The kindness of strangers is a rare and valuable thing. From a young age, we are taught to fear and mistrust strangers, so when someone goes out of their own way to help us, it is magic.
Here were some of the answers.
Got into a pretty bad car wreck when I was 19 and was alone and scared. The cop dropped me off at a gas station so I didn't have to wait for my parents to come get me on the side of the interstate.
A kind lady came over and asked me if I was alright. She gave me directions and drew me a map to the local tow yard (I had the tow yard name and street from the cop). She helped me calm down and gave me water and waited close to an hour until my parents picked me up.
I'll never forget her kindness. I think of her often and I hope she remembers what she did helped so much in my time of shock.
Small Yet Kind
Years ago I was at Walmart buying a lunchbox and a bunch yogurt for my kid and my debit card didn't work. It was about $30 and the lady behind me pulled out cash and paid for my groceries. I tried to thank her, ask her name, or give her the little bit of cash from my wallet. She wouldn't hear any of it and sent me on my way.
I try to "pay her back" by doing random acts of kindness for people when they least expect it, but definitely need it.
The Man In The Chippy
I was on my way home from a party and my phone had died, it was late, dark out and there was a very heavy rainfall. I missed my turning (roadworks and couldn't for the life of me see anything) so I figured if I keep in the same direction I'll find my way again.
Wrong. I had drove about an hour in the wrong direction down all these small country lanes trying to find a slip road to the motorway. Starting to panic I pulled into the first open shop I saw which happened to be a fish and chip shop and asked the ladies if they could point me in the direction of my hometown. They hadn't even heard of it, major bad sign right there and similarly I hadn't heard of the small village in which I found myself completely lost.
There was a man in the chippy buying his tea who had overheard my conversation and took pity on my plight and tried to draw me a map but the route was complicated and said it best if he took me as it was a short cut and would very likely get lost on my own, it was only a 10 minute journey and he really didn't mind.
So I was following him in my car down all these small country lanes in the pitch black and the 10 minutes passed and then another, and another, 30 minutes in and he indicates to pull into a garage. He must have sensed that I would be scared as he approached my car cautiously and kept a distance and told me to take the next left onto the motorway and I would know my way from there. I didn't get much of a chance to thank him because I was feeling quite scared and emotional. But truth to word he had drove me right to the motorway slip way.
The next day, overwhelmed and grateful I tried to track him down so I retraced my steps on google maps until I found the chip shop and googled their number. I recounted my story to the owner and they had remembered me. I said I was trying to track him down to thank him and asked if I could leave some money with them to pay for his next meal but they said he wasn't a regular customer and they didn't know who he was but that they had gave him a free meal when he returned.
So this kind hearted stranger drove an hour out of his way just so that I could get home ... his kindness is something that will stick with me forever.
A Little Life
I was crying alone in the park at night because I just got back from dinner with my estranged dad that I now see maybe once a year. It was really hard seeing him again and as I was sitting on the curb crying, someone approached me and said: "Look I know it's weird because I'm a stranger but you look like you need a hug" Got the hug and she actually had a really good pep-talk about family and absent fathers. Never even got her name but I gained back all my trust for humanity that day.
Four months ago, I got the call at work that "something was wrong," with my stepdad, who raised me. Walked outside to follow up, as nobody would give me details while I was at work. Found out he had killed himself. I fell onto the sidewalk and sobbed and sobbed. Honestly I barely remember it, besides the feeling of being unable to breathe or move. What I do remember is a beautiful stranger picking me up off the sidewalk and half carrying/half walking me back into the building so I could get myself together and collect my things so I could go home. It turns out she works in my building (there's probably close to a thousand people, and we work in different departments, plus I'd only been there 5 weeks, so we'd never met before), so I eventually found out her name and wrote her a thank you note, but no note will ever adequately express how grateful I am that she picked me up off the sidewalk that day.
My camera bag (my wallet was in it, too) fell out of the back of my SUV when the trunk didn't latch properly as we were leaving the Cape May, NJ beach. In the camera was the SD card with the only copies of the last photos of my son and my stepdad when he visited for my son's second birthday 6 weeks before his death. A stranger returned it to the police station with free boardwalk tram passes and a little note.
