The Kindness Of Strangers


“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” – Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois in the movie classic, A Streetcar Named Desire.

That line from the film is what I thought of after having this experience.

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Because I live in a city, where people often become immune to each other as if they’re walking around in their own little self-absorbed bubble, it can startle you when someone reaches out in a time of need; even when they're not exactly sure what that need is.

Yet I suppose this is not only true for urbanites, but people all over the globe.

In today's world, people don’t seem to take time to really notice each other.

Last year when my mother was first diagnosed with cancer, I went through a period of walking around in my own bubble; feeling very consumed, worried and frightened.

I remember a day in particular when I was on my way to work, and quickly stopped in a Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee. My mind was a million miles away, staring into space while waiting in line.

There were about 4 or 5 people ahead of me, one of which was a young lady who kept turning around and looking at me.

She would look, smile; then turn back around.

She did this a couple of times.

As she got to the front of the line and before she placed her order, she turned around once more and said, “Sir, what would you like? Order anything you want, it’s on me.”

I was stunned.

“Pardon?”

She repeated, “Order anything you want. My treat.”

And of course the first thing out of my mouth was, “Oh…you don’t have to do that, but thank you.”

“I want to. Please, allow me to do this.”

And the way this young lady looked at me, I could tell she sensed that I was going through a troubled time; therefore she wanted to reach out and help in some way, just to let me know that she cared.

We never spoke. We never exchanged any words about what exactly was going on with me. We didn't need to. She just knew something - intuitively.

I smiled and said, “Okay, I’ll have a plain tall coffee.”

And after she handed it to me, I looked directly into her eyes, “Thank you. Thank you very much. That is so sweet of you.”

She smiled brightly, “You are very welcome, sir. Have a beautiful day, okay?”

This young lady's simple but powerful act has stayed with me.

She made me realized that yes, some people do notice.

And there is such a thing as the "kindness of strangers."


Wishing you a beautiful weekend everyone!
X

52 comments

  1. That is SO great Ron! Isn't it wonderful that sometimes when we are in our own little bubble...which I've been in ALOT lately...some people really do take the time to notice and actually DO something about it! Wonderful post! Have a great weekend!! xo Jeanne

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  2. Good morning Ronnie,
    I only have one thing to say to this Miss: "Bless you, Miss; you extended love to our friend". That is so special.
    It happens often that we act immune to each other or we act "correctly" to make the least impact on the other( no staring, no touching or inappropriate conversation).
    I know it here, too.
    Moments like with the Starbucks Miss are soul moments... When our deeper being connects above the everyday stress and strain.
    Thank you for sharing, dear. I want to share this:
    (((((((( Ron))))))))))

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  3. Excuse me, are you a distant mind reader? Seriously, Ron, yesterday I had the idea of writing about a past experience when someone saw I was in difficulties and stopped to help.

    In this troubled world it does the heart good to come across the sort of kindness you experienced. Isn't it astonishing how we can inadvertently reveal ourselves to strangers? Is it really a city thing that we move about in our own worlds without seeing outside the circle?

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. Happy weekend to you, too, my friend.

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  4. Rob LenihanJuly 12, 2013

    That's amazing, Ron!

    The world can be such a harsh place, but then just when you've given up on people, someone will turn around and do something incredible like that. It's the kind of thing that gives us hope for humanity.

    Beautiful post, buddy, thanks so much for sharing it with us. Have a great weekend!

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  5. I love stories like this Ronnie! Really restores faith in humanity! There are so many negative stories cluttering the news that we sometimes forget that there are kind people out there. This story is a great way to start off the weekend. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. I love to hear stories like this. My daughte has had this happen when she's wearing her scrubs and runs into Starbucks.......someone will say to her, "You're a nurse? Let me buy you a coffee!" And then tell her how a nurse was incredibly kind during a loved ones's illness.

    Many times, the giver gets more out of the interaction than the receiver. Thanks for sharing your story, Ron. It's a amazing when you meet someone that perceptible.

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  7. Lovely. Sometimes when I'm feeling out of sorts, I try to find something like that to do - there's something about having a moment of connection with a stranger that just alters your world, whichever side of it your on.

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  8. Okay.....that made me cry. Seriously so. Thank you to the lovely gal who bothered to take that moment and make a difference to someone that matters greatly to me/us. She rocks the house down!
    Makes me proud for her--and makes me stop to check myself.....which is a good thing.
    Talk about 'bubble wrapped' and self absorbed--and not in a good way, for a 'good enough' reason. Everyone struggles and everyone hurts over something. No one is immune to life happening. But I can be (and have been) wrapped up in my own 'stuff', tuning out the world around me and missing opportunities to make someone's day a bit lighter. I know when I do that I feel differently...and there's this awesome ripple effect that happens for others. I need to get out of ME and DO for others. Great things happen when I do--for them and for me.


