I have had many pleasant brushes with totally random people, but this one stands out the most:
Recently I was in New York City with a youth group — we were doing mission work to help homeless people. Community service is not something I typically do, so that was a great experience in general, but one of the worst things about it was that I could not for the life of me get along with our three adult chaperones. Midway through the trip, I thought I might just flip out if I had to deal with their detached lack of interest in our wishes any more, and I was really honestly missing my parents and wishing I had some sort of good adult role in my life right about then.
We went to a small one-act play festival and sat through five short plays, one of which was terrible, two of which were decent, and two of which were really top-notch. My favorite of the five was innovative and funny, and one of the main actors drew me in with some strange charisma despite the annoying character he played.
Afterward, we were allowed to mingle with the actors, directors and writers. I drifted around, looking for someone I was interested in speaking with, and I saw my actor of choice. His charisma was even more noticeable now that he had dropped character—he had the nicest smile. His name was Robert.
He passed me, and I began the whole thing by poking his arm. I was rather shocked at myself, but he was immediately inviting, smiling and asking lots of questions, clearly interested in who I was, not just talking about his work. We had a brief conversation where I complimented him and the writing, and he guessed from about ten words out of my mouth that I was an aspiring writer (not really sure how he pulled that one off). He told me I ought to speak with the playwright, and offered to point him out for me when he got the chance.
I'd figured he wasn’t really planning to come back.
But I ran into him again that evening, and he asked if I’d found the writer yet. I said I hadn’t, so, upon locating him, Robert brought me over to him. He was chatting with two elderly, pompous-looking stuffed-shirts, so I waited patiently, but they didn’t show any signs of stopped soon. Robert returned, and went so far as to interrupt their conversation and introduce me.
I ran into him several other times that night, and every single time he was unbelievably kind and willing to drop everything and talk to me. I actually ended up walking out with him, talking about a film I was trying to make with a hand camera.
His last words to me: "It was lovely meeting you; you’re a great person to talk to!"
That was exactly the kindness I needed. I’m considering dedicating my first film to him.