Inspirational: Paying it Forward
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss It." -Ferris Bueller
It is hot and kind of humid outside. It is 26 degrees in this beautiful part of the world. It is Father’s Day and so it’s kind of busy in the mall, restaurants and coffee shops. I wasn’t intending to write about this but while I was sitting inside an air-conditioned coffee shop and enjoying my mocha, I couldn’t help but noticed a man sitting outside by the pavement quietly begging for some spare change. I watched and counted the people passing by and noticed that only a few people actually dropped a coin for him. I feel guilty. I honestly didn’t even notice him when I entered the coffee shop. Was he already sitting there when I came or maybe I was too way in a rush to get my drinks that I actually missed him. I wonder how long had he been sitting there. He doesn’t look dirty or ragged at all. Maybe that’s why not many would pity him.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” ~Dalai Lama
He’s holding a sign that reads: “Ill trade you a smile for a dollar. Need money for food and transportation. Thank you and God Bless.” Feeling guilty, I stood up, stepped out and spoke to him. “Hello! Are you hungry? What can I get you?” He smiled at me and softly said, “No, it’s ok. I just need some change if you have any.” I said, “Yes, but can I get you at least something to drink?” He smiled and wiped his face. I know it’s hot today but I didn’t want to presume that he’d prefer something cold. So I asked, “Would you like to have something cold or hot?” Gently he replied, “A coffee will be great and thank you very much.”
I went and bought him a medium size coffee and gave him the change from my $5 bill. When I handed him the coffee, he even refused to get the spare change and said, “The coffee is enough my child. Thank you.” Those words made me teary eyed. He wasn’t asking for too much. I told him, “No, it’s okay. You can have the change. Happy Father’s day.” He probably didn’t realize it is Father’s Day today. He smiled back and thanked me again. I waved goodbye and said, “Enjoy your coffee"- as I smiled back.
I proceeded to the parking lot and while in the car, I felt a sense of happiness to what I actually did. This is not the first time I've helped out. In fact, I always do whenever I have the chance but I am writing this not to brag about the small gesture of kindness that I just did but to actually express how happy I am to make someone happy and the impact it created on both sides. I never really bother telling people about how I acted on good deeds. I'd just do it and move on. This particular one didn’t even cost me that much. It was $5 out of my wallet to feed the hungry (and thirsty).
I drove off but felt the urge to write about it. Not exactly on what I just did but the general idea of helping out our less fortunate brothers and sisters. So, I stopped in another plaza after just a few kilometers of driving, parked my car, pulled out my notebook and started writing down the experience itself and how I feel good about helping out. I knew I’d forget it if I don’t jot it down at this instance. Alas, nature’s calling and I have to go. So, I put down my pen, put my notebook back in my bag and walked to find a place of relief. Thank goodness for another coffee shop (Starbucks). Yes, I was relieved! *smile*
Now, here I am sitting in another coffee shop, wanting to finish my notes when a guy sitting next to me approached me and asked, if I could in a minute watch his stuff. He wanted to grab a drink. I nodded with a smile and said, “ok”. He came back with two drinks in his hands. Said, “thank you for watching my stuff” and handed me the other drinks. Now, I wasn’t expecting that and I said, “It wasn’t necessary”. Besides, I wasn’t just going to drink it from a stranger. He smiled at me and said, “Don’t worry, if you don’t feel comfortable drinking it. You can just go to the counter and ask them to change it. It’s on me.” I was caught up and didn’t know how to respond. How did he know what I was thinking? So, I simply smiled and asked him, “why?” He said, “nothing, just paying it forward.”
Paying it Forward: You'll feel GOOD about it but what matter most is how other people will feel GREAT about it.~CrisSp ♥
Now, if this true story didn’t give you some goose bumps. I don’t know what will. Didn’t you see it yet? I bought a homeless man a cup of coffee without expecting anything in return and here I am with a complete stranger buying me a drink for simply watching his stuff (MacBook pro and his backpack) while he grab his own drinks. What random acts of kindness!
Why do I have to write about it?
This is neither for fame nor glory. Definitely not for adulation. In fact, I only wanted to write it down in my journal. But, this is a feel good story and hence, the urge of sharing it. I was touched by having my good deed to a stranger returned by another stranger.
I was inspired to write and share it with you and perhaps to encourage you to do the same-some random acts of kindness. Pay it forward. I guarantee you an incredible feeling of joy when you do something great for another human being, no matter how small it is. Because truly, in the world we now live in, where we all move in a haste and extra cautious not to talk to strangers and where common courtesy is almost forgotten and seen, we can still make a difference and help make this world a better place with a bit of our smile, time and attention. Attention to human needs; bring back our faith to humanity and take it to the next level. It doesn’t have to be a big step. What matter is taking the first step and continue to do so.
I didn’t actually realize the impact of what I did to the panhandler at the coffee shop until a stranger bought me a refreshing drink for simply doing him a small favor of watching his stuff. These were unintentional random acts of kindness. Selfless act that naively cheered up another individual. It felt great. I felt these random acts of kindness gave me the opportunity to connect with people. It has made me realized that these simple acts of kindness towards the people around us could actually positively impact other people’s lives and paying it forward actually works.
It is not my intention to commercialize my random act of kindness but I encourage you to do it in a small way and make it a habit. I personally believe that what goes around comes around. I just had it proven today, so to speak.
Be kind to one another~
The world is counting on YOU! Are you willing to make a difference?
There are so many ways to spread the goodwill through mankind. Choose to be a part of this beautiful world in this wonderful day – TODAY. Sure, fundraising and giving money are great ways to help but random act of kindness is not only about fundraising or giving money. It’s about inspiring people to practice kindness and be able to pass it on to others. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Do something kind that someone will not expect. Do it often and see how great it is to be able to see some positive changes actually happen.
"Aspire to Inspire" ~
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Random acts of kindness:
- Simply smile to stranger(s)
- Buy a stranger a drink (and donut maybe)
- Help someone cross the street
- Open and hold doors for others
- Tip generously
- Feed an expired parking meter for a stranger
- Leave a dollar (or even a quarter) on the phone booth
- Drop some coins for the panhandlers
- Offer a seat to the elderlies
- Randomly kiss and hug a family member (I always do)
- Volunteer to do some community service
- Thank the bus driver as you get off
- Pick up litter off the street
- Donate blood
- Drop a can (or two) of food to the food bank
- Send left over party food to the shelter
- Be considerate
- Wipe dry the loo in the public washroom after using it
- Help rake your neighbor’s leaves
- Write a poem or a song and dedicate it randomly to a friend or love ones
Certainly, there are many other ways than the above list. Remember that kindness is priceless and ageless. You? When was the last time you did some random acts of kindness and how did you show it?
Do you have a kindness idea or story to share? Let us know by commenting below.
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Copyright@CrisSp~TM/06-2013. Read me: "The heart of my soul speaks to the soul of my heart by writing." ~
© 2013 CrisSp