Practice random acts of kindness

I’m currently away celebrating Sergio’s birthday on the Atlantis Caribbean Cruise. While travelling I have no internet connection so I  thought I’d feature some of my favorite and most read posts from the past year. I’ll be back to active blogging when I return in February.

Originally Posted August 2011

Last night I was on the Acela (the US version of high-speed rail) back from New York City to Boston. Upon boarding the train, I sat opposite a woman of similar age or slightly younger than me. We chatted off and on through out the ride vacillating between working and mindless conversation with each other. As we were approaching Boston, a young woman walked over to us and inquired “Are you familiar with Boston?”

Apparently she needed to take the commuter train from Boston’s North Station and was a little distressed she’d miss the train since the Acela from NYC had left 45-minutes late (due to the quake in DC earlier in the day). It sounded like she only had about 15-20minutes tops to get to North Station, purchase her ticket and get on board the train. I suggested that she not wait for the metro and opt for a taxi which would be easy to get and provide her with faster transport to North Station. She looked relieved after I assured her that the taxi ride would only be 5-10 minutes and they would accept her credit cards (apparently she had no cash)…

I thought that was the end of the conversation (and so did the she) until the woman across from me suddenly spoke up and said to the woman visiting, “excuse me – I noticed you said you only had a credit card with you and were afraid you wouldn’t have time to get to an ATM machine”… the young woman who had just turned to go back to her seat looked a bit sheepish and said, “That’s okay – I’ll use my card for the taxi”…

Without skipping a beat the woman across from me pulled out a $10.00 bill and said “please take this to help you with your commuter rail fare. They won’t take credit cards on the commuter train and if you’re running late this will help.” I think the woman visiting from NYC was so taken off guard by the random act of kindness she almost fell over. After a few more minutes of the woman insisting she wanted to give her the extra cash the woman accepted the offer.

It got me to thinking… $10.00 is not a lot of money. However, the gesture was a significant one. It helped this stranger visiting Boston immensely and it reminded me that people do choose to do the right thing. Should a similar situation arise again in the near future – I plan on being the person offering the stranger in need the proverbial $10.00.

How will you react when you find yourself in such a situation in the future?

2 responses to “Practice random acts of kindness

  1. Mark R. Anderson

    Thanks for posting this. When I’m out to dinner at my “fav” chili place in Maryland, I keep my eyes open for anyone there in their Military Uniform. If I do spot ’em, I see who their server is and pull the server aside and pay their check (plus tip). I tell the server to let the service member know that the check has been paid by a person who lives in a grateful nation.


  2. There was a site recently that had the rudest cities. Boston and Providence ranked within the group, so too NYC.

    Now having been in and about all three cities I say whoever wrote that piece really didn’t know those cities. I’ve both helped and been helped by strangers in all three places.



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