Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pay it Forward . . .

I’ve been thinking about this movie lately and how if everyone partook in random acts of kindness with no expectations of anything in return - even if only for a day - this would be such an amazing thing.

I guess this stems from something I did recently -- and no - this wasn’t my feeble attempt to save the chipmunk. LOL.

This goes back to the Thursday before Memorial Day when I was on the Metro North heading into NY from New Haven. A passenger thought he could charge his ticket on the train -- Amtrak allows this but apparently Metro North doesn’t. They were going to kick him off at the next stop, where he could buy a ticket at the window, but with waiting for the next train he’d miss his connection in Stamford.

After the conductor stepped away, I poked my head around the corner and asked him how much he needed. I actually had cash - which for me IS an odd occurrence - and he needed twelve dollars to get to Stamford from New Haven. I nodded, dug in my pocket book and handed him the money, much to his surprise.

The conductor came up to me after the man paid and took a seat in the far side of the car and informed me that the man had a twenty dollar bill on him. I had heard the original conversation; I heard he needed that for his destination because he where ever he was going - they didn’t take credit cards.

I smiled and nodded and said I was aware of that. The conductor got flustered and wandered away.

I know folks try to get something for nothing and whether the man’s story was true or he was trying to scam Metro North - I don’t really care. I was in a position to help and as grateful as he was, I highly doubt he was blowing smoke at the conductor. He even offered me his business card to contact him for the money and sincerely wanted to pay me back but I waived him off and told him not to worry about it.

What I should have said was Pay It Forward.

So if you get the chance, do something nice and unexpected for someone today - whether it’s a stranger or someone you know.

I’d love to hear your inspiring stories! Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Until next time . . .




PaulaKayMac said...

That movie has stayed with me to this day. I'm an audioligst when I'm not writing and after seeing the movie I fit a person who needed an aid (that couldn't afford one) for no charge and did say, "Pay it forward."

Good for you for offering. Regardless of the gentleman's true circumstances, I bet you made an impact on him that he won't forget (guilt or gratitude).

I do wonder what would happen if we all did the same. Maybe have a Pay it Forward day where across the US everyone did one nice thing, big or small for someone. Hmmm.

Linton Lewis said...

I ran out of gas returning to LA from Las Vegas and hitchhiked ten or so miles in the cold other hardships and returned with the gas. I had a 52 Chevy and the gas cap was some distance from the opening on the fender. I tried pouring the gas in but the wind kept blowing it off. Finally I decided to just dump it all in and enough had to hit the opening. I do not think a drop did. I felt sick with my stupidity and after anguishing in self pity stuck my thumb out again. A man stopped and had a container in his trunk with gas and a spout that reached down to my gas cap. He poured it in and refused any payment. He just said pass it along. I am sad to say I never have.

JETaylor said...

Paula - that was a very sweet thing to do - I am truly in awe of your kindness and yes, it would be incredible if we could institute a Pay It Forward day!

Linton - there's still time to do something in kind! There's always time. It doesn't have to be monetary either - simple kindness goes a long way.