Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pay It Forward Already, Why Don't Ya?

I know we're all familiar with "pay it forward" concept; heck, didn't they even make a movie about it? Like forever ago?

I'm sad to say that, personally, I have only ever experienced one significant random of act of kindness (I'm not going to count the "hold the door open" basic good manners sort of thing). But one time quite a few years ago, while in the drive through at Tim Horton's, I discovered I had no wallet. I had my purse but had somehow managed to leave my wallet at home.

Well, that was awkward.

I was right at the speaker when I realized this but I still could have pulled quickly out of line. Actually, I honestly don't really remember why I didn't now ... I guess I must have really needed that coffee. Anyway, I rolled down the window and explained the situation rather sheepishly, that I just realized my wallet wasn't in my purse, but that I was a regular customer and would they consider letting me pay next time.

Yeah, I admit, that might have been a little ballsy. But that is neither here nor there to my story.

Which continued something like this - the employee asked me to repeat what I had just said and then told me to wait a minute. A new voice came on (male, of course) who repeated my request back to me. Yes, sir. Please, sir. He told me to drive up to the window. Okay, thank you.

It was a cold winter day and I was just about to put my window back up when a voice from behind me yelled out "It's okay. I'll get it." I looked over my shoulder to see the door of the car behind me open and the driver get up and run over to my window. "It's okay. I'll get your coffee for you" and he pushed a twonie into my hand.

[Sidebar: For anyone wondering, this is a twonie. 
You know, twonie ... as in two dollars. 
Ah, there you go. Now you got it.

Just one other thing. 

On the first day, God created a loonie. 
And on the second day, God created a twonie. 

Don't confuse them.
Just. Don't.

We now resume regular our regularly scheduled 
programming already in progress.]

"No, no, that's okay. You don't have to do that" and I tried to hand the twonie back but he was having none of it. "No, that's okay. I want to" and he ran back to his car as I yelled "Thank you!". Well, now I felt even a bit more embarrassed than I had when trying to explain my plight over the speaker. But I also felt something else - a smile spreading across my face. What a nice guy!

I continued to the window, where I handed the twonie over and explained that the person behind me in line had given it to me. Following which, the manager (the male voice on the speaker) walked up, took one quick look at me and said "Oh yeah, I know you. I would have given you the coffee." I laughed, thanked him and drove away with my coffee.

My point of this little story? That there are still good people out there? That we need not give up all hope in this world? Well, sure, maybe, if you really want.

But this little story is all about me and how it made me feel. And, you know what, it made me feel pretty darn good. And it made me realize that I would like to do something like that for someone else some day. (Don't get me wrong - there is a darn good chance I would have made a similar gesture in a similar situation anyway, but this just made me more consciously think about it.)

So, how corny nifty is this? Apparently there exists a global initiative aiming to inspire over three million acts of kindness, a "Pay It Forward Day". And one of the individuals that is heavily involved in promoting this is from the Annapolis Valley, practically my next door neighbour.

And what I think is the best part of it all ...
The interesting thing about the Pay It Forward Day concept is that organizers around the world may never know how successful it is. That is because participants don’t have to register or sign up. 
“There’s no work to it,” Huntley said. “People can do something on their own.” 
On April 24, people from all walks of life can give to someone and make a positive difference.
I like that. It's kind of like the whole "don't let your left hand know what your right is doing", but on a grander scale. So what say you, good people?

April 24th is roughly seven weeks away. Plenty of time to think up a random act of kindness (or two) that works for you. Or just wing it. Whatever.

As long as we don't forget to pay it forward.

No comments: