By: Katie Austin
Happy New Year to my Every Woman Blog family! I hope 2013 is off to a great start for each of you! Like most, my husband and I spent the better part of January 1st preparing for re-entry back into the real world Yep, it was time to head back to work, and the plan was to spend a relaxing first day of the year at home watching the college bowl games. Go Gamecocks! 🙂
Our first decision for 2013 was that we were not going to cook on the first day of the year. We had been cooking a ton over the holidays, so after a unanimous vote (there were only two of us… LOL!), the decision was made and off we drove to Lizards Thicket with images of breakfast dancing in our heads. If you haven’t had breakfast at Lizards Thicket, they do a great job for a good price, whether you choose to eat in or carry out. Just thought to mention that and no, this is not a paid advertisement 🙂
Like you would expect, we pulled up to the drive-thru, placed our order (veggie omelette, potatoes, toast, and juice each – yum!) and then moved forward to the checkout window to pay for our scrumptious meal. What happened next was completely unexpected and why I wanted to share this story with you! (This is where I build suspense and you cry out “What happens next?!”)
When we pulled up to pay for our meal, a young woman at the register said to us “Your meal was just paid for in full by the man driving away.” We went into shock and sat there staring, with our mouths wide open, at the gray car pulling away to see if it was someone we knew. I asked her “Did he really just pay for our meal?” She replied with a smile, “Yes. His meal was only $7 and he paid for yours in full.” Our meal was double the price of his, and he paid for ours without hesitation. She told us that this had been happening all morning with each car pulling up to pay for the meal ordered behind them. She then went on to tell us that her mom had someone pay her $63 grocery bill and told her “Happy Holidays” before walking out of the store with their own groceries.
I literally did not know what to say and for those that know me, that takes a lot! Haha! As we waited for our food, we learned that this young woman was a single mother and she smiled as she told us that she felt blessed to be a part of something special. People were paying it forward and she was a part of it! We were so moved by what had just happened that we wanted to do the same so we offered to pay for the meal ordered behind us. We paid for their meal, giving about the same as a tip, and then drove off smiling knowing that the car behind us was going to learn that we had just paid for their meal! I wonder how many times the story was told that day to each car pulling up who offered to pay for the meal ordered behind them 🙂
What a great way to start 2013 and it warmed our hearts to know that we were making a difference along with everyone else who was stepping up to pay it forward. As we ate our breakfast, we realized that because we paid less than our original meal cost, giving more for a tip to make up the difference, that we were helping the young woman we just met at the drive-thru window. It’s amazing to think that one random act of kindness can spark many to do the same and the lives changed that day including ours!
To pay if forward doesn’t mean that it has to be something you pay for. I found a website that sets an international Pay It Forward date each year and offers ideas for paying it forward. What a great idea! The date has been set for Thursday, April 25, 2013 so mark your calendars and be prepared to make a difference. You never know if your act of kindness will be the biggest change in someone else’s life 🙂
Have you done something to pay it forward? Are you planning to participate in Pay It Forward Day? Share your ideas with us and how we can each pay it forward for a better tomorrow.
Looking forward to another year with my Every Woman Blog family!