What's the kindest thing you've ever done for someone? Readers share their most memorable experiences
PUBLISHED: 10:35 17 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 17 February 2018
There's a great deal of power in an act of kindness.
You might not know it, but a small gesture like holding open a door, giving up a seat on the bus or buying flowers for someone can make the biggest difference.
It can turn a terrible day into something better. It can be motivation. It could even save a life.
The power of kindness is being celebrated up and down the country today for National Random Acts of Kindness Day, an unofficial holiday which is growing in popularity each year.
To mark the occasion, Courtney Pochin asked our readers about the kindest thing someone had ever done for them. Here’s what they had to say...
“I was a wreck but she made the whole situation seem completely ordinary”
A checkout worker discreetly closed the till and provided counsel when I went on my first ever grocery shop alone as a mummy but forgot my purse! I was a gibbering wreck but she made the whole situation seem completely ordinary while we waited for my sister to rescue me. That was 15 years ago but I still remember her kindness so clearly.
Suzanne Hitchman, Norwich
“I was in a lot of pain”
I was in hospital recently and woke up in a lot of pain at about 6am one morning and the lady next to me came round (on crutches) and held my hand. Sometimes that’s all you need.
Ali Culyer, Norfolk
“I hadn’t eaten for almost two weeks”
When I hadn’t eaten for almost two weeks because I had to pay bills first, my best friends found out I had been lying saying I’d eaten and did a massive Tesco shop for me. I’ve never forgotten and I now donate regularly to the Trussel Trust.
Bonney Bulmer, Norfolk
“I don’t know what I’d have done if it hadn’t been for them”
A French family - complete strangers - once put me up for a couple of days when I was young because I turned up in their town in the mistaken belief that it had a youth hostel. I’d asked them for directions, and by then it was too late for me to find anywhere else, so I don’t know what I’d have done if it hadn’t been for them. It was so long ago that I don’t even remember what town it was, or their names, but I’ll never forget their kindness.
Jenny Howard, Norwich
“He checked I was ok”
I was struggling with a heavy suitcase up some stairs in London recently and a man came over and helped me carry it up the stairs and then checked I was okay for the rest of my journey, It was a really nice gesture.
Megan Aldous, Ipswich
“You never know when you can help somebody”
I always carry a homeless emergency bag in the boot of my car. Needed it the other night as there was a young lad sleeping rough in Peterborough who didn’t even have gloves and it was freezing. So I was able to give thermal gloves, thermal socks, water, crisps, chocolate, biscuits, wet wipes, Lynx spray, toothpaste and brush. Simple essentials. Such an easy thing to keep in the car and you never know when you can easily help somebody.
Kath Samson, Suffolk
“I felt good about that one”
I once escorted a blind man to the eye centre in Norwich. He was clinging onto temporary fencing to try and follow the footpath with his dog where some roadworks were and the path had gone out into the road so I lent an arm and escorted him around and down the road towards his destination. I felt good about that one.
Katie Smith, Norwich
“The biggest act of kindness”
I had a push bike stolen from my hallway once. It is my means of transport as I don’t drive. I drop my daughter off to school on it and go to work. Without it I would be late for work every day. So I basically rely on my bike every day. It was a Sunday when it happened. I sometimes go to Alive Church and that day I wasn’t going to come as my mood was very low. However my friend rang me and told me that she was waiting there for me. So I went. I had shared my news with the pastors and thanks to the people of the church I was walking out two hours later with a brand new bike. That was the biggest act of kindness for me.
Hanah Kromer, Norfolk
“He was kind enough to try”
The random act of kindness we experienced was a few years ago, when my husband had been diagnosed with an eye condition which would progressively lead to blindness.
He was told a course of injections was an option to help - not to cure - but the NHS would not fund it as he was the wrong age. A doctor who we did not personally know, from another authority, offered to personally give him the treatment at no cost to us. Whether this helped at all to this day we do not know, but he was kind enough to try.
Sue Dyke, Norfolk
“It was so unexpected”
For me, I am so fortunate to have so many kindnesses shown to me every day. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing – like my toddler daughter offering to share her (already chewed!) sandwich with me, or my husband de-icing the car so I can stay in the warm a bit longer. I have also been blown away by so many kindnesses which have shown to me in businesses – the peers who have recommended me, endorsed me and supported me. I guess one of the biggest kindnesses which has been shown to me over the last year has been my best friend Theresa who surprised me with tickets to see A-Ha (showing our age!) in Cambridge this year. It was so unexpected and for no discernible reason, I was so very touched.
Michelle Gant, Norfolk
• What’s the kindest thing you’ve ever done for someone? Let us know in the comments below.