecting him to ask me for some money after, as I’m a cynical Londoner. As he set it down, he said – remember to do a good deed to repay this one! And walked off. Later in the evening I was at a spin class and a woman came in late and was struggling with adjusting her bike. I got off and helped her which I’m hoping counted as a good deed…

  29. Kristen says...

    We were recently skiing with friends and their 7 year old got separated from the group. It was only a few scary minutes before she was found, but her recounting of what happened really made me smile:
    “I was crying on the side of the mountain and some people stopped and asked me if I was okay and I said I lost my mom and dad and they said ‘Well, that’s lucky, because we’re a mom and dad and I’m pretty sure we can solve this!'”
    You could feel how kind and reassuring this mom and dad were just from the way she quoted them.

    Also, pro tip from this girl’s mom: use your phone number as your phone password and your kids will be motivated to memorize it!

    • Sarah says...

      That is a great tip

    • Ashley says...

      That is a great tip! I always just write it on their arms with a sharpie and tell them to show a worker or a mom if we get separated.

    • Anonymom says...

      I sharpie my number on my kid.

  30. Shayla says...

    A few years ago, I was visibly very pregnant and grocery shopping with my then 3-year-old. After paying and walking out the store front, my 3-year-old let go of my hand and started running ahead to get to the car. I was trailing behind with the very full cart and knew I had to make a choice -let go of the cart knowing it would keep rolling down the sloped drive, or run after my son before he could dart in front of a car in the drive. So of course, I run after my son and catch him just before he run in front of a oncoming car. Of course at that point I’m almost in tears from the scare, but then I look back to see where my cart ended up, and see that another mom with an older boy were there with my cart, the boy having caught my cart as it was rolling. I didn’t do a very good job sincerely thanking them at the time as my hormonal, overwhelmed, totally shaken self couldn’t process what had just happened, but thinking back I am so thankful that that afternoon didn’t end up with a hurt son or crashed cart-into-a-parked car.

  31. Diane says...

    I wouldn’t be comfortable paying for a stranger’s coffee (or having them pay for mine) but I love it when other women appreciate my clothes or make-up. “Great lipstick” or “I love your skirt” are such nice things to hear from or say to a stranger. Just a reminder that a woman’s appearance can be a source of pleasure and that those small daily choices we make can bring joy to ourselves and others, rather than being fraught with judgement or competition – or intended for the male gaze.

  32. We were vacationing in FL a few years ago with our toddlers and I was impatiently trying to navigate my car through dozens of loud teenagers on Spring Break. My straw hat flew out the window and in my rear view mirror I saw a tall teen reach out to grab it midair and sprint to my car to return it to me. Here I was judging them as ill-mannered and then one young fellow restored my faith. And taught me not to be such a judgmental old fart.

  33. Gigi says...

    I am having a very stressful week at work right now, with a looming deadline over my head….on Monday, my colleague brought lemons, ginger and fresh peppermint to the office and made a big pot of fresh steaming tea for me. The next day she brought some home-made lunch, divided it up into two bowls and handed me one. Those very thoughtful acts of taking care of me during a tough time meant so much to me.

  34. Audrey says...

    one of my favorite acts of kindness this season is the people on our street shoveling each others sidewalks of snow. Our neighbors have done it for us and we’ve also reciprocated for others. It’s a small gesture that makes it feel like we’re part of a real community.

  35. C says...

    I had food poisoning this past week and my sister came over with 3 gatorades and watched tv with me for the entire evening. It was unexpected and so sweet. It was nice to have someone else there to witness my misery.

  36. Tess says...

    After having my daughter I was having a hard time. Sometimes not sleeping for nights in a row, serious health issues and anxiety. At the end of a particular hard week, I walked my kids home from school.

    My son was so tired from kindergarten he started to cry in the middle of a busy street; refusing to walk. The crying upset my daughter, so she started to cry too. Some people looked annoyed while passing us. And I felt like I was about to loose it.

    Then an older woman (80?) simply touched my arm and said: ’Oh sweet child. It’s okay for mothers to cry too, you know.’ In that moment I felt so seen.

  37. Barb says...

    I bring my now almost 2 year old to church most sundays. My husband isn’t religious (I’m not really either) so I do this alone. I’ve been amazed by the compassion and kindness of the other church-goers, and I bring him so that he will learn the same. My son is now much more vocal than he was as an infant, and I have been majorly self-conscious about him babbling and talking (loudly) during the service, since there are not many young adults or children there. One day after mass, an older woman approached my son and said to him “Thank you for your voice. It is a pleasure to hear”. Maybe everyone doesn’t feel that way, but it certainly made me feel better and like I was doing a good thing.

  38. Mik says...

    I was visiting my husband’s aunt who lives in Brooklyn a couple years ago. As we were walking back to her house, we saw the most beautiful rainbow. People in the street were just stopping and staring at it. This young guy was on a bike, and he stopped next to us and had tears glistening in his eyes. He told us that he had just become a father that day, and the rainbow felt like a sign of blessing to him. He said, “I wish I had my phone so I could take a picture and remember this forever!” My husband’s aunt immediately offered to take one for him, and got his number and sent it to him. It was one of the sweetest displays of human kindness I’ve ever witnessed.

  39. Karen says...

    “Bless you.”
    I had sneezed in a Lowe’s parking lot and a stranger bellowed it from the other side of the lot.
    I thank him, thinking about how out of the ordinary it felt to have a stranger say that simple thing. My four-year-old looks up at me, “why did he say that? He must be so nice!”

    This should have been normal to hear from a stranger.

  40. I have severe OCD and hypochondria, so when I recently received a scary medical diagnosis, I completely spiraled. My friend, who understands my mental illness, made me a detailed list of all the scientifically-backed reasons why the diagnosis wasn’t as scary as it seemed, as well as an exact plan for how I could pay for treatment based on my health insurance plan. It was completely unexpected and probably took her hours of research, and it was the only thing that helped me get out of bed and start eating again.

  41. Stephanie says...

    My friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to my office on Valentine’s day. I’m still struggling from a break up and the loneliness was hitting me especially hard that day. The flowers were a savior and made me go cry in the bathroom. Happy tears! :)

  42. Meredith says...

    Last week was a hellish week at my house for absolutely no reason. My husband and I were both just stressed to the max. Then Thursday night’s dinner plans fell through, and we had zero food in the house since Friday is grocery day. I knew early enough in the day to stress out about it, but didn’t have enough time between obligations to place a grocery order or get to a store. (And due to the nature of my husband’s work he’s out of pocket on all of that stuff during the week, he wasn’t being a slacker). Then! My amazing miracle worker angel of a friend knew it had been a rough week and showed up at my office with a rotisserie chicken and box of salad mix to save the day. Even though she’d had to wrangle a 2 year old and an infant through the store on her own to make it happen. Adult friendships look different, but they sure are amazing <3

  43. Anna says...

    In early fall, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I was going to be making an eight hour drive to help take care of him for a few days while my husband stayed behind to hold down the fort with our three young kiddos (he’s wonderful). A dear friend of mine called to say she needed to stop by my office. A little while later, she showed up with jelly beans, chocolate, and a Starbucks gift card just for my drive. She even brought my family dinner the next day so my husband wouldn’t have to cook. My dad is doing really great now and I’m so thankful for our friends who love us well.

  44. AS says...

    I was sick with a cold but still heading out to join a friend for an event. She met me in the car with a homemade delicious omelet, emergen-c packets and water to help me fuel up before we got to the event. So sweet and so thoughtful.

  45. shannon says...

    A few months ago I was in the middle of a 70 hour work week, finally locking up my office at 9pm, when I realized en route to the subway that I had dropped my wallet…on the busiest street in Philadelphia in a less than reputable part of town. Luckily my husband was with me and helped get my sobbing self home in an Uber. Two days later, I had cancelled all my cards and was feeling sorry for myself when the police called. Someone had turned in my wallet with every single card and all of the cash (upwards of $100) still inside! They declined to leave their name so I wasn’t able to leave a thank you note or send a gift card, but I was so grateful to them for doing the ethical, kind thing when so many wouldn’t have.

    • Lisa says...

      That’s Philly love right there. Proud to be a Philadelphian along with you.

    • Deidre says...

      Whenever I express any form of physical discomfort, my four year-old daughter immediately drops whatever she’s doing to come and kiss it better.

      Also, yesterday on a long-distance video call with an artist friend I haven’t talked with in a while, I was relaying how little time I’ve dedicated to my creative work, and the first thing she said to me was “I just want to acknowledge all the work and creativity you put into making a person”. Hearing those words, spoken with such sincerity and kindness…. I almost burst into tears.

