Yesterday I made my (nearly daily) post-yoga trip to Starbucks (to get my tall soy chai latte and maybe a warm croissant, if I’m feeling like that, but yesterday I wasn’t) and I was sitting in line thinking about doing good in the world.  Thinking about how a small act of kindness or wisdom can expand from person to person, creating a ripple effect of positivity and change. 

I thought, I’m going to pay for the person behind me in line.  Yeah, that would be cool.  I’ll do that.

Then fear thought.  What if she’s buying coffee for the whole office, or LUNCH for the whole office?  How much is this going to cost?  Love countered: she’s probably not.  Use your prepaid card and if it’s more than that, just pay what you have left on your card. 

Ego said, you know what, just forget it.  It’s a weird idea and someone might think you’re nuts.  Love countered:  no one would think you’re nuts and it’s not a weird idea.  Besides, you don’t know who’s behind you, she doesn’t know you — there’s no way to judge.

Ego said, you know, someone might not want you to spend money on someone you don’t know.  Love said, that person’s not in the car.  You’re by yourself.  What do YOU want to do? 

Then I realized, do I WANT to “pay it forward”?  My angels showed me the circle of karma that comes from doing small things.  They assured me that these things come back around and bless us in many ways.  We do for ourselves what we do for others.

Meanwhile, the line is moving really slowly — I had a lot of time to think about this…

Ego said, You know…  Maybe next time.  Nice idea, but just let it go.  Love said: why not now?  Why not today?  Why wait?

Ego said, what if she’s buying a lot of coffees.  Paying for one is one thing.  Paying for six, though…  Are you sure you want to risk it?  Love said:  who cares if it’s six?  It’s going to be okay.  Do it.

Okay!  Yes, I’m going to do it!

Finally I pull up to the window.  Cute barista boy hands me my chai and says, “This one’s on me.  Thanks for being patient.”

[Stunned silence and utter disbelief]

So, the universe showed me INSTANTLY how “paying it forward” works.  I was “paid back” before I even paid forward!  Unbelievable!

I thanked the cute barista boy and said, “Well, then can I pay for the car behind me?” and gave him my prepaid card.

He ran it, thanked me and we were both happy.

How much was the coffee of the car behind me?  I have no idea.  I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell me.

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