    Little did the gal know that when she bothered to buy a cuppa coffee for the stranger, that a ripple would happen--months later, eh?
    ((((((((((( Ron )))))))))))))
    G-d bless that wonderful gal a thousand fold.

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  9. oh wow, ron. what a beautiful and emotional experience. i'm not sure if it was starbucks or panera, but in one of these stores the customers were following the pay it forward idea where they would pick up the tab of a customer. i do think your experience was more thoughtful because no policy or "rule" was in place, she did it out of the kindness of her heart, out of want and that's awesome.

    i do notice people - never bought a stranger anyone anything - and one day this week i was driving home from work and this woman was crossing the street and as i was waiting to turn i had a few seconds to look at her face and it was full of anguish, despair and pain. she didn't even look up as she crossed the street, but pulled her cart as she walked with her head down to the other side. i REALLY wanted to talk to her and find out what was going through her head. she looked like she needed a friend or someone to talk to. she looked like she was in her own bubble. i can't ever forget her face, it was sad and hopeless.

    thanks for sharing this, great way to start a friday! made me smile and warmed my heart.

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  10. Oh Ron, this post is so touching it made me tear up. And it's true, in today's world people do seem not to notice each other. I don't know whether it's because of technology and constant cell phone use or it's just that the world seems worried about so many things going on, people seem preoccupied and disconnected.


    What a beautiful moment this was for both you and this young lady. Makes me realize too that some people do notice.


    Thank you for sharing this, Ron. So lovely. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  11. Gooood morning Jeanne!

    It sure is. I've been thinking about this experience lately and felt like I needed to share it because it really touched me.

    I think we all at one time or another get in our own little bubble ( I know I have/do).

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Jeanne. Hope you're feeling better.

    ((((((((((( You )))))))))))

    Have beautiful weekend!

    X to you and the girlz!

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  12. Bonjour Barb!

    "I only have one thing to say to this Miss: "Bless you, Miss; you extended love to our friend". That is so special."

    Amen! Bless her.

    "Moments like with the Starbucks Miss are soul moments... When our deeper being connects above the everyday stress and strain."



    Loved the way you said that....'soul moments' because that's EXACTLY what it felt like, a very deep soul connection. And I'll tell you, this moment STILL stays with me.


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have super-duper weekend!


    X to you and D!

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  13. Gooooooooooood morning Valerie!

    "Excuse me, are you a distant mind reader? Seriously, Ron, yesterday I had the idea of writing about a past experience when someone saw I was in difficulties and stopped to help."

    Oh how AWESOME! It seems like you and I have A LOT of those "I was just thinking about that" moments, don't we?

    " Isn't it astonishing how we can inadvertently reveal ourselves to strangers?"

    It sure is! And what was so touching about this experience was that she acted upon it without any hesitation. I tell ya, this young lady REALLY taught me something by her powerful act.

    " Is it really a city thing that we move about in our own worlds without seeing outside the circle?"



    No, I don't think so. I think it's everywhere. However, in a city...where you're so closely moving about with other people, (because they're on top of you) you sometimes get to a point of not noticing. This is why I will often spend the day sitting in a park or even walking down the street and make a conscious effort to really NOTICE people, by making eye contact.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Happy weekend to you too!


    X

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  14. Hey there Rob!

    "The world can be such a harsh place, but then just when you've given up on people, someone will turn around and do something incredible like that. It's the kind of thing that gives us hope for humanity."



    You said it. And being a city dweller as well, I know you understand what I mean about living in city and sometimes not noticing other people because we're on top of each other, that we sometimes don't see. So that when something like this happens, you go...WOW!


    Thanks for stopping by, buddy. Have a beautiful weekend!


    Hope your back is doing well.


    X

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  15. Hello there Shae!

    "Really restores faith in humanity! There are so many negative stories cluttering the news that we sometimes forget that there are kind people out there."



    Yup, it sure does. And every so often, when I feel myself copping a negative attitude about humanity, I'm reminded of this story. This young lady's kind gesture was a HUGE reminder to me.


    Thanks for stopping by, girl. Have a beautiful weekend!


    X

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  16. Hey there Bijoux!

    ""You're a nurse? Let me buy you a coffee!" And then tell her how a nurse was incredibly kind during a loved ones's illness."