  46. Amber says...

    This is exactly why I’m so shocked when people say New Yorkers aren’t friendly! I’ve only been to NYC a handful of times, and experienced this kind of random kindness every visit, from a woman running after me to return the jacket I didn’t realize I had dropped, to a group on the subway gathering around me with a map to help me find where I was going when I was visibly lost. These things don’t happen nearly as often in Seattle, where we all avoid eye contact and stick to ourselves.

    • julie says...

      Amber, it is so nice to read your comment. As a New Yorker I feel the same way, and am frustrated by the negative stereotype. So, thank you!

  47. Andrea says...

    I was gone over President’s Day weekend last week and didn’t do the normal menu planning and cooking that I do on the weekend. When I got back, my husband served me a salmon dinner and packed the bi bim bap he had made for my lunch for the week. He’s generally my sous chef, so I wasn’t expecting the food to be taken care of in my absence.

    He also got to impress a Korean coworker the next day when they were eating lunch together.

  48. Rachel says...

    Check out Tiny Kindnesses on social media! Here’s the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/TinyKindnesses/, but I know they have Twitter and Instagram too. She posts the tiny kindnesses (that are not tiny at all) that people submit to her, and she’s trying to collect kindness from as many states and countries as possible.

    • Clare says...

      How lovely!

    • Amy says...

      I’ve read only three and I’m already sobbing. Thanks for sharing!!

  49. s says...

    Love these!!
    I am getting back into running and it is going… slowly. I’ll be chugging along, red and sweaty, cursing to myself (and often stopping to walk) and come across another runner on the sidewalk. When they nod, or smile, or wave, it is the biggest morale booster. It’s like, “Yes! I’m one of them!” even as they’re speeding by me :)

    • Sarah says...

      This is so cute.

  50. Molly says...

    We were going through the drive through at a fast food place. Quick meal on the go sort of day. Ordered food for five. When I drove up to the cash register, the cashier said it’d been paid by the person ahead of us. He drove off so we did not have a chance to thank him. But wow-what a shock and such a treat!!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I pay for the car behind me at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru once a week. It makes me feel connected to my community here in rural New England and that I maybe brightening someone’s day. The cashier always asks if I know the person I am paying for, and I always say no — except one day, it turned out to be my husband! That was hilarious.

    • S says...

      Sorry for the totally concrete question—how do you pay for the car behind you when there’s no way to know what they will order? Does the cashier leave the transaction open til everything is done? Or do you just leave some cash? I’ve always loved this idea and simultaneously been confused by it!

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      I think normally in the UK you give your order over the intercom and then you wait in the queue of cars, and pay at the window when they give you the food? So when you come to pay, the car behind you would already have placed their order but not yet paid.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Well, the line is long enough between the ordering speaker and the payment window that the order of the person behind me is in the system, ready to be paid. The cashier always tells me the amount to make sure it is okay. I guess it wouldn’t work if there wasn’t someone right behind you who hadn’t already ordered…

  51. Emily M. says...

    I am 39 and have 3 boys and a lovely husband and lovely life but was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had masectomy surgery. This as you can imagine was scary and shocking but honestly the overarching theme of it all is kindness. Our sweet neighbors taking in our trash, my preschool class that I teach making cards and giving me mounds of postmates gift cards, the check in texts from friends and the list goes on. The world can be so scary but I’m convinced there is so much kindness and good and I just love that my boys get to see that even during such a crappy time they are just enveloped in such love and kindness.

    • Laura N says...

      Much love and healing prayers for you, Emily, from a fellow preschool teacher. I’m so glad you’re being loved on so well! Prayers for thorough and quick healing.

    • Clare says...

      Sending you & your boys love & hopes for a full recovery!

    • Joann says...

      I’m in the same boat, Emily (I have 2 boys, double masectomy and chemo right now). I’d gotten hand knitted beanies on my pouch, freshly baked zucchini loaf, homemade soups dropped off and other goodies sent.. just kind & supportive words on card or over texts… I’m too convinced that love and care is all around us :) I’ve been overwhelmed by kindness in my recent breast cancer journey – in the midst of all this misery, I see a lot of light and positivity!!!

  52. riye says...

    My mom used to tell this story about my grandma when we were growing up. My grandfather was working abroad (just before WWII) and they had to evacuate because Russia was going to invade the town they were living in. On the train grandma met a man who was trying to get himself and his wife back to their home town before the wife died. Pretty much everyone on the train had the clothes they stood up in an very little else. The couple didn’t have enough warm clothes and they were freezing. Later my mom noticed that grandma wasn’t wearing any of her warm outdoor clothes. She’d given it to the couple so the wife could stay warm.

    Whenever I’m having a bad day and just want to snap people’s heads off, I think of grandma and remind myself to be kind–because it doesn’t cost me a thing and it could make a big difference to someone else. Big hugs and best wishes to everybody out there who is fighting the good fight.

  53. Annie says...

    I have a few bosses and one of them is known for being pretty cold. He’ll answer your question and walk away. Nothing more. One day I was sitting down in the break room, totally exhausted from being a new mom and feeling pretty down. I looked up to find my boss had brought me my lunch from the kitchen and set it down in front of me. Fork and glass of water as well. It was such a surprise! All I could do was say thank you a few times. He said “No problem. Take your time. You deserve it.”

    • This makes me want to burst into tears. Being a human comes with draining, exhausting, days. Bless that person! Ha.

    • Amy says...

      As a new mom for a second time, 8-months into my postpartum journey, and struggling with my personal life and work life, this made me cry. Bless him. Truly.

    • ann says...

      awww this is so nice!! good note to self that everyone expresses themselves in different ways or show kindness in their own ways, this was his way :)

    • M says...

      This made me cry. That feeling of being such an exhausted mom… and that he saw…. ♥️

  54. J says...

    I am really loving reading all of these wonderful acts of kindness.

    When I was very visibly pregnant with my second, I was walking with my then-3-y.o., who decided to have a meltdown in the middle of a crosswalk. I struggled to gather my squirming toddler mid-tantrum, his runaway mini-scooter, his rolling helmet, and our many bags, and I panicked as the walk sign counted down in red. Out of nowhere, a woman swept in, gathered our belongings, ushered us across the street, and helped me get everything together again, all in one swift move. I thanked her profusely, and she just put her hand on my shoulder and said, “You’re doing a great job. This will all pass.” And just as quickly as she had saved the day, she moved on.

    • Carrie says...

      When my son was 3, he had a massive meltdown in the local pizza place. He had completely lost his fluff and there was no reasoning and no speeding the pace of the sweet teenager at the register. Of course the line was growing as I’m trying to hold it together and my kid is freaking out. As I finished the transaction and was trying to figure out how to carry my kid and a large pizza, a woman stepped out of line and told me to get my toddler, she would get my pizza, and it would all be OK. I was doing my best to hold back tears and that simple act of kindness pushed me over the edge. I couldn’t thank her enough and I just hope the people inside let her back in her place in line.

    • liz says...

      This made me cry! How I’ve needed that some days.

    • P says...

      Tears from this new mom!

  55. Sara Y says...

    My husband, a very independent, successful, driven man recently lost his job. Our mail carrier, Pat, discussed his experience with the VA (my husband was interested in a job posting there and asked for Pat’s opinion). Pat, the mail carrier, provided his answers and moved on. Over the course of the next week Pat stopped to check on my husband. The most recent, yesterday, he told my husband about being out of work after returning from Gulf War I, the negative impact it had on his (Pat’s) esteem, and how he responded. Pat then shared how much he valued that extra time with his young daughter at the time, what a gift it ended up being to share that extra time together, and how his adult daughter still discusses that special time, despite Pat’s inner turmoil.
    As my husband shared this story at the dinner table last night he began to cry. The outpouring of support he has received has blindsided my husband. It’s made him reconsider his friendships and his impact on others. I am grateful the universe has provided so many opportunities for my husband to see the positive during a very stressful time in our lives.

    • Joy says...

      What a lovely kindness. I’ve also always been so grateful to know that my hardship is not isolated. It’s a huge help to know people find their way through. Thank you for sharing this. : )

    • Angela says...

      Losing a job is so grief inducing! I’m so glad your family was met with kindness. Here’s hoping it gets better for you very soon!

    • CD says...

      It seems sometimes that men, especially, aren’t often given space to show vulnerability with each other in meaningful ways, and it sounds like Pat was brave enough to do just that, and that your husband was deeply touched by it. So poignant and just very very cool. Loved this one :)

  56. Dani says...

    A few months ago I was waiting in line to vote after work.. This was not a major election, but a very local one with only a few initiatives on the ballot so I was heartened to see so many people in line. They obviously hadn’t expected so many voters because only one polling booth was set up. There were many small kindnesses during my hour in line: people meeting neighbors, someone’s cute dog walking around getting pats, but then came a delightful surprise. An anonymous person had ordered a stack of pizzas to our polling place for everyone in line. This was not something I ever would have thought to do but I could not get over what a delightful idea it was that I would love to pay forward in the future.

