When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!

Some months ago, we needed to take a taxi to the airport which is only about 20 minutes from our house. An older man at the top of our cul-de-sac drives an airport taxi, so instead of calling the company, we walked up and asked if he could drive us to the airport the following day and gave him the time.

He came as arranged and off we went. When we arrived, and started to pay him, he said “No, it was his pleasure to take his neighbors to the airport.” We tried again to pay him saying that we had certainly expected to do so, but he declined. My husband and I were totally surprised, and kind of speechless. We thanked him and went on our way.

He and his family have lived in the neighborhood for a number of years now, and truthfully, we don’t know our any of our neighbors very well — and really aren’t friends with anyone around us. We’re on more of a nod and a wave basis, and quick chats when we run into each other. We’ve lived next door to the same people for 17 years, and though we talk with them fairly often, we’re not friends — like having dinner at each others’ houses or going places together friends. I don’t know if that’s us or them, or both, but we all tend to keep to ourselves. That’s why this kindness came as such a shock, and I think as a wake-up call that perhaps we should be friendlier and more approachable than we are. I think we felt that we were beneficiaries of a kindness that we didn’t deserve.

All of us get involved in our own work world and family commitments, but taking a bit more time for others around us might be worthwhile, too.