Paying It Forward

January 19,2013

Now THIS is an interesting development! Turns out that finding Acts of Kindness is not as easy as one would think. When we started this project we kind of thought that we would stumble across ways to show kindness without it being a big deal. And that has been true to a certain extent. We all are kind, usually polite, and fairly courteous (OK, let’s leave the whole driving issue out of it…;)) and yet we’ve had trouble pinpointing things that happen during the course of a normal day as real “Acts”. I mean, is it an act of kindness to let someone go in front of you in the grocery store line? Is it an act of kindness to listen patiently as somebody talks your ear off about something important to them, but not so much to you, especially when you have a million things to do? And what about the concept of paying it forward?

We were out this weekend doing what we do. Think errands, shopping, lunch…. with lots of chatting and laughing thrown in. We crack each other up regularly and this particular day was no exception. We were having a great day and as our conversations often do, started at “A”, zigzagged wildly to “Z”, and then came back around again to “A.” During the course of this process our kindness project came up and we were excited about all being together and possibly finding some Act of Kindness to do together. But it was weird…nothing really jumped out at us as something that would truly be considered an Act of Kindness. So we decided we would do the next best thing. The act of Paying it Forward. It was kind of exciting really. We were in the drive-thru at Starbucks (big surprise) and we decided that we would pay for the people in the car behind us. We pulled up and explained to the barista what we were doing and about our project. She was so enthusiastic about it, which made it even more fun for us. It turned out that the order was a small one, but it did still feel like just the idea of surprising someone like that out of the blue was a good one.

So I’m left to wonder, are we going to need to plan some service projects in order to complete the 50 Acts? Our intention at the beginning was to find small, everyday things that would add drops of kindness into everyday life. We do have the whole year to see how this develops. So maybe between some random Acts, some planned Acts, and some plain old Paying it Forward type things we’ll end up with a year that just might create those ripples of kindness we were hoping for.

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3 thoughts on “Paying It Forward

  1. Hey Sweetie – Does it count if your Mom participates? My passion is to thank our military troops for their service, but yesterday I was out for brunch with my Bridge pals, and a woman in uniform walked into the restaurant. I thanked her and then said I would like to pay for her meal. She said “Sure,” so I asked the waitress to bring me her bill. The woman said, “Thanks Ma’am” as she left, and I was happy when the rest of the women in my group thought it was a great idea! I truly believe that courtesy is contagious, and the smallest act of kindness makes a difference in the whole scheme of things. Xoxox Mom

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