The 'Kindness of Strangers' thread

Two old friends travelled up to see us in Scotland, staying in their motor home because of my immunosuppression.

We got to talking about the kindness of complete strangers. It was an amazingly enjoyable hour or so and I thought later that one benefit of arthritis is that we are on the receiving end of so much.

My regular RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) tend to happen in ladies’ loos. In the absence of a disabled one (or sometimes even with one) I often can’t manage locks. I have now become used to looking for a kind face which doesn’t look hurried and asking if they’d mind guarding the door for a minute. I’ve never been refused.

Our grocery delivery people are always willing to carry our week’s groceries up the six steps and onto the dining room table just inside the door. When Mr SW was in hospital they also, unbidden, emptied the crates for me.

Years ago, when Mr SW and I were lost on a ‘wheelchair walk’ and he was shoving the empty chair while I staggered alongside up a steep, stony hill, a bemused farmer stopped his tractor and asked if he could fetch his 4 x 4 for us.

In a restaurant, pre-covid, I was on my coffee when the bartender came up to me and quietly asked if I’d cope more easily with a mug.

And, of course, there are the simple, little, things – the willing, steadying arm, the holding open of doors, the fetching and carrying, the buttering of bread / cutting up of meat when in hospital.

The media is full of doom and gloom but, in my experience, most people are always ready to lend a helping hand when either they see a need or are asked.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
Steven Wright


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740
    edited 22. Sep 2021, 22:36

    What heart warming stories (I specially liked the coffee mug offer), and what a lovely thread.

    Having been largely fit and independent before my hip packed in, I was seldom on the receiving end of this (not that I expected it) but once I started having to use my stick it brought out so many acts of kindness, which was an entirely new experience for me. From people offering to pick up my stick on the frequent occasions it ended up on the floor, holding open doors, carrying my coffee to the cafe table, carrying things for me at work, on tricky client visits (sometimes on rough ground) making sure it was safe for me or helping me up slopes and big steps. I suspect I even got let off a parking ticket when I hobbled up late as the warden was flourishing his pad and pen, he saw my stick and told me to just be on my way.

    But the one that touched me most was post op when I was on crutches going round the village. Boy it was hard going, and must have shown on my face. A lovely woman going by on her mobility scooter, obviously much worse off than me and well acquainted with difficulties, and pain, of poor mobility, said “I don't know what you’ve had done, but you’re doing really well”. She’ll never know how much such a small gesture meant to me. It was just what I needed to hear that day.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,704

    A useful lesson, @Lilymary , that we are never too disabled to be of help.

    Well, I tapped into stranger goodwill again yesterday when I went a purler on the, fortunately, soft, kitchen floor. Mr SW kindly sat me up but, with his two fairly recent THRs, wasn't really a good bet for getting me upright. Luckiiy, we had two builders putting a new door in and, luckily, they didn't hesitate. Alan said it wasn't he first time he'd had to do similar. I told them to put it on the bill😉 Kind people. They're everywhere.


    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright