Stories of Kindness
A woman picks up litter between throwing a stick for her Jack Russell and the dog bringing it back.
A car slides and gets stuck at the side of the road in icy weather, the wheels spinning in the slush. A teenager sees it from his window, fetches two friends and together they push the car back onto the road.
A man in a pub breaks down crying. He’s recently gotten ill and has started needing a wheel chair. A younger man shuffles across, puts an arm around him and lets him sob.
At the cinema, a woman drops a large Coke and it goes everywhere. Immediately a friend shouts, “Sorry about that, I just dropped my drink!” deflecting any potential embarrassment.
Oh Captain, my Captain!
I don’t have a picture of the litter picker’s dog. This is my mate Dave’s dog, Captain. He’s not a Jack Russell but Dave’s still a nice guy.
Real people, real stories.
The stories above are real ones that people have already shared with me, and I want to collect 1,000 altogether before beginning to write the play. It’s a big number, but everyone’s seen or experienced kindness, it happens all the time. Plus, it releases endorphins and makes you feel good even just telling stories of kindness. So, win-win! Tell me your story.
They can be any length: a single sentence or ten paragraphs.
They can be any scale: about saving a life or giving somebody a crisp.
They can be about something you’ve done, something you’ve seen, or something somebody has done for you. Just so long as it’s true.
Any bits I use in the show will be made anonymous as per those above.
In the meantime, here’s some others that I’ve collected so far, and some from my own experience.
EXAMPLES OF STORIES PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY SHARED WITH ME:
- Letting somebody with only a few items go in front in the supermarket queue.
- Taking somebody to see the sea after they’d been in a car accident and could no longer walk or get public transport.
- A homeless person sharing their last cigarette.
- Offering to cat sit for a friend, then being unable to make it and another friend offering to cat sit for the cat sitter.
- Accepting somebody transitioning from female to male when their parents had disowned them. Providing him with somewhere to stay.
- Lending a stranger a mobile phone and then giving them 50p for the phone box in case they needed a phone later.
- Fixing a fridge door for a friend who’d broken it off its hinges whilst her parents were on holiday.
- Volunteering to fill a water bottle for the postwoman on a hot day.
- Helping to lift a pram down the steps at the train station.
- After getting out of hospital, checking on the wife of the elderly man who’d been in the next bed.
- Comforting and listening to an acquaintance when they cried for the first time about domestic abuse.
- Surprising a friend with a night out after she’d broken up with someone.
- Paying for a friend’s first month of rent so that they could move.
- Leaving the door unlocked so that the milkman could leave the milk in the fridge in Summer. Trusting him to do so.
- Tying a classmate’s shoes for them so they wouldn’t be late for P.E. (from a 6 year old)
MY OWN EXPERIENCES OF KINDNESS
I was in Oslo with an old partner. We were on a very tight budget. Oslo’s very expensive. We got on the tram to go into the city centre and tried to pay the driver. He said, “I think you are English, no?” We said we were. He replied, “I think it is very expensive for you. You don’t pay.” We clearly looked startled. “It’s ok. If the conductor ask you, I speak to him.” During the journey, we got talking to another passenger, who asked us where we were going. We said we were looking for a good bar. He said to come with him and he’d show us a good place. We followed him off the tram, zig-zagged along a few streets, and got in the queue for a bar. He then said goodbye and walked off. We asked him if he wasn’t coming in. He said he was going to get back on the tram. He’d gotten off just to take us somewhere he rated.
My younger brother and I spent a lot of our childhood fighting. He’s exactly a year younger than me and the fighting was pretty even, but I always had the upper hand psychologically. Our purpose was to hurt the other, but more so to get each other in trouble with our mum and dad. One time, I was sat in the living room and he ran in and slapped me in the face, then ran out. It wasn’t unusual enough to make me chase him so I kept watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He came back with Dad, and Dad said, “Why are you slapping your little brother? You should know better!” I was too stunned to say much, my jaw just dropped, watching my brother. He stood behind my dad, doing a Carlton-esque victory dance. This made me laugh, which made my dad angrier and got me grounded. Touchet little brother. Big move.
Shortly after, my dad was fixing up the house round the corner and me and my brother were playing in the garden while he worked. There was a huge iron pole, sharp at one end, basically a really heavy javelin. I started throwing it into a tree trunk. My brother wanted a go. I refused. I wouldn’t share. It was too heavy to stay stuck, but it dug in with a satisfying thunk before levering out a divot of tree. My brother stood in the way, so I faked a throw and he moved. Then I threw it. I did this a couple of times, and on the third time he’d learned the pattern and didn’t move. I’d also learned that he’d move and threw it instead of faking. It stabbed into his hand, and the weight pulled it back out. Both of us on pause a few seconds watching blood pour out. Then he ran inside and I spent a couple of minutes seeing my life flash before my eyes, thinking about running away right then. This was unprecedented. I was pretty sure my dad would kill me. Before I could make a decision my dad came out, my brother’s hand temporarily bandaged. Dad said, “Your brother says he hurt himself playing with the javelin. Is that true?” I looked at my brother. He stood behind my dad, holding his hand above his head. He smiled.