The Kindness of Strangers

“Rule 39” Leroy Jethro Gibbs

As I write this, I’m sitting at Gate C9 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport waiting to board a flight home. It’s just a little after 7am on a Sunday morning, and the sun just rose on what promises to be a well-deserved beautiful day for the people in ATL. It’s been a pretty rainy summer here!!

I’ve never been a big fan of flying, especially now in the post-9/11 world, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what needs to be done. My mom is having some rather serious surgery tomorrow morning and I have to be there to support her & my dad.

Last night was not the best night for sleeping and I’ll admit to being a bit on the cranky side this morning. I couldn’t use the “no coffee yet” thing as an excuse since I’d already had breakfast AND coffee-I was just crabby from lack of sleep. I decided to try the self-tag kiosk to tag my bag (flying Southwest—bags fly free!!) but the scanner was not cooperating. I could not get it to scan the boarding pass from my phone screen to save my life. I started to walk away from the kiosk mumbling, “screw technology” under my breath but apparently I said it louder than I thought. A lady standing in line offered to help me and while I felt I didn’t deserve for someone to be nice to me with my bad attitude, I accepted her help. Her name is Andra, and she was WONDERFUL!! She keyed in my confirmation number, printed out my luggage tag, attached it to my bag, and printed out my boarding pass, “in case your phone dies,” all in a very calm voice with a beautiful smile on her face. She told me she flies almost every day for her job as a crisis manager. It appears to me she’s VERY good at her job!! She did all this for a cranky old lady she’d never met before because, in her words, “it’s just better to be nice to people.” She’s right-it is. I learned a valuable lesson this morning from a stranger whom I’ll probably never see again, but I won’t soon forget the kindness of this person who decided I was worth a few minutes of her busy time. Thank you, Andra. You’re a gem of a lady!!

I also noticed kindness is contagious-a gentleman who observed our interaction allowed us to go in front of him and check our bags. I didn’t get his name but I feel pretty certain he was affected by Andra’s kindness, too. I walked away from the airline counter wondering what I had done to warrant all these strangers being so nice to me. My plan is to pay it forward to someone I encounter who is having a bad day. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

So now I’m sitting at the gate waiting to board. One of my favorite Daffy Duck cartoons is on the gate monitor. They’re showing Boomerang (a division of Cartoon Network) instead of the usual CNN, which is a refreshing change…

[UPDATE] It’s one day later and, as I write this, I’m sitting with my dad waiting for my mom to be moved to her hospital room. According to her doctor, her procedure had the “Best Possible Outcome” and she could be home as early as tomorrow. Prayers answered! 🙂

[UPDATE #2] It’s day 2 post-op and Mom is home and doing well. I’m flying home to my guys today and will be sure to help anyone I see who is struggling with the travel technology. Life is GOOD!

So, have you encountered the kindness of a stranger? Have YOU been the stranger showing kindness to your fellow man with no expectation of anything except feeling good in return? Please share in the comments.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Author: olderwisermoneymiser

I’m a 50-something wife, mom, and full time accounting administrator sharing my observations about life and money.

38 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers”

  1. Wonderful news about your mom, so glad everything went well and she’s back home.
    As for the kindness, yes. It’s such a simple thing. Last year my husband had a small procedure done at the hospital and on our way out we saw an elderly lady struggling to load her husband’s wheelchair in the back of their van. We stopped to help and thought nothing of it. Later that day we went to lunch at a nice waterfront restaurant, had a nice big seafood meal, with drinks. The bill wasn’t small, but when it came the waitress said it had already been paid for… anonymously. We were dumbfounded, but when we walked to the parking lot we saw the van with the elderly couple driving away. Kindness. It speaks volumes even when it doesn’t say a word.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a powerful post. I am so happy to hear that your mother’s surgery went well. I completely agree with you about random acts of kindness changing everything for the better, and being contagious. You are right – it’s just as easy to be kind — and sometimes, even easier than the alternatives!

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  3. Hi Kim, I’m so pleased your Mum’s surgery went well and she is home. As for kindness, it doesn’t cost us anything to be kind and I do believe it can start a ‘wave’ if someone just takes the first step. I know visiting my MIL’s aged care home, a simple ‘hello’ and smile makes such a difference to the residents. Let’s start the kindness wave rolling! Have a great week. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post! I belong to a Facebook group created in honor of the founder’s daughter who died after a long battle with cancer. Her daughter was a firm believer in Random Acts of Kindness and in the group, people commit to performing 52 acts a year in her honor. Some post what they did, some post what they have received, some share stories (I will be sharing this blog post) and others just post DONE. #MLSTL visitor (shared on SM)

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  5. I love this story. Kindness helps us and when we observe and are affected by a kindness it helps us to be more kind. We had a party once and my daughter threw up all over. A woman I didn’t know well told me to go back to my guests and she would clean it up. I never forgot that kindness and vowed to always help out stressed out young mothers!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many thoughts… first of all, Yay for your mom doing well! Next, Yes, there are so many people out there ready and willing to help – easy to forget when you hear the news. And third, good for you for receiving the offered help – sometimes when grumpy is the mood of the moment, it’s easy to ignore kind people (voice of experience!).
    I love the concept of paying it forward!!

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  7. So glad your mother’s surgery went well. It’s always such a worry when you don’t live close isn’t it? My Mum lives in England, a long way from Australia. Yes, I believe that kindness is like compound interest – the more you give out the more you receive back. Although of course it must be given unconditionally. I really like to pay things forward whenever possible.

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  8. Your post brought a tear to my eye and made me question… am I being kind? Also, great news on your mom. I can relate to how hard it is to be distant from a parent when they are dealing with surgery. Visiting from #MLSTL

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  9. First of all, I’m glad your mom is doing well. Second, thank you for sharing this heart-warming story. I do try to commit random acts of kindness, but I must admit I shy away from anyone who seems cranky. So that’s my new goal, don’t save my kindness for those I expect will receive it with a smile, but share it with those who probably need it more. I have been the recipient of kindnesses. I recall trying to board a train back east with two large suitcases. I was panicking, because the door was not large enough for me to enter with the bags by my side, but I wasn’t strong enough to hold them in front of me. Most of the passengers were business commuters without luggage. One kind gentlemen saw my plight and took both bags from me. He easily boarded the train, I followed behind unburdened. That was nearly 30 years ago, and I still remember how that made me feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had an accidental fall when I went to Cincinnati in June, sustaining a concussion. I felt and looked horrible (two black, swollen eyes, vertigo, headache) and when I flew home, I had a 9 hour delay. An airport employee saw me in the bathroom emptying my ice bag and said, “Are you okay?” I started crying and said, “No. If only I had a place to lie down.” She promptly escorted me to a quiet area where there were lounge chairs and replenished my ice bag. I don’t think I would have hade it home without her. Isn’t it great to recognize there are wonderful people who act as our guardian angels when we most need them most? #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just returned from a trip to northern England to hike Hadrians Wall. And I have to say that one of the best memories I’ll cherish are the memories of how kind people were, in the airports and along our hike. People were willing to help us out, without reward, just because we needed help in some situations. It was a transformative experience in that it helped restore my faith in humanity. There ARE good people in this world. I’m glad you had great experiences, too, and I’m glad your mom is well.

    Liked by 1 person

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