    • Cathy says...

      This gives me such hope for November.

  57. Kim says...

    For the past year or so, about every third time I go to the Starbucks drive-thru, I pick up the tab for the person behind me. Sometimes, it is $3 – on one occasion it was $9. On the $9 day, the two cars behind me had a spat over whose turn it was to enter the drive-thru line (there are two ways to enter), so I paid for both orders! On Monday morning, for the first time, I pulled up to the window to pay and the barista told me that the car in front of me had picked up my tab! For the first time! I was so tickled, I called my mom to enthusiastically tell her just how good people in the world are. Small things DO make a BIG difference!!

  58. Amy says...

    I’m about to publish a book and my boyfriend, who is a visual artist, offered to do illustrations for it. For a few weeks now, his days are composed of work, hockey practice and illustrating my book in his small art corner. He’s so into it, so precise and dedicated, and the illustrations are so, so beautiful, I’m moved to tears every time even thinking about it. Cheers to those who support our dreams <3.

    • Jess. says...

      Um, I feel like we would all like to know more about your beautiful book. xox

    • Ashley says...

      That is so sweet! I’d love to know what you’re getting ready to publish!!

    • Oh, thank you so much for such kind comments! I’m publishing a poetry book, which has been my childhood dream (now I’m 27) and I’m almost euphoric. It’s not in English, yet, unfortunately, but I certainly have that planned. Not sure if I’m allowed to link anything in here, but this is a small part of it (in English) https://iza-vrata.com/poetry

  59. K says...

    A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were perched at the corner of a sushi bar, catching up over wine and doing the Friday crossword puzzle. We were laughing at each other and our guesses, far too busy to notice the restaurant and seats fill up around us. As I slid off the bar stool to use the restroom, an older man began talking to my boyfriend.
    I got back, giggling and awkwardly trying to get back on the bar stool (as one does after two glasses of wine) until my boyfriend stopped me. He reached for my hand, kissed me, and told me he loved me… FOR THE FIRST TIME!! I was floored, stammered out a really cute “I feel that, those feelings, too” and laughed. That lovely older man leaned over, offered to buy us a round and help us with some of the missing crossword clues.
    Later, I asked my boyfriend what the old man had said when I left. My boyfriend smiled and said “He said it was nice to see a couple laugh together. And that I was lucky to have a love like that.”
    Unbeknownst to the elderly man, taking the time to say something small and kind to my boyfriend allowed us to articulate the feelings we had been far too nervous to say.

    • AB says...

      This is so sweet!

  60. A says...

    This happened years ago in NYC, but I have never forgotten about it. I was late for a call-back audition and started for the subway, when I saw that the entrance to my train was unexpectedly closed. So I hailed a cab to get downtown in time. We hadn’t gone but a few blocks when the taxi blew a tire and I had to get out. I got out of the car and just started running down Broadway. A minute or so later, I heard honking (it took me a minute to register the honking was meant for *me*) and saw that a city bus was just beside me. The driver was moving slowly along and had opened the door to shout, “Need a ride?” I hopped on board to realize the bus was off duty. The driver said he’d witnessed my whole ordeal and was afraid that I needed help. I told him, a bit sheepishly, that I was simply late for a call-back. This being NYC, he understood the gravity of the situation and drove me all the way there! It is an unexpected kindness I revisit again and again. And to make the whole thing sweeter, I got the gig!

    • El says...

      Wow!

    • Candace says...

      I don’t know why, but this one just got me in all the feels. People are noticing our struggles and then reaching out to help. Hooray for humanity in these moments!

    • Amelia says...

      What a great story!

  61. Nan says...

    I was at Trader Joe’s on a recent Saturday, buying groceries for myself and my sister, who had just had a baby. I mentioned this to the woman ringing up the items and man helping me bag the food. The man asked if I was heading to my sister’s place after the store, and I said, “Yes.” He left for a moment and returned with a bouquet of flowers for me to bring her. It’s been a few weeks and still makes me happy whenever I think about it.

    • Laura N says...

      Oh how I love this! TJ’s employees are so awesome.

    • Lynn says...

      I had a similar story. I took my newborn, 2 yo, and 4 yo to shop at Trader Joe’s. I made a comment as we were checking out about it being my first time out shopping with all three kids. The cashier whispered to the cashier next to us who returned with little bouquets of flowers for the Big Sisters and a bouquet of flowers for me. They also walked us to the car (the parking lot is usually very busy) and helped us to load up the groceries. It was so lovely.

    • Amy says...

      Trader Joe’s flowers for the win! Several years ago I had gotten into a huge argument with my dad and was still sobbing hours later when I went to Trader Joe’s. At checkout, the cashier got a bouquet and handed them to me. I’ve always remembered how thoughtful that was and how it brought a smile to my face.

  62. laura says...

    I was in line behind two women at the grocery store recently and one woman did not have enough money to pay for everything she had. She was putting things back but the woman behind her insisted she’d pay the difference. It was such a sweet and casual gesture between the two and the woman that took her bill acted like it was no big deal at all and told her, “We’ve all been there girl.”

  63. Fiona says...

    We just moved into an extreme fixer upper, and currently have no heat, no stove, a leaking fridge, a leaking roof, and a shower where water comes directly out of the wall. My husband and I have spent every waking hour finding, scheduling, touring and following up with plumbers, architects, roofers with no end in sight. Neighbors came over with a welcome package of booze and a card, their names and numbers and told us how we got the best deal and that they’re so happy we’re in the neighborhood and that everything will be so great so soon. I don’t imagine they have any idea what a balm that was. We might be living out of the microwave and huddled next to the space heaters, but its already worth it thanks to the neighbors!

    On a separate post – the instagram page “Tiny Kindnesses” is another lovely balm!

  64. Laura says...

    My boss, who is normally very strict about taking time off or leaving the office early, told me to take the afternoon off yesterday after I mentioned I was getting a migraine.
    Also not to be self-congratulatory but after several new moms mentioned to me how much they appreciate it when strangers help them with their strollers, I’ve started being on the lookout for opportunities to help parents with strollers on the T, in the park etc.

  65. Robin says...

    Yesterday my husband’s truck wouldn’t start because of a dead battery. I pulled my car up to jump his truck, when our neighbor ran over. He had noticed that the interior light had been on since last night and was expecting our battery to be dead. Yes, creepy, he watches us all the time, but it’s forgivable because we spy on him too – see “The Neighbors’ Window”. He raced over with a nifty little battery pack jump starter and got the truck going right away, saving us a few minutes and gaining us a neighborly conversation about snowmobiling, the weather, all of us being unemployed and loving it, etc. It was fun.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Why didn’t he knock on your door and tell you last night! Doh

  66. Marie says...

    I think this is my favorite post ever, and plan to come back and read more later (and hopefully glean form). I’m always touched by the people at the store who offer to let you cut in front of them at the check-out because they have way more items than you. I don’t usually take them up on their offer unless I am actually in a huge hurry or have all my kids with me.

  67. Carmen says...

    On Election Day in 2016, I was working as a nanny for two toddlers. I had felt lost all morning and was alone in processing what had happened (loved those kiddos but the discussing the news that day would’ve been slightly outside of their conversational skills). I finally decided to stop torturing myself by listening to NPR and to get us all out of the condo. On our way to the park, I stopped at a coffee shop for some comfort in the form of a large coffee and a scone, only to discover that the double stroller would not fit through the doors. Two young women were coming out of the shop and saw my struggle. They offered to watch the kids while I popped in the shop. When I came out (after watching the stroller through the window as I waited for my coffee), I thanked the women profusely. They smiled and brushed it off, saying, “We have to look out for each other today.” That moment of connection provided me with the necessary solace to face the rest of that horrible day.

    • Chloe says...

      Beautiful.

    • Lauren E. says...

      While watching Hillary’s concession speech that day, surrounded by my female co-workers in various states of tears, a male co-worker silently set down a box of tissues in the middle of us and then left. I’ll never forget it.

