A couple of months ago when I was on an airplane, I ordered a glass of wine. As I poured the wine into my plastic cup the woman sitting next to me said, “Now, I’m jealous.” I knew that I had an extra drink coupon in my purse so I said to her, “Do you like red or white?” She told me that she liked white so I gave the flight attendant my coupon and bought her a glass of wine.
The woman smiled and thanked me and asked if she could buy me a glass of wine. “No, thank you,” I said. “Just pay it forward.” Then we started to chat. At one point in our conversation, the woman revealed to me that she had just had back surgery and that the wine helped ease her pain. It gave me a good feeling to know that this small gesture made her feel better.
There are a lot of other positive social consequences to being kind – other people appreciate you, they’re grateful, and they are more apt to reciprocate the favor. Just think how much kinder people would be to each other if everyone would pay it forward.
Today is Pay It Forward Day! It’s a day when we all can make a positive difference, spread some cheer, and do something nice for someone. Here are some ways that you can pay it forward:
• Buy a stranger a cup of coffee.
• Hold the door open for someone.
• Pay for the next person’s toll, food, gas, etc.
• Take books or stuffed animals to the elderly at a skilled nursing facility.
• Buy a glass of wine or a beer for a stranger in a restaurant or on an airplane.
• Take some energy bars to a homeless person standing on the side of the road.
• Mow a neighbor’s yard.
• Write a thank-you note to someone.
• Give a co-worker a plant or bouquet of flowers.
• Take a meal to a sick friend.
• Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
• Give an extra-large tip to a server.
Can you add to this list? I’d love to know what you plan to do to pay it forward today.