    Oh WOW...how touching!!!!

    See, that's what I mean...there IS such a thing as the kindness of strangers. And it really makes you realize that we're really NOT strangers to each other.

    " It's a amazing when you meet someone that perceptible."



    You're right, and this young lady was WAY perceptive - she just knew something and acted on it.


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a beautiful weekend!


    X

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  17. Helloooooooooo Secret Agent Woman~

    "- there's something about having a moment of connection with a stranger that just alters your world, whichever side of it your on."



    You're absolute right, whether being the giver or receiver.


    And it reminds us in a way, that we're really NOT strangers.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a beeeeautiful weekend!

    X

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  18. Hiya Mel!

    " She rocks the house down!"

    She SURE does! And remember feeling so much better that day, after her kind gesture. It's like it LIFTED me up.

    " Everyone struggles and everyone hurts over something. No one is immune to life happening. But I can be (and have been) wrapped up in my own 'stuff', tuning out the world around me and missing opportunities to make someone's day a bit lighter. I know when I do that I feel differently...and there's this awesome ripple effect that happens for others. I need to get out of ME and DO for others. Great things happen when I do--for them and for me."

    Beautifully stated! And I too get wrapped up and overly consumed with my own life at times. But as you shared, there's a 'ripple effect' that happens when someone reaches out in a time of need.

    And what was so utterly beautiful about this young lady's gesture, was that she 'acted' upon her feelings and just DID it.

    "Little did the gal know that when she bothered to buy a cuppa coffee for the stranger, that a ripple would happen--months later, eh?"



    Amazing hu? I was actually IN that particular Starbucks last week, which brought back this whole memory for me.


    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear lady. Have a beautiful weekend!


    (((((((((((((((((((((((((( You )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))


    X

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  19. Hola Denise~

    " I don't know whether it's because of technology and constant cell phone use or it's just that the world seems worried about so many things going on, people seem preoccupied and disconnected."

    Thank you. I agree. And it's funny because when you live in a city and have constant physical contact with people, you sometimes get to a point where you turn it off because of the sensory overload that happens in a city. But you have be careful because if you do that too much, you become numb. And I'm just as guilty of this myself.

    "What a beautiful moment this was for both you and this young lady. Makes me realize too that some people do notice."



    Yup.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful weekend as well!


    X

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  20. Hey there V Girl~

    WOW...I have never heard of the "pay it forward" idea. That is so COOL!

    "....she did it out of the kindness of her heart, out of want and that's awesome."

    Yes, the thing that touched me the most about this young lady was that she simply acted upon what she felt at the time and just did it. It really taught me a great lesson!

    " i REALLY wanted to talk to her and find out what was going through her head. she looked like she needed a friend or someone to talk to. she looked like she was in her own bubble. i can't ever forget her face, it was sad and hopeless."



    WOW...just reading that made me sad.


    And it's ironic you mentioned that story because I've witnessed similar things like that myself. I've even walked past someone on the street and could FEEL their energy that felt felt very sad to me, like their was something going on within.


    Thanks for stopping by, Val. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!


    X

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  21. Mark PetruskaJuly 12, 2013

    We had a similar experience recently. We'd pulled up to a drive-through coffee stand (they're all over the place here) and Tara was dealing with a family problem involving her brother. She'd been crying, and though she had stopped when we placed our order, the barista (they're all over the place here) waved us through and insisted the coffee was on him. Moments like those are beautiful, and meant to be treasured.

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  22. Mark, thank you so much for sharing that experience on this post!!

    How AWESOME was that!!!!

    TOTALLY made me smile :)

    "Moments like those are beautiful, and meant to be treasured."

    Yup, you said it, buddy!!!!!

    Again, thanks for sharing your story and for stopping by. Have a faaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X to you and Tara!

    P.S. how cool....a drive-though coffee stand?!?!

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  23. Wow...powerful post, Ron. It caught me off guard. What a beautiful experience. We tend to think that we're separate from each other in our experiences throughout life, but we have a lot more in common than we realize. And it's experiences such as this one, that remind me of that. We are all connected.


    Thank you for sharing this. Just beautiful!

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  24. Hiya Matt!

    Oh boy, I loved what you shared here...

    "We tend to think that we're separate from each other in our experiences throughout life, but we have a lot more in common than we realize. And it's experiences such as this one, that remind me of that. We are all connected."