My stepdad was one of the kindest, most compassionate, and generous people in the world. These experiences at least made me feel like there are still people out there will a soul like his.
My family had a tradition of spending Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family, and Christmas Day with my moms. For quite a few of the Christmas eve parties, a man I didn't know would wander around with a old camcorder, and talk to people. He was a friend of other people in the family, but I had no idea who it was. Several years later, after both my mother and grandmother had passed away, he handed us all a copy on DVD of his Christmas videos, edited together as a thank you for inviting him every year. It was about the nicest gift I've ever gotten, as it's the only video footage I have of them left, and it was from a total stranger.
A Bike, A Bike!
When I was about 7 we went to a police bike auction to try and find me a bike, since I hadn't learned how to ride one yet. I found a really cool red bike with flames and even training wheels already on it; I was totally obsessed from first sight.
But my mom then had to explain to me that it was too expensive ($50) and she couldn't get it for me. I was pretty upset, crying and not understanding why I couldn't have this great bike. That's when a random stranger who'd overheard came up and told my mother he'd buy that bike for me.
I didn't really understand what he'd done at the time, I was just ecstatic that I got my bike. But I still think about it; how that guy just bought a crying kid a bike out of the kindness of his heart, expecting nothing in return.
Now that I'm older with a steady job, I'd like to get a kid a bike like that, given the chance.
My first job was in a little coffee shop. I was 16 and doing my best to support my little brother and mother. Times were tough, very tough. Anyway there was a baker that used to work next door to my coffee shop. He'd come in and always say, "Ya need a new pair of shoes, kid." He was right, I did need new shoes. I'd just agree with him, too embarrassed to say I could not afford them. This went on for about a month. Then one day, I come into work and my coworker tells me someone dropped something off for me that morning.
There's 2 boxes sitting in the back for me. In one box is a new pair of shoes. The other box has assorted pastries. There's an eclair in there with special wrapping and a note that says: 'don't share this one.' Well, as it turns out, the filling of that eclair was cash. $500 and another note that said, "Please get rid of those ratty shoes. Keep your head up and pay it forward when you're older." I used that 500 to pay rent that month. We would have been evicted otherwise. And I kept those shoes well into my late 20s.
None Left Behind
I hitchhiked around the country (USA) this past summer. I got out of a 4 day backpacking trip in the Tetons in Wyoming and hitched a ride with a couple who were living in their van. They fed me tons of fresh fruit, and when they dropped me off, I realized I had left my phone in there van! I was devastated. I was alone in the middle of nowhere with no phone. 30 minutes later the same couple pulls up and the woman gets out and hands me my phone. I felt like crying and gave her a huge hug.
They had drove off for about 15 miles and realized I left my phone and drove back to give it to me. Hearts of Gold indeed.
Pay It Forward
Was driving on the highway with my family when the car broke down. A stranger pulled in behind us almost immediately. I was looking at the engine when he pulled up and asked if I needed help. I asked if he could give me a ride into town so I could arrange for a tow (this was pre-cell phones). He suggested we might get the car running again and asked me to get in it and try to start it. After a few minutes of troubleshooting he said he thought it was the fuel pump--a known issue with that particular engine. He said there was a parts store just a few miles up the road that probably had a fuel pump on the shelf. He offered to drive me over to check.
I said even if they had a pump I didn't have the tools to replace it. He said he had a set of tools in his trunk. I looked at the wife, and she said to go ahead (she had an equalizer made by S&W in her purse). So off we went to the parts store. Sure enough, they had one in stock. Back we went to the car, and replaced the pump right there on the side of the road. 45 minutes after the car had died we were headed down the road. I couldn't get the guy to even let us buy him lunch.
Now I pull over and offer to help anytime I see someone sitting in a car by the side of the road.
Being an emergency responder is a high-stress job.
It's a career with long, laborious hours.
There is always a hint of danger. And death is always around the corner.
So we as a society could try to help these people out and not put ourselves in unnecessary danger.
