The Gift of the Unexpected: Paying It Forward

121608-forward.jpgThere's a small 99c store near my house that's a treasure trove of great and obviously easy-on-the-pocketbook finds. I'm often in there to see what they've scooped up: boxes of baking soda, thin glasses from Libbey, Ikea dishware, wooden clothespins. Lately, I've been in for silver holiday ornaments which I pile into glass vases, string on clusters, hang from lamps and scatter around to decorate my home for the holidays. The last time I was in there, there was an old man in line behind me with a few groceries, counting and recounting his change to confirm he had enough for the few things he'd picked out. I leaned over to the cashier and whispered to her to put his stuff on my tab. It's a habit I've gotten into when I'm there, paying for the items of the person behind me...I watched him from my car as he toddled off down the street. Despite my many bags, I felt lighter as I headed home.

Have you ever paid it forward? Here are some things you can do to start:

  • Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you
  • Send someone over a bottle of wine or a glass or pay for their dessert.
  • Take care of the toll, the subway or the bus fare of the next person in line
  • Put some change in the other parking meters
  • Leave your neighbor a plant (no note!)
  • Hold the door for someone without being asked and smile.
  • Leave someone in your office a present for them to find in the morning.
  • Allow someone else in line in front of you at the grocery store.
  • Let that car cut in front of you.

[image: Tikimau]

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