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upworthy

goodness

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We live in a world where strangers help one another.

There are many things that can shake our faith in humanity, from the inane bickerings of people on social media to the fact that humans are still trying to war their way to peace.

But amidst the negative news and division-pushing algorithms, we find glimpses of hope, gems of human decency and kindness that don't make the headlines but are happening every day, all around us. There are so many people who are willing to go out of their way to help out others—not just their friends and neighbors but perfect strangers as well.

Someone on Reddit asked people to share the nicest thing a stranger has done for them, and it's a mood-boosting, faith-restoring collection of human goodness.


The question was posed with a story of a mom who was at the mall with her toddler, watching a train ride that you could ride for a $1. She was broke and didn't have any cash, but her kiddo was content to watch. A group of loud teens went by, and then one of them came back to put some money in the machine for her son, saying, "I always liked watching trains too." Her son lit up, and the teen went on his way.

"I never would have expected that action from a stranger, let alone a teen with his friends in a mall," she wrote.

Another parent added a similar story, but from an older couple instead of a teen.

"When my son was a toddler he loved the mini merry-go-round that operated for 50 cents or something like that.

We happened to be at the mall, and this elderly couple asked if it would be okay that they could pay for a few rounds for him to play on it cuz they just wanted to enjoy watching a child play.

That memory has stuck with me as clear as day even though my son is now a young adult. I have every intention on being that kind of elderly couple." – ThatCanadianRadTech

The teens are often more helpful than we'd expect, though, as another person shared:

"One time my wife was at the mall with our autistic then 4 year old. They went to get on the escalator. My wife thought she was there with her, but at the last moment she backed off, and didn't realize until she was well on her way up.

This is one of those escalators where the up is not right next to the down, it's on the other side of the hall.

My wife is freaking out over our kid stuck at the bottom, who's afraid to come up on her own, but my wife doesn't want to leave eyesight to go around to the down.

A rowdy group of teens walks by, sees what's going on, immediately stops being rowdy and helps our girl go up the escalator.

The teens are alright." Helagoth

basketball booth at a carnival

Carnival basketball is a losing game, but not for man who shared his prizes.

Photo by Documerica on Unsplash

It's amazing how a simple kindness shown to a child can make a lasting impact.

"When I was maybe 6 or 7 I was trying to win a mini basketball at cedar point at one of the basketball carnival scam games. I obviously failed and then this guy next to me was like “great shot kid, you deserve this” and gave me a mini charlotte hornets ball he had just won. He had a bag of them he had won and was going around giving them to the kids that were playing and failing. I’m 39 now and never forgot this. And because of that one random day I have always made an effort to gift any random prize to a kid so maybe he’ll do the same for someone else. The only thing I’m any good at is claw machines so I’ll hand off my prize to anyone that’s trying and failing or anyone that stops to watch me try. But random carnival basketball savant changed my life for the better just a little bit." – TheMayb

And it's even better when you're single parent struggling to make ends meet.

"When I was a single mom going through my divorce, I saved up enough to bring my 4yo to an amusement park. At the light show my kiddo asked for a cotton candy I couldn't afford.

An older couple was sitting behind us, he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if they could get my daughter the cotton candy.

I turned to thank them again after the show and they were gone.

25 years I've never forgotten that."A-typ-self

And it's even more heartwarming when it's kindness from one kid to another. Those kindnesses stick with us forever.

"When I was a kid, I remember going to this girl scout event that had a bunch of different stations with activities and crafts and all that jazz, and we each got a balloon to take home too. We didn't have a helium thing at home, so we never had balloons so getting a balloon to take home was the shit. (Remember when Applebee's used to give a balloon to every kid to take home? Them were the days.) Anyways, my mom came to pick me up, and as we were walking across the parking lot to the car the balloon string somehow slipped through my fingers, and my precious balloon was lost to the sky. I was devastated. I'm pretty sure I even cried. And then this little girl who was also leaving with her mom walked over and gave me her balloon. I'll never forget that.

