Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pay Forward.

**This post is long but worth it!**

Today I had quite a few plans for things to do and places to go, however I never ever could have imagined what actually happened today. 

We started the day by going to my friend's, April, Amanda and Sarah's garage sale and gobbling up some BOY clothes for my sister who is expecting a son in less than a month!

Then we drove across town to the Eddie Bauer warehouse and found a few deals like new flip flops and a cool crank up LED lantern for when the power goes out. (We can even plug in our cell phones...too cool...and cheap!)

On our way across town, Jeff and I were having a conversation about Faith. I am a person of Faith. I truly believe all things will work out the way they are supposed to and naive or not, I believe good will always win. I like to think the best of people. Jeff on the other hand, tends to be more of a realist and certainly has doubts about things and sometimes people. It's not that he is pessimistic, but he needs a little more "see it, to believe it" kind of action. I on the other hand, just believe. Not that either way is better, but we do look at things through slightly different lenses sometimes.  *I know this part doesn't seem like it matters to this story, but keep reading....

Even though we knew we were pushing it since the girls hadn't had their morning nap, we decided we needed to eat and would try a sit down restaurant. It's been awhile since we have taken the girls out to eat with just us. Usually, or lately I guess, if we do go out, it is with my parents or sister and family which is always nice to have extra people to hold, help and entertain the girls. But we thought we would give it a whirl today.  The girls were fantastic. Only a few shout outs (read: 1 meltdown by Ava and 1 by Alexis) during our meal. And those were short lived as Jeff and I kept our cool and patience and just stayed calm. 

Our waitress was super speedy, efficient, and friendly. She had the girls' meals out SUPER.FAST!  Once we had all of our food, I asked her to bring the check and explained, I never know when we may have to BOLT for the door, so I like to be prepared. So shortly she brought our bill and laid it on the table. Next thing we know she comes back and said she thinks she gave us the wrong bill and picks it up. We think nothing of it and just continue with our meal. As we are finishing up, I notice she still hasn't brought back our correct check, so I asked her for it again and she says "Oh, it was already taken care of."   Huh?  Jeff and I both reply, "What? What do you mean taken care of?" 

I start thinking it is because I didn't finish hardly any of my chicken on my plate and she had asked me if it was ok and I said I just wasn't as hungry as I thought.  So I start thinking that is why our meal was taken care of...maybe a manager wanted us to be happy with the meal or something. Which we already were, I really just wasn't as hungry and got occupied with the girls.  I digress.... 

She replied that someone had pulled her off to the side and had wanted to pay for our meal. "What?!" Jeff and I both ask "Who?" so we could thank them for their kind, thoughtful generosity and of course to protest their action, but she replied that she wouldn't tell us and it didn't matter anyway, because they had already left. *I'm not sure if that part was true, but I think she was obviously abiding by the generous person's wishes, not to tell us who had been so kind.*  

We were flabbergasted, to say the least. I seriously almost cried (as I am now re-telling the story). It was such a kind, thoughtful, selfless action that I just don't see as much in today's world....and it renewed my FAITH and I think it helped Jeff's too. As we were walking to our truck and loading the girls, I looked at Jeff and asked "Does that help renew your FAITH that there are good people left in this world?" To which he replied, "Absolutely!"

We've decided since we weren't able to thank the actual person, we will PAY FORWARD their actions. There's something to be said for performing such a thoughtful deed for someone else without recognition. We intend to find a special person or family and let our actions speak louder than our words. Hopefully it will touch them as much as it has our family and maybe even renew their FAITH too.

Maybe it has never happened to you (this is our first time), but it can start with YOU. I challenge each of you to pay forward a random act of kindness and start renewing FAITH wherever you go. I know for a fact this has started a ball rolling for our family. It was such an overwhelming feeling of support, happiness, validation, love and kindness that we felt today and I hope we can share that with someone else very soon! 

12 comments:

~Jess said...

