Do The Right Thing, Or You’re Likely To Go Bananas

, , , , | Hopeless | November 16, 2018

Around ten years ago I went to my old school to collect my degree. To say that I was happy to finally hold that piece of paper in my hands would probably be an understatement.

As I was walking back to my car, I noticed a very old, tiny lady carrying five big shopping bags, all filled to the brim with groceries. After every two or three steps she had to take a break, put the bags down, breathe and then collect the bags to make the next few steps. I couldn’t let her suffer like this.

I went over and asked if she needed help, and she gladly accepted. I am by no means weak, but these bags were heavy! She told me that usually her nephew came with her and helped her, but he was sick that day and she really needed those groceries.

Thankfully, her apartment was not far away. Unfortunately, she lived on the third floor with no elevator. When we finally reached her apartment, I put down the groceries on her kitchen table and she started thanking me, while I told her it was fine. She then started looking around for something she could give me, while I tried to make my way out, just repeating that it was fine. When I managed to get halfway out the door, she called out to me, “But Miss, at least take one of the bananas!” I didn’t, but it made my day and I’m still chuckling thinking about it.

The Power Of Social Media To Do Good

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 8, 2018

On September 19th, 2017, Mexico City and the surrounding states were hit by a powerful earthquake. Many buildings collapsed, and over 300 people died.

I belong to a Facebook group aimed at people trying to learn a foreign language, and its members come from all around the world. On the day of the earthquake, I posted on the group asking for prayers, no matter the religion, as well as support messages for those in need.

The next day, I woke up to see thousands of replies. There were prayers from many Christian denominations, from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., as well as messages from over a hundred countries. My friends and I organised to deliver food wherever it was needed, and I made sure that everything we gave out had one of the messages I received.

It taught me two very important lessons. The first one is that we can be brought together no matter what your religion or your nationality is. The second one is that you can always count on another language nerd for help.

Kindness Doesn’t Take Half-Days

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2018

When I was seven, my family moved to a new house, which was the first house of a new development. By the time school started, a few other families had moved into other houses, but we hadn’t gotten the chance to meet them yet.

One day our school had a half-day, and we were all sent home early. The school bus dropped me off and I happily skipped home, ready to enjoy my extra time off. When I reached my house, I suddenly realized no one was home to greet me. I was always losing things, so my parents never gave me a key. I was scared and cold, and had no way of getting inside, so I did the only thing I could think of: I hid behind a bush in the garden and cried.

I don’t know how long I was there, but it was long enough that I couldn’t cry anymore and my hands were numb. That’s when a strange man approached me. He started asking me questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are your parents?” “Do you need help?” I didn’t answer any of his questions; I just kept shaking my head no, since I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. He walked away, and I started to cry again. I was even more scared because I thought someone was going to take me.

A while later the man came back, and I was scared stiff. I thought for sure he was going to take me away. Instead, he silently and slowly handed me a cell phone; cells weren’t too common back then. When I answered the phone, I heard my dad’s voice on the other side. We exchanged our “secret passcode,” and he told me the man was our neighbor. He was a good person, and was going to take me to a demo house where I could wait until my dad could get me.

Once I hung up and handed the phone back, my neighbor smiled at me and took me over to his house. We spent a few minutes there as he warmed me up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a few cookies. Once I was warm and happy, he took me to the demo house where a woman greeted me. She sat with me for an hour and taught me how to use a Rubik’s cube until my dad finally came and picked me up.

Years later, I found out everything that happened. The school had never informed the parents that there was a half-day, and they were sued for neglect. My neighbor, who was on his way to work, happened to notice my little pink coat poking out from behind the bush. When he talked to me and I denied his help, he was planning on letting it go and leaving for work, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave me. He called up the Homeowner’s Association and let them know what was going on, and they’re the ones who called my dad. My dad told them I’d never leave to answer the phone, so the neighbor drove over, picked up the cell phone, and brought it to me to answer. He ended up being an hour late to work that day. The nice lady who stayed with me kept the house open two hours later than she was supposed to so she could be sure I was safe and warm while I waited for my parents.

Those people are still a part of my life to this day, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful and kind people as my neighbors. I honestly don’t know what would have happened that day without them.

A Lawyer Too Mature To Defend Himself

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 2, 2018

(I’m a producer for a video game publishing company. I’m flying back from a business trip and making small talk with the guy seated next to me. He looks to be quite a bit older than me, maybe in his early 50s. He says, very smugly, that he works “in law.” When he asks what I do and I tell him, he scoffs.)

Guy: “Video games?”

Me: “Yes.”

Guy: *rolling his eyes and smirking* “Okay. That’s cute when you’re young, I guess. Well, you’ll grow out of it one day.”

Me: “I’m 34.”

Guy: “I’m just saying it’s a fun hobby, honey, not a career.”

Me: “I’ve been doing it for twelve years.”

Guy: “I’m just saying.”

(The woman seated on my other side, who is also quite a bit older than I am and hasn’t said ANYTHING up to this point, finally speaks up without raising her eyes from her book.)

Woman: “Yeah. Maybe she should just age into being a boring, condescending, judgemental jerk with a poor concept of personal hygiene who doesn’t know not to take his shoes off on a plane.”

(I think I gave myself a cramp trying not to burst out into shocked laughter. All I managed was to sort of double over snorting. He turned red, then sneered at her and said he “didn’t have time for immaturity,” and pulled out his laptop for the rest of the flight. I hadn’t actually been offended because by now I have heard it all when it comes to assumptions about my job, both good and bad, and I love what I do, but I have never had one stranger put another in their place on my behalf so sharply and effortlessly, before or since. It’s nice to have someone stand up for you. I hope as I grow older I can both have her confidence to do the same for someone else, and be assured that no matter who I talk to or what they do, I will never ever be like THAT guy.)

The Mother Of All Rescues

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | October 31, 2018

I was walking into town for some errands when a man ran up to me.

“Do you have a mobile phone?” he asked.

He didn’t look like a mugger, so I assented. He led me over to an elderly lady and told me she had fallen down; he’d helped her up, but then she’d fallen again and now couldn’t get up. She was conscious but obviously needed an ambulance.

I called an ambulance and then waited with her.

While I was on the phone, her neighbour came by, and she gave the neighbour her handbag to take home, which seemed a silly idea, but I was on the phone so I couldn’t stop her.

She was warm enough, and there were no signs of blood, so I decided the best thing to do was not to move her but keep her talking. I asked about her family and she told me she had two sons. One owned a pub and the other worked with the police. I wanted to try to contact her sons, but having given her handbag to her neighbour, she didn’t have their numbers. I realised that with the information she’d given me, I could find them myself.

First, I searched online for the pub. I called the number but got no answer, unsurprisingly, since it was morning. I left a message. Then I asked which police service the other son worked for, found the number, and called them. He wasn’t there, but I gave someone there my details and explained the situation. They asked for his mother’s first name to assure that I wasn’t making it up, and a few minutes later he called me back. I told him what had happened and let him talk to his mum for a bit. Then we rang off and continued waiting for the ambulance. When they came, I texted the son with which hospital they were taking her to. He thanked me for taking care of her and promised to let me know how she was.

I went on with my errand and didn’t hear from them. Once a couple of weeks had passed, I assumed that I would probably never know what happened to her. I often wondered about her but I changed phones and lost her son’s number.

Two years later, I got a phone call. It was her. She thanked me for my help, for calling her son, and for staying with her. She told me that she’d broken her hip that day and she’d had a lot of surgeries as a result, but she was doing well. I was crying my eyes out when I got off the phone, I was so pleased she was okay.

Page 1/7912345...Last