Random acts of kindness

If anything good has come out of this pandemic it is some of the unexpected acts of kindness we’ve read or heard about on the news from one stranger to another. They are far too numerous to mention but it did get me thinking about acts of kindness I’ve been on the receiving end during my lifetime, and the following has to be one of the most standout ones I’ve received.

Years ago I was on holiday with my wife in Cyprus, and, as is normally the case, we got to talk to various people on a regular basis.

One particular couple were a father and daughter from the same part of the country as us, we shared a table for a meal a couple of times and most evenings we had a drink and a chat in the bar of the hotel.

They were returning home the week before us so we met for a last couple of drinks at lunchtime and to wish them farewell, while we were sitting there enjoying the drinks and chat my wife received a phone call from her sister informing her of the sad news that her father had unexpectedly passed away.

As you can imagine the news was devastating and I wished the couple all the best and said that I was going to comfort my wife as best as I could and then I was going to see if I could arrange flights back to the UK so that she could be with her family.

We exchanged phone numbers and they then departed for their flight back home, about an hour later a text message came through to me and it was from the daughter texting from the airport and the contents were totally unexpected, it was an offer to pay for both of our flights back to the UK and to let them know the cost.

As you can imagine it was a lovely offer from two people we barely knew, and while it was a fantastic gesture I messaged back thanking them for their huge kindness but we couldn’t accept it.

We did manage to get flights back the next day and from that day on we were firm friends with the couple, I’ve stayed friends with them even after my wife passed away and still meet them occasionally for catch up.

I will never forget that act of kindness and my wife most certainly didn’t either, the pandemic has confirmed that kindness still runs through many people but it was most certainly there long before it.

What kind act or acts have you received that you’ll never forget?
 
I was on a platform at Reading train station waiting to get a train to Gatwick to return back to Northern Ireland. A short, balding, middle aged bloke with black glasses dressed like a lorry driver came up to me and said "are you in the Army mate." I grunted in acknowledgement, I think the standard army suitcase gave me away. He asked me if was in NI and I grunted again. In 1974 most of the army was either in Ulster, going there or just come back.

He then handed me a five pound note (a lot of money then, beer was about 25p a pint) said "good luck, I was in Burma during the war" and then disappeared leaving me stunned holding a five pound note. Although it seems a small insignificant incident I have just never forgotten the random kindness of it. FFS Northern Ireland wasn't a patch on what he must have gone through in Burma, with the heat, disease and fanatical Japanese soldiers who would torture you to death if you were captured. Especially as I was on a two year garrison posting in Lisburn.
 
Two days ago I wrote off a Land Rover and caravan, it was a mess and in the middle of nowhere. Family were in the car with me. No injuries, which was a minor miracle.

After the police/fire/ambulance had done their thing and we'd been taken back to the recovery truck yard, we were trying to figure out how to get to the nearest town with car hire and a hotel (we were in the Australian bush).

An old bloke figures out what's going on, comes and introduces himself, and says he'll drive us to the nearest town, about 40 miles south. He patiently waited while we recovered essentials from the car. He drove us to the car hire place in that town, but there were no cars available, so he called a friend who suggested another town about an hour away. Without hesitation, he volunteered to drive us there too. He wouldn't accept any money, and happily went on his way.

It's very humbling to be on the receiving end when I've usually been the one to be randomly kind.
 

Whining Civvy

War Hero
When I was a 17 year-old apprentice I'd saved up my meager wages and bought myself a second hand 100cc Honda motorbike - doesn't seem much now but at the time it was glorious reward for hard saving and sacrifice. It was stolen about 6 months later and crashed (the scrote responsible broke his leg) and, while it was a mess, it was repairable, so I dragged it into the shed at work and started taking it apart. I'd compiled a list of the parts needed and the cost of it and was staring at the piece of paper wondering how in the hell I was ever going to afford it when a passerby stopped and asked me what had happened. I told him and he said he'd been assaulted a short while ago and had been given compensation. He said he didn't need the money, looked at my piece of paper, and wrote me a cheque on the spot. I'd never seen him before and have never seen him since.

By now he'll have passed, if there is a heaven then I sincerely hope that he's in it. You have no idea what it is in life that you'll be remembered for, or what small act carries your memory far beyond your own lifespan.
 
Many years back the Honourable Hidden One and myself went on holiday to Portugal, staying on the coast halfway up. We had a car for a bit so blithely decided to go to Porto, using the map that the hotel gave us - of the type that says 'here be dragons'. We got to the city centre and tried to find somewhere to park on the main square - an oblong with a little park in the middle. Having driven around it twice I pulled in to look at the map. At which point there was a knock on my window. I looked down and we were parked on a pedestrian crossing, not that it would matter much in Portugal. I wound it down, expecting a serious earholing to be asked, in perfect English, 'are you having trouble parking?' No sooner had I replied then the Gentleman (and he was) said 'may I enter your car? I have a parking space in a garage around the corner but am going home, you can have it.'. At which, we were off to the garage where an attendant took the car away (and we got it back later...). On offering to pay I was told it was a prepaid place and not to bother.

I love the Portuguese, they can't run a piss-up in a brewery but are always happy and friendly.
 
I was taking some kids out kayaking in Poole Harbour when the BDH site blew up, got back to the shore and plod wouldn't let us back to our canoe hut because of the ongoing issues, there were literally barrels of chemicals shooting into the air quite a distance so the cordon around the site was pretty wide

This was where it got awkward, my parents were in holiday in France and had no way of getting into my house without my keys

So we all got evacuated to the local arts centre, I did the rounds of phoning the parents getting most of the kids picked up

Luckily one of the directors of the arts centre had their kid in the canoe club, so they let a group of us crash on their floor for the night, and gave us some spare clothes to get buy as we were all stuck in stinky wetsuits or long johns otherwise

It did give me a good excuse to phone in sick for work, sorry I can't make it in today I got evacuated and need to get some clothes and then be allowed back to into Poole to collect my car keys and house keys
 
We stopped in this lovely country hotel for our honeymoon. I'd developed a stinking cold. The barman spotted my suffering and said he'd make me a hot toddy. How very kind I thought and the drink really hit the spot.

Then when we were paying the bill on departure, no prize for guessing what was on the bill. My fault, going on honeymoon to Scotland.
 

RTU'd

LE
I'm still coming to term with the fact @don't tell him pike is married as per his post.
Surely the lady is a victim of his lust, its like Fred W has been re born all over again.

Oh i'm too modest to mention the random acts of kindness I have done apart from saving a fluffy white rabbit from the jaws of death from a fox & helping old ladies across the road, simple things really.
 
Not me, but my family doctor. Obviously quite a bright guy, being a doctor 'n all. He didn't become a doctor until he was 40. Family circumstances meant that he had to work, rather than go off to college. He got a job in what in the UK would be called a wholesale greengrocery business. After a few years, his qualities shone through, and he ends up running the business on behalf of the owner.

Few more years go by, and the owner becomes aware of Ken's latent interest in the medical profession. The owner of the produce business paid for Ken to go to medical school as a loan, with no interest. Ken told me this about 5 years ago, and he said he finished paying it off about 10 years previously. So he'd have been about 55 at that time.
 

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