Sarah's Scribbles

The Year of Months

I NEED Uplifting Stories

Hello Dear Readers. For the second time this year, I'm going to ask a favor of you.

As many of you know, I was rather down in the dumps yesterday. I'm not quite as depressed today, but the feeling still lingers. There wasn't any one particular thing that happened, but a barrage of little things - not the least of which was witnessing and noticing several acts of human cruelty and selfishness.

So to counteract this, I'm asking nothing more from you than to restore my faith in humanity. (No pressure, right?) In the comments, please leave a personal story about someone acting in a selfless, kind, thoughtful, etc way. I will even tell you a story to start you off:

While in college, I met someone who would quickly become a very good friend of mine, David N. Due to the outrageous amount of homework Mechanical Engineering majors suffer through, we spent a ridiculous amount of time together. Very early in our friendship, I found out that David was also an avid reader in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

I told him about a book I had read as a kid. All I remembered was there was a girl who rode around in space on the back of a huge butterfly powered by a substance in a butterfly ring. It was the first book that made me realize a writer could create a world of their own. Sure, we all see fantastical movies as children, but there's a certain point when you realize it's not real. At that point, many people sort of move away from fantasy, but - thanks to this book - I didn't.

I had been searching for this book for a while and began to doubt whether I had ever actually read it or not. I was hoping David would recognize it and solve my life-long doubt. However, he said he had never heard of it and we never spoke of it again.

Fast forward to eight months later. It's Christmas time. David gives me a present. I open it to find Heartlight by TA Barron. I quickly realized this is the book from my childhood I had decided was nothing but a dream. It took me a little bit longer to realize how incredibly thoughtful this gift was. David, somehow, tracked down this book based on the sparest of fuzzy details from a two-minute conversation months earlier.

It's a gift I'll never forget.



NOW, it's your turn, Dear Readers! Don't let me down :-)

7 comments:

I worked a number of summers as a lifeguard, and part of that job was teaching swim lessons. I love water and teaching, so this was always a great part of my day and after a while I got pretty good at it. The only downfall was that frequently you had to deal with annoying parents (why isn't my kid swimming, why aren't they progressing, my kid should be allowed in the deep end, etc.). So I wasn't expecting much when one day a mom and her daughter walked up to me. They both gave me big hugs and then the mom gave me a goody bag she had prepared for me: candy, Capri Sun (awesome), and even a gift card to Best Buy.

She explained to me that she had been taking her daughter to swim lessons for over four years now and not seen any progress. But now, her daughter not only wasn't afraid of the water, but loved it and was swimming all over the place.

The daughter was all smiles and gave me another huge hug. I decided to go on break and swam with her around the deep end. I got in so I could catch her for her first time off the diving board and our big slide. Both the mom and daughter were just ecstatic.

It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

 

About six months after I got my driver's license, I started to drive to my boyfriend's house so we could go to dinner. It had rained during the day, but it got really cold that night, so a lot of the rain froze on the roads, but I didn't know that. I hit a patch of black ice and slid into the left lane. Then I panicked and slammed on the brakes (rather than going with the skid, which is what I should have done). The car hit a ditch, which launched it into the air, and flipped over, several yards from the road.

I was totally fine, which is surprising, given how crunched the front of my car was. But my door was so badly crushed that I couldn't get out. I started freaking out, because I was hanging upside down. Then I hear someone open the back door, and shout in this broken English, "You okay?"

Turns out this guy who lives across the street and a few houses down from where it happened heard me crash and ran out to help. I don't know about you, but if I heard a car accident a few houses away, I would let someone else take care of it. Instead he helped me unbuckle my seatbelt and put the seat back down and crawl out. Then he waited with me until my parents got there. I never got his name, but for some reason it really touched me. I was sixteen and scared out of my mind and when he went to help me, he didn't know if my car would explode or if I was really hurt or how much he would have to do to help me. He just ran out of his house.

I think when adrenaline kicks in, some people freak out and some people just do really awesome things without realizing they're awesome.

