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So what does it mean to “pay it forward”?

Pay It Forward

I woke early, made the kids breakfast, lunches, and got them out the door for school just as I do daily with pride. I do because I am a mom, it’s my responsibility and it starts my kids out with what they need to start their day. Right? Am I paying it forward? My mom did this for me, just as hers did for hers…so I suppose in that regard, as moms we “pay it forward” every day. As I continued my morning on a drive to the Los Angeles area, to spend the day with a best friend visiting from out of town – I called to get her “Starbucks order” as I was stopping along the way. Is that paying it forward? She declined a coffee, so I guess not. As I got to the window, to pay my $7.10 order, the two kids at the drive in window simply smiled and said, “You are going to have an awesome day – you are all set.”  I was confused and handed them my money to which they said, “The lady in front of you paid your bill…. Have a great day.” Do you have any idea how surprised I was? Do you have any idea how that made me feel? I felt great and then I felt like a stalker as I tried to chase her down to thank her to no avail.

I promptly posted on Facebook what a cool thing had just happened (I was not driving and texting) and then I called my husband to tell him my exciting start to my day. His response? “What did she want?” So why is it that a natural instinct is that if someone does something kind for you that our nature teaches us – that they want something in return?

What is the meaning of “Paying it forward” anyway? My Facebook post has 40 “likes” and 2 comments. This is the one I like…. “Love it when it happens so usually I pay it forward the next time I go.” That from a business partner in the San Diego area. She is wise.

I was so taken back when the kids at the window told me I was set – I awkwardly asked, “so, what am I supposed to do now, buy the guys behind me?…. They said no – just enjoy the gesture and move on.” I was secretly thinking good, because there are about 8 people in that van and that would have cost me $24 from my original $7. Then I felt guilty payitforward– and clearly was over thinking this, as I’m just not used to handouts.

As I sit to write my daily thoughts, and to be thankful for my life, I see this quote…”PAY IT FORWARD, it’s about CARING and SHARING, It’s about Compassion and kindness it’s about generosity, it’s about sacrifice…and love – YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE – SO GIVE GOOD. And then the world made sense again.

So what do you say….go pay it forward today, in whatever way you can. Lend a hand, it doesn’t need to be a hand out – but might be a hand up that change the path of someone’s day, and who knows…maybe their life.

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  • Cinda Dettner 03/20/2015 at 11:04 am

    Love the story and the quote!