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Jonesn4burgers's avatar

What's your very best pay it forward story?

Asked by Jonesn4burgers (7264points) July 30th, 2014

Has someone done something cool for you, right out of the blue? Maybe something really, really cool? Not a favor, not when you were stranded, etc., but just no strings attached?
Or, have you done something like that? If so, what was the reaction?

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14 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

Dang, this is a tough one. I think you might have set the bar a little too high asking for the “best”.

I pay little good fortunes forward almost daily. I might buy a gallon of salad for $1 and stop at 2 friends’ and give them a quart. Or I might buy a melon too big to eat, butcher it, and distribute bags to friends.

I live at the junction of a busy county road and an interstate and I seldom pass a stopped car without stopping and asking “Everything all right?” In the past year I think I’ve helped with 3 flat tires, and I’ve run home for bottles of cold water. Last week there was a couple on bikes gesturing over a map. Illinois prohibits bicycles on the interstate and they were trying to figure out how to get to Missouri without crossing the Mississippi River bridge. You cannot. lol Missouri appears to have no such prohibition in this neck of the woods.

You just wanted me to tell ya a story!

JLeslie's avatar

Why doesn’t stranded count?

I was in Miami for a doctors appointment that was not fun, and when I got down to my car it wouldn’t start. A couple cars over was a van that was basically a wreck, dents, windows down, barely a paint job, all sorts of tools in it. The owner happened to come out and I asked if he had cables to try to jump the battery, although I knew it probably wouldn’t work. I have never had a battery in FL that would jump.

The guy was a few years off the raft, Cuban, pretty good broken English. He did have cables, and as predicted they didn’t help. He took the battery out of my car, drove me to a nearby Sears, we bought a battery, he drve me back and put in the new battery. Started like a charm. He would not let me give him any money! To this day I wish I had forced him to take some, or that I would have sent him something if I had known his address or something.

Things like this, I have other stories, make me want to do things like that for other people. I am a big believer in pay it forward. I think that attitude makes the world a better place.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve had people help me in similar ways with car issues and have done the same for others,not to say I wouldn’t go out of my way to help another before, but knowing strangers have done the same for me makes me feel more inclined to help. A couple months ago I drove an 80 year old Italian man(super broken english) all around town until we could find the right battery for his car.

JLeslie's avatar

I got into his van when it has been drummed into me never to get into anyone’s car.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@JLeslie, Yours is a terrific story, and I certainly understand your gratitude. I’m not snubbing certain acts of kindness. I only made the stipulation because lots of people will help someone they see with an issue at the moment. I am feeling curious about those out of the blue, did it just because of a wild hair kind of moments. For instance, tipping someone $100. just because. (I’ve had that happen!) I will lurve all the good stories, but I am particularly interested in hearing whether anyone has any of THOSE kinds of experiences. Her’s one of MY good samaritan stories. I was hitchhiking from Des Moines to Reno. I had about one hundred fifty pounds of stuff on my back, and hanging over my shoulders. A guy had held me captive in a motel room for over three weeks by slipping me a string of date rape drugs. I was REAL upset, and could find no-one to tell who would believe me. I needed miles. I ditched everything, walked out of my job, and packeed what I could carry. I was about two miles out of town when a suv stopped to offer me a ride. It was a man and his wife. As we began down the highway, wife asked where I was going. I told her However far they could get me on I80, that I wasn’t planning to stop until Reno. She looked at her husband, and he turned off the highway, and went back to Des Moines. He stopped at the Greyhound station. While wife told me about her experiences hitching with her husband, he went inside and bought a one way ticket.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers That’s a great story.

The first pay it forward story I ever heard was a very dear friend of mine wound up pregnant before they had planned. She was 3 months short of graduating college and her SO was in law school. She finished school and they married a month after that. Her son had some health issues. Needless to say they barely lived check to check with him still in school, and their medical coverage was sorely lacking. One day she received a bill from a neurologist she had taken her son to, which she could not afford to pay in full, so she called the office to try and set up a payment plan. Next thing she knew the doctor was on the phone. He said, “aren’t you the one whose husband is in law school, blah blah.” She was shocked he even got on the phone, much less remembered what she had told him about herself. His next sentence was, “don’t worry about the bill, I’m going to make your balance zero. One day when your husband has his law degree hopefully he can do something similar for someone just starting out.”

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

THAT is an awesome share, @JLeslie!

Coloma's avatar

A few summers ago my daughter and I took off a week long excursion the Redwoods here in Humboldt Co. Ca. We picked up a couple of traveling youngsters about my daughters age at the time ( 21ish ) in one of state parks in Humboldt. The kid was teasing me when I was trying to gage whether I would fit through one of the monolithic redwood drive through trees. He shouted at us in our car ” Just go really FAST!” lol

That struck up some humorous banter and we learned they were traveling all over the U.S. The boy was from Belgium and the girl from back east somewhere and they were lovers/traveling companions on a cross country couch surfing expedition. We drove them about 2 hours to meet their couch surfing host and had so much fun!
We exchanged contact info. and a couple months later I received a beautiful, hand dyed silk scarf as a gift from them.

The girl made them as a business venture. Great little random moments with “strangers.”

Mimishu1995's avatar

One day I was going shopping alone. When I had bought everything I came to the cashier desk. When I reached the desk, a foreigner was already there, waiting behind the line. He had got more stuffs than me, but because he was there first I thought I just had to wait for my turn. Suddenly the foreigner backed out and offered me to stand in front of him. That took me aback because I was supposed to be the one who waited. Although I said it was fine to just wait, he insisted on letting me go first. It was really nice of him.

rojo's avatar

I helped a woman on her way from California to Houston, TX who was stranded on the side of the road. Her and her three kids in a small Chevy with CRAP everywhere in and on the car, matresses, clothes, table, chairs, everything tied onto and into and the kids squeezed in wherever. Of course, they had a flat in west Texas in the middle of BFE with a flat spare as well. Gave her a ride to Sonora and back to her car with the repaired tire. Made sure she got it on and was on her way (kids waving out of any available opening) and then continued on our journey.
A couple of years later 60 miles off the main road at Toroweep above the Grand Canyon someone lent me a pump to inflate a flat tire. What comes around, goes around.

Brian1946's avatar


What does BFE stand for?

ibstubro's avatar

lol Bum F*ck Egypt!, @Brian1946

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@Brian1946, it means seriously nowhere, not even on the suburbs of nowhere, but just way out int the nowhere.

Brian1946's avatar

@ibstubro @Jonesn4burgers

If I find someone who doesn’t know what BFE stands for, I’ll pay your help forward. ;-p

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