Paying it forward …

pay_it_forward1This morning I went to Starbucks after I had taken care of a few errands.  There wasn’t anything in particular that made today any different from any other day (when I order my quad, half-caff espresso macchiato with extra non fat foam – in a grande cup) other than the fact that while I was in line I decided to buy the person behind me a coffee or whatever drink they chose.  So I gave the Barista five dollars and said “this is for whoever is behind me, I am buying them a drink.”  It could have been an old man, a student … anyone.

I paid for my drink, left him the five dollars and moved over to where the drinks are being picked up to wait for mine to arrive.   I noticed that the next person behind me was an attractive young woman, probably on a break from the office as the had a security tag on and was very well dressed.  I saw there was an exchange between her and the barista and then she did the same thing and waited for her drink.starbucks1

I thought I should say something as I did not want her to think I was making some move on her or expecting her to say hello and give me her number so as soon as I had my drink in my hands and had added my little extras (sugar and cocoa) I went over to where she was sitting waiting and very politely told her to have a great day and to pay it forward.

She very quickly jumped in with ‘I did not accept it and have asked the clerk to give the money back to you,’ meaning me.  I was stunned and told her that I was simply paying it forward and that I was not going to take the money back and that she needs to let the clerk know to use it for someone else and that it was all about doing or creating a simple gesture of paying it forward … and I did wish her a great day.

I guess the sad part of this whole story was that she misunderstood my intentions and an opportunity was lost in not being able to continue with the pay it forward thought.  What a way to go through the day.  I suppose I feel as though most people see the glass as being half empty instead of being half full.  Wouldn’t it be nice if randomly things like this happened every day and perhaps many time throughout the day?

I enjoy doing this sort of thing and I’m not writing to brag about it or make myself seem better than the next person.  I’m not.  I hope by reading this it may inspire you to do some small random act of kindness for someone who is not expecting it in any way.  You will feel so good and it really does set the day to a whole new pace or allow it to resonate at a higher frequency so the glass is not only half full but overflowing with amazing and wonderful things happening in our lives.

8 replies »

  1. Nice intentions Frank!
    Interesting! Most people are not ready to receive any random act of kindness from a stranger. All you can do is to keep them coming and hope for then to be received well.
    Also when you do this next time you could maybe let go any further attachment to the outcome and be at piece with whatever happens without further action taken. No need to explain to the person behind you, no need to make sure the barista does what you asked them to do… etc. …just let it go and let the cards fall where they may.
    Keep paying it forward! 🙂


  2. Thank you. You are probably right about that last part and let go of the outcome. Thanks for sharing and posting.
    Wishing you an awesome day.


  3. Interesting concept!!

    I would definetly love to try this and YES Monika you are

    right we should let it go and let the cards fall where they

    may. But at the same time I would like to visibly see it

    going in the right direction.


  4. It was very nice of you Frank to do that, I would have accepted,and said thank-you r u kidding at Starbucks????
    Just kidding…. It would have made me think about what you had done… A nice gesture… But unfortunately, not all people think that way.. Don’t let it get you down… Next time, What I would look around… and look at the least dressed person try to get in front of him or her… and do the same thing… I bet you they will appreciate it…
    But remember someone else looks deep down in our hearts and he knows what kind gestures we do, and if no-one else appreciates, he does… And that is God….


  5. Good intentions, but you must understand that most men who buy a young woman a drink are not altruistic. So, as the protective mother of a pretty young girl, I admit I find her reaction not only understandable, but wise and safe.

    Perhaps buy a drink for an old woman next time. Then absolutely don’t go over to talk to them afterwards to tell them to pay it forward (which may make them feel like you are attaching an obligation to your generosity which I am sure you had no intention of doing).

    Anyway, I applaud your good intentions.


  6. Frank, I have been reading your blogs today, after listening to you on blogradio with Karen Sullivan! What an amazing story you share, my friend. I love your blog, and look forward to reading more inspiration from you.

    Your act of kindness was awesome. I have actually done the same thing at the drive thru at MacDonald’s many times..and it is indeed a Joy to pay it forward. We can all show compassion, love and kindness, and truly make a difference in a positive way!! It truly does come back to you !! May God bless you Frank! What an inspiration you indeed are! Hope to learn more about you!


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