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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

14 Random Acts of Kindness That Went Totally Wrong

It's been said that "no good deed goes unpunished." And if you don't believe it, these stories will prove it.

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Dollars with stethoscope on them. Costs for the medical insurance.LTim/Shutterstock

Donate a kidney, receive a massive bill

It’s the ultimate act of sacrifice to donate an organ to a stranger, as Reddit user’s, dendaddy‘s, wife did. All the bills were supposed to be taken care of by the recipient, but when all was said and done, dendaddy and his wife got an awful surprise: the recipient’s insurance hadn’t paid the bill in full, and the recipient wasn’t paying it either. Since then, a collection agency has been dogging dendaddy and his wife for the sum of $10,000. (Fortunately, these random acts of kindness changed people’s lives for the better.)

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Organic fruit and vegetables. Farmers hands with freshly harvested apples.mythja/Shutterstock

The trouble with apples

“I was purchasing fruit at a truck where several homeless men were congregating. As I purchased my fruits, I bought apples to give to each of the men,” Judith Ré, founder of the Judith Ré Academie tells Reader’s Digest. If only that were the end of the story. But as Judith handed out the last apple, one of the men told her, “I’m sorry but we can’t eat these because our teeth aren’t strong enough.”

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Old and used hardback books or text books seen from above. Books and reading are essential for self improvement, gaining knowledge and success in our careers, business and personal lives Thinglass/Shutterstock

Maybe the secrets were better left unsaid

Working out on the steps of an amphitheater, Scott Deuty, author of the book, Secrets of an Over 50 Fat Man, noticed a woman and her daughter who were also working out on the steps. Inspired by the scene, Deuty responded by giving a copy of his book to the mother. Apparently, this gesture was not appreciated because the daughter responded by angrily throwing the book down the stairs!

On a lighter note, these 12 heartwarming stories that will restore your faith in humanity.

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cigaretteI love coffee/Shutterstock

The pregnant pause

“I saw a pregnant woman smoking, and I wanted to give her an encouraging word about quitting smoking for her baby’s sake,” Veonne Anderson of Veonne Speaks, LLC tells Reader’s Digest. “I started by telling her how pretty she looked. Then I asked her how many months she was.”

“How many…? What?” the woman replied.

Veonne understood instantly where this was heading, but it was like a runaway train. “You’re pregnant, no? I mean, I thought…”

“Not pregnant. Just fat,” the woman scowled.

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Closeup for car flat tireicolourful/Shutterstock

This random act fell “flat”

When you see someone driving with a flat tire, it seems reasonable to flag them down. But a Reddit user went beyond that simple kindness, pulling over and offering to take the driver to a convenience store to purchase a can of fix-a-flat.

Unfortunately, this story doesn’t end well: “Not only did they ride in my car silently, offering no thanks, but they also stole my wallet out of my console when I wasn’t looking.”

These true stories prove karma is real.

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Homemade low calorie popsicles made with mando, pineapple and cocconut milk.Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

I scream for ice cream

Reddit user, whomwhom, was walking in a city park one really hot day when he saw a bunch of kids fighting over two ice pops. “Since these things are like 30 cents apiece, I bought 20 of them and handed them out to all the kids.” If only that’s where this story ended. Sadly, whomwhom’s act of kindness was viewed with suspicion by an adult onlooker. “Two cop cars tracked me down and questioned me for three hours,” he recounts.

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Snow plow machine paddleVioNet/Shutterstock

Plowed, not “plowed”

“A snowplow plowed into my car,” Mark Bierman of New Jersey tells Reader’s Digest. “Because the driver barely spoke English, I didn’t call the police to the scene. Instead, we exchanged information, I contacted the insurance company, and I figured it was all taken care of. Instead, I got a visit from the police.”

Turned out the driver’s boss made the claim that Mark had been driving drunk (he wasn’t). It took two and a half years to clear up the confusion.

Don’t miss these 17 stories about ordinary people showing extraordinary generosity.

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Homeless poor man with one cent coin in the streetAkulinina/Shutterstock

They were beggars and choosers

Blake Snow, an avid traveler and author of Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting, recounts for Reader’s Digest a time when he came upon a couple of malnourished-looking men on a street in Brazil. “They asked me for money to help them buy food, but I felt I could do better. I bought them sandwiches and water.”

Apparently, it wasn’t good enough because as Blake turned to leave, one of the men called out to him, “Hey, can’t you at least give us money to buy Cokes?”

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Beggar people and human poverty concept - senior person hands begging for food or helpIlya Andriyanov/Shutterstock

The picky eater

When a homeless man asked Reddit user, hourmc, for food, hourmc would have given the man money, if he had any to give. What he did have was a chicken salad sandwich, which he promptly offered to the man.

“Ain’t nobody gonna eat that,” the man said, refusing the sandwich.

Hourmc recalls feeling “strangely rejected.”

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Detail Shot of a Flat Tire on a CarLane V. Erickson/Shutterstock

First, do no harm

Reddit user, Ez_Duzit, tried his best to help a woman fix her flat tire. Unfortunately, he ended up “snapping off the lug nut and bolt which was then lodged in the tire iron, rendering it useless.” He tried to use his own took kit, but it was no use. “Those things were way too rusty. Eventually, her friends showed up, and I left.”

Hanging his head in shame, no doubt.

Here’s how to manage some of the more common everyday emergencies.

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closeup of bees on honeycomb in apiary - selective focus, copy spaceDiyana Dimitrova/Shutterstock

From hero to oh no

Reddit user, Thundernut, was trail running when he noticed a tree had fallen across the path. It seemed a good deed to move the tree off the path, and that’s what Thundernut was doing when he felt a pain on his knee. And then another. And then he realized he was being attacked by a swarm of bees, whose nest he must have disturbed when he moved the tree. Thundernut ended up spending three days in the hospital with anaphylaxis.

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Empty seats in tourist bus.Dmitri Ma/Shutterstock

Offering a seat, getting an earful

“On a trip to Taiwan, my brother was on a bus and offered his seat to a woman who was standing,” recounts Reddit user, phantommunky. “Next thing he knows, this woman is screaming at him in Mandarin. He only found out later that Taiwanese culture dictates you only offer your seat to the elderly. And this woman had a problem with his offering her a seat because she wasn’t elderly.” (Here are the 50 etiquette rules you should definitely commit to memory.)

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computer keyboard with backlight ,esport conceptOHishiapply/Shutterstock

That’ll teach this gamer

On the Grand Theft Auto discussion forum, Jeremy 813, tells of trying to help another GTA player who kept getting killed. Jeremy 813 messaged the player and asked if he needed help. “He said he did, so I drove my tank down to the docks and told him he could use it to even the score with the high-level guy that killed him a bunch. I get out of the tank and let him in.”

Guess what happened next?

“He immediately blew me up.”

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Domestic or gender violence - Aggressive man with a clenched fist threatens to hit a scared womanKamira/Shutterstock

A strange way of showing her gratitude

Reddit user, capatiller, helped a longtime friend leave an abusive husband, letting her stay in a spare bedroom in the house capatiller shared with her fiancé. If the friend was grateful, she had a strange way of showing it: she started an affair with capatiller’s fiance. If that wasn’t bad enough, she got the fiancé to kick capatiller out of the house. “They now live there together,” capatiller says. “Looks like I got the short end of that good deed.”

Let’s lighten things up, shall we? Here are random acts of kindness you can do today—hopefully with better results!

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.