    SPOT ON. And what a powerful reminder!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  25. AkelamaluJuly 12, 2013

    Oh Ron that brought tears to my eyes. I have also been witness to people going out of their way to help another for the past 3 weeks, it is truly joyous to behold. Human beings never fail to amaze me. Xxxxx

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  26. Fortunate indeed that you should chance upon s caring soul in the maelstrom of city life. A sign of humanity to treasure. Lovely post as ever Ron.

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  27. What a lovely thing to have happened to you Ron and what a lovely girl.



    I have often thought, when walking along the street, that all these people I'm passing by, have their own worries and some have terrible tragedies in their lives. We should try to be aware of that and treat people with kindness at all times. I do try to be kind and polite to people, even if they are rude in return. You never know when a kind gesture is really needed.

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  28. Hellooooooooo Pearl!

    Wasn't this something? For the past week I've been thinking about this experience, so I wanted to share it. I will never forget how sweet and kind this young lady was to me. Almost like an angel, when I needed help.

    " it is truly joyous to behold. Human beings never fail to amaze me."

    You said it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, m'dear! Have a beautiful weekend!

    X

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  29. Hey there Dale!

    "Fortunate indeed that you should chance upon a caring soul in the maelstrom of city life. A sign of humanity to treasure."



    Yes, a treasure indeed! Sometimes after you live in a city year after year, you become a bit jaded. I needed this experience to show me otherwise.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. Wishing you a most awesome weekend!


    X

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  30. Hiya Babs!

    Yes, what a lovely girl indeed! Almost like being touched by an angel.


    Last week, I just so happened to walk into that particular Starbucks where this happened to me last year, and I remembered this experience so clearly.


    I think sometimes I become a bit jaded by city life, so perhaps this was a reminder to me. In fact, I know it was reminder to me.

    " We should try to be aware of that and treat people with kindness at all times. I do try to be kind and polite to people, even if they are rude in return. You never know when a kind gesture is really needed."



    *clapping*


    You said a mouthful of truth there, my friend!


    Thanks so much for stopping by and have a beautiful weekend!


    X to you and Mo!

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  31. This is what I mean when I say that I love the way you write, Ron. This post went straight to my heart. When things like this happen it really makes you see that there are a lot very good and caring souls in this world, such as this young lady. We're always hearing about the negative stuff that goes on in the world, but not so much the positive and good.

    What a treasure this young lady is.

    And I have to tell you that I've seen "A Streetcar Named Desire" many years ago, so I know the line you speak off. Vivien Leigh's performance broke my heart. Wonderful actress she was!

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  32. Hey ho Robert~

    "When things like this happen it really makes you see that there are a lot very good and caring souls in this world, such as this young lady. We're always hearing about the negative stuff that goes on in the world, but not so much the positive and good."

    That is SOOOOO true, buddy! We do always seem to primarily hear about the negative stuff more so than the positive and good. This is one of the reasons why I don't watch TV or read the newspaper. The media loves to hype and magnify the negative stuff, doesn't it?

    Yup...this young lady is a treasure indeed. Her act of kindness was so touching and came at time when I really needed it.

    "And I have to tell you that I've seen "A Streetcar Named Desire" many years ago, so I know the line you speak off. Vivien Leigh's performance broke my heart. Wonderful actress she was!"

    You've seen this movie??? Wasn't it awesome? It was tragic but also very poignant. Vivien Leigh was one of my favorite actresses of that time. And OMG...was she ever BEAUTIFUL!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, bud. Have an excellent weekend!

    X

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  33. Hey Karen!

    Thank you so much for stopping by. That really touched me.

    Have a beautiful weekend, girl!

    X

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  34. Ron, that is such a wonderful story!


    We do rush around. We're all so busy. Work, kids, shopping, sick loved ones. You name it, we're all trying to fit everything in and hoping we might have a few minutes at the end of the day to relax and "forget" about all the crap we didn't get accomplished because we have to start over again tomorrow!!


    It's so refreshing when another human being notices and does something random and kind, It let's us know we aren't alone even though there are times we feel very lonely.


    I'm not surprised this lady reached out to you. You are a kind and loving soul and I'm sure she sensed that.


    I hope your weekend was fantabulous!!


    ((HUGS))

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  35. Hey there Pam!!!!

    "We do rush around. We're all so busy. Work, kids, shopping, sick loved ones......"

    Yup! And I can be the same way at times. And it's strange, but when you live in a city, where you sometimes block out a lot of the sensory overload, you end up blocking out everything; not noticing what's going on around you.

    "It's so refreshing when another human being notices and does something random and kind, It let's us know we aren't alone even though there are times we feel very lonely."



