Sometimes we need to be reminded that there are good people in this world. These strangers were there for each other when they needed someone most. They’re not heroes. They’re watchful protectors. Silent guardians… Dark knights.
Seriously though, check out these stories.
The source link is at the end of the article!
My mom died suddenly a few months back. I found out in the morning. I went to my sisters a few blocks away. On the way home late that afternoon, walking home in a daze I saw a homeless man pick up a cigarette butt from the gutter and try to light it with matches. So I walked up to him gave him my almost full pack of cigarettes and lighter. Just handed it to him and started to walk away when he said “Are you okay?” and I looked at him and said “My mom just died” and he grabbed me in a big hug, kissed the top of my head and said “I’m sorry sweetheart”
It was the best hug I got that day. I have not seen him since and I really want to thank him.
I was driving down a two-lane highway, and there was dude driving very unsafe. The bad driver kept passing me and cutting me off, speeding and swerving all over the road, and just being a typical Maryland driver in general. I’m not one to succumb to the jerk drivers in my state, so I kept doing the same thing to him. At one point, I was in front of him, and glanced to my right to see if he was riding up on that side. Another car was next to me, and the driver, a male in maybe his 30s, rolled his eyes and pointed to the guy behind us. Suddenly, his expression grew serious and I knew what he wanted to do. We made eye contact, nodded at one another, and then proceeded to travel side-by-side so he could not pass either of us. I was satisfied when I checked my rearview and could see the anger in the guy’s face as he threw his hands up in frustration.
Late night shopping run with my dad when I was probably 12 or so. On our way out, we were walking next to some random guy. He looked down at me and I looked up at him. Next thing you know, we both break into a speed walking race to the parking lot, where the stranger congratulates me on my victory and we part ways, never to see again.
I miss you late night speed-walker man. I miss you.
I’ve posted this before but it fits here. About ten years ago, I was standing at a urinal when a guy came in with complete disregard to the “skip a urinal” rule. A need to assess this person and my surroundings left me making eye contact with him. Thinking back now a simple head nod (upwards of course) would have sufficed. I, on the other hand, took a different approach. When I realized that both of us had each broken two of the most important restroom rules, I said “cross the streams, Ray.” Before I could feel any more uncomfortable, he replied “you said never to cross the streams!” this is the story of how my best friend and I met.
I was on vacation in Ireland, and at the end of one night a fight broke out in the bar I was at with some friends. The guy who I would have been “paired up with” to fight came up to me, and I told him that I didn’t want to fight because I was on vacation (and just in general didn’t want to fight anybody). We ended up sitting down, finishing our beers, and talking together for a minute or two while our respective friends beat the hell out of each other.
While executing a very drunken college night, some friends and I ended up at Steak ‘n Shake at 3am-ish. Not so uncommon considering that it’s one of the closest sit-in restaurants open that late at night. Of course the place was packed with other drunk college students and so it took over half an hour to get our drinks. Drunk me challenges my friend to eat the hot peppers. He said he’d drink the juice if I ate the pepper. Challenge accepted. So yea, I eat the pepper and he drinks the juice. Within seconds we realize our mistake… Our mouths are on fire and we have no drinks to allay the pain. My only idea is to go to the bathroom and drink from the water faucet (still very drunk obviously). I slam the door open and what do I see? Another drunk girl splashing water from the sink into her mouth. She immediately looks at me and yells, “Oh my god, don’t eat the peppers!” I cry, “I already did, that’s why I’m here!” We then shared the sink. To this day no one has ever understood me quite as well as that girl from the Steak ‘n Shake bathroom. I think she may be my soul mate.
A few years ago I was out bar-hopping with some buddies & we decided to head over to the club. It was late summer/fall so I had a heavier sweater on, that had a lot of pockets. So we get into the entrance of the club & the bouncers give everyone a quick pat-down. I thought I only had my phone, keys, & wallet in my pockets. The bouncer starts my pat-down & pulls my dexedrine(ADHD meds) bottle out of one of my pockets. I usually left it in my dresser, but sometimes I would tuck it in a pocket of one of my sweaters that was hanging up. Just always felt like a good place to keep it.
