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Culture

These stories of kindness and generosity will de-Grinch even the hardest of hearts

These stories of kindness and generosity will de-Grinch even the hardest of hearts

When it seems like the whole world has gone mad, we need reminders that people are generally good. That humanity trumps inhumanity. That kindness and generosity are the rule, not the exception.

Naturally, anyone can point to stories of inhumanity and cruelty to negate such a positive worldview, but even in those stories, there are almost always examples of people doing the right thing, the kind thing, the just thing. When we shift our gaze to the people doing good, we find oodles of them.


Writer Lauren Hough shared one such story on Twitter, and a veritable deluge of faith-boosting stories followed. Hough's story alone was uplifting, but seeing example after example of ordinary people going out of their way to lend a helping hand to strangers, asking nothing in return, is enough to soften even the Grinch-iest of hearts.

RELATED: This mom's viral story of strangers' kindness illustrates how it truly 'takes a village.'

Hough wrote:

"One register open. This lady couldn't get her wic card to work and I shit you not, every single person in line behind her tried to pay the bill. Dude in front of me won. And pulled out an extra $100 to give her. In case you needed to know, a lot of people are actually alright."

"No one even made a big deal about it. It was like they didn't want witnesses," she added in another tweet. "But I mean, it's the shopping at midnight on a Monday crowd, mostly people who've been there."

Then the stories, both from people who've been there and those who haven't, poured in.

One woman wrote about how, when she was around nine, a woman bought her a lime green shimmer hat she'd been admiring but didn't have the money for.

While a former Dollar General employee wrote about how a kid's card wasn't working one day, so the guy in line behind him paid for it.

Indeed, those who have been through periods of poverty are often the first to help others because they know how it feels to be in their shoes.


Several people shared pharmacy stories of both customers and pharmacists themselves helping pay for people's medicine.



Another person shared how a couple of police officers buy food for homeless people, even asking the person to make sure they "pick good ones."

"Everybody counts, or nobody does," they added, which seems to sum up the sentiment in the entire thread.

RELATED: An Irish school is ditching homework for a month, assigning 'acts of kindness' instead

And another person shared how a stranger stuck up for them when someone was criticizing them for being on public benefits.

How about this teenage boy buying flowers and cake to surprise his mom? "His debit card wouldn't work," wrote Aloysius Olberding. "Mind did."

Another user shared how a homeless man asked if he could buy her husband's coat, and he gave it to the man instead. That story inspired another person to load up their car with old coats to give away.

Even those who appear to be Grinches can surprise us, as this story of a scowling man paying for someone's lunch without a word shows.

When we're going through a difficult time, random acts of kindness can feel particularly reassuring. These two people had lost a parent and had strangers pay for their meals. "Everything felt alright, even if just for a moment," one wrote.

Though generosity means not expecting anything in return, sometimes karma steps in and rewards people anyway. One person shared how their significant other used $200 he'd saved for a tool to buy groceries for a mom and three kids in need. A few days later, the tool he'd wanted fell out of a truck in front of him, and no one ever claimed it.

But the real beauty of generosity and kindness are how they get paid forward. It's like a perpetual chain of goodness that just keeps going and going and going.

As "The Angry Academic" points out, "Politics is f*cked but we gonna be alright."

Yes we are. Faith in humanity restored.

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