December 23, 2016
More and more people are paying it forward. You hear about it a lot these days. Kind random gestures are happening all over. People are paying for those behind them in line or in front of them. It’s fantastic. It truly is. Kindness is a magical contagious thing.
But why did I hesitate to pay it forward when I had the opportunity at Starbucks?
I had ordered a muffin for my son, which I think is about $2.50 or so. I pulled up and the cashier told me the woman in front of me had paid for my muffin and she proceeded to ask if I’d like to pay it forward to the person behind me. Caught completely off guard and it being around the holidays, I only had enough cash that I was going to spend that day on gifts. I had asked her how much it was and she told me $10.00. I had to think about it, and it wasn’t just because of the money. Not wanting to be the one to stop the chain of kindness, I decided to pay it forward.
Did it make me feel good? I can’t say that it did.
I love to volunteer and help others in need. I run a small group of volunteering kids in which we work on fun community service projects each month. We give back to the homeless, animal shelters, seniors, and whoever else is in need. I feel good each time we do a project. I feel like we’re making a difference no matter how small. I feel someone out there is appreciating that peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know what it feels like to do something special. I’d never hesitate to lend a helping hand to someone who needs it. I’d pay $10 for coffee or food in a heartbeat to someone who needed it.
I didn’t feel that way that day at Starbucks. Those who go to Starbucks aren’t in need. They probably aren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel for their coffee. If they are, there are certainly less expensive options out there. I’m not judging because I enjoy Starbucks myself but it’s true. It’s luxury coffee. Spending $10.00 in lattes isn’t a necessity. I understand it’s about kindness to others and I appreciate the nice gesture of the woman in front of me who paid for me but I would have much rather she saved that $2.50 and spent it that day on someone who truly needed it. I also wish I had saved mine as well. I guarantee the woman behind me appreciated it much less than someone with nothing would.
Next time, if someone pays it forward for me at Starbucks or any other drive-through such as that, I won’t pay it forward to the person behind me. Instead, I will make sure I pay it forward another way. Maybe I’ll pay it forward to the man in Walmart fumbling to get any loose change he could find out of his pocket or the woman whose shoes are so old that her feet are exposed in the cold. Maybe at Wawa where the mother’s kids are begging for that snack but she doesn’t have enough money on her. Or the homeless man outside the store who could use a hot cup of coffee.
I promise I will pay it forward, but I will pay it forward to someone who will appreciate it, who needs it, someone who rarely gets to witness the kindness in other people’s hearts, someone who my act of kindness is going to have an impact on. Because that’s truly paying it forward❤️
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