The Kindness of a Stranger

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

#WATWB posts on the last Friday of each month, as an invitation to inspiration and good news, bringing some cheer into our beleaguered world and the negative press. * see details below if you’d like to take part –

I met a friend for a quick coffee yesterday in the coffee shop at the medical clinic after her visit to a specialist. The medical centre is just up the road from me.

She’s hiring a car at the moment while hers is being fixed from a recent bashing by another car. Spare parts to be ordered from abroad. She was saying over coffee about being anxious and fearful on the road this last while in her hired car and whether being fearful attracts the very thing one fears.

She said: Once upon a time a long while ago she was away on holiday with strict instructions from her boss about the very important meeting on Monday the following week at 7.00 a.m. He also said to her, no breakdowns and inability to attend the meeting. At the time she thought that a very odd comment.

Driving over the Outeniqua Pass on her return to Johannesburg, her car suddenly stopped. Just like that. No warning. Dead. Kaput. I know that Pass – tricky at the best of times. Windy narrow roads, often in mist (one of my own photos) –

A man came by – he arranged for a tow truck and came with her to the next town, a long way away. All distances from one town to the next in the Karoo are long. That town’s car mechanics could not help, and there were no cars for hire in that small town. He drove her in his car to Bloemfontein while her car was towed. By my reckoning, he’d been with her for 700 kms.

In Bloemfontein she was able to hire a car. She was home safe and sound at 5.00 a.m. and in time for the Monday 7.00 a.m. meeting.

 She said that man was so kind, concerned only for her welfare. It was so unexpected she said – in talking with her, we agreed that people are kind, and it is beholden unto us to be kind at all times …

When my sons started driving many years ago I was always concerned about them being on the road. When I told a friend about not wanting to have ‘worrying energy’ about this, she said ‘just put them in the light’ – which is what I do, not only for them then, but for all, now and whenever …

photo is from solar lamp in my garden

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or other enlightening event that dilutes and dissolves negativity around the world. We are about 52 people so far around the world taking part on the last Friday of each month.
A quick checklist of guidelines:
Keep your post short, 500 words or less to your own story or a link to a story that shows humanity in action.
The link below should you wish to take part and add your name
May the Force be with you. Thank you for reading.








63 Comments on #WATWB The Kindness of a Stranger

  1. I like what you and your friend agreed upon that it is always good to be kind. Perhaps kindness begets kindness. Thanks for sharing this and for being a part of #WATWB

    • Thank you Lynn – kindness begets kindness, thank you for the reminder! And for the share. I’ve had an extremely busy two weeks and hope to get back into checking other #WATWB posts these coming weeks.

  2. This is wonderful, Susan. As you can see, I’m far behind in reading. I love how your friend received that kindness. It sounds as though you were offering her another kindness on a day at the medical clinic–often an uncomfortable and scary place. Holding people we love in the Light is essential. (It was a primary spiritual exercise suggested by one of my first teachers, Paul Brunton.) Kindness is essential, too. Just ask the Dalai Lama and Pema Chodron. I also, quietly, hand my cares and worries about my sons and friends to the Divine Mother of Us All. This small prayerful intention helps me remember I’m not in charge and Mother isn’t worried. And sometimes I fret anyway.

    • Thank you Elaine for your lovely comment. I’m glad to hear Paul Brunton advocated for holding people we love in the light, if only for a moment … with practice it becomes easier. And to recall the Great Mother behind all that is 🙂 and to hand it over – that takes more practice, which I’ll try to do. But like you I will no doubt continue fretting. Here’s to a great week ahead. And thank you again..

  3. What a wonderful heartwarming story! There is so much kindness out there, we just don’t hear about it as much. Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂 #WATWB

  4. Thank you Susan for sharing such a loving act of kindness:) I always love this quote”Kindness is the rent you pay for occupying the space on this earth” its a blessing to have encounter people with so much generosity and kindness, appreciate you for your kindness in inspiring….

  5. I am so blessed to have positivity in my life. I try to keep that in the forefront, always. Having a power group like yours growing, is the best way to plant the seeds of rebirth. Slow, steady forward ripples. Thank you Susan and We Are The World contributors.

    • Thanks Deborah for coming by – I don’t know her terribly well but I think the event made such an impression on her that she does pay it forward ..

  6. I personally believe that I have an insurance policy from God and only like to think that good things happen to me…… and they do!

  7. Wow! What a story of generosity. Often we find ourselves questioning people’s intentions, but he seems like an authentic, compassionate, caring human being. A great story to reaffirm our hope for humanity. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Norah for coming by. More often than not people are more than willing to lend a hand expecting nothing in return. Maybe just a hope that it will be paid forward?

        • I agree Norah! It was so much so – and you’re right, to see and give the credit to the act as on its own – separate from any paying it forward. I told my friend on Thursday when she told me this story that I was going to use it as a post – and after a few comments when it went up, I alerted/messaged her to the post – and said again that is was an incredible act of kindness and generosity of spirit … she may pop round for tea later on this p.m. and I will say to her again to get onto this post and read the comments …My friends from the US arrive at 2 – I’m fetching them from the airport and tea here at home at 4 for friends to meet or re-meet with her and Frederic. Susan is co-author of our book ‘Aging & Becoming~A Reflective Enquiry’

          Have a lovely Sunday!

          • Thanks Susan. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon in store! Enjoy! My evening is finished now. It was enjoyable. 🙂

  8. Thank you for this important reminder to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want. Keeping our children in the light and safe travels along the way.

