This era of social media has its pros and cons. We are more connected than ever and endless information is just a few clicks away. Yet, while all this technology has brought us together, in many ways it feels like we're drifting farther apart. We curate bubbles of like-minded individuals in our social circles online, and fear speaking with strangers in the real world. Everything feels much more fast-paced, and while life is more convenient, it's somehow more stressful than ever.
That's not to say that random acts of kindness no longer exist. It's hard to live in the present moment. But if you can take a moment to look up from your device and look around, you may find a wonderful moment right in front of you in the real world, and you may be able to help out a stranger in ways you never imagined.
Such a thing happened recently to Joyce Rhinehart. She's an Ohio native who enjoys social media as much as the rest of us. But she also enjoys taking moments to enjoy her surroundings from time to time.
She shared an incredible story of how a seemingly random encounter with strangers made a huge impact on them. She says this story "still sends chills through [her] and brought [her] to tears." It all started when she picked up her grandson from his tennis lesson.
She decided to treat him after a long afternoon of playing tennis. So she took him to the nearby Rita's Italian Ice shop. While there, instead of staring at her phone, she observed the other customers.
"I left to take [my grandson] home and told him how I have done this before when I see cute family moments of total strangers so they can have the memory. Usually, I do this on vacation.I know... I'm weird! But, wait till you hear the rest of the story."
It turns out it was from the father in the picture she took. Here's what his message said:
"Dear madam, you took our picture in front of Rita's on June 8th. My wife has passed away yesterday and this is the last picture we have together as a family. Please accept my deepest gratitude for your kindness, it means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
This story teaches a powerful lesson. It's one we can all try and do better to live by. If you slightly inconvenience yourself every so often for a stranger, it can help them out in ways you'll never know.
If we all do this, the world could become a much nicer place. Selfless acts of kindness should be done with or without anyone looking. But hearing more stories like this can help inspire in an era where the populace has grown more and more cynical.