Friday, December 7, 2012

PAY IT FORWARD LIKE I DID




Yesterday, I had an interesting and humbling experience.  I was in line at Trader Joe's while on my lunch break.  There was one person in front of me at the register and she had just finished checking out.  She paid for her groceries with a gift card.  The remaining balance of the bill was $2.93.

She swiped her debit card and it was declined.  It actually showed up on the screen as insufficient funds.  She apologized and asked if they could take something out that would make it less than $3.00.  The cashier called the manager over and, in all fairness, they were very nice in trying to figure out how to do it.  Apparently though, they couldn't because of the fact that the transaction had already been completed.  Since the main part had been paid with a gift card, they could void the entire transaction but because it was a gift card, the money couldn't be put back on the card or refunded to her there.  She could get it back, but would have to write to the gift card company and provide receipts.  She kept apologizing and said she was so embarrassed that she didn't have the $3.00 in her account because it was in between paydays.

I reached in my pocket and pulled out $3.00 and handed it to the cashier.  The young lady almost started crying.  She thanked me, the cashier thanked me and then she said she wished she could do something to repay me.  I asked her to just "Pay It Forward".  She said she would.

She left and the cashier and manager told me that it was a pretty nice thing to do.  I told them that as I stood there listening to her, I realized that I am indeed fortunate.  I just recently bought a new car, I have a job that I love, I have health and happiness, heck, we even have the farmhouse and land that we are slowly building our dream place to retire to.  We truly are blessed and yet someone else standing in front of me had trouble putting together a small amount of money, an amount many of us throw away on a cup of Starbucks.  I didn't even give it a second thought.  In that moment, it was the right thing to do.  Did it change the world?  No, of course not.  But for that young lady, it might have made a small difference, at least for a bit.  And who knows?  Hopefully she will pay it forward and help out someone else in a small way and in that sense, it will continue out from there.

We're all ripples on a great big pond aren't we?  What good is success or happiness if you can't share it with someone who might need it?  Showing kindness and generosity to others, especially when it's unexpected, is a great responsibility, one we should all take seriously.  You never know when one small, simple act can have a greater impact than you could ever imagine.


Practice random acts of kindness and then
pay it forward...it does a body, spirit and soul good!

20 comments:

  1. I'm guessing, just as you are sharing the story with us, you know she probably shared the story of you, about the kindness of a complete stranger. Viv :)

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  2. What a touching story. You know, I was on our turnpike recently (it's a toll road) and when I pulled up to pay, the booth person told me the car in front of me had paid for the next four cars in line! I was dumbfounded. What a neat thing to do! I guess I need to pay it forward too.

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  3. I love reading stories like this. I'm so glad that you paid this for her. She will remember the kindness forever. I haven't had this kind of experience but I've been in a restaurant where there are police officers and I've paid for their meals and asked not to be identified. I've been sending boxes to Socks for Sandy. This one lady has been collecting boxes of these things & then takes it to the hurricane relief center. This one lady! Here is the site if any are interested.. https://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialSocksForSandy I commend you and hope that you have a great weekend.

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  4. I was in Old Navy several years ago and a young girl was with a parent or grandparent in front of me in line. She was making the purchase but came up short of a couple of dollars. The parent/grandparent had no funds to cover the difference so I past over the amount needed. They were so grateful. I was happy to do it. Pay it Forward

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  5. The Stay @ Home GardenerDecember 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    :D

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  6. Nicely done, 1st Man. Nicely done!

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  7. Very touching & what a nice thing to do for someone else. Especially somone that truly deserves it. You are a kind individual, God bless.

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  8. Good for you and thanks for reminding us how one person can make a difference in a person's life.

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  9. Isn't it wonderful how a small kindness can bring smiles to the faces of many! Your experience came about the same time as Jacqui's, over at Little Acres Cottage! If you haven't seen the video in her post, be sure to do so....it will warm your heart, as you have warmed ours :-)

    http://littleacrescottage.blogspot.com/2012/12/it-all-started-with-castiel.html

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  10. WTG, I'm am sure she is very grateful for your kindness. Merry Christmas.

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  11. How neat! Wish I had an opportunity to something like that.

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  12. Aw this is a lovely story. Yes, one small random act of kindness can ripple in that pond to bigger shores we may never even know about. 'Paying it forward' is the 'good stuff' in life, and to think we can all have a part in creating that...awesome! Well done you!

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  13. That lady sure is lucky to have had you in the queue behind her :)

    Thing is, the way I understand it, paying it forward needn't necessarily be in the monetary sense - can be in form of any act of kindness - shopping for someone who is unable to make it to the shop, returning library books for a neighbour, sweeping someone's lawn / pavement, etc. etc.

    Well done you :)

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  14. God Bless you!!! Love to read your blog!!! I'm going to pay it forward by forgiving a debt. You inspired me!!!!

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  15. What a great blog post. It is easy to forget all the fortunate things in our lives and being able to help someone else is a fortune indeed.

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  16. you did awesome 1st Man...but i would expect nothing less from you. i am sure that the young lady is telling everyone about you and your kindness.

    i think it is very important for us, as good human beings, to practice paying it forward whenever we can. Dani is right - it doesn't always have to be monetary it can something as small as helping someone who is struggling with grocery bags - it takes only a few minutes to offer to help them carry the groceries and help them put them in their car....just a few minutes!

    i am happy to say that our nearest tiny town is full of helpful people....people are always smiling and helping each other. i guess you would fit right in here 1st Man!!!

    again, good job. your friend,
    kymber

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  17. Nothing is by accident - you were right where you needed to be - in line. Life has a way of reminding us of our blessings. Thanks for sharing, and have a great life!

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  18. As always, you amaze me by being you. This season I get to see the generosity of a whole community come together and support the women at my Shelter. SportsRadio 610 did a week long drive for us and raised somewhere in the range of $50,000 for us. The first day they focused on supplies (mostly diapers) as the new influx of abused women and their children brought many new borns. On Tuesday they were brought to the Shelter and as I walked in the door I was told how much; the stress and strain of things at the Shelter and having to figure out where things were coming from had been eating at me apparently because I burst into tears when they told me what had been donated. I am always grateful to the community for supporting us but this was so huge. We may not have to let anyone go this year because of this. Wow! Sorry had to share.

    Did I mention you're awesome!

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  19. That's the man I know and I love and just a small part of why I love you.

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