Today’s challenge was to Pay It Forward. I was really looking forward to this day because so often we forget that random acts of kindness make the world of a difference. The challenge reminded me of my freshman year of high school. In my English class, one of our projects centered around the movie Pay It Forward. My teacher was the kind of lady that wanted to change the world. Her words and excitement about this project really caused me to think my small English class was going to start a train of events that would forever change our class, school, community, city, state, country, and world. I am pretty sure I thought the world was my oyster and I was going to change it for the better. We watched the movie and then had to create our own pay it forward acts of kindness and create a report. Well, obviously I didn’t change the world or anything because I cannot even remember the deeds I did for the project. However, I do remember feeling good about myself and thinking I was actually enjoying freshman year English.
I am so ashamed to say that today was the first time I participated in an event like this since that year . Now don’t get me wrong I am not a selfish Grinch and participated in charity events, fundraisers etc since. However, Pay It Forward (to me) isn’t about the big events it is about the small random acts of kindness. They restore our faith in humanity and can impact one’s day or life significantly. Last night, I spent some time researching ideas for the day. Right now things are a bit tight due to the holidays so I couldn’t go out and adopt a family or something outrageous so I decided to reel it in and stick to those simple acts.
I started the morning by brewing Bryan some coffee to take on his way to work. He usually is the one to make the coffee, but today before I left I got a pot going for him. I didn’t take my usual to-go cup because I wanted my first Pay It Forward act to be at Starbucks. The one by work has a drive through which worked perfectly for my plan to buy someone their order. I got in line and right away a lady in a mini-van pulled up behind me. Now I am probably judging, but she looked a bit rushed & stressed. When I pulled up to the window I asked the gentleman to charge my card for my coffee & the lady’s behind me. He smiled and said absolutely! I handed him a piece of paper to give to the woman to wish her a Happy Holidays. I lingered ahead of her car for a minute to watch and I saw the man wave off her card, point to my car, and hand her the paper. I am not kidding, but I felt like the Grinch having my heart grow. It really felt great.
I wanted to do something nice for all my coworkers because lately everyone has been in a bit of a funk. Awhile ago, I got some “Happy Notes” at Francesca’s boutique. They are simple post-it size notes with various thoughts, sayings, quotes, and happy sweet nothings. I placed one on each of my coworkers desks. They were well received and it made work (at least for me) seem a bit more manageable today.
I didn’t stop there as my colleague and I headed off to Einstein’s to grab a bagel sandwich for lunch. She ordered ahead of me and then cashier asked if we were ordering together. At first, we both said no, but then I said yes and bought her lunch for her. As I was grabbing my coffee, I noticed she was paying for the beverages being ordered by two gentleman behind us. They were also very grateful and we talked about paying it forward. The two men said they would be sure to participate and would find a way to pay it forward themselves.
Today my acts of kindness were not life-changing, but they certainly made me feel good. I hoped to inspire some of my readers by posting what I was doing on my facebook earlier today. Hopefully some of you readers were able to participate. If not, try it out tomorrow or the following day or the following. There is no time or reason needed to remember small acts of kindness make a world of a difference.
Keep Smiling 🙂