  68. Jen K says...

    I’ve had a rough year between my husband becoming estranged and absent due to what we thought was mental illness and what is now early onset dementia. I’ve been on my own with my two small boys (5 & 7) handling EVERYTHING for almost a year now. It’s been extremely stressful, especially financially. With that backdrop, at Thanksgiving I was driving out to Thanksgiving dinner with my boys in tow. I stopped at a rest stop and went inside with just my wallet. Worried about my 7 year old in the men’s room by himself, I hurried my 5 year old out of the women’s room stall. Soon we were back on our way. It was the next day when we were returning home that I stopped at a different rest stop for gas and realized I did not have my wallet. Gulp. I knew immediately where I’d left it and I called. They said they had my wallet….AND everything was still inside!! One of the cleaning people brought it to the front. But I did’t have enough gas to get there to pick it up…or any money to pay for it. One of the rest stop employees helped me pay for enough gas to get to the the other rest stop where my wallet was. I was truly warmed and delighted by these two, separate people’s generosity and empathy. It could have been a much different, stressful, story. I sent them both gift cards as a way of thanks with a hand written note. I hope they somehow understand how much they saved me…not just that day but in general.
    What I’ve been dealing with personally has opened my eyes to realizing that EVERYONE could be having a hard time, at any point. If someone seems grouchy, cut them some slack. They may be having the worst day of their entire lives. Be the bigger person and give them a smile or a compliment. I love this post because it’s an important reminder that we should treat everyone with empathy, not with judgement.

    • Clare says...

      Jen, my heart goes out to you. My dad is currently experiencing early onset dementia (Lewy Body Dementia) and it’s by far the most heart breaking experience of our lives. As you know, it’s so unfair, so sad & so hard. Every task is a struggle. Sending you all my love & strength as you navigate your new reality. I live in Chicago, on the off chance you’re nearby, maybe we can help one another.

    • Eli says...

      Jen, I am so sorry for what you and your boys are going through. Sending prayers and love your way. <3

    • Stefa says...

      Jen, how lovely of you, during such a difficult time, to let those people know how much their kindness meant to you. This is grace. Sending love to you x

  69. K says...

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this, A. You’re not alone, I’m glad you’re receiving so much love and support.

  70. Taylor says...

    he does many truly kind things daily, but I have a big big work deadline on Saturday that has been kicking my butt and I’m also 20 weeks pregnant and my husband got me a pregnancy massage for Sunday–just having something totally relaxing to look forward to is making my life right now

  71. Courtney says...

    I’m 37 weeks pregnant, and my husband and I went to an infant CPR class last night. 3rd trimester hormones and all of the scary images in class did not mix well. I ended up sobbing the moment we got into the car, and my sweet husband calmed me down and then went and got me ice cream in bed. Feeling very lucky to have such a supportive partner throughout this process.

    • itscadynotcaddy says...

      Congratulations on your soon-to-be baby! What helped me was to remember that the chance you will need to know infant CPR is very very low, but if you do, you are ready and prepared to best take care of your little one. You are about to embark on a wonderful adventure, and while it will be unbearably hard some days, most of the time it won’t be. And sometimes it will literally take your breath away with how beautiful it all is.

    • Barb says...

      After we did one of these classes, my husband stopped at McDonald’s and got me an ice cream cone AND a chocolate milkshake. (These were my only two cravings for most of my pregnancy – strange because I couldn’t remember the last time before I was pregnant that I had been to a McDonald’s). I will never forget it :)

  72. sarah says...

    The local super old-school barber shop invited me and my dog in while we were out for a walk, and then everyone inside loved on my dog so, so much and gave her a bunch of treats and insisted we come back whenever we walk by. I’ve walked by this shop for 15 years with a dog and never had a chance to speak with them-I was so glad the man standing outside invited us in. It made my day!

  73. Brittni says...

    A few months ago I was working out in my office gym – which I usually have all to myself. I’m fairly self-conscious when I work out anyway, but after having a baby, have been even more so. On this particular day, a very active, fit woman who I recognize from the building came in to work out just as I was wrapping up. As I got up to leave, she said not to leave on her account, and I responded that I was done with my workout. In the most sincere and encouraging voice she said, “Good for you!” I still think about that when I don’t want to work out, or am feeling like giving up in the middle. She has no idea what her encouragement that day meant to me.

  74. Elle says...

    As I was in the street coming back home with my 6 year old, a guy who was on a run stopped in front of us, he had spotted two $20 bills on the ground. He asked if they were ours and I said no! He then gave them both to my 6 year old saying this is your lucky day! I first said no no you should keep it, but he insisted. My son was ecstatic! He was never given so much money before and now wants to open a bank account :)

    • laura says...

      he’ll remember this forever!

  75. Erin says...

    A few years ago when my kids were about 2 and 4 we were involved in a small fender-bender. No one was hurt, just startled and scared. The sweet couple who owned the house where we were pulled over waiting for the police offered my kids popsicles (red ones, no less!) and they messily gobbled them up. The police arrived and immediately tried doing triage on my kids who were covered in red popsicle juice and completely free of injuries. I still think fondly of that sweet couple who could have easily stayed inside their home and ignored us. Kindness really does matter!

  76. Erin says...

    My parents sent a big bouquet of flowers and balloons to my kids and me for Valentine’s day, along with a truly hilarious note about how much they love us. It made me hope that my kids will someday be sending effusive love notes to their own grandkids. :)

  77. We were on vacation last week in New Orleans during Mardi Gras with our two young boys. There weren’t too many kids around, generally speaking, and we were conscious of that. We ate out every day, several times a day. Twice someone came up to me and complimented me on my kids’ behavior, which just made my day, and one other time – when both of my boys refused to participate in a lame street performance act – a woman came up to me and said, “You’re doing some good parenting. Your kids know how to say ‘no.’ You don’t ever have to worry about that. That comment almost made me cry. I think most mothers need positive reinforcement, especially in our society today where kids are often considered a nuisance. It was really wonderful that these strangers approached me and shared their kindness with me. I plan to pay it forward.

  78. I badly injured my knee a couple of months ago and finally had surgery about three weeks ago. In the time since my accident, I have had countless strangers offer help, hold doors for me, offer words of encouragement, tell me about their own injuries and wish me a speedy and successful recovery. This in addition to my friends and family who, unasked, have come to visit me, baked me cookies, made me laugh, helped me find work and ridden my recovery emotional roller coaster with me. I’ve experienced such grace in what could have been one of the worst times of my life. I’m inspired to deserve all of this glorious kindness by passing it on to whoever might need it next!

  79. megan says...

    Yesterday my boys had an unanticipated-total-meltdown-style tantrum (tears! snots! wailing and gnashing of teeth!) while I was trying to wrap up a quick errand. It took all I had at the end of the day to make it through the check-out line and not feel the attention of every person in the store on us. While I shuffled us out and to the car, a woman came running up to me. I was taken aback and honestly anticipating negative feedback, but she told me her sons are not 23 and 25, assured me that I was doing a great job, and told me that we were going to make it. I haven’t had older women in my life who are very supportive and I could have hugged her right then and there.

  80. AS says...

    I live in San Francisco, and as I was walking to work the other day on a relatively quiet street, I heard a car horn start honking. I realized that it was coming from a garbage truck, and the driver was trying to get someone’s attention. As I got closer, it was clear that he was trying to get the attention of a young mother pushing a stroller – to be honest, I was a bit alarmed at first. But the driver pulled up beside them, got out of his truck and handed the mother a beautiful baby blanket and said, “I saw this fall out of your stroller a few blocks back, so I wanted to make sure you didn’t lose it.” And then he drove off. At this point, I was walking right by the mother and her baby and we both stopped, looked at each other and smiled and she said, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe that. That was so nice.” It truly brightened my whole day witnessing this act of kindness.

  81. Lauren says...

    Out of the blue this week I received a piece of mail from my dad’s 80 year old aunt who I haven’t seen in several years. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and found the birth announcement that “I” (aka my parents since I was 3) sent to share about my brother being born in 1988! I had never seen it before and it was such a sweet and unexpected blast from the past! She even included the original envelope it was mailed in which had my mom’s handwriting on it and it was fun to see that her perfect cursive has not changed at all in 30+ years :)

  82. Kim says...

    This post has made my day! The comments are excellent. Thank you.

  83. Bridget says...

    My garbage bins get brought to the curb by me every Thursday before the kids get sent off to school and I head to work. They are two big blue rolling canisters. I get home from work after dark and have to drag those things back, usually in heels Lately, when I come home from work (always after dark), I noticed that the canisters have been put back where they started. I had always thought my neighbor or my oldest child dragged them back to place. But one day I was sitting in my car in my driveway on a Thursday late morning and saw my mailman (who didn’t see me) dragging the two blue canisters across my driveway to be put back in place. KINDNESS. Needlesstosay, I sat in my car crying about how kind and thoughtful that man is .