Redditor Diligent-Log6805wanted the rescue workers out there to tell us about the times they rescued people. They asked:
"Emergency responders of reddit, what are some dumb things that have lead to an emergency situation?"
These workers and the world already has enough trouble without my stupid.
"So... was she impressed?"Idiot Reaction GIFGiphy
"Kid driving his new truck down a residential street, wet from a recent rain, lost control and hit a parked car, overcorrected and rolled it once back onto its wheels up onto a lawn. He told the fire chief he had gunned it to impress his girlfriend and the chief just looked at him and asked 'So... was she impressed?'"
"I had a client once who was basically Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, loud, obnoxious, hilarious and every second word was some Maritime slang or a derivative of 'f**k.' He has been on daily eye drops for decades for dry eyes, sure ok cool. I hear screaming down the hall and run in and he's wedged against the wall and the bed just screaming 'I f**ked up boys, I dunno what the f**k is f**king happening but It's f**ked."
"Turns out he mistakenly put Jublia which is an antifungal ointment for toenails in his eye thinking it was his eye drops. The strangest part was the bottle has this miniature sponge at the end so you soak the sponge then paint it on like a gel...he painted this antifungal ointment onto his eye which immediately went red and angry then proceeded to do the other one."
"So he's at the eyewash station and I'm talking to poison control and they are pretty stunned because they have zero data on what happens to a human eyeball when it's painted in antifungal. I can hear the staff at the other end kind of snickering under her breath and she asks can you compare and contrast the eyes? Well... he put it in both eyes. The line goes silent because I can tell she is howling. Guy was totally fine but it was a standout for sure."
Will they show?
"Responded to a call of two minors being kidnapped and their parents being beaten in front of them and then taken someplace else. One was around three years and the other one was six. They were held captive in an apartment out of hundreds of residential apartments which not easy to locate, upon reaching there we found out that the boy six was just playin' with us to see if we would actually respond. Their parents were so embarrassed by all of that and vowed to not give them mobile until they are adults."
"When I was an EMT in NYC years ago we had a call for a man 'unresponsive.' We entered an upscale apartment that was a hoard: floor to ceiling newspapers and magazines, just a mess. The woman who called said her brother was in his bedroom sick."
"We entered his room and it was pretty obvious that he had already passed away. She had placed a bowl under his mouth because he had hemorrhaged which had coagulated the day before it was crazy. We asked her why she hadn’t called sooner and she said thought he’d get better?!"
"The joke around the house was 'if you have to put a bowl under a relative who is bleeding from the mouth, call 911. Don’t wait.' Never thought we’d have to advise anyone to do that. But there ya go. Also, it was Thanksgiving. Didn’t eat any cranberry sauce that year."
God Only KnowsMarried At First Sight Lol GIF by LifetimeGiphy
"Had a guy call because he had the cure to Covid and needed a ride to the local education hospital so he could share it. Dude was so high on meth He ended up having 4 or 5 binders worth of scientific looking notes. God only knows what was actually in them."
Wow, people really need to get a grip. Of their minds.
"Sparky"on fire GIFGiphy
"One of my old bosses once built a new shed in his back yard, to replace his old, worn-out one. He moved everything from the old one to the new one, then decided that the best way to remove the old one was by burning it down. He ended up with no sheds and the nickname 'Sparky.'"
Dead in the living room...
"Paramedic here. We responded to this 54 year old having chest pain. Man was having a heart attack. Dude didn't want to go to the hospital because it too early in the day. That's it. We tried to convince him to go. Got the ER doc to talk to him and he wouldn't budge. He signed a Refusal. Later that same night, his family found him. Dead in the living room. We got to him and started CPR, meds, everything. Dude didn't make it. When we advise you to go to the hospital, go."
"Got called to a shooting. A guy says he received a text message from an anonymous number saying his brother has been shot. He checks all the hospitals with no luck. He goes to his brother's apartment but gets no response at his door but sees his car and can hear the TV on. We get there, attempt to get an answer at the door."
