My family and I had a chance to experience unexpected kindness from a stranger first hand at a high school football game on Friday night, and I want to share what I learned about “paying it forward.”
Waiting in line, we noticed people having their hands stamped. Being our first varsity football game the thought hadn’t crossed our mind we would have to pay. My purse filled with water bottles, I only had a debit card and a few dollars. Well, we can miss the first few minutes of the game, I thought, and we started making our way back to the car to find an ATM. A total stranger behind us stopped us and offered to pay our way in. Of course we said thank you, and we couldn’t accept it, but he offered again and said he had been in the same situation once before and knows how it feels.
Is this all it would take to make a difference in our world? It is to me. I kept thinking about it, and it made enough of an impression to help me write.
I also found this explanation of the “Pay it Forward” movement and foundation, founded in the U.S., on wikihow.com: The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person—you or me—make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice “paying it forward.” While the steps might be simple, the outcome could create a sense of luck and good will that changes the world.”
Thank you, Gary Goodwin, for your generosity and your example for creating a ripple of good will in this world.
Clipper Art Director