Sometimes you can only open yourself up completely with a person you've never met and may never meet again. That is probably because you owe that person nothing. For a brief time you'll share an intimacy without judgement because there is no baggage. And these moments can be life changing and affirming. You never know how a quick smile or hello will change the course of a person's day.

Redditor u/v_rose23 wanted know about the people they've encountered that left a lasting impression though by asking... What's the nicest interaction you've ever had with a stranger?

Many years ago, a significant break up left me devastated. After my ex and I shared our last goodbye on a balmy evening in the west village, I had to make my train pilgrimage home alone. The trek was about forty-five minutes from where I was, it felt like forty-five years. I tried my best to keep a stiff upper lip. But five minutes into the trip, nestled in between two girthy men on a crowded train, while listening to Adele the waterworks became unstoppable. I diligently tried to hide my shame. But between the snot, the tears and the drunken sing along to "Hello", there was no hiding it. At my lowest moment, I felt an hand. I looked up as a delicate young woman handed me a packet of tissues. She just smiled and winked. And then she exited. I never saw her again. But she reminded me, with no words, that one day it was all going to be ok again. That there as still goodness in the world. I needed that. I wish I had told her. I bet these next people can relate.

A Grand Family

Dance Dancing GIF by The Wiggles Giphy

When I was a kid me and my family travelled around Ireland for a bit. When it came time to get the ferry back to England, our van broke down and we missed it. There wouldn't be another ferry for two weeks.

The Irish family whose house we broke down outside of took all six of us in for two weeks and never asked for anything in return.

Douglasqqq

"I've had a rough few days" 

i was staying in a homeless shelter and i'd just cut my abusive mother out my life. i felt like absolute crap and decided to sit in Mcdonald's for a few hours just to kill time. i'm sitting there and this wee girl (maybe about 5) comes up to me and asks me why i look so sad. i don't want to bum this kid out so i just say "i've had a rough few days" she says to me "wait there, i wanna ask my mum something" so she runs back up to me a moment later and hands me a balloon. i'm a bit confused and try to say "thanks but it's your balloon, I don't wanna take that away from you" but she's absolutely certain this balloon will make me happy.

So i'm sitting there with this balloon she tied around my bag and invites her mum and sister over to talk to me because she thinks i need company and cheering up. it was actually really sweet. kinda reminded me no matter how sh!t my parents were, there's still good parents out there. I gave them my happy meal toy and £1 each. the mum was also super nice. we sat there chatting for a bit.

it doesn't sound like much but I'll always remember that because it was something I needed and just cheered me up. I think i might still have the balloon in a box somewhere.

smcsleazy

Hours in the Rain...

I spent 10 hours total in Ireland once and in that time I got rained on for three hours and wind destroyed my umbrella, had a splitting headache and nearly pissed my pants, saved an old guy's seat in the top tower of the St. James' Gate Brewery and he ended up giving my wife and I free tickets for a bus tour, came with us and became our tour guide for the day. Brian, you were awesome.

Ireland seems great for these moments but I hear stories like this from all over the world and it makes me feel so much better about things.

mechapoitier

Rock, paper, Scissor

I was searching for a parking space in the city where parking spaces are rare.

Just as I found one and set my blinker another guy coming from the other direction set his too.

We looked at each other undecided for a moment, then I signaled a rock paper scissor game through my front window. He immediately understood and we played one round. He won the game so I still had no parking space, but the interaction made my day!

JACKTheHECK

When in Walmart...

I walked down the toaster aisle at Wal Mart a couple of summers ago and an elderly woman was trying to make a selection. She stopped me and asked me my opinion. Until then, I hadn't noticed that there were so many choices in toasters available nowadays. We discussed the various merits of each toaster and hit upon the type that also toasted bagels as her son's family visited throughout the year and they enjoyed bagels for breakfast and she would love to provide that for them.

She thanked me for assisting her and wished that we could be neighbors. She said that she had lovely neighbors now but that I was so kind and would be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. That made me feel pretty good. I walked away beaming.