"Eventually we kick the door in to make sure he wasn't dying in his apartment. We boot the door, announce police, and find him asleep in his bed. The guy tells us that he got a new phone number and decided to mess with his brother by texting him he had been shot. He then fell asleep and forgot about the text and was woken up by us. So many wasted resources on his idiotic prank."
"Got called to a priority job. The caller was kayaking in a lake and said that there was an unresponsive male in the water. So off we went, lights and sirens. We requested paramedics and fire to attend as well for the rescue operation. There were about 6 emergency vehicles attending including a rescue boat. We got there within minutes and met the caller who showed us where the guy was."
"He was just swimming, minding his own business. The caller said he was unresponsive, but really he was just ignoring her. Had a chat with the guy, he seemed alright, said he swims here every day and likes the quiet. No issues. Would have been nice if the caller told the operator that he was still conscious and swimming rather than 'unresponsive.'"
Chew SlowlySnl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Well, I was taking a lady home from dialysis and she decided to eat a snickers in the back of the ambulance, and she started choking. Had to do the heimlich, and tell her to finish her food at home."
If it's not a true emergency dial 311. Please.
I hated science classes.
As soon as I could I ran.
But it follows me.
Because science can be downright disturbing.
That's why I blocked out so many of the details.
Redditor Flimsy_Finger4291wanted to compare notes on all the frightening facts that are a definitive. They asked:
"What's the scariest thing that science has proven real?"
As if knowledge isn't scary enough, let's her more...
Hello Terrypaint surgery GIF by gifnewsGiphy
"Some tumors have teeth, hair and even eyes."
"My sister had one minus the eyes! It was cantaloupe sized on one of her ovaries before it was found. She named it Terry the Teratoma."
"My best friend and bunk mate from summer camp died from one of those when I was in 7th grade. Happened so quickly, we were a week into camp and he got really sick. They gave us all heavy meningitis shots because they didn’t know what it was and within a few days he was dead. Turned out to be a brain eating amoeba."
"Edit: strangely enough on the same day he started getting sick one of the lifeguards that was sitting out in a boat waiting for the next group of kids for what we called Trojans Vs. Spartans day had a seizure, fell off the boat and drowned. Only deaths they’d ever had in the 50+ years the camp had been open."
Far Far Away
"The size of our galaxy, how many other galaxies there are and how far away they are. When you can actually see something that incomprehensible.."
"The nearest star to us would take the Voyager 70,000 years to reach. The nearest galaxy to ours would take the Voyager 749,000,000 years. If we some how managed to take on the monstrous task of speed of light travel it would still take 25,000 years to reach the nearest galaxy. And it's even further apart after you read this. Wild stuff!"
"How the brain is literally rewired and chemically altered by childhood neglect and abuse."
"It's genuinely kinda freaky, playing a puzzle game, and noticing how quickly you're getting better at it. The kind of puzzles that were a real blocker in the beginning become baby-easy after like an hour of playing puzzles like it."
"My sister faced horrible abuse at the hands of our father, and she has been working through it with multiple therapists over the last 10 years and she is only now starting to get her life back. I feel like she was robbed at a fair chance at life because of our a**hole father."
AwakeBill Murray Im Here GIF by Groundhog DayGiphy
"Prions, horrific and totally unpredictable."
"Fatal familial insomnia is a prions disease where you can't sleep anymore, you just stay awake until your brain deteriorates and you die."
Now I can never UNKNOW about prions. Perfect.
Days gone by...Aging Matt Damon GIFGiphy
"Ageing. I'm content with death but the idea of my body growing old, frail and eventually falling apart before the end game gives me goosebumps."
"Gamma ray bursts. No warning, no escape, no defense, no survivors."
"If you're talking about supernovas if the star isn't too close the gamma burst would probably only destroy some part of our ozone layer. And gamma radiation is actually the least lethal out of all types of waves."
"Entropy. Time shall consume all things. Inevitable heat death of the universe."
"I personally want the 'Big Crunch' to be true. That instead of fizzling out it all gets sucked back into an infinitely small/dense particle and then another Big Bang happens. It’s my explanation for the multiverse. It’s all one timeline. Just infinitely long."