The bouncer, who was this 6’8 fellow, gave me one of those “The heck you think you’re doing”-looks. I was thinking I’m gonna get kicked out or worse, because it obviously looked like I was trying to bring drugs into the club. The bouncer pulled me to the side [continued…]
And I quickly explained to him that it was my ADHD meds & I forgot I had them in there. He looks at the bottle then looks at me & says, “Ya know, that makes sense. No dealer would just be carrying these around in a bottle.” He handed them back, I thanked him, then he asked me how long I’ve been on it & if it helped. Turns out he had a son who several doctors had diagnosed with ADHD, & he really wanted to hear a non-doctor’s point of view. We chatted for about 20 minutes & I explained what I went through with school & different prescriptions throughout my life. Helped him give a outlook on how he would handle it with his son, & he thanked me for it. Went back to that club a couple times after that & we’d always have some good chats.
I was traveling forwards and backwards a lot to a hospital in Nottingham (about an hours train ride away) and as I’m leaving the station I can see an old guy in a wheelchair fall of the curb. The old fella ends up in a crumpled heap on the floor and I jog over to help him and check he’s alright, some other guy had the same idea and we get there at the same time. Turns the former passenger of the wheelchair was fine but his wheelchair didn’t fare so well, one of the tires had come off the rim. The other bloke who ran over to help spoke no English but we set about trying to get the tire back on, both of us pushing and using hand gestures to coordinate where to hold and push. This lasts for about a minute until the former chair resident suddenly proclaims, “Screw this!” stands up and walks off, leaving me and my new friend confused as heck and left with a broken wheelchair as we watch this guy walk into the nearest pub.
We both share a laugh, shake hands and part ways.
I was at the grocery store buying steaks and this guy and I started talking about what a good deal these steaks were and how we would be eating them.
He is now a good friend of mine that I invite over to my area to have barbecues together.
First day of second grade. Accidentally glued a kids hand to mine. We’re still friends to this day. Quite literally, “bonding.”
I went through a drive-thru around 11 at night, so when I ordered I went right up to the last window. I ordered a coke and a diet coke with my meal by the way. When I pull up to the counter, a burly man was holding my two drinks. He looks at me in a straight face and asks “which one is the diet?” in a voice actor, Morgan Freeman kind of voice. I randomly chose the one on the right, and apparently I chose the right one because he screamed, “Praise Jesus we have a saint over here! Oh Ho! I’m a happy man tonight!” The meal was on the house and I drove off. It made me quite happy.
Accidentally took the train the wrong direction from downtown. I got off at the first stop and went to wait for the next train going back (this basically added an extra hour onto my 45min journey).
An older gentleman got off the train as well and I heard him asking people about the same train. I went over to him, explained how long we were waiting and spent the next hour and a half talking to this amazing man who was originally from England, liberated a camp in WWII, moved to Australia and then to Canada and raised a family (7 kids, 18 grand kids and 5 great grand kids!!).
We spoke of politics, global issues, history…it was the most pleasant conversation I’d had in months- all because I took the wrong train.
On a school field trip to a children’s museum, my 7 year old daughter who is autistic and doesn’t talk, kept gravitating towards an elderly man who was sitting alone in a corner with a small drum on his lap.
I kept pulling her away, as the man seemed not to notice my daughter and appeared to be in his own world. She kept pulling and pulling me towards him though.
Finally I relented. She went to the man, with me at her side, and stared at the man. He looked down at her, and they stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity. My daughter picked up one of the drum sticks that was resting on top of the drum, and the man picked up the other. Wordlessly, they played that drum together for several minutes. By the end, the man had tears streaming down his face. I noticed a young woman nearby who was also in tears, the man’s daughter or granddaughter I assumed.
When they stopped playing the drum, my daughter and the man gave each other a hug. I said “thank you”, and the man returned with his own, “no, thank you”.
With those words, the young woman began crying excessively and explained to me: “my father had a stroke nearly a year ago, and hasn’t made eye contact let alone talked to anyone since. He just sits with that drum. His thank you was his first words since his stroke.”
I can’t explain what happened that day, but it was magical.
I got an abortion about a year ago and after I was sitting in the little recovery room with the row of twelve or so recliners and they were mostly full. A lot of girls were nibbling on crackers or sipping ginger ale and just in their own heads. The girl sitting next to me was crying really hard, really quietly, and usually I don’t like interacting with strangers at all but I reached over and held her hand and she smiled at me and we just sat that way for a few minutes.
At an all you can eat contest for hot dogs, me and this other guy ended up eating like 30 hot dogs each.
About 20 minutes later we were in the bathroom puking our guts out. Afterwards we went and grabbed a beer together.
