With the media being persistently bombarded with negativity, stories of terror, murder and natural disaster repetitively making their way to the spotlight, it is so easy to allow your spirits to be dampened. Our faith in the world, our faith in humanity seems to be steadily in decline. However, it's important that we do not allow negativity, allow fear, to win. Peace Pilgrim, the peace and social activist, once said, "The way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.". Indeed, it's amazing how even minute gestures of love can do so much to brighten even the darkest of days. Here are a few heartwarming tales of our own.
The Train Ticket Fine
When I was 16 years-old, on my way home and exhausted from a shift at the retail store I was working at during the Christmas holidays, for some reason it had not occurred to me that my term-time rail pass would be invalid. "Tickets please". Absent-minded, I flashed my rail pass to the passing ticket inspector and to my surprise, he stared much longer at mine than he did the rest. He proceeded to tell me that it was invalid and I was required to pay a penalty fare. Now for my younger self, this seemed like expensive. At that point, I didn't even have that much in my bank account. When I explained this to him he went on to issue the fine to be posted, asking for my address. Before I could speak - a man that had been listening quietly, quickly stepped in to pay the fine. I was so surprised. Moved as I was by this warm, kind gesture, I must have said thank you about half-a-dozen times throughout the rest of the journey. I even updated my Facebook status (something I rarely do) to tell my friends about it. I thought about how powerful giving is. Not only was I very touched, but the rest of the carriage was too.
- Gemma, Hampshire
The Flat Tire
"After visiting a friend in Brighton, I was on my way back to work early the next morning. Pulling up to a set of traffic lights, it surprised me to hear the man in the car beside me shout "excuse me". After rolling my window down, he pointed to my back wheel, on which the tire was on it's way to being completely deflated! It saved me from what could have been a very large bill at the garage or a very nasty car accident".
"It made me want to look out for others more, friends and strangers alike. When you're self-absorbed it's easy to miss a clear opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. For all I know, that man might have made a significant difference in mine, perhaps even saving it."
~ Eva, Birmingham
Bungee Jumping Photos
"Towards the end of our time in Canada, having saved the best until last, we did Bungee Jumping which definitely lived up to our expectations."
He smiled, reminiscing.
"But since we were very near the end of the trip and hadn't put much aside for souvenirs, we couldn't afford the USB with the photos, which turned out to look pretty awesome. I said to my partner that either we eat or buy the photos. We actually couldn't afford to do both. A Canadian man overheard and went straight up to the till and bought us our photos. "It's a one in a lifetime trip" he said, " I can't let you leave without your memories." The bungee jumping was incredible but really, it was that, that made my day."
- James, London.
The Returned Wallet
"The best small act of kindness that has been done to me is probably the time when a Taxi driver returned my wallet to me in person. I'd left it on the back seat of the taxi and it didn't even have any of my contact details in it"
"I am from a small village in Devon so almost everyone knows everyone. The Driver got hold of me by calling the number on my friends' business card, asking him if he knew me, the name on the bank card. He Told him that he wanted to return my wallet."
"It gives me so much hope when I see people go out of their way for others, and luckily enough, this time it was someone doing it for me. It came as such a huge surprise when he delivered it to me himself the next morning. I couldn't have been more thankful."
- Andrew, Devon