Sometimes when I’m having a really bad time (day, week, month, etc.) I go to Starbucks at a busy time and start a pay-it-forward. The first time I was part of a pay-it-forward was actually in-store at a Starbucks. The man ahead of me said he would cover my order. First I changed my plan to get a fancy frappucino with seven million flavors and three shots to getting a plain latte. Then I thanked him and really let it hit me how unnecessarily kind that was.
The next time was at a drive-thru. I got to the window to pay for my drink and the barista said it was already covered. This time I paid it forward and got the car behind me. It still puts a smile on my face thinking about it.
A few months later when I started dealing with my final bout of depression in Michigan, I was feeling especially low, so I went to Starbucks to get my usual mood-altering white-chocolate mocha and decided, what the hell, let’s start one of these pay-it-forward things. The reaction of the barista was really wonderful. And my mood was instantly improved, even before I sipped my sugary drink. I think this is a tradition that Starbucks really enjoys. And to be honest, it’s something I haven’t really seen happen anywhere else.
I’ve done this again a few times. Again, when I’m in an especially dark mood. I was talking to my mom about this yesterday and I told her, worst case scenario I paid for one person’s drink and didn’t really change his/her mood. Best case scenario, those who follow me continue paying it forward and we really make someone’s day.
Today I’ve been finishing up my 55th book (yeah people, I intend on finishing ahead of schedule) and there’s a whole chapter about the benefit of being compassionate. Of course, paying for someone else’s Starbucks is hardly an act of great kindness, but it’s better than nothing I think. And it really does make me feel better. The author quotes the almost-always-smiling Dalai Lama who apparently told him “…we are selfish, but be wise selfish rather than foolish selfish.” So I recognize that my act of kindness is actually a way to improve my own spirits, but at least this way I’m hopefully also taking someone else’s spirit up with me.
ps this was another sit down and write post, didn’t give it much editing, I think it’s obvious, so sorry dear readers.
pps I will be avoiding social media for the next week partially cause I need a break but mainly because I won’t be seeing The Force Awakens until Friday and I don’t want to run into any spoilers. I will still be posting. So keep checking in!