  84. Jane says...

    I was standing on a crowded train yesterday, and started to feel faint from not eating enough and motion sickness. A woman sitting down overheard me mention that I felt faint and gave me her seat. It was a very crowded train and she was wearing medical scrubs meaning it’s likely that she either had been on her feet all day or was about to be on her feet all night. Her kind gesture probably stopped me from passing out on the train! I am so appreciative, kind stranger :)

  85. Susan says...

    I have been having a difficult year with a lot of big changes- a move across the country, the birth of my son, starting my medical residency, financial strain. My group of best girlfriends from college have been sending me small, sporadic care packages (a tube of red lipstick, some homemade roasted nuts, a cute onesie for the babe) and it has made me feel so warmly supported and deeply loved. I am so, so grateful.

  86. N says...

    My partner and I don’t have a whole lot, but we’ve committed to putting a small portion of each of our paychecks into a separate savings account to save for others’ rainy days (or sometimes seasons). The other day, a co-worker of mine who is a newly adoptive single mother had a tire completely blow out on the way to work. She was visibly upset as she told the story and how much it would cost. As I left, I asked her to please let me know if she needed anything, but then realized as I walked away that she would never ask for what she truly needed – help with the unexpected expense. It was a true JOY to run to the ATM during my lunch and give her the anonymous gift.
    I agree that the world seems a bit grim some days, but we give to others with confidence, trusting that there are wonderful people who will bring us a little sunshine when our rainy days come.

    • Fiona says...

      This is so beautiful! I love it!

    • AD says...

      What a smart, tactical plan to approach kindness. BRAVO. What sweet relief she must have felt opening that envelope.

    • Erin G says...

      N this made me cry – thank you for being a wonderful human.

  87. Mel says...

    We have three busy boys, and we rarely go out to eat because it’s not fun to eat out while someone is trying to play under the table. Our older two were with their grandparents last week, so we took our youngest out to eat. Going out to a casual Mexican restaurant may not seem like a big deal to many, but it was a pretty big deal for us. As my husband and I were reflecting on how nice it was to go out (and how much easier with only one child), the owner told us that a couple had anonymously purchased our meal. What a kind and delightful gift!

  88. Jessica M says...

    I saw the hostess at a restaurant last night had tissue stuffed into the back of her shoes, trying to prevent a blister. I happen to carry bandaids with me (mom of 5 here), so I offered her 2 of them and she was surprised but incredibly thankful.

  89. Erin says...

    I took my sons for haircuts at Sports Clips & when I went to pay the stylist told me that a man had paid for them already because my boys reminded him of his grandkids who he missed (cue the tears). How sweet is that? I left large tips for the stylists because they deserved to have their days made as well.

  90. Elle says...

    The other day I was at the grocery store waiting in a lengthy express check out line. A man at the front of the line turned around and realized a store worker in uniform was behind him. “You on break?” he asked her. She told him she was. “You go first,” he said. While he didn’t do this nice gesture to me, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. A little kindness goes a long way.

    • Sarah says...

      This one’s my favorite. Such a simple gesture but takes a very considerate and thoughtful person.

    • kash says...

      Oh man. This one is really good. Such a small but incredibly kind thing to do.

  91. Anna says...

    Someone I haven’t spoken with in a couple of years sent me a sweet handwritten note in the mail for no other reason than to say hello, and it brought tears to my eyes! I was a dedicated writer of letters throughout childhood and before work and children. Now, I feel awful about how rarely I make time to send notes. This may be my New Year’s resolution (not too late!).

  92. Laurel says...

    A few weeks ago, I was in the checkout line to buy groceries at Aldi, and I realized I had left my wallet in the car that was parked about 10 feet from the entrance to the store, so I asked if I could quickly run to get it. It was a busy day, but the clerk said no problem, so I sprinted out and back. By the time I returned to pay, the clerk said someone had paid my bill! Since it was so busy, and I couldn’t tell who had done it, I just yelled, “Thank you, stranger!!”

  93. Kamian says...

    I want to put in a plug for the Instagram account @tinykindnesses (@tinykindess on twitter). People share stories of kindness and the moderator posts them and they’re so touching! It’s added a lot of happiness to my day.

    • Bb says...

      My husband cleaned the kitchen for me this morning while I was at yoga. It was so nice to come home to it sparkling. I’m usually the one who does the deep clean of the stove etc.

  94. Diane says...

    It’s a small thing – but I was heading out this morning to move my car (I live in NYC) and was preparing to wait for the bus to get to were we were parked. My super was getting into his car to run errands, and ostensibly to move his car and he offered me a ride. Saved me a walk on a windy morning!

  95. A woman I’ve connected with online (we have both unexpectedly lost our sisters), anonymously bought a couple drinks at a bar in honor of my dad (and asked the bartender to share his name with the couple).

    My dad died 16 years ago this month, and this was so incredibly touching. No one has ever shared with me an act of kindness that was done in his memory, and it is very, very rare for anyone to bring him up without me doing so first.

    The fact that this was done by someone I’ve never met in person (coupled with the fact that it has been so long since he’s been alive), well…it moved me to tears <3

  96. C says...

    Last week on the subway a guy seating next to me kept “sleep leaning” while I read a book. A man seated in front noted the awkwardness of the situation and silently offered to change seats. A quiet move that made my 45 min ride a whole lot better!

  97. Steph Gilman says...

    I love that someone did that for you! Recently I was sitting at a coffee shop working, feeling a little lonely as I sometimes do as a freelancer/grad student in a busy coffee shop with all these purposeful people. As the day came to an end, a woman who had been sitting near me most of the day packed up her stuff, came up to me, and said, “I just wanted to say thank you. You have a really warm energy about you and you’re easy to work around. I have sensory needs and sometimes being around people can be hard for me but you were nice to work around today.” Her comment totally made my day/week. This was a few weeks ago so I guess it’s still making my day.

  98. Kelsey says...

    As I left my parents’ house with my two young boys last week, a man was walking around approaching the few dog walkers who were out in the cold. He approached my car and I felt really vulnerable, being eight months pregnant with kids, but I told him that my parents were very kind and he should knock on their door. They followed through and gave him socks, shoes, and a warm meal. I hadn’t even seen his flip flops. He was a refugee and they took the time to learn his name and give him bus fare. I am so grateful that they have always demonstrated that kindness to others as an example for my family.

    • Kelsey says...

      I suppose I should say that this wouldn’t always be the right choice, but it is a very unusual circumstance where they live and felt like the right thing.

    • Sarah says...

      Your parents sound like such amazing people. I have a job working with many refugees and homeless people, and have struggled with compassion fatigue. It makes me happy that there are still people out there who aren’t too jaded or afraid to help them.

  99. Elizabeth says...

    These past three weeks have been full of sickness- me and both my kids. Thankfully hubs has been spared. It feels like just when one of us is well enough to go out and do something another one gets sick. So basically we’ve been stuck at home for what seems like forever.

    I had to back out of yet another plan to meet up with a few women from my small group. One woman asked if she could do anything for us, to which of course I said no (as one does). But 5 minutes later, I get a message and she had venmo-ed us money for dinner. It was so unnecessary but so very much appreciated. It made our night so much better because we could just order take out, we didn’t have to stress about cooking, and we could just focus on getting our kids well.

  100. M says...

    After getting several push notifications from my local red cross, I made an appointment to donate. I trend anemic, so it’s not always possible, but the donation was a success! I felt especially grateful because I have a sister who passed away recently who had relied on the generosity of so many blood donors during her extraordinary, but too short, life. Unfortunately I blacked out post blood-draw. The techs tried to revive me with water, but I was out for a bit. And when I came to in a hospital bed, I felt pretty discombobulated. I finally got the go ahead to head home, but they asked that I not be alone. My bf and I had just broken up, so I called my mom – several states away (realizing it wouldn’t really solve my predicament but knowing it made me feel better). Made it home, showered, got dressed and came into my living room to find my brother  – who had driven from an hour away, stocked my fridge with organic gatorade (did you know there was such a thing? ), iron-rich foods and fresh coconut water. I hadn’t called him because I knew he had other plans for the day (and lives far!), but he dropped everything so quickly and sweetly to support and be with me. He acted like it was nothing, but it felt like a lot to me.

    • Sarah says...

      Ohhh, what a sweet brother. You and your family sound awesome. Also I trend anemic too haha

    • Maggie says...

      What a good brother! :)

    • K says...

      My God, this made me cry. What a wonderful family you have <3 I'm so sorry about your sister.

    • Johanna says...

      I’m so sorry about your sister. What a wonderful way to honor her life by spreading that love around! Keeping your family in my thoughts.

