It only takes a smile, a hand or a small gesture to change the course of someone's life. Not just their day... THEIR LIFE! In this time of sadness and division we should do all we can to better the world around us. Good people exist; most of us are good people. Let's prove it.
Redditor u/aidanbradley wanted everyone to discuss the the greatest life impacts they had by asking... Reddit, what was a simple gesture from a stranger or acquaintance that made all the difference?
A hand up...
My father was terribly burned in a freak car repair accident when I was in my 2nd month of being a freshman in high school. He was rushed to a world class burn unit almost 2 hours away and I was told - without seeing him - that he would remain there until he was better. (This ended up being 20 days.) My parents had been divorced a few years at that point and my mother lived out of state. My best friend at the time let me crash at his house with his family. That happened on a Friday night. The following Monday, I was called to the principal's office and found our landlord waiting on me. He was also a local judge. He had checked me out of school, then drove me to the county offices to enroll me in aid for dependent children, food stamps, and emergency funds. I later found out he didn't charge my father rent for the next year while he got back on his feet. I'll never forget how much that meant to me and I know my dad was very grateful. They have both since passed. WesternWhatnot
A Good Man...
I got really sick in my sophomore year of high school and at the time my dad was between jobs just with a part time job at a convenience store. What was thought to be a simple headache and vomiting turned out to be a big brain tumor that needed emergency surgery. Well turns out that after the first surgery I needed a second and couldn't leave the hospital without staying a few months.
Throughout that time, the convenience store owner kept my dad on the payroll and let him basically work whenever he was back home because he stayed with me in the hospital a couple of days. After two years when I was finally discharged, he sold my dad a good car for basically nothing because we needed one for my physical therapy sessions. Good man, my dad found another job but my brother still works there and the owner keeps my dad as a substitute if someone can't make it so he'll make some extra cash. VicH95
A dollar short...
I used to work at a gas station and this older man came in to buy a newspaper but was a dollar short. I gave him a dollar and he asked my name and left. A few days later my boss told me someone left an envelope with my name on it. The man had written me a sweet little note saying thank you along with a five dollar bill.. Idk why it made my day so much, but I still have the note in my wallet three years later. moribes
Bless you Gene...
A couple of years ago (around when I was 9) my mom was admitted to the hospital after a bad car accident. We were financially unstable since we were focusing on paying he hospital bill. At the time the sign ups for the new little league baseball season was about to close, so we went to the community center to see how much it was to sign up. It was $150 for the whole season. However at the time we didn't have the money to pay it off so we just decided to go home.
However, the man who announces our games, an elderly man with an inspiring character comes up to us and says "hey what's wrong son?" To which I replied "we don't have enough money." He then tells the lady at the front desk "Patty! (fake name) sign this fine young boy up for this season!" To which he turned to my family and said "don't worry, I'll waive the charges for ya folks." I cried and gave him the biggest hug a 9 year old could give him.
He passed 4 years later. Rest in peace Gene Burris, my towns voice for baseball, I will never forget you. d_magzz
I couldn't sleep the evening after my brother's funeral. I went to the cemetery in my pjs and sat next to the burial site (there was no headstone yet) in a daze. This old man walked up and sat next to me early the next morning. It was hard for him to lower himself into a sitting position on the ground, but he did. He didn't say anything, he just put his arm around my shoulders. I broke down and cried harder than I've ever cried before and he just held me. After I had calmed down, he told me that he wanted to show me his wife's grave.
He started talking to her like she was standing in front of us. He told her that my brother is new to heaven and that he'd appreciate it if she'd help him get settled in. I don't know exactly why, but it brought me so much peace. He was completely confident that his wife could hear him, which made me confident, and the idea of my brother having someone to take care of him was such a huge burden off of my chest. He walked me to my car and told me that he'll check on my brother every morning when he visits his wife. I never saw him again, but I will never ever forget him. I don't think I would have had the strength to walk away from the cemetery without his support. hpimhbcrimg
I was long boarding one night and hit some broken concrete, the board stopped but I didn't. I knew to roll with the fall but I landed on my shoulder really hard. I didn't think anything was really wrong with me, just figured I was going to hurt because my 200lb self just flung itself violently onto cement. I walked to a nearby liquor store parking lot to check myself in the light, and saw a lady leave the store and get in her car. She begins to pull out of the lot, sees me, and pulls back into the spot.
As she gets out of the car she says, "Is your shoulder dislocated?!?" I tell her I don't know and explain what just happened. She tells me to stand straight and let my arms hang down at my side, looks me over, and says "Yup, that's out. Don't move." And with one quick jerk/twist/I don't really know what she did, my shoulder was back in its proper place. She got in her car without another word and drove off. I was barely able to say thank you before she closed her car door.
I went to a doctor the next day because my Mom berated me into it, and they told me the lady did a great job and probably saved me from tearing something. ChefMan24
Life is Possible...
I held the door open on the bus one day for an elderly lady so the bus driver had to wait. At the time, my foot was sprained and so to avoid pain I had it resting on a seat. Another lady decided that this was a war crime and yelled at me for a little bit, but the old lady I helped actually stepped in, yelled at the other lady and then sat beside me.
She was so wonderful. She was going on a blind date, at the age of 70 something. She was so excited to meet this man, and had so much youthful energy. Just her telling me these things managed to make my day so much better, and gave me so much positive energy it was amazing. lostinthebarrens
A Quiet Person...
"You're not weird, you're just quiet."
I was actually thinking about this last night. In 10th grade I was super socially awkward and shy. Because of this the only real crowd I fit into was the misfits who were often very obnoxious and not well liked by most people. I wasn't really like that but since I associated with them I figured I was and I always felt so embarrassed, it caused a bit of a snowball effect and I kept getting more shy and awkward.
That is until I had a group project in math class. We spent that class split into groups, and in my group was a popular jock kid. I always thought he was a douche from a glance, but we ended up vibing pretty well. Once I'm comfortable with someone I open up and am able to socialize pretty well. He was one of the first non outcasts to see this side of me and by the end of the period he told me the quote (I'm paraphrasing though) and it left an impression on me. After that things started to change for the better and I became much more confident and outgoing in the end.
Although we got along fine, we didn't exactly become friends mostly due to different interests and stuff so we didn't talk much after that year ended. Unfortunately after graduation I heard he got into heroin and passed away from an overdose a few years later. Rest in peace my friend, you have no idea how much you helped me! Zeretul4
A small gesture...
When my father died I didn't go to school for quite some time. When I went back, a teacher of mine handed me a letter and told me to read it at home. He offered me a helping hand and an open ear whenever I needed it and it made me realize that there were people who cared, outside of my family. Nowadays I'm friends with said teacher. Asplyx
Finding the strength...
Alone in a foreign airport at 16 flying standby home (and missing every single flight). I was crying at the customer service desk trying to figure out where I was going next. A woman in a long sundress and a big floppy hat turned to me and said, "honey don't even worry about it, the same thing happened to me in Florence just last week" and it made me feel so much better about crying in public that I actually started laughing. Gave me the strength to make it the extra day or so of being totally stranded there. trustworthybb