NebraskaSkid

At certain moments in life all you need is a thank you or a good job by someone. And when that someone is a complete stranger it can mean more. They're not family, they don't have to say anything. They aren't a loved one, so there is no hidden agenda behind the sentiment. You don't have to measure up or prove anything to a stranger, and Lord is that ever a freeing feeling. I have to admit, when it comes to my talents, I always soak in the compliments of strangers deeper. They're going out of their way for no reason except to be kind. This whole thread just proves the point on how connection matters. Even in unknown eyes.

Going Home

Tom Hanks Hello GIF Giphy

I was in Denver's International Airport and me and my dad were on standby the entire day.

First flight home we tried was early 4am. Then we tried four more throughout the day. As an 7 year old little boy, i remember feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and just exhausted because i wanted to go home so badly. My dad bought food at one of the restaurants in the airport to cheer me up but i remember crying and bawling to my dad saying "i just want to go home."

Little did I know i would meet one of the nicest strangers that day. On the last flight to Phoenix, Arizona at around 12 am, a man who was also on standby today gets called to board but he took the last 1/2 seats meaning me and my dad would have to stay overnight at the airport. But this kind generous man decided to give up his spot so that me and my dad could get on the flight. I cried again and hug him with all my heart and said "thank you." He said that he also saw us the whole day on stand by and noticed that we were feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. His selfless act and generosity truly shaped the way I see humans and helped me be the person I am today.

wasabi3122

Take my Handiwork...

On weekdays when I did my daily practice, a lady I didn't know would sit in a pew knitting afghans.

She'd listen to the organ music and knit, sometimes for 2-3 hours at a time.

One day, she came up to the organ console in the church's choir loft and introduced herself, showing me her finished afghan - a truly beautiful piece of handiwork.

She said, "I knit this for you as a gift in appreciation for your music. I look forward to hearing you practice each day."

When I look at that afghan now, I still see her sweet face, smile, and genuine kindness.

Back2Bach

the lovely soul

15 years ago, I was on my first solo travel trip and I was walking along the pavement of this quiet residential area in Bangkok and it started raining heavily and this man with an umbrella who must have been walking behind me was suddenly at my side and we shared his umbrella for a few blocks and neither of us said anything because we didn't speak each other's languages and then when we parted ways we both smiled at each other and I remember thinking that this man's lovely, kind soul was visible both in his actions and his smile.

kartoffelly

The Rear End

I rear-ended a woman on my way home from work once. I was in the middle of a heated conversation with my passenger, came upon a line of cars at a red light, slammed on my brakes but just couldn't stop in time. The whole thing was my fault, nothing but stupidity and negligence. No serious damage but I hit her hard enough to make her car rock forward.

She got out, asked if I was okay, and gave me a hug before getting back in her car and going on her way.

Made me rethink how I interact with strangers and changed my perspective of people forever.

Still think of her often.

saptap_casually

Good Luck Friend

Mel B Good Luck GIF by America's Got Talent Giphy

I took a motorcycle taxi in Bali. Haggled with the guy who wanted a bit more money than I thought the trip was worth. Jumped on the back of the bike and chatted as we rode along.

He said he'd moved from another part of the country to Bali after his divorce, looking for a new life. I said I really understood what that was like and wished him all the best. When we got to my destination I only had the exact amount he had asked for, so I gave it to him and we both walked away feeling happy and understood. People are the same wherever they are from.

ThatsMcGuffin2U

Be kind, to everybody, especially now. So far 2021 is better than 2020 but it's still off to an auspicious start. Things are so fragile and everyone is on edge. So let's do our best to spread some decency, even when surrounded by strangers. Flash those pearly whites.

REDDIT

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Image by ANURAG1112 from Pixabay

Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.

But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.

People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,

"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Cucu Petronela from Pixabay

I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.

This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"

Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:

What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Pawel86 from Pixabay

I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.

I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.

But let's compare thoughts...

Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:

What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
Keep reading... Show less