Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Small Dose of Hope, Thirty Years Ago

--by EsTeeBee, posted Mar 18, 2008
When I was in my first year of college, I hit a stretch where every area of my life was a disaster, I felt hopeless and alone, and more depressed than I knew was possible.

On one such day, I was walking from class across campus to catch my bus home, head down, fighting tears of total despair, when a guy came down the sidewalk toward me. I had never seen him before.  Embarrassed at being seen in such an emotional mess, I turned my head away and hoped to hurry past.  I figured he'd walk on by, but he moved until he was directly in front of me, waited until I looked up, then smiled. 

Looking into my eyes, this stranger spoke in a quiet voice: "Whatever is wrong will pass. You're going to be ok, just hang on."   He, then, smiled again and walked away.

I can't explain the impact of that moment, of that man's unexpected kindness and unconditional caring! He gave me the one thing I'd lost completely: hope.  I looked for him on campus, to thank him, but never saw him again.

That was thirty years ago.  And I've never forgotten that moment.  Over the years, whenever I see someone in distress, I think of that old man and try to give a glimmer of hope in the dark wherever I can -- carrying groceries for people, sitting with cranky babies in airport lounges while the mother got up and got herself food/restroom, talking to tired couples at the checkout line, it could be anything.

If you keep your head up, your heart will show you the place that need a small dose of hope.
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Readers Comments

tina wrote: Hi, I am too depressed over few disappointed things happening in my life related to my marriage. I am trying to cope up with them, this story helps me in my efforts.
EePee wrote: AWESOME!

Thanks so much for sharing.
pumela wrote: You know today i was crying, wondering if da Lord still cares but i read a poem i had with me dat calmed me!! and this story gives me hope that someone is looking down on me saying 'it will pass"
Kishore wrote: Well ,how many us come across an eyeopener like the one our friend met on that desperate day. It is an amazingly simple solution . But looks like whole humanity is engrossed in hopelessness in life .
pradeep Menon wrote: Quite a nice story Even I have faced similar situations in life where I felt I would never move on but then somehow the problem would get solved and life would move on. Every day wake up thinking "O god yesterday was good but today will be better". Thanks for the inspirational story hope to hear from u soon
murthy wrote: We don't know when we get inspired, like the LUCK which when knocked our doors, must be opened.Respecting is better than regretting.
Greedy Dog wrote: That's so sweet. It's so nice of someone to do that. It's a GREAT story!!!
Vivek Ranjan Saraswat wrote: Hope is a strange thing!!!
S. Martin wrote: I wonder how often that happens to how many other people. At least 5 years ago, maybe more, I was in a depressed mood, and don't even remember for what now. It had been going on for several months. I was walking down the street, not looking where I was going, and bumped into a man. He stopped and said "I'm sorry!", and he knew it wasn't his fault. I don't think it lasted even 2 minutes, but he was so kind, my depression immediately lifted and stayed gone. I still remember how kind this complete stranger was, and still tell as many people as I can, how important one small little kindness can be. I can't get over how long the effect has been for me, so that I still want to talk about it to others.
Gauri wrote: I would not take it as just a story. The same condition the author was in 30 yrs back, i was in few days back. The lines of the old man gave me the same result the author got.
Thanks a lot.

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