Thank you to the stranger on the train…

TearsYesterday was not a good day for me.

In fact, being honest, it was really awful.

It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say something like that…but in this case there’s no other way to put it!

I got some news which was very upsetting, and which caught me completely by surprise.

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I was in London at a meeting when it happened, and so on my journey home it all started to sink in…and the next thing I know I’m sitting on a South Eastern train with tears streaming down my face.

It was one of those “once the flood gates are open” moments.

Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

I was very aware of the fact that I was on a public train, surrounded by people, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling very upset, and at that moment I needed to let it out.

The guy with the drinks trolley went past and very kindly handed me a couple of napkins as he went.

But then something interesting happened.

A guy who was sat a little further up the train walked up to me and said “I’m really sorry, I’m not trying to hit on you, but I can’t just sit there and watch you cry….would you like to split a beer? Or I could just sit here and talk random rubbish at you for the rest of your journey?”

Now, a few years ago, if this had happened my instinctive response would be to say “It’s OK, I’m fine”.

Not yesterday.

I looked up at him and said “You know what, that would be really great”.

So he sat down and we started chatting.

Not the stuff of great conversations that will go down in history, just random chat to pass the time.

It was just what I needed…a little random kindness from a stranger.

What was really interesting is that had the situation been reversed and I’d seen someone crying on the train, I’d have done exactly what he did.

When I told him this and said how grateful I was for the random stranger who came and talked random stuff at me to pass the journey…he simply replied, “Ah, but it wasn’t random”.

It was really reassuring to know that what you put out in the world, does come back…sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes randomly…but often when it’s most needed.

I’ve mentioned the concept of paying it forward on here a few times, and my last post about it was on remembering to receive it forward as well.

Well, yesterday I got the chance…and it felt good to receive.

So thank you to the stranger on the train who helped me to dry my tears and made me smile.

The next time you see someone who you think could use cheering up, don’t be afraid to say hello…it doesn’t cost anything and it might just make all the difference to someone’s day.

…and the next time someone offers you a kindness at a time when you really need it…allow yourself to receive it. It might not take away the sadness or whatever it is that you’re feeling…but it certainly does help.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

13 replies
  1. Beverley Jones
    Beverley Jones says:

    Hi Claire,
    I hope you are feeling better but what an uplifting and heart warming story you have shared. I am guessing this guy was not quite the stranger you thought but your guardian angel who posed as such…so pleased he was there for you.
    Bev x

  2. AmazingSusan
    AmazingSusan says:

    I think joy and happiness are vastly over-rated as feelings 🙂 We need to experience the full range of human emotion to truly live and when one is “positive” all the time one becomes one-dimensional.

    Consider this quote from Helen Keller: “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.”

    Personally, I choose to revel in the tracks of my tears. Thus:

    And I love the fact that a stranger took the time to show you kindness and compassion. Good story well shared <3

    • morwenna
      morwenna says:

      The opposite of like is hate, the opposite of love is neglect.

      A hug is a circle of love given unconditionally.

      If I had been there I would have given you a hug too!!

      A random act of kindness!! LOVELY!!!

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      It’s a habit that so many of us have got into Diana…it’s so important to be aware of it so that we can choose to change it if we want to… x

  3. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    Claire, thank you for sharing your experience and for your pearls of wisdom. You really are an amazing woman!
    I’ve approached people I’ve seen upset on the train and the common response is ‘I’m ok’ when clearly they aren’t. But I like your random stranger’s words about talking rubbish at you for the rest of the journey. Maybe I’ll try that one if ever I see someone who needs a little support.

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Thank you Claudia…the ‘random stranger talking rubbish’ approach was a winner for me, I’d definitely recommend it… 🙂

  4. Rachel Henke
    Rachel Henke says:

    By sharing your vulnerability I’m sure you’ve inspired many women to let the real them emerge.

    Looks like the universe really does have your back Claire and it’s amazing what connections come up in what seems to be a random way.

    I’ve met some great people on trains too 🙂

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Thank you Rachel…it’s lovely to know that what you put out really does come back…often when it’s needed most 🙂

      So who have you met on trains? x


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