Strangers have sometimes been kinder to me than my own family. There have been so many times that a passing face has held a door for me, let me go before them or helped with directions. One stands out the most it came at a time when I felt like a wounded animal hiding from a rival pack. When I was in a neck brace, a woman in the grocery store tucked my tag inside my shirt. Sounds simple enough, but if you have ever in those contraptions it is impossible to move your head let alone get dressed properly. I made so many people uncomfortable at the time because my injury was inconvenient to my job and I had no help at home. This woman most likely does not remember doing that for me.
I have always been fortunate to have some kindness from male strangers-like buying a drink or bumming a smoke- but this was a woman around the same age as me. At the time I felt everyone was against me in my desperately injured state; it was like living a horror movie of violent subtext. I thanked her, a bit jarred because my injury was the result of a hug gone wrong and being touched terrified me. I paid for my groceries and left. I had wanted to give her another glance, but I was awkward enough leaving trying to push a cart even though it hurt.
My neck brace eventually came off and I did four months of physical therapy. She stuck in my head for nearly ten years. It was such a small act, but it meant the world to me at the time. I try to be kind to others in small ways as well. It may come when a timid person just needs a drop of kindness.