"More like a theory, the 'orangutan paradox,' when we film a documentary on orangutans, they can’t realize that we are observing them, yet they are the most intelligent species of their category, so aliens might be watching us and we are as oblivious as an orangutan."
Fade 2 SilentListen Scooby Doo GIF by MashedGiphy
"That hearing is the last sense to leave, when dying."
Well that is the antithesis of comfort. Life is so fun.
Ever since Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope opened on May 25, 1977, a devoted fanbase developed.
And that fanbase has opinions.
Lots and lots of opinions.
Redditor Ebo8000 wanted to know:
"What is your most controversial take on Star Wars?"
"LASERS LOCK DOORS. LASERS OPEN DOORS. LASERS KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THE DOOR TO DO."
"But if you get past the door and close it behind you and you don’t want anyone to follow you through it…"
"…you shoot the bloody door panel!"
"Also, f*cking hell, we're in the future (or in the past), whatever, and people have better technology."
"Why put the door control RIGHT NEXT to the door? Put the door control system in a breaker box."
"Build every door so in case of malfunction they all shut closed (after all, they're in space and you don't want to lose air in decompression, do you?)"
"Shoot the breaker box, now the whole floor is closed until someone can figure out what happened."
"Almost look like those doors just exist as dramatic elements..."
"I’d like a film about when the Republic was at its height. 1,000 generations is 25,000 years and we’ve had 9 movies about the last 60."
"Not sure if controversial but they need to take the franchise and yeet it 200 years in the future."
"I'm tired of the Empire era where they need to justify why more than 2 Jedi and 2 Sith exist at one moment alongside knowing everything is pointless until Luke leaves the farm."
Design Fail? No!
"The Death Stars weren't badly designed they were just badly managed."
"Yes, designing them assuming large scale assaults was stupid given the political state of the galaxy but the second Death Star wasn't even finished so that doesn't count, it's all Palpatine's fault. As for the first one that was finished, the Alliance made three runs on the exhaust port."
"The first was called off before they made it to the trench, the second failed and the third was carried out by space Jesus which isn't exactly fair."
"All in all it sounds like a fairly effective defence when you consider the design philosophy."
"The entire universe has a cool factor that outweighs the atrocious storytelling."
"Bro imagine the following movies, but if they were in Star Wars universe."
"Magnificent 7 - A Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Ex-Imperial, Pilot, Wookie, a Droid, and Lawman team up to defend a town against pirates"
"Dredd - Two Jedi climb up an apartment block to confront a new dark side user who has mental control of the entire apartment block"
"Supernatural (T.V. Show) - A Jedi and their apprentice go around and solve and defeat Dark Side Force spots—where the Force consolidates from emotions and creates foul creatures to fight"
"Top Gun - But it's you know, Wedge or something"
"Ford versus Ferrari - But it's podracing or swoop racing"
"Something about the ships in the original series always felt more like real ships than in any of the later movies, despite the objectively better effects of the later films."
"Some of this is probably the use of models (i.e. actual three dimensional objects), but I think there is some critical difference in the design that makes them feel more real (probably because they were designed to be things that would actually work as models)."
"Whatever it is, I LOVED the ships in the original series and never really liked any of the new ones."
"The original trilogy changed the world by showing a universe in space that was dirty and lived in. The special effects from the later movies did not recognize this."
"Boba Fett is an oddly overrated background character, and even after watching The Book of Boba Fett, I don’t really care about him."
"He was never a character. He was a cool helmet."
"He was a cool jetpack too."
Time for the weather...
"Han is actually older than Obi-Wan due to Time Dilation."
"Time dilation in a universe where every planet and moon has the same gravity and atmosphere?"
"And just 1 biome."
"That way they only need one Weather Channel per planet."
"And over to Klaatu for the Tatooine weather report. Klaatu?"
"It's still sunny."
These are the droids we're looking for.
"Star Wars is actually the life story of C-3PO—think about it."
"I disagree. I think its R2-D2's story. He had a much greater presence in Episode 1, 2 and 3, and got the same amount of screen time as C-3PO in 4, 5 and 6."
Fan is short for fanatic.
"Fans ruined the whole franchise."
