Favors for Strangers

Hallie - syracuse, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in doing a favor for a stranger. It has happened to everyone -that horrible feeling where you aren’t sure whether you’re going to completely embarrass yourself by not making it to the bathroom in time. And let’s be honest, not everyone is like Billy Madison and think it’s cool to pee your pants.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with doing a stranger a favor because to me, strangers and bathrooms aren’t a usual combination. I came to truly believe in this concept on a summer evening in downtown Chicago on the way to pick up my brother for a White Sox game. Of course we hit stand still traffic. I am going to be blunt, my bladder was near the point of explosion, I was practically in tears, I really had to go. After about an hour, we finally made it to my brother’s condo. I had no idea where a lobby or public restroom might be and there was no way I was going to make up to the 19th floor. I was asked the first person I saw where a restroom was and they told me the 3rd floor. I searched the entire floor in a frenzy and found no restroom. By this point, I know the look on my face was full of desperation and panic. A little old lady who had just finished emptying her trash was in the hallway. I told her my situation and she began explaining where the bathroom was but then suddenly stopped. She looked in my eyes and knew I was really struggling. She told me I could run into her condo and use her bathroom. I have never been so grateful.

No, I am not saying I believe you should just let strangers come into your home and use your bathroom. But I know that if I hadn’t gotten to use hers it would have ruined my night. I would have been one unhappy, and soggy, camper at the game. Her simple gesture changed my complete outlook of the night, and it took no more than a few moments of her time.

The favor can be as easy as holding the door open for a stranger, saying ‘bless you’ to someone after they sneeze, or picking up something for someone after they dropped it. What is there to lose? Nothing. I believe simple favors make differences in people lives.