The Internet's so-called "front page," otherwise known as Reddit, has been getting some bad press of late due to the recent unmasking of its notorious troll, Violentacrez.
In the hubbub, the fact that the site is also a clearinghouse for small acts of random kindness has been overshadowed. In the midst of a dark news cycle, the story of a simple act-- replacing a man's worn tires--is a simple reminder of the power of unsolicited generosity.
Posted by Reddit user "womp0982" to the r/pics subreddit yesterday, an image shows a typed note that was left on a truck. The message reads:
You do not know me but I saw that you needed some tires for your truck and I wanted to do something nice for a stranger because one day a stranger did something nice for me. The receipt is in the envelope and all you have to do is go by Warehouse Tire on 3rd Street and ask for Steven Hodges and they will be put on for free. All I ask is that one day you do something nice for a complete stranger.
The picture, which was viewed more than 760,000 times on image sharing site Imgur, also shows a bit of the receipt.
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However, Redditors were split on the veracity of the post, which garnered about 27,000 up votes and 25,000 down votes as of Thursday morning. User "AlexanderMoore2" left a strongly-worded comment asserting the note was clearly a fake.
But a call to Warehouse Tire & Battery Sales revealed there indeed was a Steven Hodges working there. He confirmed to The Huffington Post that an order of tires had been placed, although he also said he thought the man and the good Samaritan might know each other.
Nevertheless, those who did believe the act was genuine thanked the poster for brightening their day. Some even shared stories of their own.
"Not to this extent, but my girlfriend paid for someone's breakfast the other day at McDonalds. It didn't cost much and she got a kick out of wondering if it made the stranger's Monday any better," user "Berdiie" wrote.
"This is going to create a trail of random good deeds that will continue till the end of time," 'SkoopDaHoop" stated.
In fact, Reddit is full of reminders to pay it forward. In July, user "couscousmagoose" asked fellow Redditors to share stories of "extreme acts of kindness," prompting more than 1,400 comments, some of the best of which have been collected here.
There's even a "Random Acts of Pizza" subreddit, where users can give--and receive--free pizzas for reasons including "my house was robbed," "I just got fired" and "student loans got delayed." Not surprisingly, the subreddit has also included more than few Hurricane Sandy posts in the aftermath of the week's devastating superstorm.