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‘Kindness goes a really long way,’ Lovely Dude says. Share your story of kindness here

A woman holding a red heart figurine.
Tell us a story of kindness you’ve seen.
(Getty )

Amazing how hard times bring out the best in people. Readers have shared some of their stories; we would like to see even more. This one, by Tova Litvin, captured the tenor of the times. We share it with you and hope you’ll tell us yours.

Below is a form where you can jot your story celebrating the human spirit. Long or short, your story could become part of a compendium of tales that may appear in print or online in an upcoming Saturday section.

Please tell us your name and, if applicable, attach a photo, using the form below. Or you may email us at travel@latimes.com. Be sure to include your name and “act of kindness” in the subject line, plus attach a photo if you wish. We hope to hear from you, but more important, so do Californians and others across the country.

And now, Litvin’s story. We dare you not to smile.

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—Times staff

I went to Trader Joe’s last night. The store was empty of all food, obviously, but that is not the topic of this story.

As I enter, an employee at the entrance greets me and says: “Hi! Would you like some hand sanitizer?”

Me: “Um yesss. Go for it!”

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Lovely Dude, sprays my hands from a safe distance and says: “Awesome! There you go!”

Me: “OMG. Thank you! I have not seen hand sanitizer in days.”

Lovely Dude: “We sold out a long time ago, but we have the ones at the entrance for people to use.”

Me: “Thank God.”

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Lovely Dude: “Yeah! But do you know how many people yelled at me today?”

Me: “For offering them hand sanitizer? What is wrong with people?”

Lovely Dude: “I don’t know. They were really mad! And I wasn’t even standing close to them.”

Me: “It’s fine. I’ll take theirs. You can shower me with it if you want.”

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I laugh. Dude laughs. I walk away and do my shopping, (I found two whole items. Super exciting stuff, you guys.)

I pay. I head to the exit where Lovely Dude is standing and talking to an older couple who are also attempting to shop during the apocalypse.

Lovely Dude stops me with this: “Hey, so kindness goes a really long way and you made me smile, so can I give you these flowers?”

Dude pulls out a bouquet of flowers, Houdini style

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Me: “What? Really?!!” (I get excited very easily. You all should know this by now.)

Dude: “Yeah, you made a few of us smile actually.” (Points at older couple; couple waves at me, grinning)

Me: “OMG, you guys. I wish I could hug you ALL!”

Cue expressions of horror from all three of them.

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Me: “Don’t worry! I know the rules. But know that I want to.”

Expressions calm down. Love returns. We all laugh again and I walk out, clutching wildflowers.

Moral of the story: The world is crazy, yes, but people are still really awesome.

Stay safe, go out only for essentials, but smile at people because apparently 1) No one is and 2) That’s how you get flowers.

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