the ask@AAR: What are your stories about the kindness of others?

When I think of Tennessee Williams, I think of A Streetcar Named Desire (the movie) and, in my head, I hear Vivian Leigh saying, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

In the film, the viewer knows Blanche’s trust’s delusional and that the kindnesses done to her are, in truth, cruel or uncaring. That said, I like the phrase. Random acts of kindness are one of society’s greatest lubricants, antidotes to the endless grind of negativity we live amidst.

I’m on our last week of a three week trip in Europe and, again and again, strangers and near strangers have been simply lovely. For example: We are currently in Bath and are, tomorrow, to go to Oxford. Unfortunately, this weekend brings a strike by railway workers and there are no trains. To take a bus would take almost all day and is quite expensive. I thought we’d be reduced to hiring an Uber which, I’m sure, would be more than a night in our Airbnb. But….

There is a woman who went to college with my siblings but whom I’ve not seen in over thirty years who lives outside Bath. I wrote her and asked if she had any ideas or suggestions. She promptly rearranged her work schedule to drive us–Dr. Feelgood and I have been joined by our son who lives in India. It’s around a two hour drive each way. I am awed by her generosity–and my happiness meter rose by several degrees.

It distresses me we don’t share enough happy stories so please, tell me some acts of kindness you’ve experienced.

Thanks! TGIF!

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