I hope you feel better. I have plenty more stories where that came from if you need more faith in humanity. :-)

 

I'm so sorry to hear about you feeling down. I hate that!

So, my story...I was in high school, my family had just moved because my mom found a new job in another state and then shortly after we moved the company laid her off because of slowing business. Well, my dad had a hard time finding work, but did anything he could, he even cleaned fish tanks at local businesses. It was nuts! For an entire month I remember we ate nothing but white rice, black beans and salsa. They were cheap. (To this day, I will not eat black beans and rice. Blah)

So, it got to the point where even I, just 15, could tell my parents were really worried. We had no food and almost no place to live. We hadn't gone to church in over 8 years, but one night (with no prompting from us or others) someone from our church decided to "stop" by.

Without more than a thought he cut my parents a check for rent for the next two months, plus utilities. He then called around to get my dad set up with some clients for his counciling practice. And the next night randomly a car load of groceries was dropped off at our drop step with no one in sight to show who did it.

It was our miracle. And yeah, it was probably all from people at the church we went to, but who cares? They thought of us. And it was wonderful to have a roof over our heads, food in our tummy's and more than anything the worry cleared from my parents faces for some time.

From that point on things got a lot better and nothing was ever asked in return for those wonderful gifts. But I know each day I try to make someone's life a little better because of the thoughtfulness of others when my family really needed it.

I hope this helps! Sometimes people can be thoughtless, but it's amazing the wonderful things that happen in our world too.

 

I was thinking about your request for stories this morning while at work, and then someone forwarded me a chain mail about Ed Freeman, a pilot in Vietnam who flew rescue mission after rescue mission even though according to the chain mail "it was not his job." You can read about it on snopes here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/freeman.asp or on another blog here:
http://thirdwavedave.blogspot.com/2008/08/major-ed-too-tall-freeman-huey-pilot.html

I think there's tons of stories like that out there, but it's the little acts of kindness that are overlooked.

Sometimes the little things speak to us more than the big things, though. I'll tell you a few as they come to mind.

...

My grandfather died a few years ago. He met my son, who is about to turn 8, only one time. My grandfather somehow arranged for my son to receive lollipops from See's Candy in California every Christmas. This past year was the third Christmas that my son received a box of lollipops. It's the only memory he has of his great grandfather, but it seems that it's a memory that will last forever.

...

When I first moved to Orlando to work at Disney World, I went to Epcot they night before I was going to start work. I stayed in the park with friends, talking, until about an hour past closing. When I got to the parking lot, I saw that I'd left my car headlights on. But not to worry, there was someone from Security parked right next to me who said "I was wondering when you were going to come out." He didn't have to wait there for me with jumper cables at the ready, but that little random act of kindness helped me start my Disney career on a high point.

...

When I went through my divorce, so many people did amazingly kind things that they didn't have to do. My brother paid for my lawyer when I couldn't and my ex was threatening to take my son away from me. I don't even think I can list everything off without writing a book.

...

When I had to leave a job, there were some former coworkers who helped me find a new one that paid the same amount of money, even though I expected a pay cut.

...

As I think about these acts of kindness, the ones that stand out are the ones that counter the negative events in our lives. But remember, that all around us there are people who are kind and selfless and heroic. They don't do it because they see something bad that needs to be countered - the good is always there, it just takes contrast to notice.

As you're down, I hope you find the positive contrast around you, either in comments here or out in your day to day life.

 

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories with me!

Everyone give a round of applause for Brent, who used his second blog comment EVER to comment on this post! :-P

 

great story.
once in college I went to see my cousin in boston. it was really the first time this small town girl had been in a big city without parents. on the last day we were late in packing up-- we were running to catch the T, the train we HAD to be on to make it to the airport in time.
I was running after my cousin, crying, trying to keep up and carry my bag at the same time. I stopped and put down my bag for a moment. A guy walked up and said 'let me help' and then just ran with my bag all the way down the platform. he held the train for me. handed me my bag, and walked off.

 

One of the first times I knew I loved the man I eventually married was when I realized he always, always stops to see if he can help people with car trouble. <3