    This young lady's kind act left a HUGE impression on me.


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And thanks for your sweet words.


    Hope your weekend was FANTABULOUS as well!


    ((((((( You ))))))


    X


    P.S. we got a little break from the heat yesterday, didn't we? Although this week it's supposed be hot, hot, hot again.

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  36. What an uplifting post, Ron! Yes, taking the time to notice people -- strangers or not -- is important. It connects us when we reach out to others and they reach back. Thank you for sharing such a lovely memory, and here's hoping that young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a blessing real soon!

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  37. Hellooooooooo Debbie!

    " It connects us when we reach out to others and they reach back."

    Yes, it sure does, doesn't it? This experience really showed me that not of us are really strangers.

    "...and here's hoping that young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a blessing real soon!"

    Amen! And I have a feeling that she has.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, dear lady. Hope your weekend was beautiful!

    X

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  38. She sure was, Ron. "Gone With The Wind" and "That Hamilton Woman." Breathtakingly beautiful!

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  39. Yup...saw both of those. I think I read somewhere (in perhaps one of her biographies) that her favorite movie she ever made was, "Waterloo Bridge" with Robert Taylor. Great film as well!

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  40. Herman TurnipJuly 14, 2013

    That's awesome! Perhaps she was tuned into you on some cosmic level. Perhaps she picked up on an unconscious mannerism on your part that allowed her to read you like a book. Perhaps she was once in that place that you were currently occupying, and she just wanted to do something to let you know that you weren't alone.

    Perhaps there's a force out (whatever it may be) there that grants us temporary reprieves from our perceived isolations and personal sufferings. At least, that's what I'd like to think.

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  41. Herman, I freaking LOVED your comment!

    Very perceptive you are.

    And yes, to all of those things!

    Especially this one....

    "Perhaps there's a force out (whatever it may be) there that grants us temporary reprieves from our perceived isolations and personal sufferings. At least, that's what I'd like to think."

    You nailed it, buddy!

    And the greatest part about this experience was that she acted upon it. And for that, I was so grateful.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you had super weekend!

    X to you, Karin, and Mr. Tyler!

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  42. They are out there...kind strangers! Oh, they absolutely are! I have witnessed it myself. And I try to be like that sometimes too. We're all in this crazy world together, so why not try to offers others a little extra something whenever possible. It doesn't take much... a smile, a kind word, a nice gesture, a cup of coffee! It goes a long way.
    Glad you were open and able to receive that kindness. I'm sure you've already done a good deed for someone else since then. The cycle of love... beautiful!

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  43. She was an angel in disguise. I think they do walk around down here and intervene when necessary. Sounds like this was necessary. Sometimes, I can be pretty jaded at the world, but sometimes people surprise me. Blessings to you this week.

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  44. Hiya Mary!

    "We're all in this crazy world together, so why not try to offers others a little extra something whenever possible. It doesn't take much... a smile, a kind word, a nice gesture, a cup of coffee! It goes a long way."



    Yes, you are so SPOT ON about that.


    And having this interaction with this young lady, showed me that.


    It was MORE than the cup of coffee she bought for me, it was the fact that she sensed something and reached out to help me to show that she cared.


    Thanks for stopping by, neighbor! Have a glorious week!


    X

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  45. "She was an angel in disguise. I think they do walk around down here and intervene when necessary."


    Oh yes, I TOTALLY believe in angel intervention. And this was one of them in disguised as this lovely, young lady.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend.


    Have a blessed week as well!


    X

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  46. Oh, Ron. What a wonderful story. I love random acts of kindness!

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  47. Yup...there is such a thing as the kindness of strangers.

    XOXO

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  48. Ranita SinhaAugust 01, 2013

    Such a lovely and touchy incident you shared..these are rare people who are sent by God directly to help people he loves..It never happened to me..may be I am not into his lists of favorites..

    I am here from the link Velerie provided in her latest post..glad that I clicked it..I am Ranita from India also called by the name Ronnie or Ron by friends..will love to visit you regularly..

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  49. Greetings Ranita~

    Welcome! And thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. So nice to meet you.

    Yes, I feel very blessed indeed about this incident. And it came at the perfect time.

    ".I am Ranita from India also called by the name Ronnie or Ron by friends"

    Oh WOW....how about that!! That's is so cool! Yes, people call me Ron or Ronnie as well.

    Please stop by anytime, you're always welcome here.

    Right now, I'm having trouble with my internet service and phone, so I won't be posting again or be regularly online until Monday. I'm in a coffee shop right now, using their WiFi internet.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    X

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