  101. Jamie says...

    What a NYC story! There is so much kindness in the city; I truly believe kindness is the default behavior of every New Yorker. One day my first year in the city, I had a bad meeting with my boss and immediately left the building to cry. Walking down 37th Street with tears streaming down my face a woman cut across the sidewalk and asked, “Was it a man or your boss?” I replied that it was my boss, and while I don’t remember her exact response, I do remember she made me feel so much better.

    • Erika says...

      I haven’t made the time to read through all of these delightful occurrences YET. This one made me laugh and smile all at once. I often feel too nosey about being out-going to strangers, but this definitely falls in the win category for a good, nosey stranger.

    • Jess says...

      Love this.

  102. Amy says...

    Postcards! Nearly every morning I send a friendly note or compliment or kind remark on a postcard. It takes less than a minute. One or two sentences. It might be a thank you note, or encouragement, or a note to a local business telling them that I had a great time at their establishment. Anything! It’s the most fun habit ever, and it’s cheap, and it has deepened my friendships AND increased the amount of fun mail I get.

  103. AE says...

    I complained to my work-aholic husband about my hard day and needing “cider, pizza, and all the massages” and he left work to deliver. It was the best! •I recently moved away from home, and my sister has been asking me a lot when a I plan on visiting again— it’s nice because I was feeling forgotten. •I’m always freezing at work (healthcare) and my bosses wife sent him to work with her Dyson heater to keep at my desk!•

  104. Katie says...

    Currently at home with the flu, husband is out of the country for work and we have had two snow days in a row so both kids have been home too. It’s been hard and honestly I’ve just had to laugh BUT my amazing next door neighbors whose children are all grown said
    Let me bring you some chicken noodle soup and take the girls outside for some snow fun today! Have them ready at 11am. This was after they had already shoveled my driveway. Truly was so kind and my kids were so excited.

    • Jen says...

      I love this! Get well soon!

  105. Sarah A. says...

    I was having a rough night last night, fretting over work on my laptop, stressed that I was missing that precious time with the kids. My husband offered to put one of them to bed, even though it was my turn. I came in later to swap out with him. While I was putting her to bed, he and my other kid made me chocolate chip cookies. We rarely have treats at home and it was a genuine surprise to open the door to the smell of freshly baked cookies.

  106. Molly says...

    After telling my neighbor I am pregnant, the next time I saw her, she handed me a few sheet masks and said: “get ready for us to pamper you”! I’ve had so much anxiety about this pregnancy, so her gesture got me *momentarily* out of my head and into a place of gratitude.

    Then just last night we all went to my art show and out for pizza and ice cream – their treat :)

  107. Charlotte K says...

    My upstairs neighbor puts up and takes down the heavy storm window from my storm door, every single fall and spring. He also changes the smoke alarm batteries. When I was recovering from surgery, he and his wife made me meals and brought them on a tray into my apartment for the first week I was home. Just DID it. Such kindness! Our next door neighbor always snow blows our driveway and sidewalk when we get big snowstorms. Just does it. I’ve learned from them, just do the kind thing.

  108. Meagan says...

    I’m a teacher, and anyone else here who teaches knows it’s a lot more work to miss school and prep for a sub than it is to be there. I’ve been feeling sick this week, and woke up yesterday morning knowing I couldn’t go to work. I was able to email my team and ask them to get my sub stuff ready, and they did it joyfully. That is such a blessing and something that seems small to outsiders, but to me it was a big display of kindness and love.

    • Mary says...

      Yes yes yes! I am also a teacher and totally agree. Good teammates are a true blessing.

  109. Julie says...

    I was on the subway the other morning during rush hour when a woman noticed that the chord of her headphones was really stuck in the zipper of her bag. An older gentleman next to her whipped out a credit card and went to work and freed her from the crazy tangle in a few minutes. Then I witnessed the kindest exchange between the two of them – who most likely never would have interacted if not for his random kindness and willingness to help her. They chatted for the next several stops and the woman was so appreciative. They wished each other a good day when they parted and it just made me happy by osmosis to see this random act of kindness and appreciation. It was a “I Love NYC” moment.

  110. Emily says...

    A couple weeks ago we had a bad ice storm overnight and my car was covered in a thick coat of it in the morning. My husband was out of town and I had to get my kids to school/me to work at 7:30am. My neighbor who is in his early 70s came out, braving the slick sidewalks, and poured warm water on my windshield, making 2 trips, to help me get the ice off. I was so thankful. I have lived there for 12years (he’s been my neighbor for 4) and no one has ever helped me, even when I was hugely pregnant, digging my car out of the snow (husband wasn’t home). It meant a lot to me that someone cared.

  111. hc says...

    I recently received a cancer diagnosis and was having a difficult week full of hospital visits. My friend sent me an edible arrangement which was so sweet. My coworker invited me over to his home and built me a fire in his fireplace since he knows I’m always freezing. It was a sweet gesture.

    • Jules says...

      Sending you love, HC.

    • Amy says...

      HC, my wife received a cancer diagnosis in the early fall and it was far and away the scariest thing that has ever happened in my life. The kindness of my loved ones and relative strangers has been awe inspiring and humbling. I would love to have never gotten that diagnosis, but it’s amazing how much we’ve learned about ourselves and our friends through this. Thankfully, she’s doing really well and appears to be beating a very rare and aggressive cancer. All the love to you!

    • Jen says...

      Sending you warm hugs

  112. A says...

    I’m 16 weeks pregnant with a pregnancy that looks like it needs to end. We found out at 13 weeks baby has genetic abnormalities that are fatal. I have decided to be open about what we are going through with everyone I know and the kindness has been overwhelming. Constant texts to let me know we’re in peoples thoughts, flower deliveries, snacks delivered to my door… The abundant kindness warms my painful heart.

    • Emma says...

      All the love to you. Xxx

    • liz says...

      i’m so sorry

    • Kenzie says...

      Sending you love, A <3

    • Hilary says...

      A, I am so sorry for your loss. There is nothing that can make that easier, but you have a tribe of other parents (including me!) who are feeling for you and thinking about you today.

    • Rebecca V. says...

      So very sorry for this incredible difficult thing you are going through. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Michaela says...

      Sending you a huge hug

    • Jess says...

      Sorry for your loss A xx

    • Jen says...

      So terribly sorry. Love to you and your family.

    • Lauren says...

      I am so sorry you are going through this, A. xx

    • Emma says...

      That is so, so hard. Sending you so much love.

    • Susannah says...

      I am so sorry for your loss, A. Sending you peace and strength. I hope the kindnesses being shown to you are points of light at this dark and heavy time.

    • Cathy says...

      I’m so sorry. Sending comforting thoughts.

  113. El says...

    I was breastfeeding my toddler in our parked car. An SUV pulled up beside us and I saw a mother and her four kids inside. Through her open window, she exclaimed to me, “You’re a rockstar!” I was so touched and amazed that this mom-of-four gave me this woman-to-woman affirmation. This was a couple of years ago, and it still gives me confidence to this day.

  114. Ashley says...

    My daughter started piano lessons in August. I am 38 and have always wanted to learn to play, so I started taking lessons too. My dear neighbor is a piano teacher and refuses to charge me for lessons. She spends extra time finding pieces that are beginner level but not childish. She pulls out toys for my four year old when I need to bring him along during a lesson. She does it all because she loves music! It honestly makes me work so much harder practicing because I don’t want to abuse her generosity. It’s all the sweeter because I am learning right along side my 8 year old.

    • Erika says...

      This is beautiful.

  115. Bex says...

    My coworker bought me a soda when she went to the store during lunch because she knew I liked a specific kind we don’t have in our break room. So kind and unexpected!

  116. Nisa says...

    I live in Austria. At the supermarket last weekend an older man in front of me at the till offered me two of his “pickerls” (stickers that give you a percentage off an item of your choice). He gently teased me for not being a good “hausfrau” and having my own, and then helped me find the two most expensive items in the trolley – coffee and a fresh chicken – so that I could get the most discount. A genuinely kind gesture!

  117. Hanh says...

    When a friend of ours learned that I was about to go crazy under the effect of fertility drugs, she offered to keep our kids for 1 day and 1 night to give me some down time. She and her husband have 4 kids themselves. But they took our two kids in for 1 day and 1 night, during which time I found out that our latest attempt at having another kid had failed. This kid free time gave me an opportunity to process this with my husband. It was valuable time.

    Such a nice gesture she did for us. I’m very grateful.

