Paying it Forward

My dad texted me this morning about something awesome that happened to him. He was at Starbucks behind a guy who bought 2 $10 gift cards. Said guy turned around, gave one card to my dad and one to the woman behind him and told them both to have a happy day. Reading his text almost brought me to tears. I’d heard of people buying each other’s drinks in the drive through many times (which is already awesome) but this was a whole different level of kindness. This guy actually had to turn around and face two complete strangers and tell them to have a great day on top of just buying them a gift. I mean…man.

I generally believe in the inherent goodness in people, but those days where it seems like the world is nothing but wars, ignorance and hatred and people being generally terrible to one another definitely creep up on me plenty too. What happened to my dad this morning might seem like a small gesture of kindness in the grand scheme of things…but for me, knowing that there’s a person out there that got up in the morning and decided they were going to make someone else’s day just a little bit better moved me so much.

I generally try to stay away from being preachy here because I hate being preached at, but for this particular topic, I’m going to preach preach preach…to you and to myself. Make the conscious choice to wake up and try make someone else’s day better. It doesn’t have to be buying them a Starbucks drink or a gift card. It can be smiling at a passing stranger, complimenting someone on something, laughing at someone’s joke, listening to a friend in need, talking to the homeless person on the corner instead of pretending you don’t see them. There’s about a million big and small ways we can make someone else’s day better. And you know what happens when you do that? They’re going to be a lot more likely to do the same for someone else. We can’t help but be inspired by the kindness of others. I know I certainly am. That’s what paying it forward is all about. This world can be tough to navigate sometimes for all of us. So why not try make it just a little less hard for someone just by being a fellow human being? Just by being kind. So how are you going to pay it forward? 🙂


8 thoughts on “Paying it Forward

  1. I might have to do this sometime to experience it for myself. There’s no better feeling in the world in my opinion than making someone else’s day better by doing something kind and generous.

  2. Love this, thanks for sharing, Jac! I try to smile at everyone I pass each day. It’s not always easy because I’m looking at my phone or being distracted, but i think it adds value to my day to make contact and smile. I’m so going to do do this Sbux thing sometime though.

  3. This is amazing! I have to tell you that I have had an experience like this. Not exactly like your dad’s but never the less it was amazing. One Christmas a few years ago I was in a drive through to get a drink and some french fries (my weakness). I told the young man at the window I wanted to pay for the car behind me. A little selfishly I was hoping it wouldn’t be to expensive because I was making very little at the time. The meal was about $6 so I totally paid for it. I let that drive through feeling pretty amazing. I had done something nice to a stranger who could never repay me personally, but I hoped would in return do this for someone else. Then is was about 3 months later I was in a Starbucks drive thru and the girl in front of me paid for my drink. I was so over joyed I remember I cried. It was beautiful to realize there are still amazing people in this world. Like you mentioned though you don’t have to buy someone something to pay it forward. I kind word, a smile, a phone call to a friend, or letting someone in while driving is all ways of paying it forward and hope that it has a positive affect on those around you. Thank you so much for your story it reminded me of moments of joy.

    Kelly Baskin

    1. Hi Kelly. Thanks so much for the comment (a drink and french fries are so my weakness too!). What an amazing gesture that you weren’t making very much at the time but still went out of your way to buy the person’s food behind you. I completely believe in karma and I think you getting your Starbucks paid for was the universe paying you back for your kind action. It really is such a great reminder that there are amazing and kind people in the world with as much negativity as we can be surrounded by sometimes. I’m so glad this reminded you of moments of joy too!

  4. Hi Jackie,

    You seem like a real insightful individual and that’s pretty awesome. I was referred to your blog through a friend and I love it! It’s comforting knowing that there are people out there who feel the same way and can relate to when it comes to perspective and the lens of the world.

    Your post reminds me of David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water” commencement speech (link: Wallace writes, “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.”

    Thank you for your post 🙂
    Joe Lee

    P.S – I love your Parks and Rec references. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Joe.

      Thanks very much for reading and for the feedback! That’s probably one of my favorite parts about blogging, hearing that other people can relat even if it’s just in some small way to what I write. I love when we can all find our similarities as human beings. I LOVE that quote from Wallace too. I’ll definitely check out his commencement speech.

      Glad you appreciate the Parks and Rec references too. I haven’t watched Season 7 yet and of course I ended my Amazon Prime membership a few months ago so I have to find a way to watch it somehow!

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