The Stranger Who Made My Day

You know how it’s like when it’s been a hard day at work, a dull day, and nothing-out-of-the-ordinary kind of day or whatever it is that makes the slightest nice gesture of any given stranger brighten up your day.

I don’t remember when exactly, but it was months ago, sometime last winter. I was leaving work with a friend and we were waiting for the elevator. I was rambling on about something, I don’t remember what it was exactly but I think I was being a bit dramatic and I was facing my friend with my back to the elevator. As I heard the elevator’s door slide open, without looking I turned around while I was finishing  a sentence and was about to dash into the elevator when I lift my head up to see that I was just about to bump into someone who was coming out of the elevator. I was startled so I said nothing, not even a “sorry” or a smile of apology. You may imagine that in such case, since I was the clumsy one who almost hit the guy and didn’t bother hersself with common courtesy, not that I had time to so that, you may think that this guy could’ve said something like “watch where you’re going” or at least worked up one of those yellow smiles and walked away. Instead, a wide small was drawn across his face, a genuine one that says “It’s okay”. Not only that, he even said, “I’m sorry”. He actually apologized for my clumsiness! He then walked away and I was like, “some people are really nice!”. When I went home, out of no where, I found myself saying to my brother: “You know really there are some people who are really really nice.” I’m not sure if he heard what I said but if he did I don’t think he knew where I was coming from.

I know it may seem like an exaggeration but that very short encounter and that smile from that stranger really had a huge impact on me. Sometimes when I think of those things I wonder if maybe I can have this impact on any random person, a child maybe. Who knows? Maybe a smile or a nod may restore confidence to an old woman, or boos the spirit of a troubled teenager. I know I’m being dramatic but there are many dramatic people out there who may believe this is very possible.

I don’t know why I decided to share this story now. But you know, sometimes you just need it. Be it something funny you read on the back of a truck, a chubby child wrapped up in an overall, smiling and toddling like a penguin, a friend sharing their chocolate with you, whatever it is, you need it, and most importantly, you need to pay attention to it because it’s always, always there.

Originally Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2008 on


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