What’s the Nicest Thing Anyone Has Ever Done For You?
The gestures, big and small, that touched you.
Paying It ForwardI wait tables, and I once served two women whose credit cards were declined and who had enough cash for the meal but not for a tip. I told them not to worry; we've all been there. Ten minutes later, another diner left, and I picked up the payment and a generous tip. With the cash were 10 extra dollars and an unsigned note saying, "I appreciate how kind and gracious you were to those women.... Yes, we have all been there."
Lending a Helping HandWhen my husband returned home to recuperate after a hospital stay, a great friend took all of our laundry―we have four children, mind you―and brought it back a few days later, clean and folded.
After the birth of my first daughter, my best friend surprised me one evening by offering to do the midnight watch. She handled all the diaper changes and feedings, allowing me and my husband to get a full night's rest.
I enjoy raking leaves, but last year I did not have the time or the energy to do it, and my neighbors knew how frustrated I was. One night I came home from work to find that they had raked all the leaves in my yard.
The Dalles, Oregon
When I was in college, my nine-year-old brother gave me a $5 bill for emergencies.
When I moved from Chicago to Vermont, one friend flew from Kentucky to Illinois to help me pack, and another drove 20 hours in the U-Haul with me to make sure I arrived safely.
Kellie Huttes Carrara
When I was in college, my grandmother died. One day two casual acquaintances saw me crying, and without asking what was wrong, they invited me out to lunch. Not only did they cheer me up but I also came away with two good friends.
Hoboken, New Jersey
One Saturday afternoon when I was very pregnant, my husband and I were searching for a table in a congested mall food court. A woman approached us, said that she remembered how good it felt to be offered a seat when she was pregnant, and directed us toward a table that her children were saving for us.
I was starting my own business, and someone I barely knew offered to distribute flyers to his entire real estate firm to help me get exposure. I received a great response, and I have him to thank for my successful start.
During the end of my first pregnancy, I had to use four weeks of sick leave for bed rest. Several of my coworkers donated their sick hours so that I could spend more time with my daughter after she was born.