Sometimes, small actions have big impacts. You never know how much a decision will affect you until you look back, and some small moments have changed people’s lives forever. For these people, those small instances put their life on a wonderful path.

1. Encouraged to Read

“When I was a kid we didn’t have a lot of money, so we often shopped at thrift stores. What I loved about that was that you could get 10 books for a dollar, so I would plant myself in front of the book section and make piles of which one I wanted to get and then decided after I’d gone through them all.

One day an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read.

I told her I did and showed her a few of the books I found that I liked. She smiled and then pulled a dollar out of her purse, handed it to me and said, ‘Promise me that you’ll keep reading.’ I was so happy and immediately stood up and said that I would. She smiled and walked away and I went back to my piles able to pick out an extra 10 books to take home.

It was just a small act of kindness for her, but for me having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued love of reading. This was over 20 years ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.”


2. Given a Chance

“When I was a kid, the pastor of my parents’ church heard me practicing Bach on the piano.

He asked if I’d like to try the pipe organ – something that had always fascinated me. I took to it like a duck to water, even though my feet could barely reach the pedals.

So right then and there – knowing my parents couldn’t afford it – he offered to pay for my complete music education in preparation for college (including organ, piano, theory, keyboard harmony and ear training).

His act of generosity and kindness brought about my career. And all he asked in return was for me to substitute for the church organist when he was on vacation or away – something I was honored to do.”


3. Saved By Sand

“I was riding my motorcycle years ago to visit a chick in Tallahassee, FL. It was 1:00 AM and I was trying to figure out exactly where she lived (pre GPS days).

I got sand in my eye from the road due to my tinted visor being up and decided to stop at a red light to try and clean them out. The light went green but I sat there a few seconds cleaning my eyes. There was nobody around so I wasn’t worried about blocking traffic.

Right at that moment, an old cr*p hooptie blew the red light doing almost 100mph. I am 100% positive I am still here because I got sand in my eyes.”


4. The WoW Factor

“There was massive drama in my guild in World of Warcraft. Although it didn’t have anything to do with me, it was making the guild atmosphere toxic. One evening, I logged in, clicked Select Server, and randomly choose a new server.

On the new server, I met my partner. Because of her, I moved to a different country, was able to get my Master’s degree, and the move literally saved my life.

For 10 years, I had been going to the doctor in the UK with various ailments. Stress was always the answer, relaxation was always the solution. Turns out it was actually my thyroid. Left untreated for much longer and the irregularity in my heart rhythm would have killed me. All this because I thought it would be fun to wind up the RPers for an evening.”


5. Because Of A Mailer

“During my junior year of high school, I received a well-crafted mailer advertising an engineering summer camp at a college I’d never heard of in a different state. My mother really liked the mailer, so my parents sent me to engineering camp that summer.

On the first day of camp, I arrived late to the orientation and sat on the only available seat. The guy I sat next to fell in love with me instantly. We started dating at camp, then the next year, we both went to that college so we could be together.
4 years after that, we both graduated with engineering degrees and got married.

If my mother hadn’t liked that mailer, I wouldn’t have met my husband, I wouldn’t have gone to that school, and I probably would have had a different major as well.

Also, if I hadn’t sat down next to him at orientation, we probably wouldn’t have started dating. Pretty wild.”