Dr. Laura posted to her Facebook page the story of Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson's gesture of giving up his seat so a mother could make it home to her daughter. This story brought in emails from listeners about witnessing other random acts of kindness. Here are only a few:
When my husband and I were traveling from Brownwood, Texas to Fredericksburg, Texas, in a rental car, we ran out of gas. Very few cars were traveling on that hot day. A truck saw us and turned around. I waved frantically for this truck to stop. They wanted to know how they could help. They got us some gas, put in the tank and wouldn't let us pay for it. On top of that, they followed us to the next town to make sure we made it to the gas station. These folks went way out of their way to help a couple of seniors. They were three guys from Oklahoma attending a convention in San Antonio. I'll never forget their kindness as we could have been stranded for hours in the Texas heat.
My mother has Alzheimer's and I was trying to get her in the car late at night in the hospital parking lot. She didn't remember how to get into a car, so I was struggling to get her to bend limbs, etc. when some one came out of the dark. At first, they scared me, but offered to help get her in. I was pulling her in from the driver's side as they were helping on the passenger side. After we got her seated, I came around the car to thank this person, but they were no where to be found. I often wonder if it was really an angel.
Last week, my husband entered a specially designed house with a home-like setting for residents who have dementia. That was not a good week for either one of us, but imagine my joy when I returned home one afternoon from visiting him to find a formerly very grassy flower bed completely free of grass and weeds. Our neighbor had come down and cleaned it out completely. Now the roses, azaleas, and herbs can grow and prosper. The neighbor will never know how much his kindness restored my energy and gave me comfort when I was at an all-time low.
One incredibly rainy day, I witnessed my husband stop to help a teenager get her car started. He was soaked and she was grateful.
I have enjoyed teaching my kids the joy of carrying out random acts of kindness around our community and feel fortunate to have received a few of these in my life. However, the one I would like to share today was when a total stranger come to my aid in the midst of a bicycle accident. It happened when I was in university and my main mode of transport was walking or riding my bike. The snow had finally melted, but the roadsides where full of sand and gravel. My bike was an ancient hand-me-down. which I can't complain about as I was grateful for the gift. I was fully aware the old bike had a penchant for loosing its chain without warning and yet I set out for school that day. There was a big hill with a four way stop at the bottom and as fate would have it, when I started to brake, the chain came off. I was airborne and tumbled in a bicycle tangle. As I laid there trying to decide my next move...a kind motorist stopped his car to check on me. The pedal had cut through my jeans, my knee was shredded, and I had sand and gravel burns on my arms and hands. My helmet protected my head though. The kind stranger offered to take me to the hospital and even put my mangled bike in his trunk. I was fine, but I always regretted never being able to properly thank the stranger for their act of kindness and warm smile which took some of the sting out of my cuts and bruised pride for putting myself in a position I knew wasn't smart but did anyway.