When I was 18 I went to the mall by myself to pick up some new pants that fit me, and maybe catch a movie. I went and bought my movie ticket, then went down to the food court to eat because there was still another 45 minutes before it actually started. I got my food and went to sit down and the first open seat I saw was really close to this man. Maybe early 30’s. I sat down and started eating and realized this guy was just spacing out and looked stressed to hell. I sat and fiddled with my food debating if I should talk to him. After a little bit I finally decided to ask the man if something was wrong. He told me his wife had just left him. This was right after my girlfriend of a year left me. While it doesn’t compare to marriage, it certainly felt close to home. So I just started talking to him and asking questions. He was a little reserved at first but he ended up telling me how they had met, how incredible the beginning of their marriage was, and how they decided to have kids. By this time, I had already missed the beginning of the movie without realizing it. But I couldn’t stop listening. After a while, he told me the reason she left. [continued…]
I don’t know why he chose to share all of this with me. After a year of trying to get pregnant, they both decided to get a fertility test. Hers was fine. But he found out there was almost no chance he could have children. He told me at first she was very understanding, but after a while she grew to hate being with him because something she had always wanted wouldn’t be possible. So she left. And now he is alone, with no family and no close friends.
After telling me all of this, he got up and so did I. He looked at me and said words I couldn’t ever forget. “You could never imagine how much you just did for me.” Then he grabbed means hugged me. A complete stranger. He thanked me, and told me his name. Then he walked away with a smile.
This is one of the single most defining moments in the man I am becoming today.
On a bus in Seattle, somebody kept pulling the chord and not getting off. So me and some other guy lead the investigation to try and find out who it was. Finally we found out that some 5-year-old in the back had his coat stuck on the chord and every time he moved the chord was pulled.
There was a troop of smallish monkeys (like cat-sized) in the doorway of a lecture hall on the way to my class this morning, and these girls were too scared to walk past them to go inside.
So me and the guy walking next to me got past the monkeys and chased them outside so the girls could enter.
We spent the rest of the walk to our classes just laughing at the absurdity of what had just happened.
In my first year at university (after a night out) I was in a fast food shop counting my coins on the counter when some other guy came up next to me and started to do the same. We both realized that we did not have enough money individually, but together, we could get a burger! We hugged and high fived then bought a burger and boy was that the best tasting burger I had had that day.
Waiting for a roller coaster. Kid gets off, pukes right between me and some other guy. Me and the guy look at each other for a moment, and both noticeably gag from the smell of it. Fortunately, we both manage not to ralph all over the place, prompting a high five and mutual respect.
I went to help my dad at one of his stores (he’s an area manager) and while we’re there, he’s talking to someone and me and some other guy are just standing there. So we start making small talk and he asks me what I like to do. Whatevs. So we start moving this stuff around, which we came here to do, and he starts commenting on my work ethic. Then he says “You’d make a great boyfriend for my daughter.” I’d known him for 15 minutes. I was 13.
I had gone grocery shopping and picked up a rottisery chicken. Then got stuck in a really bad traffic jam on the highway. this was before cell phones if that matters so no real way to find out what was going on. Sitting so long, people start to get out of their cars and walk a little to see how bad the jam is.
I started talking to a guy next to me who had his younger sister in the car. She was hungry so in the end, we all sat on the hood of my car and ate the chicken together.
I never learned their names.
I once went to a bar by myself while I was getting over a 7 year relationship.
I ended up meeting a really nice older gentleman on a date with a woman. He and I started talking and about 20 minutes in, he sent his date home and spoke with me for about three hours. I still don’t know why, but I spilled my guts to this guy. He just listened.
And listened. And listened.
At the end of my whatever-you-want-to-call-it, he gave me exactly the advice I needed. He hit the nail on the head.
Then after asking the bartender to bring him the bottle of a particular vodka, he showed it to me and started describing the shape and design of the bottle. At the end of his little lecture on the bottle, he revealed himself to be owner of that particularly major brand of vodka.
He paid for my drinks and I never saw him again.
I was on a train and this guy was making cheese sandwiches. I had salami and cheese in my laptop bag but no bread. I offered him some salami in exchange for bread. We both ate sandwiches that day.
I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail one summer, and I noticed a guy with long shaggy hair, a full beard, basically no supplies and hiking in sandals walking past where I had set up camp. I recently just cooked up macaroni and cheese and offered him some. He took the bowl, ate it extremely fast then pulled out a recorder. The man played me his recorder for at least twenty minutes before departing. Weirdest part is, he didn’t say anything. Not a single word was communicated between us, and somehow I felt incredibly close to this man.
I was crying in a stairwell one day when this girl sat next to me and started sobbing hysterically as well. We just sat together for a few minutes crying until someone else entered the stairwell, muttered “Oh God.” and left.