  118. Hilary says...

    Somehow, my sweet 3-year old is the kindest person I know. She’s always the first to ask “How was your day Mama?” or to see someone who might need a hug. She also, hilariously, compliments people on their outfits, but in that special little kid way. She loves my mom’s hot pink Nikes and often compliments our neighbor on how fluffy she is (she wears a big old overcoat to walk her dog!) Not many people would view “fluffy” as a compliment, but it’s so genuine and sweet that I’m pretty sure our neighbor loves it :) Kids man! Break my heart!

    • Meg says...

      This is a sure sign of wonderful parenting. :-)

    • rachel says...

      my daughter is the SAME!!!! She is the kindest sweetest 4yd old I know!!! Little things, like we will get home from running errands and we have a small house with only one bathroom, she will run down the hall to use the potty and before she goes she says “momma, do you need to use the bathroom?” and if i say yes, she says ” You can go first” every single time. my eyes are welling up with tears just thinking about her kindness. I struck the lotto with her. <3

  119. Kim says...

    My newly minted 16 year old driver was in an accident last week. She called me at work, hysterical, but thankfully not injured. I rushed to the scene to be with her, feeling so awful that she was so scared and alone…but she wasn’t! A woman who had witnessed the accident stopped and checked on her, then brought her a blanket and bottle of water from her car, and comforted her until I arrived. When I thanked her she said “it’s just a mom thing. I hope someone would do the same for my kids”. People really are beautiful xoxo

  120. Courtney says...

    I flew with my baby (first flight for her!) two weeks ago and it was a late flight. My baby wasn’t having it for the last couple of hours of the flight and let everyone know. At one point, during sheer desperation, I asked the flight attendant how much longer did we have. She gently knelt by me (and my screaming child) and soothingly said, “Only one more hour. Honestly, think 45 minutes. In the next few minutes, I’m going to clean up. Then we are going to prepare to descend, and then we will be landing! It’s so soon.” The way she walked me through her next steps made me feel so much better. She could have just said one hour and left me to it, but she talked me off the metaphorical, emotional edge. AND we had over an hour left of the flight, but I didn’t even realize it until we landed.

  121. Margaret says...

    We’re British, living in France. A couple of weeks ago, our family were on the train in Paris, heading to the France-England 6 Nations rugby. The kids were really excited as this was going to be their first time at a major sporting event. On the journey, we spoke to two older English men, who admired their facepaint and chatted so nicely to them about rugby. Just as we were getting off the train at the stadium they proceeded to hand us their huge England flag, telling the kids they could use it and keep it, to their utter delight. It was so spontaneous and so kind, that it just made our day.

  122. Meredith says...

    A few months ago, a friend and I were out to breakfast with my toddler. We had to wait 30+ minutes for a table and my little girl was well-behaved, happy to investigate the restaurant and just look around. (And then gobble up her breakfast once we got a seat.) :) When we went to pay the check, someone had gotten it for us! It was probably a $30 tab but it gives me a lift whenever I think about it.

  123. EP says...

    I was sitting in Starbucks looking like a zombie. I’d just driven 3 hours to a client meeting and feeling lingering fatigue after the flu. I needed the coffee to work quickly before I headed to my meeting. Between long sleepy blinks, the barista placed a blueberry muffin in front of me and said, “you looked like you needed this.” I immediately perked up and profusely thanked him for his kindness. It gave me that extra energy boost that I desperately needed!

  124. Loren says...

    Last night I offered to buy an expensive piece of therapy equipment from a client when their son graduated from needing it. They handed it to me! It will make my clinical work a million times easier.

  125. The other day on the train, a seat opened up when someone got up, and it was between me and this other girl as to who would reasonably get to slide into it. I had been reading a book, doing that annoying dance of holding on with one hand, and balancing the book in the other, sometimes trying to turn the page only with the one hand, and she had apparently noticed because she looked at me and said, “Go, you can have it. You’re reading.” I was floored. And yea, it made the rest of my day.

  126. Megan says...

    Last Monday accumulated snow fell off our office car park roof and blocked in my car. It was late on a dark Monday evening, and I just wanted to get home, so I thought I could maneuver out of the snow and be on my way. I was wrong. I got stuck (like really stuck) and did not have a shovel on hand. As I was attempting to dig out with my ice scraper several passers-by stopped to help. With about 30 minutes of digging and attempts at driving it out, I was no longer stuck. I offered my profuse thanks, and we all went on our way. I teared up as I drove away, grateful for the reminder that there is kindness in the world, which can be so easy to forget these days. I also bought a shovel the next day to keep in my car in case I ever need it again to dig myself out or to pay forward the help I received.

  127. Robin says...

    After a recent snowstorm, my neighbour cleared my car off. I was recovering from treatment for my blood disease and when I went out and saw that my car was clear, I was teary with relief. My neighbour doesn’t know about my health, but the act of clearing my car spared me the time, energy and exertion of the physical task. Thank you, neighbour!

  128. Mallory says...

    My husband and I practice law together in a teeny tiny town. We share an assistant. My husband is in the state legislature, so he is away four days a week during the legislative session. It is difficult for me to be away from him. I’ve become very accustomed to sitting a few feet from him all day. Our assistant has started bringing me a cup of coffee every morning. It is a painfully sweet gesture and warms my heart for the whole morning.

  129. Maryn says...

    There’s a great IG account called @tinykindnesses that posts stories of acts of kindnesses like this—I highly recommend it!

  130. Leah says...

    This month, my family flew back from a vacation on my birthday. I’ve never been super into celebrating my birthday (my son’s is three days before and my husband’s is the day following, so mine always feels sandwiched and easy to just ignore). When we got home from a long and tiring travel day, one of my closest girlfriends had driven to my house and dropped the most loving, beautiful birthday card in my mailbox. She is a single mom working full time and drove a good twenty minutes to my house just to ensure I came home to her card – it lit me up and made me feel so loved! She inspired me to want to take the extra time to make my friends and family feel the same way.

  131. foundryandforge says...

    I’ve been unemployed for a bit now and my friends (those I’ve been close with for years and those who I’ve only known for a few months) have paid for my meals when we go out. It’s such a small gesture but as someone who is proud to pave (and pay) her own way, it really moved me.

  132. Court says...

    I think I’m speaking for everyone here when I say we are going to need a link to this printed hat…

  133. Laura says...

    It’s not once specific act of kindness, but an overall attitude- I’m a special ed teacher with 4 classroom assistants and multiple therapists who work in my room. I just got back from maternity leave last week, had all day meetings on Monday, and then my son got the flu. So I haven’t even been able to start catching up. I’ve been late to work and taking time off already for my son. I know it makes work harder for my staff, which I hate, but they’ve been so nice about not saying anything and being supportive.

  134. Dana says...

    I can’t think of one kind thing anyone has done recently, which says a whole lot more about me than the people around me. I’m consumed with a variety of anxieties and have been stuck in my head. Reframing my focus now! <3

    • E says...

      Hope some kindness comes your way soon, and that you’re able to see and receive it! <3

    • Tash says...

      Yes! Echoing the comment above. I hope as kindness shows up- you recognize it and embrace it.

  135. LJ says...

    I was carrying a large box of things towards an extra wide (extra heavy) door. I was working through the mental exercise of visualizing how I was going to shuffle my things and maneuver the door open while not dropping anything when the woman (fairly far behind me) announced, “I’ll get the door for you, hang on!” and as I turned she had picked up her pace to beat me to the doorway. As a thanked her profusely, she then asked if I needed help pressing the elevator button as she was headed down a different hallway. She went above and beyond and it just really stuck with me. It doesn’t take much but it’s that little bit of extra effort that put me in a revived mental state and made my heavy load (literally and figuratively) feel so much lighter.

  136. Carrie says...

    One nice thing someone did for me recently: A friend told me yesterday what a difference my kindness toward her has made during a difficult season of life. And it made me realize how I often am thinking wonderful thoughts about a person, but forget to share them, or choose not to because it seems awkward. Guess what? It’s not awkward to let someone know how great they are. Ever. We all need to hear and share words of encouragement with each other on the regular. I see you. I hear you. You matter. = Kindness

    • Katha says...

      Thank you for this. I needed that reminder.
      “(…) how I often am thinking wonderful thoughts about a person, but forget to share them, or choose not to because it seems awkward. Guess what? It’s not awkward to let someone know how great they are. Ever. ”

      Also: I try to compliment people more often. Strangers as well as people I know. Maybe just on their great shoes or jacket or for something else.

  137. Lili says...

    I work in a restaurant and when I brought a dessert with a candle in it to a table a neighboring table offered to take care of their bill, now knowing they were celebrating a birthday. Obviously this is a kindness that comes from a place of privilege but it was a great way to use that privilege, wouldn’t you say?

