It can seem like the world is full of callous, uncaring, uneducated and selfish people more often than not – that’s what we see on the news, and often what we witness in our own online lives, too.
I think it’s important for us to seek out the opposite sort of stories, too – the ones that remind us that human beings are mostly good, and when you get right down to it, most of us would do anything to help someone else, stranger or friend.
These 10 people’s actions totally prove that point, and their generous hearts should inspire us all.
10. The best way to come home.
When my husband was hospitalized for almost a year, my house was left to fend for itself.
One day, I came home from another long day by my husband’s bedside to discover our flower boxes brimming with beautiful flowers.
A neighbor did this for me. She wanted me to have something nice to look at when I came home.
– Ruth Bilotta, Churchville, Pennsylvania
9. This is about the best thing I’ve ever read.
May 7, 2016, was to have been Yiru Sun’s wedding day. But two months earlier, Sun, a New York City insurance executive, called it off after refusing to sign a prenuptial agreement. Trouble was, she’d put down a nonrefundable deposit on a luxury hall.
So, working with nonprofits, she threw a pre-Mother’s Day luncheon for 60 underprivileged kids and their families, none of whom she’d ever met. Sun, outfitted in her wedding dress, mingled and watched kids eat ice pops and have their faces painted.
“I cannot be the princess of my wedding day,” she told the New York Post, “but I can give the kids a fairy tale.”
– New York Post
8. Imagine if everyone followed suit.
Thirty years ago, my world almost fell apart. I had surgery, was fired, and was informed by the IRS that my employer had not paid employment taxes. After a few weeks, I saw a flyer about a Japanese festival. Although a physical and emotional wreck, I decided to go.
There, I met a Japanese gentleman with whom I chatted for hours. A few months later, I came home to find a bouquet of flowers and a letter at my door. It was from that same friend. Inside the letter was a check for $10,000 to help me through my rough patch. Sixteen years later, I met a family that had been evicted from their home and needed $5,000 to close the escrow on a new house. Without hesitation, I handed them a check for the full amount.
They call me their angel, but I remind them that I, too, once had an angel.
– Hassmik Mahdessian, Glendale, California
7. When you know you have enough.
Americans donate approximately 2 percent of their disposable income to charity. Then there are Julia Wise and Jeff Kauffman. In a little under a decade, the couple have donated half their income to charity, a total of $585,000.
“We have what we need, so it makes sense to share with people,” Wise told today.com.
Wise, a social worker, and Kauffman, a computer programmer, plan on passing the philanthropy bug to their daughters, two-year-old Lily and six-month-old Anna.
“We hope [they’ll] grow up thinking this is a normal part of life,” Wise said.
6. Someone is raising that boy right.
I am a widow who suffers from allergies and mobility problems, and I don’t have the luxury of having family nearby. Thankfully, I have a kind teenager to do my yard work. One evening, I asked if he’d mind doing some extra work around the house.
When I tried to tip him afterward, he refused. “You’re going to spoil me,” I said. Kyle answered, “Somebody needs to.”
– Marjorie Ann Smith, Westfield, Indiana
5. A human moment.
There was a jailbreak in Parker County, Texas, in June 2016, and a correctional officer is alive because of it.
Inmates were awaiting court appearances in a holding cell when the officer watching over them collapsed.
The inmates called out for help. When none appeared, they used their collective weight to break down the cell door. Rather than making a run for it, they went to the officer’s aid, still yelling for help. One even tried the officer’s radio.
Eventually, guards heard the commotion and came in. After placing the inmates back in their cell, CPR was performed on the stricken officer, saving his life. “It never crossed my mind not to help, whether he’s got a gun or a badge,” inmate Nick Kelton told WFAA. “If he falls down, I’m gonna help.”
4. Good looking out.
I used to work as a nurse’s aide in a hospital, where I befriended an elderly patient. We shared stories and jokes—I even revealed to her my lifelong dream of being an illustrator. Once, after I told her about my sorrowfully tiny apartment and cheap furniture, she said, “Maybe one day a good leprechaun will come and help you.” Soon after, she passed away.
A few days later, there was a knock on my door. It was her son with a truckload of furniture for me. It had belonged to his mother, and she wanted me to have it. And then he handed me this note: “Betty, I promise to put in a good word for you in Heaven so you can get the job you’ve always wanted.”
Three months later, I got an illustrating job. My friend had kept her promise.
– Betty Tenney, Sterling Heights, Michigan
3. One mom to another.
Rebekka Garvison could feel the passengers’ eyes rolling as she walked toward her seat carrying her newborn, Rylee. They were flying from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where Rebekka’s husband was stationed. Minutes into the flight, Rylee wailed. A nearby couple glared, so Rebekka moved.
Rylee was still crying when their seatmate, Nyfesha Miller, asked if she could try holding her. Rylee quickly fell asleep in Miller’s arms and stayed that way throughout the flight. “Nyfesha Miller, you will never understand how happy this act of kindness has made my family,”
Rebekka wrote on Facebook. “You could’ve just been irritated like everyone else, but you held Rylee the entire flight and let me get some rest and peace of mind.” And if that photo made you smile, here are 10 other photos that’ll remind you there’s still good in the world.
– CBS News
2. New Yorkers aren’t so bad.
I was running through the streets of New York, soaking wet thanks to a sudden storm, when I heard a voice: “Do you need an umbrella?” It was a woman standing in the doorway of a hotel. She grabbed an umbrella and handed it to me, saying, “Now you have at least one more reason to believe there’s humanity in this world.”
Continuing on my way, I was now not only protected by an umbrella but also by the kindness that shows up now and then in the world.
– Raimo Moysa, North Salem, New York
1. A long-awaited reunion.
Nigeria is a long way from the Baltimore suburb of Bel Air. Which is why Felicia Ikpum hadn’t seen her son Mike Tersea for four years, ever since he’d left Nigeria on a basketball scholarship to John Carroll School. But with his graduation from John Carroll looming, Tersea’s teachers and classmates thought his mother should be at the ceremony.
“We wanted to do something valuable for one of our classmates,” Joe Kyburz, the senior-class president, told The Baltimore Sun. Knowing Ikpum couldn’t afford the plane ticket or hotel, the school raised $1,763 to bring her over.
Nigeria can be a dangerous place, and Ikpum traveled 12 hours through terrorist-held land to make the flight. What was her reaction when she laid eyes on her son after four years? “I screamed, I shouted!”
– The Baltimore Sun
I would scroll through stories like this every single day, I swear. It would be good for me.
What’s your best story about a stranger who made you remember the good parts of people?
Share it with us in the comments!