Paying it Forward

I read this lovely article from the New York Times (you can read it here) about a new trend hitting the US and this time it is a positive trend.

In the article, Kate Murphy says the following:

If you place an order at the Chick-fil-A drive-through off Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Tex., it’s not unusual for the driver of the car in front of you to pay for your meal in the time it took you to holler into the intercom and pull around for pickup.

 “The people ahead of you paid it forward,” the cashier will chirp as she passes your food through the window.

Confused, you look ahead at the car — it could be a mud-splashed monster truck, Mercedes or minivan — which at this point is turning onto the highway. The cashier giggles, you take your food and unless your heart is irreparably rotted from cynicism and snark, you feel touched.

You could chalk it up to Southern hospitality or small town charm. But it’s just as likely the preceding car will pick up your tab at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through in Detroit or a McDonald’s drive-through in Fargo, N.D. Drive-through generosity is happening across America and parts of Canada, sometimes resulting in unbroken chains of hundreds of cars paying in turn for the person behind them.

…“We really don’t know why it’s happening but if I had to guess, I’d say there is just a lot of stuff going on in the country that people find discouraging,” said Mark Moraitakis, director of hospitality at Chick-fil-A, which is based in Atlanta. “Paying it forward is a way to counteract that.”

While confusing in the context of paying for the car behind you in a drive-through, “pay it forward” means to repay a kindness by being kind to someone else rather than the person who was kind to you.


I am sure you have heard about “paying it forward” before, in fact, I am sure you have watched the movie. What I like about this idea is that in the busy world that we live in we can still find small ways to make people smile, to make their day a little better. In the same breath, we can also do the opposite. It’s all about choice.

Let’s find ways to make life a little happier for those around us. Please share your stories, I would love to hear what happened to you and how you ‘paid it forward’.

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