Paying It Forward

Do any of you do this? Or have you? The kind I’m talking about is when you pay for the person’s order who’s next in line behind you. I know there are many different ways to pay it forward, and I’d really like to hear all of those stories. I’ve only got this kind to share for now.

I’ve had people do this to me before, and damn is it a good feeling. To know that there are still decent people in the world. It’s the same feeling I get when I hear of people doing good for other people, or doing good for animals, or for the environment. Those types of things should be the norm, all over the world, all the time. But they’re not. So maybe that’s why those kinds of stories make me warm and happy. That, or I’ve just got so much hate in me that any amount of good I get is like, sucked up quickly by my body, because it’s so thirsty for good.

Every now and then if I have a few extra dollars I’ll pay for the order behind me. I can only hope they continue the gesture, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because it makes me feel good to be nice. As I said, I really am trying to be a better person. It’s hard, though. Baby steps.

Well, tonight, my wife and I stopped at a McDonald’s on her way to work so she could get something for her lunch later and I could get something to eat for the first time since 8 am (this was at 10:45 pm). We had $7 and some change left on our card. Our order was just over $6. The guy swiped our card and said to me that it only had $1.98 on it. I didn’t have the extra cash in hand to cover the rest, so I told him to just forget it.

I looked back at Jen, my wife, to see what was going on, because she had her phone out and seemed to be checking what had happened between our house and there. When I looked back, the guy at the window had pulled money out of his pocket and covered the rest of our bill.

What really shocked me was his age. Just guessing, I’d say he was either in his late teens or early twenties. I hear a lot of shit about the Millennial generation, but honestly, I think they’re going to change the world for the better. I think we have a bright future coming, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m a proud Gen-Xer, but I’m also happy to see that the Millennials are going to outdo us.

This kid, basically, did what he absolutely did not have to do. And I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I wouldn’t have driven away saying, “That cheap Millennial motherfucker at the window coulda helped us out!” That wasn’t going to happen.

Not in a billion years would I have expected him to do that. Or even thought he’d do that. Because I’m probably not going to be around for a billion years.

This guy totally made my night. I had a pretty shitty day at work, and what he did blew me away. Complete 180. I’m sure that Karma is going to bless him real soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to repay him the next time I see him, 5X. He covered $4 for us, I’m going to slip him a $20.

The guy’s name is Rocky, and he said “Like Rocky And Bullwinkle.” I said “I would’ve gone with the boxer.” He explained how his mom actually named him after the flying squirrel because apparently when she was pregnant with him, he was moving around a lot and she said he was flying around in there like Rocky the Squirrel.

Rocky, you went above and beyond, and I thank you. It meant a lot. Some faith in humanity has been restored.

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About Matt Roberts

I am an author of horror and things near it. I enjoy nightmares and bad B horror flicks.
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6 Responses to Paying It Forward

  1. orbthefirst says:

    I frequently pay for small things for folks when I need to make change anyway. I figure, wth, its only money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joey says:

    I live my whole life that way, not because I’m such a great person or anything…but because I believe in kindness and doing what we can.
    When I worked at Starbucks, we had entire mornings where everyone paid it forward. It was beautiful.
    Anyway, last week, I stopped at the DQ to get Sassy a milkshake, (she’s like the QUEEN of milkshakes) and so I got Moo and me lil blue Mr Misties or whatever they’re called now. And the woman ahead of me had just been paid, she said as much and had a big wad of cash. She said the taxes always hit her hard in the beginning of the year (WORD) but she wanted to make every dollar count and so she was figuring out how to get her and her wee son the most treat for their buck. It was sorta inspiring, her dedication and her role-modeling and her engagement with her son. Then, the girl behind me was a dime short, and I gave her a dime. I had to dig, because I wasn’t prepared to need a dime. THE RAT BASTARD behind that girl huffed and puffed the entire time! He was angry with the mother and child, angry when it was my turn and they hadda change receipt tape, angry with the girl who was a dime short, angry I had to dig for it. I bet I was in there a good 10 minutes and the entire time he pissed and moaned. With his grumbling and sighing, it took all of my will not to give him what for. Come to DQ on a nice sunny day and act like a curmudgeon? I think NO. He definitely doesn’t pay anything forward. And apparently, he sees no beauty in the world, either.

    Liked by 2 people

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