Paying It Forward

We are surrounded with opportunities to act with kindness and generosity. Whether it is choosing to help someone in the moment, or an anonymous act that ripples and affects someone a bit later, there are plenty of ways we can live generously every day. Here are a few examples of easy ways to Pay It Forward in every day life!

Pay For Someone In Line

This is a pretty popular way to be generous in the moment. It happens often in fast-food lines, grocery stores, and coffee shops. I’ve heard of people in the drive-thru lines getting to the pay window and discovering that the car ahead of them had paid for their order. This act usually leads to that car doing the same for the car behind them, and so on. It is a quick ripple, a small act of kindness that can have a large impact on everyone in the line if it is carried on. It creates such a positive experience, and hardly takes any time at all. Next time you are in line somewhere, consider paying for someone in line with you. It might set off a beautiful chain reaction of generosity!

Gift Cards

This is actually something I read about on a Facebook post. A cashier at a grocery store was checking a customer out when the customer asked to purchase a gift card. They gave the gift card back to the cashier and asked them to use it for someone who needed it. Later that day, someone in line mentioned that she had a very strict budget. She went over her total and became very flustered and embarrassed trying to take things back to lower the amount to fit her budget. The cashier remembered the gift card and used it to bring the total down. Then the man behind her in line jumped in and offered to pay for everything she was putting back! The woman was so grateful, she hugged the cashier and the man who helped her pay. The best part? After she left, the man who paid for her groceries also bought a gift card to leave for someone who needed it. As did the person behind him, and behind them! This one ripples out similarly to number one, and is just as kind. The difference is the anonymity that comes with this act. Sometimes when there isn’t a face to match to the kindness, it can just feel like destiny.

Gas Station

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I believe it could be a very good one! It has blended elements of the first two acts: paying for someone and being anonymous. The idea is to put money on a gas station pump for the next person. When they pull up to it, they just choose their fuel and fill their vehicle. Imagine going to fill your car, expecting to spend $40 (that’s an example, I don’t know what you drive) and finding there is already $20 on the pump! The choice is yours, but you can keep it going by putting more money on the pump for the next person.

Restaurant Tips

Restaurant servers work for tips. They rely on the generosity of their guests, so it’s a bit like gambling in that way. Personally, I have been on both sides of the tipping coin. I have been the guest who has given 50% tips, and I have been the server who has received such generous tips they made me cry. Tipping is a controversial practice, and honestly I think it is a ridiculous system. My opinion doesn’t change the fact that many restaurants don’t pay their servers enough and leave that responsibilty to the guests. As a guest at a restaurant, you can make a servers day and feel great by giving a generous tip!

When in Doubt, Choose Giving

Sometimes the universe gives us a choice. We may see someone on the street asking for money, and our minds make up scenarios about what they might use that money for. That isn’t up to us, though. In those moments, trust your gut over your mind. Usually the doubt to give is coming from your mind. If you have enough to spare, the universe will return it to you, amplified. It won’t always be right away, but know that every generous act you do is noticed and will be rewarded. Give what you can, when you can!

Every generous act, big or small, is a miracle to someone else. Be that miracle! What are your favorite ways to Pay It Forward? Let us know!