Paying It Forward

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 7:12 PM

Today at work someone did something that made me think of all the good I have experienced in my life, personally and through stories of others that have touched me. I love hearing stories about people coming together to do nice things for one another, even if it means just simple acts of kindness.

I work at the Bagel Shop in town and was waiting on two separate customers. The guy wanted a bagel with nothing done to it, which totals 97 cents. The woman in front of him ordered a bagel with coffee. I meet them both at the register and was going to ring him out first, but all he had was a card and our register has a dollar minimum. He went to turn to ask his friend for a dollar and the woman, without hesitation, handed me another dollar to pay for the guy’s bagel.

It made his day, as well as mine.

Sure, it was only a dollar, but the fact that she handed me another dollar without hesitating as soon as he turned away to get cash was pretty cool. It’s all about paying it forward. If someone does a good deed for you, reciprocate the favor to someone else.

Whether or not you have ever had someone ahead of you pay for your drive-thru order or someone near you at a restaurant pay your bill, those are the things people will remember and those are the things that can make a big difference in someone’s day.

A couple years ago an old man was sitting alone at a table at Denny’s. I decided to add his bill to mine and pay for his lunch. When I told the waitress, she was ecstatic, she knew the man by name so I assumed he was a regular. I didn’t say anything, I just left after paying and hoped he would be just as excited as our waitress.

Last semester, I went to Compadres with my roommate. When we got our bill, a man came over to us on his way out and asked if we went to Edinboro. We said we did and he asked us a few questions about our majors and then grabbed our bill and said him and his wife would take care of it for us.

Paying it forward has become a national thing, whether it’s broadcasted frequently or not. I think it’s something important and something the world needs. There is always something you can do. We’ve all heard of buying someone a coffee in the drive-thru behind you, or giving someone the last few dollars on a gift card. You can help someone push their car out of the snow, which happens here more frequently than not. You can volunteer with a local community organization and help those in need, or take time and teach children to read. You can always do something to help another person.

According to the, “The philosophy of Pay It Forward is that through acts of kindness among strangers, we all foster a more caring society.” Kindness is contagious and it is important to have in the world.

“I feel like it’s a snowball effect, so if one person does it, then another person wants to do it and eventually everyone is paying it forward,” student Alayna Davis said.

Everyone has had bad experiences in some way, but do not let the world harden you. As Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor from giving,” and I think caring about others is one of the best traits a person can have.

Becca Martin is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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