Thankful Thursday (3) – The Kindness of Strangers

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”


I’ve been both giver and receiver of random acts of kindness, and both aspects are enormously rewarding. I’m as grateful to help someone out as I am to be on the receiving end.

My middle name is Kindness!

A simple smile, or saying “thank you” can be the catalyst for helping someone have a better day. Never underestimate the power of a kind gesture.

At the Grocery Store

There are so many opportunities to help others while at the grocery store.

I’m short (5’1”) and I can’t begin to tell you how many people have assisted me in reaching items from the top shelves.

To reciprocate my gratitude, I try to always let people with just a few items go ahead of me in line. If I see a military person in uniform, I will always let that person go before me.

Helping people carry bags and taking their cart back for them are also gestures of kindness that might makes a stranger’s day better.

While Driving

Let that other person go first. You never know, someday you might be in a big hurry and someone will give you a break!

Wave and smile to the people working in their yards! I like to give a thumbs up, too. I’ve actually pulled over and complimented people for the joy their pretty flowers have brought me on my tedious commutes to work.

Try not to get discouraged if people do not wave back. I like to smile and wave, and many times I get a scowl or a confused look in return. Unfortunately, our American culture is evolving into a society of skepticism and judgment. Waving to a stranger should not be viewed as an insane gesture.

On Daily Walks

My husband and I see a lot of people while walking our dog at the local parks.

We’ve met a lot of people on the paths, and every encounter is an opportunity to make a new friend.

We’ve actually made several friends who began as random strangers. There are many lonely people out there, and even the smallest forms of greeting can help them feel less alienated.

These seemingly small acts take up little time and effort, but can make a huge difference in someone’s day. My spirits have been uplifted by random strangers more times than I can remember. Kindness is contagious and gathers momentum. It fills me with gratitude and hope.

Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)

Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.

Happy Thanksgiving!
A most glorious Thanksgiving Day here on the river


  1. These are truly great. I met my very good friend simply by saying hello every time we crossed paths at our large company. I stopped seeing her for awhile then I was promoted to another position. Turns out she came back from maternity leave in the same department. Not only that but we grew up one block from each other and know some of the same people. Ten years later we are two peas in a pod. And it all started with a simple hello. The power of kindness. Thanks for your post.

  2. I don’t have a pet that promotes friendly exchanges when walking out and about. I do have the old 1972 VeeDub though. The vintage Volkswagen ‘camper van’ is a firm ice breaker. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have walked up to me smiling and starting a conversation when out and about. Your observations with what you have written here are spot on. Positivity every time? It simply rocks. Makes ourselves the calmer and happier for this mindset. All the best and Happy Thanksgiving from the UK.

  3. These are such nice ideas. My husband and I walk our neighborhood regularly. We have made many friends just from our walks! Also, just today, we were getting sodas at a gas station. A man there was so polite – letting me go first, etc. I thanked him and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving. He wished the same for me and added, “Stay Safe.” His simple wish was just so heartwarming. I think both our days were better just due to our simple exchange. My mom used to greet people. She’d say, I might be the only person that person talked to today. Now, I greet most, too. Everything you wrote is so true! Thanks for your uplifting post. P.S. My husband is 6’8″, and he often gets things down off the top shelf for people. He loves it when people ask him for help!

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