Some days, it can feel like the world is falling apart. Other days, decent humans step up and make it better.

When I was a little girl traveling with my grandma, we once got stuck in a Florida airport due to a storm. Hotels were already booked, and my grandma was preparing me to sleep near our gate. An elderly couple came over and offered us a place to stay, took us back to their house, gave us dinner, and when I told them how I loved rocks and nature, the husband brought out his rock collection. He gave me one with a tiny garnet, which is my birthstone, embedded in it. I still have that rock and I will always remember that couple.

It's a small example of human kindness, but it's one I've thought of many times, and it heartens me every recollection. The impact has lasted a lifetime.

I was reminded of this story when writer Nicole Cliffe tweeted a simple question:

"What's the kindest thing a stranger has done or said to you?"

She received more than 7,000 responses. Of course, Cliffe isn't the only one curious about this — there are several Reddit threads where people tell their stories, too — but it's a great example of humans being their best selves. Here are a couple of examples.

Of course there's drama:

And group efforts:

Young man calling after a crisis situation on city street Sometimes we're the ones in need of a helping hand. Then the pendulum swings and it's our turn to help someone else. (Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock)

Side-of-the-road rescues were a definite theme.

"I had a tire pop in the middle of winter on my morning commute. While waiting for AAA to come, a woman drove over and gave me hot cocoa, snacks, and a paper with her address and phone number in case I needed anything or wanted to wait somewhere warmer," wrote jellogoodbye.

Many people agreed that the stories that included a language barrier were often the best, because when you don't speak the same language, what's left is pure humanity.

But sometimes the stranger who helps isn't even a human:

Some are quite simple:

"This was at my big state university long ago. I walked out of class into a summer shower. Someone walking by offered to share their umbrella. We parted at a corner and I thanked him. Then another person going my way offered their umbrella. This happened twice more. I made it mostly dry to another class thanks to the kindness of 4 strangers. Edit: I'm an ugly nerdy dude," wrote Pamplemousse.

"Just today, I was getting breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts on my way to work and managed to leave my phone at the counter (v smart). TEN MINUTES LATER a woman tapped me on the shoulder right as I was about to go into my office building and said, "Is this yours?" She'd chased me down that far, for that long, just to return my phone," wrote 1-800-CAN-YOU-NOT.

And some are all about living a nightmare — and making it all OK:

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers
It can be easy to forget how much good regular people do every day, but these stories will bring on the happy tears.