Meeting a nice stranger

Imagine this scenario: you have just finished shopping and your hands are filled with groceries. You move to the door to leave but it isn’t an automatic door, you have open it yourself, which means somehow awkwardly repositioning everything you are holding to free a hand or put down all of your stuff, open the door and pick it up again, that’s a lot of work. Then suddenly a random stranger who saw you struggling comes and opens the door for you; now you can just walk through without going through any of that rigmarole.

Here’s another scenario: you were walking down the street when suddenly one of your contact lenses falls out of your eye. That stuff is expensive, you can’t just shrug it off and buy a new one, you need to find the one you lost. You get down and start patting the ground, using your one good eye to find it. Then a stranger walks up to you and asks if everything is okay, you tell him about your contact lens and then he gets down on the ground to help you find it. Eventually you find the lens, you thank him, he says it was no problem and you go about your day.

I don’t know about you but I always feel nice when a random stranger shows some kindness and common courtesy; it makes me feel like despite all the terrible things happening in the world right now, maybe humanity does still have hope.

It seems like a lot of bad things are happening everywhere all the time; most of the time its small things that doesn’t affect people in a big way, but it is annoying. You had a bad day at work, traffic has been bad lately, and prices have been going up because of inflation, those kinds of things. But some things are really bad out there, war, earthquakes, people getting hurt by other people; it can be overwhelming at times.

Surrounded by sadness like that, it becomes very easy to forget that there is good in this world and be blinded by the depressing thoughts that like to dance around our heads. It’s at times like this that meeting a nice stranger can really help you out and make you feel better. Now I’m not saying you should go out and actively search for nice people (that’s another kettle of fish altogether). Just go about your life normally; the nice people will come by themselves. In the meantime – while you’re waiting for the nice people – try to remember the times a random stranger helped you out a little or was just nice to you. You’ve lived for a while now, you can’t tell me you haven’t come across anyone who has been at least a little nice to you.

So let’s all try this out, every now and again remember a time a random stranger did something nice to you, and remind yourself that there is still good in this world despite all the bad. While you’re at it, do other people a favour too and be nice to them so that they can remember there is good in this world.. No need to go out and do daring deeds every day, just be nice to other people that’s all, even a smile can help. You’ll probably hit some snags along the way but nothing is perfect and as long as some people feel a little better, it’s worth it.

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