What Strangers Have Taught Us

While we’re often caught up in our own little bubble and surroundings, we can often ignore those around us and write them off as un-significant to our lives. But sometimes the smallest interactions with a stranger can change our lives. Today we’re going to be sharing with you our personal encounters with strangers that have changed the way we view the world…

Danielle: When I first moved to NYC, I was waiting for the bus and asked the man in front of me how much was the bus fair. The man told me the price but then reached into his wallet and pulled out an extra ticket he had purchased the day before his monthly pass was valid. When he handed me the ticket, he didn’t want money or anything in return. All he asked was that I pay it forward.

Lieve: Just the other Summer, I had gone grocery shopping and cluelessly left my wallet inside the basket I was using. I didn’t even know it at the time, and had assumed I had misplaced it within my house. Then, the next day, a man and his wife showed up to my house with wallet in hand. They spoke very little English, but knocked on the door to hand back my wallet and assure me that they took nothing and that all money and credit cards were still inside. It made me realize that they probably assumed that I would assume  they had stolen something simply because they were immigrants and spoke broken English. The man worked in construction, and his wife had a cleaning service that she ran. Their kindness to come all the way to my home made my heart swell, and I proceeded to use both of their businesses in the future as a way to say thank you.

Sue: I remember when I first came to New York, my husband and I knew no-one. We were in a bar near Wall Street and got talking with a group of people. My husband used to sail a lot in the UK and out of the blue one of the group we were talking with said he needed an extra crew hand for a race that coming weekend and that he would be glad to put us up for the weekend at his home in New Jersey. At that time it was the most extraordinary thing to us that a perfect stranger would just offer to host us for a weekend. It turned out that we would spend many weekends in New Jersey with him and his various different crew members. It was the start of our social life and one of the New Yorkers we met on that first weekend is still a great friend of mine today – over thirty years later.

Jillian: Several years ago, my boyfriend at the time left his cell phone in a cab and a stranger who got in the cab after him found it, saw that I was the last number he called, and then called me to meet up with him to give me the phone back. While others may have kept the phone, or just turned it over to the cab driver to figure it out, this nice man, who neither my ex-boyfriend or I knew, not only called me to tell me the phone was found, but also took time out of his day to meet up with me and give it back.

Lieve Falck-Pedersen