The Goodness of Strangers

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Or at least there are still enough GOOD people in this world to restore one’s faith in the spirit of this wonderful season.

My mother and I spent a lovely day Christmas shopping in a bustling little town about a half hour’s drive from here.  At 76, though her health is good and she’s still a stylin’ gal, arthritis and other little aches and pains make long days of driving and tromping through malls a bit difficult, so we always make at least one Christmas shopping sojourn together.

We’d had a productive and satisfying day and we were both pleased with our purchases and with the dwindling size of our lists.  We made one final stop on our way to the car to pick up some cards, and while in that store, my Mom laid a parcel from a department store at her feet, made her purchases, and walked away without so much as a thought about the merchandise she’d left behind.  It wasn’t until she was back home and sharing her booty with my Dad that she realized the bag was missing.

Well, long story short, I think it ruined her whole day. :(  It wasn’t so much the dollar value of the items, as that she had found something perfect for a family member who is rather difficult to buy for.  Neither of us held much hope that someone would have found the parcel and turned it in, but I looked up the phone number for the last store we were in, and my Mom gave them a call.  To our surprise and delight, some good soul had seen the red bag and turned it in to the cashier.  They were happy to put it aside with my name on it, and I will retrieve it tomorrow.

Now, I know that sounds like a very small thing, but to me, it’s huge.  It really does reaffirm what I already know, of course — that there are many GOOD people in this world, everywhere.  We repeatedly hear about all the hate, violence and terror that exists, and so seldom ever let the goodness shine through.

So, that’s my feel good story for the day.  It seems appropriate for your American Thanksgiving and for the spirit of this month long holiday season.  I am, indeed, aware of and grateful for all the good things in this world, large and small.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

18 thoughts on “The Goodness of Strangers”

  1. Nancy, this is truly a beautiful story about the season and the caring hearts of what most people are about. Doesn’t it seem the press is horrrid, focusing on sensationalism and ratings? Your mother must be delighted to know there are still many caring people in this world. Thanks for spreading good roots that reach out and touch, dear friend. Appropriate, yes. I am thankful for good neighbors; let us hold hands … both Canada and the United States … we have much to be thankful for.

  2. What a grand story! I am thankful your mom got her gift back. She is of the age that she knows a thing or two about finding the right gift. I can imagine her disappointment at the loss. So how did she react when you told her the gift was turned in to the store?

    I love Pay It Forward type situations. I am hoping the person who turns it in will also get a blessing along their path.

  3. Hearing this helps restore my faith in the goodness of people. A few weeks ago I left my cell phone at a grocery store. A couple of teenage boys employed by the store went through my contacts, called my sister, and got a message to me to come pick it up at the store office. People are generally good.

  4. There is goodness and kindness in the world, we just need to look a little harder to find it sometimes.
    It was wonderful that a stranger would turn in the bag, but would you not have turned in the bag if you found it?

    I know that I was brought up to do that, without question, and many times I have found lost items, wallets, keys, and done everything that I could to return them to the rightful owner. Sometimes people are grateful, and sometimes they just act as if it was not a really big deal. The joy is in doing the right thing, not in the return of it.

    That said, I am thrilled that she is getting her package back!


  5. Hi Nancy, after just reading the Shibaguyz rant about the tragic Walmart incident, this is such a mood lifter, thank you and best wishes to your mom. This story will bring a warm fuzzy feeling for many who may be a little down about the goodness of folks, or lack thereof.

  6. Hi Nancy, Your story is so uplifting. I am so glad you shared it because it is inspiring and does encourage the spirit of love, and of being grateful. Everything we do and say has consequences…either positive or negative. In this case, the choice the person in the store made had positive consequences for your mom, and for all of us, through you sharing it in your post! Take care! Jan

  7. What a wonderful story. And I agree with Dee–it’s not a small thing. Every time some person does something kind and honest like this, it restores my faith in humanity a little. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. I think that there are a lot more good people out there than we are made to think of. The media makes it seem like we need to be afraid of everything and everyone when that’s not really the case most of the time. Thanks for sharing this story. I think we need to share more of these stories since the media doesn’t seem to think these things are news worthy.

  9. While I was shopping a little old frail man dropped the box of purchases he was carrying. As he was trying to pick them up a younger stronger man swooped them up and said I’ll carry them for you. The little old man said his car was far from the door but the younger man said no problem. And I went merrily on my way warmed by the young man’s gift. Goodwill is everyday.

  10. Wonderful to hear Nancy. Keeps the hope alive that all the good in the world is not gone, like it sometimes seems. How nice you can share a shopping day with your Mom too.

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