Paying it Forward

Have you ever been somewhere and the person standing in front of you in line paid for your meal, coffee, gas etc. without your knowledge?  Remember that feeling you had?  How nice it was for a total stranger to be nice to you for whatever reason?  At Easter time I was standing at a food kiosk at the mall, and this younger guy was paying for his food.  Close behind him was a young girl, which I had assumed was his significant other.  When he went to pay, I jokingly said “hey you making your woman pay her own way today?”  He smiled and threw down a $20.00 bill which more than paid for BOTH of their items and went his merry way.  When he walked away the young lady was still standing there and tried to hand me money.  It was then that I realized the young man didn’t know her yet paid for her item anyway because the situation had made her smile.  The girl started to cry, as she was only in line to buy the nurse at the hospital, where her Grandmother had passed a “thank you gift.”  Just such a great act of kindness to witness.  I myself once went through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge toll, and when I got to the toll booth, the lady told me the person in front of me had paid my way, and asked that I KEEP it going, because it just “Makes everyone feel good.”  The concept of “paying it forward” doesn’t have to involve money, as there are so many other ways in which to treat people with kindness.  A simple smile, a hug, holding a door for someone, baking cookies, offering to do yard work and so forth.  In our various associations the same concept applies.  When’s the last time you offered to have lunch with a fellow activity professional, or called and invited them to attend a meeting with you, or even just called to share a special idea that you recently came across?  I challenge you to seek out someone to be kind to this week, and write and share the positive outcome with us.


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