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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!



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