Pay it Forward

Published 1:28 pm Monday, September 12, 2016

No, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I was in the car behind you in the drive-through at Starbucks last week. I was a little restless that morning as time was getting away from me. Several cars remained in front of me, so I began running through emails on my phone.

Car by car, order by order we got closer to the menu board. I pulled up to the speaker to give my order.

“Triple grande skinny French vanilla latte,” I said, turning back to my phone.

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Finally, after being in line for what felt like a half an hour, it was my turn. I pulled my credit card from my wallet and began to hand it over to the young man at the window.

“Sir, the lady before you just bought your coffee,” he said.

“Wait, what, really? That was very nice of her.”

Watching the car turn out of the parking lot and onto 365 heading west, I wondered: “Will I ever know who that was?”

The restlessness faded away as I thought about the good deed just bestowed upon me. A simple gesture of kindness that completely changed my outlook on the day wasn’t going to stop with me. Maybe, just maybe, the person in the black SUV behind me could use a nice gesture as well. So instead of paying for my coffee, I paid for two coffees and a donut.

I don’t know if the driver in the black SUV paid it forward as well, but I like to think he did.

It’s amazing what a simple act of kindness like buying a cup of coffee, sharing a smile, or offering a quick “hello” toward someone you don’t even know can do to improve a mood or a day. So next time someone does something nice for you, pay it forward if at all possible.

Generosity such as this is easy. It doesn’t cost much, and it sure feels good.