Proof That The Kindness You Show Strangers Can Go A Long Way

"If you have a nice thing to say... don’t hold onto it."

Sometimes we forget the power that simple acts of kindness can have. Things like giving someone a compliment or asking someone if they're doing OK take almost no effort, but they can go a long way. 

Ed Solomon (Twitter user @ed_solomon) recently took to Twitter to remind people of this with a story from a woman he knows. The woman told him that her mother "had viciously berated her since she was a child." One day, this happened while the two of them were in an elevator with other people. 

"When the door opened on their floor the mother bolted out but just as SHE started to go a stranger — a random person who happened to be there — whispered, 'Hey.' And the (then 11-yr-old) girl turned back. The stranger said: 'It's not you. It's her.' And then the elevator door closed," Solomon tweeted. 

Why is this important? Well, that stranger likely has no idea, but the impact she had on that little girl has lasted for decades.  

"The (now 53-year-old) woman told me that at times when life gets really dark, when she hears her (inner) mother's voice telling her that she's shit, she can't do it, or to just plain give up .. she then sees that stranger's face as the door closes in front of her. Nodding," Solomon explained on Twitter. "Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps her going. The point? If you have a nice thing to say — a word of encouragement, a compliment — even if it's to a passing stranger.. Don't hold onto it. Cause you just never know where and when it will land." 

And, of course, alternatively, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't open your mouth. Negative words can have a lasting impact on others, too. Words are powerful. Use them wisely. 

Solomon's touching tweets moved many people to share their own similar experiences. His first tweet in the thread has been shared nearly 3,000 times and has over 6,000 likes. The stories people responded with are just another reminder that we should be making more of an effort to speak up and spread kindness.  

Words are powerful. Use them wisely.

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