Pay it forward, quietly

This past weekend my daughter and I stopped at a store to purchase snacks for her sleepover. I was focusing on my daughter when an older gentleman started talking to us. I will be honest, it was annoying and I was not in the mood for a conversation. But he kept talking to me so finally I entertained his conversation.

We were in line checking out so I let him make small talk and I gave short replies. Mostly I was talking with my daughter. But something entered my heart, that’s really the only way I can explain it and I turned and faced him so I could give him the attention he deserved.

It was my turn to check out and as my items were being rung up, the man continued talking. He pointed out the 3 crossword puzzle books he was buying and I smiled at him and quietly told the cashier I would pay for them. The gentleman didn’t hear me and as I paid he pulled out his change and started counting money out to pay for his books. The cashier turned to him and explained that I had paid for the items. At that point I told them both good night and my daughter and I grabbed our bags and walked out. That’s when my daughter said “mommy that was so nice” when I asked her what she meant she said she saw me pay for his books.

I didn’t realize she was paying attention, I didn’t want to make it obvious that I paid for the books. I just wanted to do something nice for that gentleman. I felt compelled to do so.

As we left the cashier was still explaining to the gentleman and he wasn’t understanding because he was trying to pay.

My daughter was happy that we helped the gentleman. It doesn’t matter if he had the money, he could be a millionaire. It was the thought and the gesture that meant something to her. And that I did it without making it obvious, not even to her. The lesson for me is that she was watching when I didn’t realize it – that’s a lesson for every parent. Our children see and hear even when we don’t realize it so we need to make sure we are allowing them to see positive things.

Paying it forward is important. We spread positive energy when we do it. But paying it forward quietly is equally as important. I don’t shop at that store often, maybe a few times a year so chances of running into the gentleman again are rare. But I also think we were meant to be there at that moment and cross paths.

My daughter was concerned (she has such a pure, kind and caring heart) that he was paying with nickels and dimes and thinking that may be the only money he has. That’s why she was happy that I paid for his items. She wants to save the world, and I want her to believe she can.

God bless, and be blessed.

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