I've had this happen and have been waiting for the moment to pay it forward: Junior year of high school, 3 of my girlfriends and I were going to prom, without dates. We went out to eat and after dinner I asked for the bill (none of us got anything overly expensive we were 16 and paying ourselves), the waitress told us that our meal had been paid for by an older gentleman (a regular there) because he thought it admirable that 4 girls went to prom even though we didn't have guys to go with.

We try and go out to eat at least once during prom season, just so that I can pay it forward to a group of girls having fun without boys. Hasn't happened yet...

It was a pretty awesome experience though.

Rachael said...

this story warmed my heart + my soul, renewed my spirit. it is just what i needed today. thank you.

tbonegrl said...

Beautiful story! I cannot wait to hear how you pay it forward, and will take you up on your challenge!

Kristen Callaway said...

WOW! What a great and touching story! I'm up for the challenge! It's weird though because as I was reading, I do wish there were more kind people in this world...and then I thought to myself, it doesn't take a lot from myself to do kind things for other people. Thank you for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

To learn more about the "Pay It Forward" idea, look for the movie by the same name (came out in 2000). There is also a book same name as movie. A real tear jerker but what an inspiration. Check out info on both online. It doesn't have to be something great. You can pay forward with little things. I've had people in the grocery store line come up with extra change when I am short and they say "pass it on" sometime...or here's a "traveling quarter".

Kaili and her boyfriend had someone pay for their meal once in Bozeman after a snowboard competition. I stayed in the motel and they went on a "date". They were so tired and Charles wasn't feeling very well, they must have seemed shy and didn't talk much (which is generally not a problem for Kaili). Some guy thought they were on a first date and very shy. He came to their table, struck up a conversation, trying to ease the situation and quietly paid for their meal afterwards.

The more "pay it forwards" we start, the more there will be. I love this idea and instigate it whenever I can. Doesn't have to be monetary either. I think its something thats been around for a long time...called "Help thy neighbor." Or karma. Or What goes around comes around. Whatever you call it, it is an outstanding idea and reminders are always welcome.

I love all your verbal wanderings, Marie. They inspire me. Thanks. Tell Tammy good luck! Wish your Mom speedy recovery. Hero award to your Dad. Uncle Bruce will be back to Ohio in a week or so to help with Grandpa for 4-6 weeks. Wish I could come see the girls....they are sooooooo cute. I account for at least 5-7 visits to this site a week just to check in on you guys. =) Doesn't look like I'll have grandkids any time soon. Sigh.

Aunt Kathy, Montana

Tonya Winningham said...

I had this happen to me at the Starbucks drive thru a while back! When I tried to pay at the window, she explained the person in front of me already paid...
It renewed my faith!!
I've done the same and I always hope it makes someones day as it did ten times over for me!!
Great read, Marie!!

Grey Family said...

WOW!!! That's pretty impressive for sure! I like the idea for sure and will try it sometime (when we ever go out to eat!! Ha Ha)

Michelle said...

I try to do things like that as often as I can. Just tonight while on my way home I was at a stoplight. As I live in a big city there are always people coming up to you and asking for money. As a therapist who just finished grad school and is now much in debt I don't really have anything to give. I always keep granola bars in my car for snacks and I offer one everytime I see someone asking for money. Tonight the car next to me saw me do this and they looked over at me and smiled. Maybe that gave them the idea too. I hope it at least made them think.

Lani said...

That is really great.. while I already know there are a lot of kind people in the world- it takes a special person to go out of their way for a stranger. I'm glad you were the recipient, and I'll look for a way to pay it forward too:)

Anonymous said...

I have seen that happen and it is a beauitful thing. I've always wanted to do the same and reading this has renewed my interest. Marie - Thanks for sharing!!

tbonegrl said...

I gave you an award on my blog, head on over!

Kay said...

I love this Marie! It brought tears to my eyes as well. That's awesome- I have always been a FAITHful girl myself. :)

love and miss you!

Kay

p.s. I used to do this all the time at tollbooths- I need to start doing it again. :)