People come into our lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime. And sometimes, the people who come in for the briefest of brief seasons can really completely change us as people.
It only takes a moment to leave a strong impression, and these people left impressions so vast that the recipient's whole lives changed after meeting them. What a role to play in someone's life.
Simple Yet EffectiveGiphy
When I was young, there was one flight that my mother and I had completely different seats for. I tried to hold it together, but it was still pretty obvious that I was upset over the situation. One of the men next to me noticed. He told me that he was on the flight with his family, and he had a son my age. He asked me if I'd like to have his son sit with me instead. I thought it'd be nice to have another kid to talked to, so they swapped seats. The man even gave us his laptop so that we could watch the Goofy Movie during the flight. The other kid and I had a great time.
I'll never forget that man and his son. Their kindness turned an upsetting situation into one of the most enjoyable flights I ever had.
Young Man's Game
Helped an Old Lady in Walmart. We talked while I was waiting for my ride. I will never forget how her voice broke when she told me in verbatim "While you are young, you gotta live life. Cause when you turn old and you start falling apart, you just want to stop."
Such A Lovely Place, Such A Lovely Face
I remember it because it was so random. Was camping and went for a drunken walk at 2 am. Saw a light on the other side of a large pond and walked around over to it. Met a pair of Russian guys with a 6 pack of beer and a canoe and guitar. Started chatting with them and the guy with the guitar was trying to play Hotel California but they didn't really know how the vocals part went. We ended up sitting in the canoe (on land) drinking beer and singing Hotel California.
I met a really successful guy on a layover in China. He was succesful in many ways: podcasts, teaching seminars, and this guy was a financial advisor. I was maybe 22 at the time and he never bragged about himself. He just wanted to get to know me more and wanted me to pursue my dreams. I still have his business card and think of him and his kindness every time I travel.
My fiancé and I once stopped at a Jack in the Box for a snack and ended up talking to a stranger for about 15-20 minutes even though we had already gotten our food. He came up to us and asked if he could talk to us because he was trying to put himself out there more, and that he didn't have good people skills. We said sure, and had a really lovely conversation with him. He definitely seemed anxious and like he may have been having a rough time in general, but I think that conversation was good for all of us, and he was genuinely trying to improve on himself. I wonder where he's at today and hope he's well. A cool dude.
Tunes For Bears To Dance To
When I was in my mid teens (a loooooong time ago) I was with some mates in town and we saw an old fella trip and fall over. We dashed over and helped him up and the owner of the cafe he was in front of came out and beckoned us in. While she fixed him a cool drink and waited for the ambo to turn up, I noticed he had a tattooed number on his arm. Being young and dumb I asked him about it. He smiled and told me that it was a concentration camp number and spent the next ten minutes giving us a factual but quite harrowing description of his younger life. When the ambo arrived, he shook all of our hands in both of his and said "you are kind boys, stay kind. I have seen many unkind people and it makes me happy to find kind ones."
To this day, I try to be kind because the impression he gave me was that evil is not thwarted by power or cunning or acts of equal evil. Genuinely, this was a brief encounter that I will never forget.
Not a romantic story: I ran a class one time which was attended by several older people, including a 77 year old man, an artist who brought some of his unpublished work and showed me. I thought he was really talented and I wanted to see him put his work out there, tried to follow up a couple of times but everyone was busy and I wasn't able to be helpful. He died not long afterwards and his work will probably never go out into the world now because I don't know if anyone he knows was really invested in it at all. I only met him that once but it still cuts me deep to think about him and everything that died with him.
Oh this is easy. I sat next to a man on a plane from Boston to Chicago who, during boarding, complained about a woman's dress bag containing her wedding dress being placed gently atop his suit jacket in the overhead bin, because it might crush it. This should have been warning enough but I'm chatty by nature and asked him some inane small talk question as we took off. This turned into a flight-long conversation in which he revealed himself to be just...awful.
He was the epitome of an oblivious boomer living in the past. When I told him I was newly employed at a university his response was to blame the recent supreme court decision for gay marriage on Harvard (???) and predicted that "now a man can marry his parrot or whatever." He expressed regretful surprise that college grads with great resumes have so much trouble finding jobs these days...and in the same breath basically called his daughter a failure for still living at home. And then for extra fun, after a few cocktails he started touching me casually, which at that point in my life and in such closed quarters I did not know how to shut down. Luckily we landed shortly after and I noped out of there reallllll fast.
He's labeled in my head as Worst Man In The World. I think of him surprisingly often.
Twix And Take 5
The guy who drove slowly through my neighborhood with the window down yelling "SNICKERS!" over and over again.
He stops and asks "Yo, have you seen a cat in the area?"
I reply "Sorry dude, haven't seen a cat."
"Cool, thanks anyway........SNIIIIICKERS!" and just keeps driving.
I hope he found his cat.
Standing Up For FellowsGiphy
Wandering Istanbul alone (I am female) during the day. Started getting followed by a group of men - catcalling and getting explicit.
I am not a small woman but i was getting uncomfortable. Instead of walking to my hotel I stopped at small cafe hoping they would leave me alone. I sat down and ordered Apple Tea and as the owner brought it out to me the group showed up. The owner (middle aged man) laid into the group and threatened to call the police. They scattered and I spent the afternoon smoking shish-a and drinking tea while watching soccer with the owner and his son.
Went back for tea the rest of my stay but won't ever forget the feeling of safety from that man or how delicious his tea was!