Paying it Forward in Small Change

The lady behind me in line at the BON TON’s jewelry counter  was a little annoyed that it was taking the cashier so long to ring me up. I had presented the cashier with a mostly used gift card from a Christmas years back that I have been carrying in my wallet for years. The cash register wouldn’t accept to at first and she had to type in the multiple numbers.  The card had $8.41 on it. I wanted to buy my daughter a pair of earrings but when I realized they were on sale for $6.00 and there would STILL be $2.41 left on it, no way was I carrying that card around again for another few years. I decided to give it to the lady behind me.

As she jostled up to the counter irritated when I finally received my gift box, I said, “Give her the remaining money on the card.”

The lady said so surprised and touched, “Oh thank you so much, that is really nice of you.” You would have thought I offered up my kidney

I told her there was only a few dollars on it but that didn’t make any difference. She couldn’t stop thanking me.

“Merry Christmas,” she called after me.

My goodness I thought, that was such a little thing. And she didn’t look poor.

That was yesterday. Today I was in the market buying fruits and veggies and to make things easy and swift, I pulled out cash, as opposed to writing a check (no credit at this small store). After I paid the $72 I realized I wanted a $2.99 poinsettia that was sitting by the cashier. I was short  75 cents and said, “Oh, I’ll just write a check.”

“Don’t write a check,” I hear a pretty haggard looking woman say from behind. “That’s stupid,” She reaches into her purse and pulls out a fistful of coins. “Here, take this”.

I said, “You don’t have to pay for my poinsettia, I can write a check.”

She said, “It’s stupid to write a check for that. Just take the change, Merry Christmas.” And I left feeling like she has just offered up her kidney.

It was so little, but it was so big. What I want to know is, why do we seem to think of behaving like this during the Christmas season and forget nearly all the other 50 weeks of the year?  These are just  tiny things but they do so much good and lift people’s spirits so high. God knows most people could handle feeling a little happier as they walk around their lives. This could be a little New Years resolution. Paying it forward, even in small change.   .. Merry Christmas everyone!

6 thoughts on “Paying it Forward in Small Change

  1. For some reason I think these small gestures are elevated in everyone’s mind during this time of year. The other day, I was walking into Wal Mart and I went to get a cart. There was a lady behind me waiting to get a cart, so I just pushed mine towards her and said, “there you go,” and turned to get another. She waited for me and thanked me (maybe not kidney thanks, but pint of blood thanks) and said that she was having a bad day until I pushed that cart to her. Made me feel good too. I try to do these little things all the time. Sometimes they get noticed, sometimes they don’t.

  2. To be more “other” focused instead of so”self” focused. You’re right Cindy, let’s go for it this year and see what happens. Like getting testimonials from around the world about small yet “kidney-like” acts of kindness!

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