October 6, 2013

Paying it Forward: Acts of Kindness

As I was leaving Target today (note, I did not attend church today, but did attend Target. It seems to be my sanctuary) anyway, as I was leaving I noticed two napkins on the ground in front of the exit. Right next to the trash can. So I bent over, which is no easy task these days, and threw them away. I know that's a very small thing to do, but it made me think of those Liberty Mutual commercials where acts of kindness are witnessed by strangers and passed on in other forms to other strangers. They are totally corny and have silly music, yet I enjoy watching them every time they are on. Here's a link to one in case you've never seen them.

It also reminded me of another task on my 30 Before 30 list. My friend Brandy suggested that I add a "Pay it Forward" act to the list which was a great suggestion. This summer when we moved (just two miles up the road) I decided to thank our mailman and the man who runs the recycling center by giving them just $5 gift cards to Starbucks. I figure they work in what are probably pretty thankless professions and could use a little appreciation. I had to actually give the gift card to the man at the recycling center who seemed very taken back, but very grateful, but the mailman was easier as I just left the card in the old mail box:

I also wanted to pay for someones order in the drive through and when I thought to do this around the same time as giving the gift cards I chickened out. Only reason was because when I looked behind me the car had military decals that indicated the person was an officer and it was a single male driving the car. I figured not only could he afford his order (not that military officers are rich - if that were the case I wouldn't be so pumped about the $10.96 I saved at Target today thanks to the Cartwheel App!), but mostly because I thought it would be strange if I bought some guy his lunch. Even though I'd try to zoom away before he even realized what happened - it just seemed weird and flirty to me, so I rain checked that good deed until about a week ago. This time I was going through a Starbucks drive through and decided that I would just pay for whoever was behind me and try not to even look. Problem was no one showed up behind me! I was paying for my order and about to leave when a car came around! I was awkwardly excited and asked the girl at the counter if I could also pay for the person behind me. She simply said "sure thing!" like it was no big deal and it made me wonder if maybe that happens on a regular basis - I hope so. Anyway, I started to sweat thinking about it too much so quickly left before the person could drive up behind me again as I was waiting to exit the parking lot. I peeked when I drove away and it was a single female this time (not that I know these people are single - just that there was no one else in the car). A thought went through my mind that I hoped she was having a crappy day and that it put her in a better mood and the I realized how silly that is - to wish a crappy day on someone just so you can cheer them up. So hopefully she was already having a good day and will one day pay it forward. My sister-in-law had a similar experience and these things, while little, can really mean a lot at the time. And truth be told it makes you feel good in the process which is just an added perk of getting to do something kind. Though that does remind me of the Friends episode where Joey argues there is no such thing as a selfless good deed:

Happy Sunday!


  1. Oh, awesome. I loved reading this. :)

    Also, good job on the Cartwheel savings and also, your handwriting is super cute.

  2. I know a pretty post-it and the gift of Starbucks from a certain someone have defiitely made my day :)

    Good job paying it forward (and not picking up any random guys in the process)!