  9. Hi Susan,

    Stories such as this warms the heart. It makes us truly realise that even in our moments of despair and anxiety, there are those who extend the hand of kindness, caring and compassion.

    A magical, hopeful tale. Thank you for sharing this story of a stranger who will be forever etched her memory.

    And Susan, I know you embrace positive, realistic anticipation rather than negative speculation.

    In kindness and respect,

    Penny’s human dad,

    Gary 🙂

    • Hi Gary, lovely to hear from you, thank you for coming by and commenting. It’s a story worth remembering 🙂 – and also for each one of us to extend that hand of kindness when we can … Now I ‘know’ that you are Penny’s human Dad. Please give her a friendly pull of the tail from me 🙂 Susan

    • My friend told me her story which reminded me of a similar kindness done to my family stuck out in the boondocks – so the stories get shared and are reminders of guardian angels – and a reminder to pay it forward –

  10. Thank you for the nudge to put my grandson Curtis in the light. His prize bike was stolen recently and I feel bad for him. Light will attract something good, I have a feeling. 🙂

  11. It’s amazing those kind people show up when we most need them. I remember as a 23-year old new driver getting stuck in a lousy part of gang-challenged Los Angeles. I thuggy-looking guy stopped, saying he’d help. I thought I was in trouble. But he did help–got me to a gas station safely. I think of him to this day.

    • What a lovely story Jacqui thank you for sharing it! The most unexpected looking people can be our best guardians. Like you, I think about those who’ve helped me in one way or the other. A little bit of love and gratitude goes from me to them, even if they were long ago and once-off encounters –

  12. That’s such a heartwarming story, Susan. Kindness from strangers restores our faith and humanity. I loved the thought of putting the people in light. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Susan ♥

  13. Yes, Susan, this is a wonderful story. The stranger was such a wonderful help and a kind person. Sometimes I forget that people like that exist out there. It seems that daily all we hear on the TV is about negativity and violence. So thank you for the ray of sunshine in my morning.

    • Thanks Gwynn. It’s easy to forget the kindness of a person or persons sometimes. I also need reminding sometimes … So pleased you found the post a ray of sunshine!

  14. What a lovely story about a very kind stranger! I also like what you say Susan about putting people in the light – and thank you for that beautiful blessing for us all. I think that’s really one of the gifts of this WATWB – by sharing uplifting stories and reminding ourselves of how much good there IS in this beautiful world of ours, we counter the waves of fear and negativity. We bring bits of light and invite others to stand in them. It’s not just feel-good, it’s powerful.

    • Thank you Deborah. I agree re the WATWB; the stories are uplifting. There are so many of them, we can’t fail to be affected by them and reminded of the essential goodness of most people. I love the image of the circle of light from my own garden and every night when I step outside to look at it, I feel its power.

  15. Reminds me that there is much kindness in the world, in spite of conditions in the United States, South Africa, The Philippines and other places going through rekindled hatred and government uncertainty. Thank you!

    • Thanks Marsha for coming by! Believe me, much of the dynamics in the US and the UK are very similar to the nonsense that’s happening here, it’s almost uncanny. It’s like a contagious illness. We have to be strong to not be affected by the plague .. and allow grace to enter our lives xx

  16. This is such a heart-touching story. Thank you for sharing it with us, Susan. Sometimes when we are stuck we do find help from unexpected corners and people and they only strengthen our resolve that the power of goodness far exceeds all the negativity and hatred in this world. Good post.

    • Thanks Sharukh for coming by! It’s so amazing when something like this happens! And you’re right – we’re reminded that the power of goodness far outweighs all the negative stuff.

  17. Susan, that is a heart-warming story. The man who helped your friend is an example to all humans in how we can take care of each other. That makes the world a much better place. Thank you for sharing!

  18. A lovely story that needs repeating. Kindness and being in the light– what could be better? As usual, your #WATWB post inspires me.

    • I’m smiling reading all the lovely comments Ally Bean; just shows how these kinds of stories release some endorphins! – that man’s ears must be buzzing and he must be wondering why! Thanks for coming by!

  19. Hi Susan – Guiding Angel for sure … not many would have done that – probably only one … what a lovely WATWB post … reminds us to stop and help when we can. Always be kind and think of others … I’m sure I’ve been over that pass, but certainly over the Swartberg Pass, with my mother, over to Prince Albert … lovely road – with some stunning views – but not a place to break down … love the story – gosh that chap was so kind … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary for coming by – it’s the ONE that makes the difference! That Swartberg Pass is also very lovely. I am still amazed at my friend Avryl’s story. It also reminds me of a time a long while back when we as a family broke down in my husband’s car in the Karoo. It must have been a tyre and the spare was not the right one. A man travelling in the opposite direction turned around and came to our assistance and took my husband to the nearest town to get a new tyre and brought him back to where we were patiently waiting! Susan.

      • Another amazing story … the Karoo isn’t the best place to wait patiently … or any which way. Enjoy your visit with Susan today and then the days that she’s around and you’re both out promoting your book … cheers Hilary

        • You’ve hit the nail on the head Hilary! I have photos of that time with my sons hamming it up on the road …that long long road! It’s been a lovely day and tea – we’re off to the Pilanesberg for a few days, back before the book story. Have a lovely week 🙂 … Susan

  20. Wonderful incident. The mysterious strangers who guide people out of difficulties have various names in different traditions. I call them guiding angels 🙂

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