Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pay it forward


Yesterday as I was leaving Walmart a saw a mom struggling with her 3 year old (I'm guessing) as she put her in the car. Her daughter was pitchin' a big ole fit. Anyway- the mom turned around to put her cart up when she realized there wasn't a cart return anywhere near by. I could tell she was trying to decide if she should leave the cart or leave her daughter... She probably would have left her cart if I wasn't standing there. (You know how ya feel weird leaving it when people are watching...) Anyway- I was loading groceries in my van and I told her, "I'll return it for you. I have 2 carts to put away anyway. Just hook yours to mine." She looked relieved and thanked me. She even waved and smiled as she drove off. It felt good helping her and it only took a minute. Just last week I was buying things for NSYA and I had 2 carts. Taj was walking with me as I pulled one cart and pushed the other. As we were leaving the store, things fell out of the back cart, so I let go of the front cart- with Liv sitting in the little baby seat. As I let go, the cart with Liv started rolling out into the parking lot/crosswalk. I didn't notice as I picked the things up that had fallen. This man chased the cart with Liv and caught it. Then he helped pick up things as I chased after Taj who had run off to a pile of snow. The man then pushed one of my carts to my van and made sure I had Taj in the van before he left to his own car. Thank you sweet man for helping and for not taking advantage of my vulnerability by raping or killing me!! I hope my "help" for the mom made her feel like the man's help made me feel.
A few weeks ago Sei was in Wendy's getting some lunch. After ordering the cashier, instead of giving his total, said, "Your meal has already been paid for." She said that to the next person in line also. Apparently someone had given the cashier an extra $10 to pay for the next couple of people in line. I thought that was so neat! I had seen something similar on Oprah when someone gave $20 to the toll booth and said it was for the next 20 cars toll. Anyway- I thought it was really cool. I wanted to do something similar, but with money being a little tight, handing over $10 or $20 at McDonalds wasn't really doable. Today I was in the drive thru at McDonalds and I heard the cashier tell the car behind me "$3.04 at the 2nd window." I thought, "$3.04- I can do that!!" So, I told her, "I'd like to pay for the next car too." Her face was hilarious! "You want to pay for the next car?!?" "Yeah. For uh, you know, for Christmas..." I sounded like a dork as I fumbled over my words. She rang it up and gave me the receipt. Then she said, "I've only had that happen one other time with an old, gross man paying for a cute girl behind him. You're really sweet." And ya know what, I was stoked!! I was so excited to watch the lady's face in the car behind me when she found out her meal had paid for already!
The point of this post is not to brag on myself. I should do a lot more to help people!! I just want to challenge everyone to do a random act of kindness for someone expecting nothing in return. It feels good. Really good.

14 comments:

Robin said...

Awesome! Great, grand, wonderful! What a fun challenge, I hope i will take it on.

Tara said...

I love that! Last week I was at Target and Mason (who never hardly even cries) started pitching a big fit weeping and wailing while I was in the middle of checking out (of course). I didn't have a paci or anything and I could feel my face getting hot because I was starting to get embarassed that I couldn't calm him down and I was holding up the line. Anyway, the lady behind me comes up and looks at him and goes, "What a beautiful baby! I just love that little newborn cry..." And she was being sincere! I immediately felt like the pressure was off and was really thankful for her kind words instead of her being totally bugged. I thought that was so nice and have decided to make it a point to do something like that when I see other moms struggling with their kids when I'm out and about. Afterall, we're all in this together, aren't we?

tara said...

I loved that Tori, thanks for sharing, and your sister seems really cool too... it must be something to do with her name (o: we truly are 'in this together'... as we should be!

Mel said...

I loved your post! Thanks for sharing.

No Cool Story said...

What a great post Tori.
I love tara's comment too.
We are truly doing Heavenly Father's work when we help others.

What a great idea, we should all do a "Pay It forward" week".
So if you don't mind, I'm stealing and posting this :)

Suzanne said...

This was such a great post! I don't think you're bragging at all. It's little things like that, that can make someone's day. Thanks for reminding us how easy it is to do! :)

AzĂșcar said...

I remember a trip from Florida back to Utah last year. Guille 2.5 years, screamed, carried on, and was a miserable pill the whole time. I fully admit to bursting into tears at one point.
After getting off the plane and walking towards baggage a man I recognized from a couple rows back came up to me and said, "I just want you to know that I think you're a really good mom and you handled that situation really well."

After thinking the entire plane hated me and cranky-loco-pants, it still brings a tear to my eye to have received positive comment from a stranger.

Stephanie said...

Tori, I think you were listening to the spirit to post this. I was sitting here at my desk indulging in self-pity and I came across your post. It totally brought the spirit of the season back into my life. Thank you. You paid it forward again!!!

I am going to do this during the following week.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all over again!

Tori :) said...

Thanks for y'alls comments!! I was just so excited about how I felt that I wanted to pass it along!
And I am sorry if my comments on any of y'alls blogs have been posted 40 times or it seems I have not been commenting. Blogger has not been very kind lately when I've tried to comment. I apologize!

Abbie said...

Great idea for Christmas. I'll post my "Pay It Forward" when I do it.

Gina said...

That is so awesome, Tori! I look forward to taking on your challenge... very good ideas here! Way to go!

Katie said...

Two weeks ago I was in Walmart with my twins, and they were just being terribly naughty. They were riding in the huge cart with two seats, but they were leaning off to either side and wailing and trying to grab things off the shelves. Finally we get to the checkout lane, and I'm trying everything I cabn think of to keep them happy, like singing stupid songs and playing silly games--but nothing was working and I felt like everyone was thinking, "Gee, if that mom would discipline her kids instead of singing in that annoying voice, none of us would be listening to their whining right now!" Of course we are in the slowest line ever. Finally another cashier shows up and asks the woman behind me if she would like to move to the next register. The lady looks at me and says in this I've-totally-been-where-you-are-voice, "No, but I bet these tired boys would like to go." I wanted to kiss her feet. I'm going to pay it forward this week, too!

Great post!

~j. said...

A huge part of the relief of being the recipient of such service, in my opinion, is the feeling that, like you said, Tara, we're in this together. That the people at Wal*Mart help instead of saying mean things (as happened to a friend of mine once at Sam's, but I won't write what happened because this is an uplifting atmosphere), that people GENUINELY want to give and be helpful. Bravo, Tori.

utmommy said...

I think this is such a wonderful idea, especially at this time of year. Thanks for the reminder that it only takes a couple of minutes to really make a person's day. I'm going to try this out and see how it goes.