The kindness of strangers

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao Tzu


We are living in a fractious time. I wish it weren’t true but it is. I have struggled with processing the amount of distressing news that we are hearing on a daily basis. When things are tough I always try to remember the kindness of strangers, to know that there is a lot of inherent good in all of us.

I was born in London and love this city, but it can be hard going. Surrounded by people I have had times that I’ve felt very alone. The tube is the place that can magnify that feeling, as everybody faces each other but very few connect.

I need to look out at the world and find beauty. I also need to look up and see that someone elsesh busstopp may need my seat.

There are many people only happy to share stories, a tissue, a smile, some change or directions. We just don’t have it to give all the time. I won’t tell you of times I have been the kind stranger, as if I share it, it may not count. I keep these moments as secrets, knowing that if all I want from it is the validation of others, it will be a spoilt gift.

Let me share with you a story of the kindness paid to me….

One night I’d had a difficult phone call with a family member and also I’d had to say goodbye to someone id fallen for, as they went on their merry way back across the ocean. I got to Angel tube station and started to cry. To my consternation I realized that I didn’t have enough for my tube ticket. At the counter the clerk explained what I needed and the lady behind me gave it to me without question. I spluttered a thank you and approached the escalator.

Having a moment to gulp a few tears behind a snotty sleeve, I heard someone insistently calling out, “Hey, hey..!” I looked left to the ascending escalator, to see a stunning young man who looked at me, bowed his head and thumped at his heart. He reached his strong fist out to me and back to his heart again. I loved him for that. I nodded and tried to pull my self together. I stepped off the escalator at the bottom and went to turn to the platform, when I was being called again. I turned to see another, older man with my favourite hat in his hand. I had dropped it without noticing. I thanked him and he asked me what was upsetting me. I told him and he wished me well.

3 people in two minutes did what they could, to give me some support with their effortless grace. All different in culture, age, ethnicity and gender. All in those moments being angels to me.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


To be able to be of use and service to others we need to be able to give time, love and patient care to ourselves. Getting out into the countryside, even just up to Trent Park or Epping Forest for a walk, is a great way to regenerate the inner resources.

We cannot give what we do not have, but what we do have, we must give with loving abandon.

I wish you a wonderful restful month, full of moments to take your shoes off and feel the grass on your feet.


Sophie McNicholas – Clinic Manager and Massage Practitioner.