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#918510 - 12/07/04 02:06 PM Random Acts Of Kindness
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I'm wondering if others of you have occasions where a total stranger does the right thing, even though they don't have to?

I can think of two occasions where people have stepped up and given cash to me that they knew to be mine.

The first was one time when I was in the metro buying a $20 fare card. I put my crisp bill into the machine, and it didn't issue me the card or refund the money. I went over to the station attendant and told him the problem, expecting him to give me my dough. He said, "Well, what did you come over here for? Sometimes the machines get hung up but they'll spit it out soon enough. You should have stayed at the machine!" Like I could be expected to know *that.*

We went over, and there was nothing in the machine. The attendant and I were just starting to squabble, and this fellow walked over and handed me $20. He said he walked up, saw $20, grabbed it, and was returning it now that he knew it belonged to me.

The other time was when my daughter (who was just learning to carry her own money and thought it advisable to have her entire life savings in her pocket) dropped a wad of bills. A minute or so passed and she realized her mistake. We began doing that weird thing you do when you know you've dropped something -- kind of milling around looking at everyone's shoes. This guy noticed the stricken look on my daughter's face and handed her the money.

Cindy -- who never finds money
Vote For Cindy!!


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#918511 - 12/07/04 02:25 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 6959
Loc: The Evergreen State (WA)
I found a walled with $600 cash in it when I was in college. I turned it into the campus police department.

\:\) Jodi

#918512 - 12/07/04 02:38 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3746
Loc: Chicago
I often put money in parking meters for people where the time has run out...

But my favorite moment was long ago...

It was many years ago at the conservatory... Everyone was excited because Horowitz would be playing...tickets were scarce, but everyone at the school was going.

There was a nun at the school who was in her late 60's but still studying music. She worked in the Catholic schools and gave every spare penny she had to her students - to give them music or to help them in some way. She spent absolutely nothing on herself - not figuratively...I mean literally...nothing.

A few days before the Horowitz concert, a number of students including the nun were talking about the recital and I asked her if she was going...

"I've never heard him," she replied.

I knew immediately what was required of me lest I live my life in shame...and I stood in line for stage seating even though I already had my ticket. It was $75.00 when that seemed like a lot of money - not that it mattered. I would have paid anything for it.

But I didn't want her to know where the ticket came from -- it didn't matter and she might fight me...so I put it in an envelope with a note to her teacher to give Sister Mary the ticket.

On the day of the concert...there she was on stage -- less than 10 feet from Horowitz...She may have had the best seat in the house.

A couple of weeks later, she came up to me and said..."you gave me the ticket, didn't you?"

I said.."no, no..."

And then she looked into my eyes...and I can't tell you how shocked I am...I could barely breathe...as I lied once more and said..."no, not me."

Here I was an adult...and still I felt that nun could look right into my soul...pretty wierd - but also one of those moments where I felt that I served some purpose on this earth.


#918513 - 12/07/04 02:40 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
I have returned dropped money a few times, a few times money has been returned to me as well.

By most standards I am not a very polite person when I am in public, I avoid people and I am not the guy holding the door and everything. Has to do with allowing the incivility of the City make me uncivilized. (edit: I own it though, I am a miserable SOB, for sure)

I go out of my way, though, to help the handicapped. Mostly the blind. Stop the car, jump off the bike, run down the street, whatever to help someone who might be standing waiting to be crossed. Every time I see a blind person, I just go next to them and gently say. "You ok? You know where you are? I'm heading south you want an escort?" OR something like that. One time recently I was flying down Flatbush avenue mid-day on my bicycle ride home and I saw a blind woman waiting at a very busy intersection. I stopped, got off the bike and asked her if she was ok. She said she was waiting for the B67 and needed help 'cause there are so many busses at that corner. I checked the signs out, walked her over to the right spot and waited for the bus with her. It was a huge busy downtown area and no one offered to help her. I helped her step up on the bus, and she thanked me.

I spent a lot of time with a blind programmer at work who used a dos-based visually impaired "reader" for many years which was sunsetted when we moved to Windows 2000. I taught him the menus, set up the shortcuts to launch his apps\, customized the windows so the new software would read the proper info back to him. All volunteered, I chose to do it.

#918514 - 12/07/04 02:46 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Christmas eve - around 1981 and it was 20 below zero (unheard in Kansas City)

My car started and I drove to my parents that evening to spend Christmas with them because I knew my car wouldn't start in the morning.

They lived 2 miles from me. I saw a man with a huge trash bag of presents on his back trudging in the opposite direction. I did a U-turn and asked him if I could take him somewhere and he profusedly thanked me for taking 3miles out of my way when I dropped him off. I was now at least 4 miles from my parents, and my car died. So I walked the 4 miles.. I had remnants of my chicago clothes on, boots, wool socks, layers and layers. I made it there just fine.. I wasn't too cold except for my feet. It was an unbelievable walk.. 20 below, 11 p.m. .. Christmas eve....clouds of vapor trailing behind me.

true story
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

#918515 - 12/07/04 02:57 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
plays88skeys Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 3091
Loc: Richmond, VA
One time I was in a hurry to catch a connecting flight in Vancouver and racing between the international side of the terminal, where I had to go through customs and the domestic side, where my connecting flight was. I checked in at the counter, grabbed my boarding pass, RAN to the waiting plane and flew on to Kelowna.