So, did your controversial Star Wars opinion make the list?
Death is a subject many people shy away from because what they don't know beyond our realm of existence can be intimidating.
Hollywood hasn't helped, as movies and TV have typically portrayed death as something sinister and violent.
How could anyone be convinced death is a peaceful transition, and that what awaits on the other side is actually an unimaginable utopia?
Curious to hear strangers' thoughts about death, Redditor GoodNess2020 invoked a quote by an iconic literary figure and asked:
"Mark Twain once said, 'I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.' Why do you agree/disagree with his statement?"
People clarified what actually terrified them most about death
"I don't fear being dead. I fear dying."
"Yeah, that's usually the issue. It's why that quote doesn't mean much, to a lot of people."
"It's not a fear of eventually dying and not existing anymore. It's the act of dying itself. He didn't constantly die for all of time. He just wasn't alive."
Concept Of Loss
"To have not existed for billions of years is to have spent billions of years never knowing loss. To die is to know loss."
"If you look into a new bank account and see zero dollars, it’s nothing. If you look into a bank account that once had a million dollars and see there’s nothing in there, you’ll know it’s absence."
People provided an analogy to articulate what ceasing to exist must feel like.
It's About Time
"Time is only relevant to you when you are alive. He is right. Have you ever been sedated for surgery? You go under, and then instantly wake up and procedure is done.... or you died so no worries."
Consciousness Is Life
"You won’t be feeling anything in death though is the thing. That infinite/instant sensation was a living feeling, you just weren’t conscious for it - your body experienced it anyways. No body, no experience."
Like Being Under
"That is very true, but for me, that's the closest amalgamation of what it probably feels like."
"No one can tell you what actual death will be like. It's impossible for you to experience nothingness."
"Thinking about death can be paralysing sometimes, and when I remember that the closest thing i can link as an experience I had, being put under, was actually sort of pleasant. I then think maybe death will be like that, and honestly it doesn't seem that bad."
When In Deep Sleep
"Yeah in contrast to sleep where you can actually feel like time has passed when you wake up."
Think Line Between Death And Slumber
"As CGPGrey puts it, your bed might very well be a suicide machine."
"Given our lack of understanding for the fundamental processes of our sentience, it's entirely possible that when you fall asleep, your mind is functionally killed, disassembled, analyzed, sorted, tweaked, and adjusted by your biology, before being reassembled when you wake. Every night."
People opened up about their insecurities around the concept of death.
Fear Of What Comes Next
"I’m just paranoid that something does happen after death and it’s just based on one thing that you didn’t know about."
The Circle Of Death
"There’s nothing to fear in oblivion. Unless, of course, your consciousness survives death. If so, it would be reasonable to fear the sensation of consciousness without senses, suspended alone in the cosmos, with no one to hear you, and no way to make yourself known. No reference point for counting time – a count that does not matter anyway in a literal eternity."
"You might wish that you still had a corporeal form, only so that you could make your mouth move to express your terror, to make the universal form of a terrified scream – the form of a letter O."
"But you won’t be able to. You just won’t!"
"This has been the Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner. Brought to you by shame, loneliness, and the letter..."
When Faith Fails You
"what do you mean I'm going to hell?! I was a good person and attended church regularly!"
"Ah yes, but you failed to put a blue feather in your hat and then turn in circles the times praising God Almighty on the fifth Sunday after your twelfth birthday. To the pit with you!!!"
There is an poignant episode from the Twilight Zone that brought me a sense of peace surrounding the concept of death.
Death was embodied by a handsome police officer who had been shot–played by a young Robert Redford–and begs to be let into the home of an elderly woman who had been living in perpetual fear of meeting "Mr. Death."
As the episode continues, she discovers much to her dismay that she welcomed Death into her home, but he warmly reassures her there is nothing to fear.
The episode ends with her finally offering her hand to Death after much protest, and they peacefully walk out together, arm in arm, into the light.
It was sweet and beautifully done. The 1962 episode was titled, "Nothing in the Dark."
That's how I imagine it to be.
A dashing Prince of Darkness telling me it's time to join him in guiding me to the other side.