Such a small act of kindness, and from another child. We have such power to brighten a stranger's day, and it truly takes very little effort from us to do that. We should all strive to be just a little bit kinder to each other. It could make such a difference."k_shon

someone holding housekeys

Sometimes the key to kindness is an actual key.

Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Kindness doesn't always look like doing something for someone, but simply opening your home to them.

"My coworker's mom let me stay at her house overnight on the weekends between my work shifts as I used to live an hour away from my workplace (my old job did me dirty on the schedule change). I used to go to her house at midnight and leave at 4 AM the next morning, and she never charged me. I had my own room and key to come in and out without disturbing her and her husband.

Before, I was bouncing around sleeping at Airbnbs, motels, and even my workplace for several months, whatever I could afford. I couldn't leave my job because I was under a two-year contract. My coworker's mom let me stay at her house for 8 months, but I only met/saw her once when she gave me the key to her house during that whole time before I finally broke my contract.

I will never forget her kindness to literally let a stranger into her home." – 8-bit-butterfly

Sometimes just having a stranger notice when we seem to be struggling is enough to touch our hearts.

"I was having a bad day and was trying not to cry in public but sometimes it's hard not to when I get amped to a certain point. I was just coming home from integration course and was having a hard time dealing with estrangement from my family and adjusting to life in Germany at the same time. Unfortunately the sniffles started coming out and another young woman stopped and asked if I was okay. I really appreciated her kindness even though it was embarrassing. I eventually got home and ugly cried." karmamarmafarma

And it's just as touching even if we're not actually struggling emotionally.

"Was going towards the bus stop at like 6am on a freezing winter morning, it was dark, the wind was biting into my cheeks. I'm super sensitive, so immediately I started sniffling, trying to keep my nose from running, but my eyes went straight into water mode. Usual for me, just put headphones on and thanked the inventor of waterproof mascara.

A young woman walking the opposite direction saw me, and in a split second was next to me, hand on my arm, asking if I am alright.

I still think about her to this day and I hope she is doing well. The pure concern and care of a stranger really moved me, and I am thankful for pure beautiful people like her." – TaoKitt

And it's extra touching when kindness comes someone who's been there and knows exactly what you need in the moment.

"The day my wife died, I left the hospital to go home to meet our families. On the way I realised that after 20 days going in and out of of the Icu my presses were bare of food and such. I pulled into the local supermarket to pick up some essentials. I remember walking into the store and completely blanking Just standing in the aisle. It was as if the adrenaline or something just vanished.

Suddenly a elderly lady hooked my arm whispered in my ear, 'I know that look, let's just get you some essentials.' Picking up milk tea etc. Paying for it, walking me back to my car where she hugged me telling me that she was sorry for my loss. I never got to thank her and for months I went to the store on the same day at the same time hoping to see and thank her. Nine years later every so often I go to the store at the same time looking for her. I can never forget her kindness."ben0368

As another commenter put it, we never seem to hear enough about the good people of the world. If that seems true and if you enjoy collections like these, Upworthy's book "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories From the Best of Humanity" is full of them. It's coming out in September and is available for pre-order now here.

Why do we never hear about the good things that go on in Westeros?

Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.


The lame-stream media may not want to cover it, but the world of "Game of Thrones" is home to some of the gentlest, kindest, most generous people, half-men, and ice zombies anywhere.

While most recaps play up the show's plentiful murders, stabbings, and murderstabbings, there are plenty of outright heartwarming things going on in Westeros, if you squint at just the right angle.

The May 15, 2016, episode (season 6's "Book of the Stranger") was no exception.

*OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT*

1. Uncle Petyr buys his stepson/nephew the perfect birthday gift!

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli) is just kicking it at archery practice like the badass warrior he totally is and always has been when his doting Uncle Petyr (Aiden Gillen) returns, and oh boy, does he have a whale of a tale to tell! Turns out, he was merrily escorting cousin Sansa (Sophie Turner) to safety in the Fingers when their caravan was set upon by Bolton men, who dragged the poor, helpless girl away to be married to Ramsay against Littlefinger's heroic protestations, which is something we all saw happen exactly that way. What's more, because he is being completely honest and forthright, Uncle Petyr tells Robin that he suspects they were betrayed by none other than the boy's own archery instructor, Lord Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart).

While Littlefinger thinks Royce should prove his loyalty by marching his armies against the Boltons, Robin isn't convinced Royce can be forgiven for the terrible thing he definitely did do in real life obviously. Since Uncle Petyr totally didn't see this coming at all, it's a good thing he had time to stop off and buy Robin an awesome falcon!

As a "thank you," Robin decides not to murder Lord Royce by kicking him down a hole. What a cool uncle!

2. Theon, Margaery, and Jon support their siblings!

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

This week's "Thrones" was full of bros and sisters hanging out, havin' each other's backs.

Loras (Finn Jones) might be cowering in his cell, harangued and tortured into a shell of his former self, but leave it to big sister Margaery (Natalie Dormer) to hug him and ask him so super nicely to keep on getting tortured so that their family doesn't get embarrassed. That's what I call tough love!

Meanwhile, Theon (Alfie Allen) sails on back to Pyke to endorse his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) for queen of the Iron Islands, even though she saw his severed penis in a box and isn't exactly being empathetic about it.

And despite his initial reluctance, Jon (Kit Harrington) agrees to march south and kill the dude who wants to murder his little bro Rickon (Art Parkinson) and rape Sansa even more times than he already has, apparently.

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Brothers and sisters FTW!

3. Tyrion is an excellent host!

Photo by HBO.

How many times have you thrown a party and forgotten to put out wine and prostitutes for the guests? It's a pretty common oversight — but Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) knows that the only way to convince a group of city-state princes to stop funding an army of assassins and gradually phase out slavery over a period of seven years is to show them some basic hospitality.

And why not? The Wise Masters seem like nice guys. You don't get a name like the Wise Masters if people don't love and respect you totally of their own accord without any coercion at all.

Sure, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) do point out that seven years of slavery is still kind of a long time, and also that being a slave kind of sucks, and that just because Tyrion was a slave for, like, a day, doesn't mean he really gets it, and also they're royally pissed now, but they're super polite about it and don't smack him upside the head like he probably deserves and everyone stays friends! Yay, teamwork!

4. Daenerys convinces thousands to stretch their quads!

Photo by HBO

It's obvious the Dothraki get plenty of exercise — horseback riding, stabbing people with those curvy machetes, and walking thousands of miles through barren continent-spanning grasslands — but do they stretch enough before and after? No, and that's a recipe for cramps!

Leave it to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to convince them to fall to their knees, extend that back leg out, and flush that lactic acid.

Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.

All it took was being imprisoned in the Hall of the Dosh Khaleen, then getting Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) to lock the doors from the outside while she burned every single khal in the whole city alive, then, somehow, be impervious to fire herself so she could stride naked out of the flames like a demigod born of flesh, making her undisputed leader of all the Dothraki, very possibly forever.

A fit khalasar is a happy khalasar!

5. Ramsay eats an apple!


That apple going to get eaten. Photo by HBO.

Yes, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) makes Osha (Natalia Tena) explain, as he plays ominously with his paring knife, why he should let her continue to live. Yes, he threatens to skin Rickon Stark, the boy she vowed to protect, alive in his dungeon. Yes, it's all a ruse because he stabs her in the neck anyway and watches with something approximating bemused indifference as she bleeds out on the floor.

However, it is heavily implied he is going to eat an apple at some point later on in the day, which is both healthy and good for the environment.

Check-plus, Ramsay!

Join me next week for more nice moments from "Game of Thrones."