Do Good. For Reals!

Something happened this morning that when I think of it, I’m overwhelmed with admiration for my 13 year old daughter, Delaney. She has the sort of soul and spirit that motivates others to be better, have more faith, to give more.

delaney jan 2014

Let me back up and give you a little background information. About a month ago, Delaney asked if we could go to Starbucks before school. I said we could assuming she got up well and was ready early. That happened, so we went to Starbucks. Months earlier I had loaded $20 into my Starbucks app for a trip and I never used the money. So as I’m paying for Delaney’s drink with my app, I decide to pay for the 2 cars behind me too. Why not? When I drove off I looked at Delaney, smiling, and said, “Well, that was really fun.”

Fast forward to this morning. Once again Delaney wants to swing through Starbucks on the way to school only she says that she’s going to bring her own money and pay for it herself.  Okay, fine.

As I pull out of the driveway I see that she’s brought a twenty-dollar bill. I asked her if that was the smallest bill she had. She said no. I asked why she didn’t just bring a ‘five’ or something. Her reply, “I didn’t know if you wanted anything.”

Cue Ginger’s “Aww, thanks Sweetie. But you don’t have to buy me a drink.”

I order Delaney’s tall hot chocolate ‘but not too hot’ and proceed in the line toward the window. There’s always a LONG line in the Starbucks drive-thru. Always!

We are almost to the window when Delaney says for me to ask the guy how much the bill is for the car behind us. I look at her and she’s got this sort of small, shy smile on her face that conveys happy from a special part of a soul.

Okay, I can do that.

Turns out it was for another hot chocolate. Delaney says she wants to pay for hers and the car behind us too. The guy working the cash register is about 20 and I can tell he’s touched and a bit surprised that my young daughter is spending her own money on someone she doesn’t know.  (And he might have wondered why I, the mom, wasn’t paying for the Starbucks.)

We told him to tell the car behind us to have a wonderful day.

As I pulled forward, I could see in my rearview mirror the brief conversation between the guy and the mom in the white SUV. Then I saw him check his computer screen and the mom dig into her purse.

I’m quite certain she was paying for the car behind her. I hope it kept on going. I’ll never know but I’m going to believe it did because it feels awesome to believe that.

I often feel that our world is filled with too much hate and judgment. There is heartache everywhere, for people and in situations for which we have no control. As much as I wish and pray and truly believe that good will always prevail, that Good will triumph over Evil, it feels overwhelmingly hopeless at times.

What can we do to make it better? Can we even do anything?

While we might not be able to do something that will change the world in one act, we might be able to do something that will change the moment, or maybe the day, in a positive way for someone else, just one person. And what if that one person then is compelled to positively impact someone else?  What if it ‘caught on’ and enough people churned the waters to create a huge surge that became a wave of goodwill.

I think that would change the world. I really do.

And I honestly believe it can start with a cup of hot chocolate.

Your turn ... Pay it Forward!

Your turn … Pay it Forward!




About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on April 4, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Oh wow! This gave me goosebumps, in a good way. That is totally cool, Ginger, aka Proud Mama!

  2. You should be super proud of the daughter you’re raising 🙂

  3. karenmcfarland

    Is this the same daughter that donated her hair to Locks of Love Ginger? Beautiful. She’s really someone to be proud of Mama. But then again, look what kind of example she has. Pay it forward. There are so many rewards from that. “There is more happiness in giving than receiving.” The Golden Rule. Funny how much we gain by putting others first. By thinking about others. By caring about others. The principle in the world today is quite the opposite. Sad really. Big kudos to you both! 🙂

    • Yep, Karen … That’s the daughter! She’s pretty darn special. You are so right, we gain so much more in life by thinking of others and trying to just be nice.

  4. Wow. I loved this. It made me all emotional to read. You have done something extremely right to have a daughter like that. Kudos to you. Give your daughter a big hug and tell her how awesome she is. What a fantastic thing to happen at the Starbucks that day. Wish we had a drive-thru.

  5. You set a very good example for your daughter. She learned from the best.

    I pay for the car behind me a lot of times. One day I paid for the car behind me and it was a cop. I didn’t know that until I pulled away from the window (it was one of those “unmarked” vehicles). I hope I made his day.

    Very nice post my friend.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. Love this story! You and your daughter are the bee’s knees.

  7. Last Sunday, while shopping with my kids, my 13 year old son, Jeremiah, handed me a Google Play Store card, and asked if I’d loan him the money to send it to his gaming friend who lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, because it’s hard for him to buy apps there right now (his family’s business is closed), and there’s a lot of scary stuff happening.

    I told him I would pay for the card. I was a little blown away that he’d think to do that for a friend so far away, and to live in a world where we could do that.

    Happy kids tend to be generous kids, from my observations. =D

    BTW, I love the name Delaney, and she is lovely!

    • What a sweet and caring boy you have.

      Happy kids tend to be generous kids, from my observations. =D

      ***I agree! You raised him well!

      Thank you on your compliment about Delaney. I’m very proud of her.

      • I’ve noticed the same thing – and not just about kids. Happy people tend to be more generous, in a more diverse range of ways. And generosity makes more happiness, which brings more generosity…

        It’s a pretty cool cycle! =)

        I didn’t start out raising him so well, but I woke up when he was about 7. It’s easier to do when the person is pretty incredible going in, though – and he was.

        I love when I can see the joy and confidence in a child’s eyes – and I can see it bright and clear in your daughter’s! =D

  8. This story gave me shivers! You are a fantastic mom, teaching from example!
    Would you like to have me link up your blog with your eagle post?

    • Hi Susie. Thank you! She’s an amazing daughter!

      You absolutely may. I wish I have been blogging recently. If you feel my blog is too ‘dusty’ you don’t have to include a link. I have been meaning to get back to blogging so perhaps this will light a fire!

      Also, thanks so much for including my eagle encounter! How fun!!!!


      • Your daughter is the coolest!
        LOVE your photos and video. I am so glad you joined us! I remember your Writer’s butt challenges too. I’ll link you up and will post on Monday. I made the mistake of limiting posts to Saturday and will make this an ongoing thing instead. It’s really motivating me to get outside to move too!

  1. Pingback: Amazing Outdoor Photos from WRFChallengers | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

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