This is the way to go for the letter "P" in my Alphabet of Gratitude.
On the way home for long weekend, we stopped in Ngatea to get some petrol. While I was waiting to pay for my gas, ice cream and drink, a young girl was in fits because she had pumped $13 worth of petrol into her car and had apparently run out of money in her account. The tears were coming in floods. She scoured her car and came out with a grand total of $3. I stool there with my ice cream and drink that totalled nearly $10 extra dollars on top of my petrol and felt a pang. It reminded me of a predicament that I could envisage my youngest sister-in-law getting herself into. (Sorry Louisa!) I chewed on my lip, deep in thought. I paid for my ice cream, drink and gas and walked back to my car (where Phill was waiting.) I hadn't even got the whole sentence out... "You're going to think me a sucker..." and he said "How much do they need?" Apparently, he was about to walk in and hand them a $20 so we could be on our way! Regardless, he gave me a $10 note and I went in and gave it to the girls. It felt so good. They were astounded and so, so, so grateful. They ran out to the car to thank us. I was giddy with happiness for the remainder of the drive, simply for doing a kindness for a stranger... or it could have been the ice cream. Regardless, it felt awesome.
I'm a big believer in Karma. We didn't give the girls $10 in the hopes it would come back to us in some sort of fantastic cosmic gift, we did it because it was the right thing to do. Karma did poke its lovely head out this past weekend when we were also recipients of random kindness. On Saturday night, Phill, myself and his parents went to the Rugby League game. It took a while to get out and get the train back to the station. By the time we arrived, the last train to our home had left. We decided to board another train and to get off and walk for about half an hour to get home. Not a big deal... it was a nice night and we were in good company. As we strolled along the street, a kindly couple offered us a lift, so we could get our car and then come back and collect the others. So Phill's dad and I hopped in the car (because I'm not silly enough to go alone!!) and they dropped us across from our driveway. It was just... nice. I went back and got Phill and his mum. We ended up taking another person and dropping him to his house (he would have been walking for at LEAST 40 minutes had we not stopped!)
I'd like to hope that those people we did nice little things for will also pay it forward, simply (and selfishly) because it feels really good when you do. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to help others out and that I was also on the receiving end of a small, random act of kindness.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with paying it forward - either giving or receiving!