It occurred to me that a lot of my “societal commentary” posts are negative. “Here’s something you see everyday and here is why it’s BAD.” That’s not really how I live my life, I promise.
To redirect, this page is for Good Samaritanisms, or real-life examples of strangers pleasantly surprising others. These people give us hope and inspiration to do the same for others… a habit to attain (I had to do it).
Here are the ones I can remember. I’ll add to it every time I remember an old one, whenever a new Good Samaritanism happens to me, and whenever YOU share YOUR Good Samaritan stories!
*Recently, I was standing in line at Jo Ann’s Fabric store (man they charge a lot to make your own stuff) and the lady behind me approached me with a warm demeanor. She asked if any of my items were on sale and handed me a 40% off coupon that would give me a discount. She said, “I have an extra!” — but she didn’t have to save me $8.00 at all.
*On a flight to Los Angeles with the Model UN club in my sophomore year (and at the midway point of my awkward, self-consciousness), I sat next to a bubbly lady. She talked to me the whole way, made me feel comfortable, dished out advice, and then paid for my lunch.
*My sister Christine was embarking on her mile-long trek to work a few years ago and a girl she didn’t know pulled over and offered her a ride to work.
*Several years ago, my dad was driving home from the bank with $3000 in an envelope sitting on the dashboard. I can hear you already: 1) yes, that was an unfortunate location choice and, 2) my parents once owned a soccer magazine and the large amount of cash was for something related to that. Upon arriving in our driveway, he realized the money must have blown out the window. With scenes of Uncle Billy and Jimmy Stewart flashing through his mind, he panicked and retraced his steps, to no avail. Later that day, a woman called our house, saying she found an envelope in the street gutter… nothing about $3000 in it. She didn’t expect a reward.
*Starbucks, oh Starbucks. My sister is addicted to you. Katie was sitting outside a Starbucks a few years ago, feeling unhappy, stressed, and worried about several things. A stranger walking out the coffee shop door recognized that she was upset, cheerfully asked her about her day, and then chatted with her for a quarter of an hour.
*After my sister’s car crash in Italy, five families came out of their house to investigate. The car had flipped completely over and landed back on its tires, terrifying everyone in it. The families who witnessed it and came to help gave gauze to Christine for her bleeding legs, brought food for the car-ful of people, and tissues for the 9-year-old who was crying. They offered comfort in a horrifying time.
*A couple in the same restaurant as Christine’s pre-Homecoming, 10-person party paid their entire bill.
*On multiple occasions, the drivers ahead of me have paid for my toll. Yay, Virginia!
*Katie was 9 and chewed alive by bug bites, and was trapped outside. She says we were out of earshot and/or just not letting us in. She was terrified that she was being feasted on by a tick, crying out and pounding on doors. The son of the backdoor neighbor, whom we had not met, came over, calmed her down, and helped her get our attention.
*Guy who helped Christine when she fell off her bike. Pulled his car over and drove her to her boyfriend’s house.
*Living in a new city by yourself is tough. My cousin was feeling particularly lonely and decided to adopt a dog. As she pulled into the parking lot, another woman was also pulling in. This lady had found a dog and wanted someone to adopt him, but she didn’t want him to be euthanized. My cousin got her companion and $125 in cash from the woman. The woman received peace of mind and the dog got a home and a name: Keto.
*Julia at Lotsa Laundry wrote about the kindness of a stranger who surprised her by folding the laundry she had forgotten about in her apartment complex laundry room.
*My friend, The Almost Mrs. Brastad, said, “Our church has a helping hands program where we give money (like many churches) to those less fortunate. A young couple came in and asked for help with groceries and utilities, and were given $70 to help them out for the month. About 6 months later the couple returned and our church secretary recognized them. Our church was going through a rough time financially, and our secretary immediately thought, ‘Oh no! We have no money and they probably need help.’ Instead the couple approached her and said, ‘We were newlyweds and going through a really rough time financially and no one would help us. We don’t even attend your church and you didn’t hesitate to help us. The Bible says to pay back in ten fold, so thank you, and we want to do for others what you did for us.’ They handed her an envelope and left. Inside the envelope was $700.
*In November, I wrote about this post-it I found in a bathroom at my alma mater. Someone took some time to write “You are wonderful” on a slip of paper for someone to find. THAT is the kind of thing we can all do today. Learn about Operation Beautiful here.