Have You Ever Had a ‘Pay it Forward’ Experience?
I had something very unexpected and cool happen to me recently. It was what I'll call a 'Pay it Forward' experience because, quite simply, the first thing I thought about when this happened was the movie that came out in 2000, and stars Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The movie trailer can get you up to speed if you're not familiar with the concept of paying it forward.
My experience was explained in a post on my Facebook page the day after it happened:
I was at the grocery store buying milk and eggs with [my 1-year old]Lilah last night, and she turned my attention away from the register for a couple seconds. When I turned back around, the cashier was bagging my groceries with the ladies' stuff in front of me. I stepped in to tell him "the milk and eggs are mine". He nodded, pointed to the lady in front of me and said, "she bought it for you". She was a little hurried to leave, and I could only think to ask the lady "why?". She simply said, "You needed to be blessed today". She was right, and over a $5.00 grocery bill, I was rendered speechless. The cashier welled up with tears, too.
I finished the post and asked my friends, "Has this ever happened to you...or have you ever done this for someone before? Please share."
They did. Several people told me about the times they picked up a dinner tab for a woman and her daughter, payed tolls for the car behind them, and other stories similar to what that woman did for me. One even mentioned that she was teaching her child to pay it forward. Very cool.
I also heard from a few friends who were, like me, on the receiving end of a pay it forward experience. One person was short on a grocery bill, deciding what to put back, and just then the guy behind them handing them $20 to cover it. A random $100 bill given to a mere acquaintance for no particular reason. I enjoyed hearing these people say how grateful they were, and how a few bucks can not only make someone's day, but it can be a gesture that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
In summary, we feel good when we pay it forward. People who receive random acts of kindness are grateful, happy, and never forget. Positive comes from selfless acts, and I think it should happen more often.
What about you? Do you 'Pay it Forward'? Has someone paid it forward to you? I would love to hear your story in the comment section below.