  138. Rachel S says...

    We were traveling in California and I got suddenly violently ill in the middle of a rather large Starbucks. I threw up… a LOT! which was mortifying to both me and my husband who was sitting next to me. What struck me through all of it though was how kind people were in the midst of such a disgusting mess. One man bought me a bottle of water with his own money. Several came over to ask if I was okay or to tell me to feel better soon. The employee who started to clean it up told me not to worry about it. We handed him a hefty tip before we slunk out of there. I’ll never forget my embarrassment over the whole situation but most of all, I will NEVER forget the kindness of strangers who looked beyond the repulsiveness of the situation and saw a person in need.

    • Marnie says...

      The same happened when my daughter threw up outside a live theatre performance (fortunately she hit the garbage can). People came running with water and offers of assistance. Makes all the difference.

      On a similar note, I was on a flight when my daughter (age 3) decided she WOULD NOT buckle her seat belt for landing. I tried everything but eventually I had to hold her down in her seat to buckle her in. She screamed non-stop until we landed. I was on the verge of a massive shame-storm but was saved by the woman beside me. She laughed non-stop while trying to help me distract my kid with food and games etc – all while reminiscing with her friend across the aisle about when her kids had done the same thing! She made the situation bearable by making sure I didn’t feel alone. I will never forget her kindness. This was years ago now and I’m still choked up with gratitude at the thought of it!

  139. Amy says...

    I was changing my four month old baby in Target, and a couple of ladies asked if I would like them to watch him so I could use the bathroom. I didn’t take them up on their offer, but I felt so uplifted!

  140. Ellie says...

    I was out a concert with some casual friends last weekend and we got a drink before the band went on to chat and catch up. When I brought up that I was thinking about some ideas for my 30th birthday party coming up later this year, they both lit up. They provided some great suggestions and somehow it went me ME planning this future party to US planning it. This may sound simple, but as a forever anxious party host/single person, it was such a comfort.

  141. Hannah says...

    Late for an appointment. No parking. Had to use my Aldi quarter to feed a parking meter, but it wasn’t enough. Ran to appointment, hoping I wouldn’t get towed. Texted my friend the horror. Her response, 20 minutes later: “asked around the office and found two quarters: one to top off your meter, one for Aldi. Meter is good to go, Aldi quarter is on your tire.” I could have cried.

    • shannon says...

      The Aldi quarter is SO REAL. Have you seen the funny little keychains they sell with the slot for the quarter built in?

      That was super thoughtful of your friend! What a sweetheart.

  142. Amanda says...

    My father died by being struck by a train 11 years ago last week. The morning of the anniversary I went out for a run to help myself feel a little better. On my run I saw a man who had been hit by a car while on his bike. He seemed ok, but I stopped until the fire truck arrived, and then was no longer needed so I continued on with my run. I thought, “I’m ok.” and I ran. and then once my breath started getting short I was having a full panic attack on the sidewalk. A woman pulled her car over and asked if I was ok. It wasn’t a big thing. But it meant everything. I explained what had happened and the coincidence of seeing the accident on the anniversary. She asked if I needed anything, made sure i was ok, and then she drove on.

    11 years after my dad’s death no one remembered to call me. Not my best friend, not my college friends who were around when he died, not my old roommates who went to his funeral. Not any cousins or aunts or uncles or my in laws. No one. So the kindness of this woman was more than a simple gesture. it was a lifeline. I have been tearing up with gratitude for weeks at the thought. Small kindnesses do make a world of difference.

    • ash says...

      Oh Amanda, as a fellow member of the dads-gone-too-soon club, I’m happy you received this gesture on the anniversary. Those who’ve never coped with grief *just don’t realize* that as the years pass, having someone acknowledge the memory and that you may be hurting can make all the difference in the world.

  143. Amanda says...

    Early this week, my car wouldn’t start. My coworker drove me home from work and allowed me to borrow his truck until my car could be fixed.

    • Tash says...

      Such a blessing! I’m so glad you were able to get to work + see that someone was willing to be kind during such a difficult week.

  144. Tash says...

    I believe in kindness. I believe in love. And empathy. In spite of the messages we’re subjected to every day, I hold on to these beliefs and they continue to save my life.

    Last night, my hunny caught me judging myself in the mirror ( a subconscious habit that seemingly happens often, especially when I climb out of the shower). She gently said- “you should be a model. You’re so pretty.” And then she went on about her evening, feeding the dog and washing the dishes, not knowing she’d just saved me an episode of negative self-talk. It was such a kind compliment. I won’t be auditioning or sending a portfolio to any agents as a result of her kindness. But-I will carry that moment with me. When I glanced in the mirror, I saw a flawed body and a need to punish myself with cardio for overeating this week (subjective-I know). All she saw was beauty.

    • Annie says...

      In January, my roommate had a mental health crisis and had to relocate himself to a VA hospital, and I can’t afford to stay in our whole place alone…so I had one month to find a new place (That would allow my dog) and move everything out of the old place. My friends and family live far away and i have very limited time off of work, so the situation was a bit of a disaster. My partner went with me to view places, gave me advice on negotiating down the rent, brought his friend over last night to help put furniture on the curb, and even rolled my mattress to the new place by hand on his bike trailer (“most embarrassing walk of shame ever,” in his words). AND he just texted that he’s taking me out to eat this weekend to reward ourselves for the moving work and celebrate me getting my first solo apartment. His help brought me back from a potential dark spiral and i just feel so lucky and happy thinking about that kindness, and knowing I am not alone.

  145. txilibrin says...

    No one has done anything nice for me lately, BUT, I met someone on my town’s Facebook group that was in need of help. She left an abusive relationship with husband and has a kid with a serious illness. She was asking for clothes and diapers that other moms might not use so she could get them. I didn’t have anything to offer so I spend $100 on diapers that I gladly shipped to her home. I hope she pays it forward one day if she can. It honestly made my week. $100 might not be a lot for me (not a millionaire here!) but I’m sure was a huge difference for her.
    Not bragging here, just showing how you can help if something similar comes your way.

    • Jill says...

      You’re sweet! Xoxoxo

    • Mallory says...

      Bless you!

    • SKM says...

      Aha! The secret is out. Doing something nice for someone else makes us feel good too. Win win!

      This was a lovely gesture and I’m sure that frightened Mum will be forever grateful.

  146. Katie says...

    I was picking my son up from school earlier this week and had had a very rough day. It must have shown on my face because another mom, who is usually a little cold, came over and gave me a big hug and said “it’s going to be okay.” I almost cried at her sweet gesture.

    • Tash says...

      That’s amazing! Sometimes kindness comes during unexpected moments from people who don’t even know our stories.

  147. Anna says...

    This didn’t happen to me, but I witnessed it- I saw a woman sitting on the subway offer to hold the coffee of the overloaded woman standing near her while she reshuffled/organized her various bags, coat, etc. Once she got herself situated, the coffee-holding woman handed the cup back to her. Of course, there was probably some self-interest involved in that the sitting woman really didn’t want hot coffee spilled all over her, but she did it in such a friendly and pleasant way that it was a delight to witness. A literal helping hand.

  148. Sarah says...

    Yesterday, I was at BJ’s (the wholesale club) and had my 5 month old in his carseat in the main part of the cart, so everything was stacked on the bottom. I was exiting the store, down a ramp into the parking lot, when everything fell off. A woman called out to me to stop and ran up and put everything back on my cart for me! So kind!

  149. celeste says...

    I’ve just been having one of those Februarys where I feel like I’m one step forward, two steps back. Everyone in my family’s been sick so I keep cleaning/disinfecting the house constantly, plus trying to help my daughter sell Girl Scout cookies. My husband works a lot and admittedly doesn’t switch gears to household chores.

    He folded like six baskets of laundry and really stepped up last weekend.

    I love “paying it forward” (really backward) in the Starbucks drive-thru. Onto March!

    • Kamaile says...

      I was going to pay it backward at Starbucks recently and the person ahead of me paid for mine! I did pay it backward and wonder how long it would repeat. Sending you the best MARCH Celeste. :)

  150. HSK says...

    I work in a healthcare setting and my office is always freezing no matter how high I turn up the heat. The janitor heard me complaining one day as she was cleaning out the trash. She later came back with warm blankets that we use for our patients and wrapped them around me! She managed to make me feel so good (and warm). She did not me personally at the time and I’ll never forget her little act of kindness :) Thank you Brenda!

    • Erin says...

      A co-worker recently came up to me and said, “you are doing really great at your job, and no matter which department you decide to go to you will be very successful” (there was an opportunity to change departments.) To top it off, he also said that he told my boss that in a recent meeting he had with her! I am still fairly new at my job (a little less than a year) and it was such a confidence booster, since sometimes I feel like I don’t always know what I’m doing!