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Reddit Is Overflowing with Personal Stories of Kind Acts. Here Are the Must-Reads

Your feel-good diet for the day

In today's age of bitterly divided politics and social media trolling, it's all too easy to feel like the world is increasingly becoming a cruel place. But this week, Reddit user naturalenergybyproxy asked a simple question—"What is the nicest thing a stranger has done for you?"—and the responses are a healthy reminder that there's still so much good in the world. 

We've compiled the best and most inspiring ones below. So read on if you need your faith in humanity to be restored. (But fair warning: You may wish to keep a Kleenex handy, because some of these are real tearjerkers.) And for more evidence that a small act of generosity from a stranger can completely turn someone's life around, read about the The Time Twitter Overflowed with Random Acts of Kindness.

"I always liked watching trains, too."

model train

"My son was probably two or three and we went to the mall for some reason. My son liked looking at displays and stuff. Well, there was a model train set in a case that you could put a $1 in and watch them go around for a while. I was pretty broke, If I recall, and never had cash on me, regardless. He was content just looking at the display. A group of loud mall teens come through and go past. One of them comes back and puts a dollar in the machine and says, 'I always liked watching trains, too,' and then hurries off back to his friends. My son lit up. I never would have expected that action from a stranger, let alone a teen with his friends in a mall."–ess0ess.

"I cried for a minute while a total stranger changed my infant son."

baby changing table

"My first wife abandoned us when my son was an infant. It was rough, but I survived. One evening I was at dinner with some friends. I had to change the baby, but there was no table in the men's room. I asked a lady leaving the ladies room if it was empty and she checked for me and gave me the okay. While I was trying to get my diaper bag sorted she came up and offered to change him. I told her I had it but she insisted, and put her arm around me. Apparently I'd been holding in a breakdown the whole time and she saw right through it. I cried for a minute while a total stranger changed my infant son, thanked her profusely, and went back to dinner with my friends carrying a little less weight on my shoulders. No clue who she was, but she was an angel to me that night."–PrintError.

"He asked only that we go, enjoy ourselves, and keep being good to each other."

Couple on Romantic Date Valentine's Day

"I was at a bar with my then-girlfriend. Seated next to us was an older gentleman who was alone and looking forlorn. After a time, he tapped my girlfriend on the shoulder and said, 'I like the way you two talk to one another. Here's what I'm going to do. I spent a fortune on these tickets for my wife. Unfortunately, she can't go anymore, and I just don't feel like going without her. So I'd like you two to have them. The only catch is that the concert starts in twenty minutes.' He didn't elaborate, nor would he accept payment. He asked only that we go, enjoy ourselves, and keep being good to each other. He paid his tab and left. And that's how I got front row seats to Prince."–DukeOfCheddar.

"[He] tried the keys on every single mailbox until he found the right one."

junk mail stuffed in the mailboxes of an apartment complex in brussels

"I was out clubbing and dropped my house keys. The next day, I get a letter in my mailbox with a guy's phone number. I text him, and it turns out he found my keys in the club, recognized the building they belong to (student housing), came to the building and tried the keys on EVERY SINGLE MAILBOX until he found the right one. Then gave them back to me. Nicest guy ever."–the_nils.

"I still think about her often and wonder if she realizes how big of an impact her kindness had on me."

boy driving car

"My flight out of Syracuse was cancelled and when I finally made it to the front desk they told me it would be two days before I could get home. I decided I'd rent a car and drive to NYC to catch a flight out of one of the airports. As I was getting to the counter a woman, whose flight had also been cancelled, announced she was driving to NYC and welcomed anyone to join her. On an impulse I said yes and we started the journey to NYC.

She turned out to be one of the kindest people I've ever met. While calling [the airline] to figure out my next situation, the customer service person was incredibly rude and refused to do anything—eventually hanging up on me. Seeing I was frustrated/upset, this wonderful woman proceeded to call customer service agents over the next two hours. I would explain my situation and she would pretend to be my mother and ask for a solution. I ended up getting fully refunded and booked on another flight the next morning.

I was planning on just sleeping in JFK until my flight but she offered her couch in her apartment and a hot shower. I refused at first, but the prospect of a hot shower after such a stressful day was too much for me to pass up. On the way to her apartment, she even asked the cab driver to go a little out the way to swing by some famous sites in NYC because I'd never been.

I still think about her often and wonder if she realizes how big of an impact her kindness had on me."–dicyclopentadiene22.

"It was a really simple act of kindness."

convenience store

"I was once feeling really down because of school—and just life in general. I stopped at a convenience store on the way home to pick up a bit of chocolate to make myself feel better. The guy at the register must have noticed how miserable I was looking, because he let me have the chocolate bar for free. It was a really simple act of kindness, but it almost made me tear up in that convenience store and instantly improved a [horrible] day."–angry__donkeys.

"She said my cake had already been paid for."

birthday cake

"One year, my birthday was really terrible. I decided to go buy myself a cake at the grocery store to cheer myself up. When the guy at the counter asked who it was for (in retrospect, he meant what name to put on it), I said it was for me. He was incredulous at the idea that I had to buy my own birthday cake. I just kind of shrugged. He said I could pay for my cake when I came back to pick it up. When I came back, a different person was at the register and she said my cake had already been paid for. It was also decorated more than I requested. I have not seen that guy working there since, so in my head I've called him 'The Cake Fairy.'"–mamblepamble.

"It was $40 I knew I hadn't dropped, but my fiancé and I used every penny."


"I was riding the bus and talking on the phone, freaking out about how I was going to feed my fiancé and I, as I was the only person working (a 100% commission job). A stranger heard me on the verge of tears and politely alerted me I had 'dropped' some money. It was $40 I knew I hadn't dropped, but my fiancé and I used every penny. I never got to thank them, but I quit that job a week or so later and found something more stable."–AGGroAzteca.

"They wanted nothing more than a 'thank you.'"

woman helping a patient get into her wheelchair

"In Paris, the Metro is not wheelchair-friendly. We got stuck once because the accessible station was closed and we were diverted elsewhere. Two guys walked up, picked up my Mother-in-Law in her wheelchair, carried her up a flight of stairs, through the turnstile, and down another flight of stairs to the platform. They wanted nothing more than a 'thank you.' I don't think they even knew each other."–LowerSeaworthiness.

"It's definitely the little things."

little girl in the rain outdated life lessons

"I used to be in a deep depression. One day, as I was vacuuming my apartment complex, a young girl looked at me and said, 'Oh my gosh, you are just so beautiful. Wow!' It completely caught me off guard and brought a smile to my face. It's definitely the little things." –Words-Are-Words. And for more great stories like this one, check out The 30 Most Heartwarming Random Acts of Kindness from 2018.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more