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Unselfish Acts of: Kindness, Courage, Compassion

  1. Jul 18, 2010 #1


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    This thread is dedicated to those people (strangers) who have made a significant impression on you, or someone you know through unselfish acts, and in what ways if any, has it changed you.

    For those of you who haven't been following my thread, Sad News... See post # https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2795074&postcount=30". For the second time in less than two years I was humbled by strangers going out of their way for someone (this time, myself) who they didn't know. It got me to thinking that it would be nice to relate unselfish acts, that have affected you in ways listed in the Title above. Second, if those acts have changed you, how so, and why.

    Here is my contribution. After returning from Colorado attending to Mom's affairs, we went to Cape Cod with long time friend's and while at the beach, a woman lost her 14 year old daughter and 3 girl friends for over an hour. I went with lifeguard to try and find them, after a short search, they were located at a small pond just off the beach. The mother was relieved, and everyone, including the police, breathed a sigh of relief. I found it kind of odd that I walked right to the spot where the girls emerged. Needless to say, my motivation to get involved was inspired by the actions of the management and wait staff at that restaurant. I can no longer stand by and watch while others suffer. Seeing the genuine concern and fear in the mother's voice and body language while speaking to her about the girl's description and last whereabouts motivated me to get involved. That, and to some how try to begin to repay a karmic debt of kindness directed toward me and my family.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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  3. Jul 18, 2010 #2
    I remember once my friends and I went to a restaurant and the people who worked there were really rude to us so we went to another. One of my friends was really bothered by it and we were talking about it. When it was time for us to pay the bill, the waitress told us that it was already paid. We asked her by who and she told us the guy with his family that was sitting next to us. When I asked him why he did it, he told me that he heard our discussion and wanted to make our day a little better. I thought that was really big.
  4. Jul 19, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Does my wife putting up with me count?

    When I read this, it occured to me that I had never considered what might be the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I honestly have to give that one to my wife, Tsu. It was her suggestion that, when into my late twenties, I return to school and obtain the physics degree that I always wanted to pursue, but never had the means.

    My career had me on-call much of the time. In the extreme, for two years, I was on-call 24/7. Every time I tried to take some classes, I would have to withdraw because of too many days missed and too little time for homework. It was the a classic Catch 22: I had all but reached the limits of my career path but I couldn't afford to do anything about it. I couldn't just walk away from a good career in the medical field, and there was no way to get out of call - ever.

    Then, out of the blue [from my point of view], Tsu suggested that I should just walk away and go back to college. When I realized that she was serious about this, I jumped. That decision changed both of our lives forever. It took an inordinate amount of faith, and trust, and selflessness on her part, to do such a thing. And the story doesn't end there. Over the years, her trust and faith has allowed me to take risks that in turn made possible a life I never thought possible. We aren't rich, and life certainly isn't perfect, but the value of that selfless act, and the impact that it had on both of our lives, is beyond measure. I will be forever grateful.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  5. Jul 19, 2010 #4
    Can I count people I do know?

    When I started grad school, I knew absolutely nothing about my research (as opposed to now, where I know just a little bit). The older grad student in our group took considerable time out of his hectic schedule to teach me ROOT, explain all of the analysis methods, and otherwise get me up to speed. This was at no benefit to him, even though he had other stuff that he should have been doing. I definitely would have failed out without this guy.

    I figure that I know him now, but didn't know him at the time. So it's sort of like an unselfish act from a stranger.
  6. Jul 19, 2010 #5
    It is nice to have someone support you when everyone else thinks you are crazy.
  7. Jul 20, 2010 #6


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    Yes anyone, whether they be family, friends, co-workers, professors, etc. Nice story BTW Ivan, you are a lucky man to have such a great friend and wife, Tsu for believing in you, then taking steps for you to achieve a goal, very, very cool.

    Rhody... :cool:
  8. Jul 20, 2010 #7


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    There are so many, but I'd like to mention those who are kind by helping others learn, here at pf.
  9. Jul 20, 2010 #8


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    Cmon, share a few to inspire us...

    Rhody... :smile:
  10. Jul 20, 2010 #9
    It's always heart warming to see someone helping the elderly to get up after a fall. I enjoy seeing it so much that I go around knocking them down, just so that someone can come around eventually to help them back up. It makes me proud to be a human.
  11. Jul 20, 2010 #10


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    You always make me chuckle, Jimmy :smile:. So kind,courageous, and compassionate of you haha.

    At a place I used to work, we were always terribly busy running around doing this test or that procedure. One of my co-workers would frequently be attentive to what we were doing and get out ahead of us, setting up equipment and warming up instruments that we were going to need. We didn't realize the extent of his work until he went on vacation and we had to do those things ourselves.

    He was affectionately dubbed The Helpful Lab Elf after that.
  12. Jul 20, 2010 #11
    Beware of these old people:
  13. Jul 20, 2010 #12
    That old lady looks familiar. Was she the one singing "One of these days this walker is going to walk all over you."?
  14. Jul 20, 2010 #13


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    Not me personally, but I think what some of these people do to help this mom (with her baby in the back seat) that can't get her car started is pretty heroic. And then there are also the less heroic.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/video/mom-drunken-drive-10714090 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  15. Jul 21, 2010 #14
    OMG that was the BEST:rofl::rofl::rofl:*goes to watch it again*
  16. Jul 21, 2010 #15


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    I was really thinking generally about my family, and also because we move a bit, I was thinking about the warmth, tolerance and consideration etc. shown in very different communities.
  17. Jul 21, 2010 #16


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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: oh my god I spit all over my laptop after reading that!!!!
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