Have you ever seen Pay It Forward, the movie with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt? It is one of my favorites and I was reminded of it this month.
My friend's daughter Jacquie went into a sub shop to order lunch. She ordered a combo meal and then went to pay for it and realized that she didn't have her wallet. She was mortified telling the clerk as the line of people waiting to place their orders stood listening. The man behind her overheard what she said and immediately he asked how much her meal was? The clerk said "$8.50" and the man handed over money and paid for Jacquie's lunch. Jacquie was shocked that a stranger would do that for her. So she decided to pay it forward and the next day when she was at the Tim Hortons Drive-thru window. She asked the server what the next car in line ordered....and she paid for it.
When my UPS delivery man Kevin drops off my shipments, I have cold water for him in the summer, a gift card for coffee in the winter and over the years I have learned that he loves chocolate so I have some of that handy too. He goes out of his way to provide great customer service and if his schedule allows, he will return with the package later in the day if we were not there to answer the door.
Here are some other Pay It Forward examples you can try:
- Do someone a favour - my friend Audrey is having surgery and I offered to take her so she would have a friend with her to keep her company
- A friend of ours said he gave a waiter a $20 tip for a $20 meal because he was the only one in the restaurant and he wanted to support their small business
- Let an employee take a random Friday afternoon off
- Make a fresh pot of coffee at the office when you take the last cup
- Treat a co-worker who brings a lunch every day out to lunch
- Say hi to a stranger - when I walk around my neighbourhood I always say hello to those I am passing. Not everyone responds, but when they do and you get a smile, it is rewarding. My daughter lives in Vancouver, a big, busy city. Many people in big cities walk around with their iPod's on, or have their heads down texting if they are not chatting on their cell phone. Say hello to the person you sit next to on transit, or wait beside in the next line up you stand in. Say hi to people when you get on an elevator.
- Recognize the good work of a co-worker
- Send a note of appreciation to someone at the office
- Make a new friend - I was at another event and met a woman who just moved here from Australia. We exchanged phone numbers and I told her that I would love to meet her for coffee once she got settled in
- Give blood. Approximately every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. In fact, according to a recent poll, 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment. The good news is that one blood donation - in just one hour - can save a life.
- Mentor a child
- Put money in a parking meter that you see is about to expire
- When someone is in a wheel chair parking spot and they have to return their buggy, take it back for them - I did that this week and the woman smiled and said to me "you will be rewarded in heaven."
- Give an unexpected gift for no reason at all
- Talk to a senior citizen
- Open a door for someone
- Carry a load for someone - I was in a fast food restaurant and a woman had a new born baby in her arms and was picking up four orders of food so I offered to carry it out to her car for her. Along the way I asked when she had her baby and she said "yesterday," at which point I had a nice chat with her about taking care of herself and she hugged me in the parking lot and promised me she would go home and put her feet up.
- Offer a hug
- Thank the cooks at a restaurant
- Do something unexpected for your customers to show your appreciation
When someone wants to repay you for something you have done, you can shift your mind set and simply ask them to pay it forward. It doesn't matter if it is in your business or personally, with random acts of kindness we can pay it forward one person a time and truly make someone's day brighter, including your own! Try it!
Credit Lori Raudnask as the author and you provide a link to www.persistencepays.ca