When one person pays for the next person in line, typically a stranger, it’s a classic example of generosity at work. You give for the sake of giving and doing something nice for another person, without expecting anything directly back.
Speaking of generosity, there are also plenty of other such ways that people can be generous with strangers. I’ve written about this before, witnessing some generosity involving homeless people.
What it comes down to in the idea that doing considerate things for others, when it involves some financial outlay – even if quite modest – can make the giver and receiver feel positive about the exchange.
So, I had a couple of these things happen in my life last week. As in, two on the same day!
Admittedly, neither of these episodes involved me being on the giving end of things. Okay, so I have a little catching up to do! But being on the receiving end of kindness with just a $3 value was a nice reminder that little acts of generosity can brighten someone’s day.
Paying it forward with coffee
This was not the first time this has happened to me. I previously wrote about how I received free coffee due to the kindness of the car ahead of me paying for it. It made an impression on me, and I thought it was pretty cool.
Lo and behold, the same exact thing happened again! Almost a year later, someone did this again. At the same exact drive-thru!
Makes me wonder what the odds are that it was the same person, too. Could this person be a regular there? Maybe I should go there more often (just kidding!).
Later that same day, actually in the evening, I stopped to pick up a movie at a Redbox kiosk. It was in front of a major retailer. Anyway, as I was going through the rental process, a little old lady walked up to me and asked if I wanted a free movie. This is probably a sign of how things can be these days, but at first I thought it must be some kind of scam. You know, as in that proverbial “little old lady” who distracts you while someone else robs you.
Well, I looked around and there was nobody else. So the lady proceeded to hand me a McDonald’s “Monopoly” game piece that had a code for a free Redbox rental. Not bad, eh?
I didn’t get a chance to use it, as I was too far along in the rental process that time. But, I’ll use it next time.
Back to that free rental: maybe I won’t use it.
At least that was my initial thought, and perhaps I can just pay it forward for the next person. But the way the nice lady did it was awkward, and I’d rather buy someone coffee instead. Someone should have his or her day made via a nice gesture.
Anyway, the point is that sometimes those little nice gestures can feel good, both for the person spending and the person reaping the benefit. Just $3 in total value was received from these two episodes on the same day, but much more goodwill and a great example were exchanged.
My Questions for You
Have you ever had the opportunity to “pay it forward”?
Have you been the beneficiary of someone paying for your purchase?