The day before I was to return home I discovered, to my horror, that my ticket was gone. Panic-stricken, I phoned American Airlines and asked them what should I do? (the thought of forking over $1,000 for a one way ticket home if it was indeed lost was making me ill) They checked and said that someone had found my ticket in the airport, turned it in at the AA counter, and I could claim it upon check in. When I asked if the person who turned it in had left their name and address, the answer was no.

So I never got the opportunity to thank the person who found and returned my ticket, but I remain grateful for that act of kindness.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills

#918516 - 12/07/04 03:06 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I remember vividly the times I haven't helped people I could have helped.

Once was on campus in college. A blind student had taken a wrong turn and had wound up in the bicycle parking area. He just kept getting in deeper and deeper with his cane. And I just *stood* there, gaping. Someone else finally threaded their way through the bikes and led him out. I have no idea why I just froze like that. I just didn't know what to do or how long I should let him founder before I intervened, I guess. And I was worried at getting yelled at, frankly.

Another time was during high school. I had just learned to drive and was driving dad's vehicle. I was parked in a parking lot during a huge thundershower. A middle-aged black lady who could have been my mom knocked on the glass of my car and motioned for me to let her in or give her a ride or something. I waved her off. Dad had said I could have *no* passengers, and I didn't trust my own judgment to realize that it would probably have been OK to help her out.

And now I'm gonna roast in hell. \:\(

I'm otherwise quite helpful to those in distress, I swear!
Vote For Cindy!!


#918517 - 12/07/04 03:10 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
I have no idea why I just froze like that. [/b]
I don;t know where I first got the courage to reach out to a blind person, it is foreign to my personality really.

#918518 - 12/08/04 09:47 AM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2340
Loc: Massachusetts
This is a great thread! There are so many nice people in the world, far more than bad. Sometimes we forget..

Like the mechanic who started my dead car, wouldn't take money and said, "That's ok, I was going to the bank anyway!". Or the mysterious person who left a set of antique books on my porch, written about something I love. (Never did find out who it was).

In looking back, I had forgotten how many wonderful experiences I have had helping someone out. I jump at the chance when I can. I am usually the one who is drying the tears and finding the parents of a lost child.

One of my favorite things to do is to stop by at houses I admire while the owner is raking leaves or some such. I let them know that everytime I pass, I enjoy the the results of their hard work and care. I remember one guy saying no one had ever told him that and given all the work he had done himself, he really loved hearing it.

So one day while passing another house with wonderful Bullseye paned transom, I stopped and left a note in the mailbox admiring them and asking where they got them (they would look great in the house we were building). I got a call from the owner who said, "I don't know...but... I am a librarian and I looked up suppliers for you all over New England!" She then rattled off the list for me! \:\)

Nice matters! \:\)

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

#918519 - 12/08/04 11:15 AM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
I voted for Bush.

#918520 - 12/08/04 01:13 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro

\:D \:D \:D
Vote For Cindy!!


#918521 - 12/08/04 09:20 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
Well, I just did something fun last night. I went through McDonald's, (I SWEAR I just got a soda) and one of our school cooks was behind me, a single Mom with 3 kids. When I got to the window, one of my ex-students was working the window. (I know every kid in town) I picked up the $16 tab for the car behind me...! \:\)

#918522 - 12/08/04 10:32 PM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I was walking to my car at the uni one evening, fairly late. I noticed a guy in a wheelchair sitting next to a car. Our eyes met and for some reason I asked "are you OK?"

Turns out he was oddly boxed in (although in a handicapped spot) because of the way the neighboring car was parked, all legal but just something weird. He had been waiting for someone to help him into his car. I heaved and ho'd and he grabbed onto my neck and back and we got him into his car, then he told me how to collapse his wheelchair and stick it in his trunk. I wonder how long he would have been there, or what might have happened, had I not happened by. Fortunately we don't get freezing cold nights here, and fortunately they now have cell phones!

On the receiving end, I was returning to Seattle after spending some time in Phoenix. I left my plane ticket in the bathroom down by the ticket counter and didn't realize it until I had walked the 50,000 miles to the boarding gate. I went flying back (er, running back, poor choice of words) to the bathroom, but alas, no ticket. The airline people said it hadn't been used, but they couldn't refund it because whoever had it could also refund it and they'd be out the cash. It was about $300, a TON of money for me in my student days, and same-day replacement was like triple that. I sat there trying to figure out what to do and fight my desire to cry and/or panic when I was honest-to-god paged to go to the "white courtesy phone." It was the ticket agent back at the front counter who said someone had turned in my ticket! I never knew who it was, but they made a huge difference in my life that day!

#918523 - 12/13/04 09:33 AM Re: Random Acts Of Kindness
bassman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Hershey, PA
In 1989 I was walking into a department store with my girlfriend (now wife) and immediately made eye contact with a woman standing in a check-out line. She was just staring at me blankly. I kept watching her as we walked through the door. The woman slowly dropped to her knees and fell backwards. I was able to run and catch her before she hit her head on the floor. She had passed out. Turns out she was a diabetic and hadn't eaten all day. I grabbed a candy bar off the rack beside us and gave it to her. The manager came over and was really only concerned with who was going to pay for the candy.

Another time, maybe two years ago I passed a cab along the interstate with an older gentleman trying to change a tire. I stopped to help him and it was a good thing I did. He wasn't able to loosen the bolts and the spare that the company gave him was almost flat. I changed the tire for him and followed him with my hazard lights flashing in case the spare blew out to a truck stop about ten miles down the road where he could get further help. He offered to pay me but I just asked him to do something nice for someone when he gets home that night.

I truly belive in karma.
Music is tastefully manipulating silence.


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