Have you guys ever heard of “Pay It Forward”?
Have you guys ever heard of “Pay It Forward”?
The nearby strip plaza, where I buy the coffee cream I all too often run out of, is “L”-shaped and has a variety store at each end. On a cream-replenishing mission the other day, I parked my car in front of the store I choose to patronize, just because I really like the Korean family who operates it. I first gathered up the mail I had in the car and walked to the corner of the plaza to deposit it into the mailbox there.
Walking towards me were two boys, about ten or eleven years old. They were debating which of the stores made the better Slushie. I interjected, “this one, for sure,“ pointing to where I was going to buy my cream.
“How do you know?” was the comeback of the boy with the long, wavy blonde hair and crooked teeth.
“Because I get them there all the time,“ I fibbed, knowing there was some unknown reason why I would try to persuade them to accompany me.
They followed me into the store and I hurried to the dairy section only to return to the counter and discover the boys didn’t have enough change in their Slushie fund to buy their icy-sweet reward. I believe the kind-hearted owner was about to tell the disappointed youngsters that they could in fact fill their cups but before she could say anything, I instructed her to “let me buy two Slushies for these fine young gentlemen.” She smiled widely as I began to understand why I directed them to the ‘best Slushie store.’
“Wow, mister, thank you!” I heard one of them say.
I turned and replied, “Have you guys ever heard of “Pay It Forward?”
Both shook their head side to side.
I continued, as they eagerly began filling their tall cups with the highly colored syrupy slush, “Pay It Forward means when someone does a kind act to you, instead of paying them back you go do a kind act for someone else, and then they do the same and on and on it goes.”
“Wow, that’s cool!” the blonde exclaimed.
“It sure is,” I replied, “and can you imagine the kind of world this would be if everyone did that?”
Both sets of lips were now firmly wrapped around the straws as their eyes widened, heads bobbing up and down which I took for a resounding yes.
As we exited the store together they thanked me again and started walking away. I watched them wondering what they were so exuberantly chatting about. When they were a fair distance away I hollered, “What are you guys supposed to remember?”
They both looked back, and the other boy raised his arm, giving me the thumbs up, and in unison, they shouted, “Pay It Forward!” That’s what they were talking about!
Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew that two little boys would be trying to pay it forward to someone very soon. Hopefully, it will become a lifelong habit!
Rick Beneteau is co-creator of the life-transforming course, Modern Day Mastery. He invites you to explore the secret, quiet path of Conscious Mastery at ModernDayMastery.com
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Loved this essay! You set the best example for those boys and I am certain they will be sharing this story for the rest of their lives. Thanks for sharing.
You are most welcome, Magda and I certainly hope they do! 🙂 Thank you for commenting!
Thank you for this beautiful story. I will share the thought with students I encounter as a substitute teacher. Most of all, I will share it with our six grandchildren. The oldest is 7 and the youngest six months…I will share your story and example. We need more of you in this world. God Bless.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Toni! ? FYI, I spent an afternoon with my grandson’s (now 18) grade 6 class and used this story as an introduction to an amazing class on paying it forward. The kids were given an out-of-school project and the teacher told me a few years later that a few students continued to tell him of their pay-it-forward stories ? It really is a contagious act!
Years from now, perhaps, one of these boys will post his own story about the man in the store who taught him and his friend how to pay it forward, and the difference it made in his life.
Wouldn’t that be awesome? 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting!
Rick, thank-you for sharing the inspiring essay! Yes, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone “payed it forward”! What a great example you were to those 2 boys!
Peace and blessings to you.?
You are most welcome, Sheila! 🙂 And YES, what a wonderful world this would be if everyone did just that! 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting!
Thank you, Rick, for a very inspiring story. “Pay it forward!” In English you have this useful phrase – in German we lack an equivalent. I am going to think about one which could be spread…
I was just thinking the same …
I know the “Paying Forward Movement” but I don’t know a translation for it in German either.
But maybe, if I think of my sons who use many English terms for “cool” things which are spreading on the Internet, we could even keep the English term? 🙂
You are very welcome, and what a wonderful idea! Please post in here when you come up with an awesome phrase for Pay It Forward in your language! 🙂
Thank you, Ursula. With the phrase ‘pay it forward!’ the English language has an advantage. Yes, with young people we could well use ‘Pay it forward!’ For non-speakers of English we might say ‘Tu dafür auch du was Gutes!’
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