9/26/13

Paying It Forward . . .

Back in the year 2000, the world was a simpler place. 

a) We had JUST capped off the 90s and every sci-fi prediction of the 2000s seemed just around the corner.
b) The World Trade Center still stood in New York City.
c) George W. Bush was merely the Governor of Texas and the President-Elect of the United States of America so . . . 
d) Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey were on their first laps around the critical darling actor track.
e) I still had hope, optimism, and belief in my body for my own potential in this world.
f) People were just starting to become hardened bores with no glow or joy.

Why am I telling you this? This movie . . . 


Don't get me wrong. The notion of "paying it forward" is far, far older than this century. It is probably about as old as mankind itself (with a notable exception being lice-infested blankets and glass beads for the island of Manhattan and a few other less-than-stellar moments in human history) and it is a notion that will never quite go away.

Why am I telling you this? Dinner last week . . . 

I hit Chipotle with a friend (I enjoy breaking tortilla with good people and it was her turn to pay so I was feeling especially happy) and we made our way through the line and loaded up our burrito bowls and then were told that our dinner was free thanks to the gentleman in front of us. We ran (okay - quickly walked) to the parking lot to thank him but he was already gone. Off to his life again. Sorta' like the scene in Fight Club where Brad Pitt mandates the convenience store attendant register for classes and finish school or risk being killed and then informs Edward Norton that his breakfast tomorrow will be the best meal of his life because he has a new chance on life the dinner was amazing. Why? Good company AND free for BOTH of us.

Why am I telling you this? Saturday afternoon . . . 

I bought drinks for 10 people in QuikTrip. 

Why am I telling you this? Last night . . . 

I helped a woman push her broken car 100 yards or so and called for help for her (her cell phone was dead) and then offered to give her and her daughter a ride home (they demured (I fear they saw the duct tape in the back of the car)).

Why am I telling you this? This morning . . . 

I stopped, as I do every day, at QwikShop (the Dillons knock-off of QuikTrip) and the woman in front of me paid for my beverage . . . and gave her phone number to the register attendant to give to me me in one sly move.  

Why am I telling you this? This morning . . . 

I bought the guy behind me HIS drink and gave HIM the woman's phone number (he had been checking her out at the soda fountains anyway). 

Why am I telling you this? Later today . . . 

Do something nice for someone. It doesn't have to cost any money or be a big thing. It can be as simple as helping pick something up off the floor or letting a woman know if her dress is hanging out of her car door, or telling a gentleman we can ALL tell he has a comb over and it is not working for ANY of us. Perhaps you could sign up to volunteer somewhere. Maybe you are drug and casual sex clean/free enough to donate blood. Maybe you are overdue to get in on this whole "Pay it Forward" thing . . . maybe you can't be on the receiving end until you get on the giving end. 

Seriously, though. Someone find me Haley Joel Osment so I can buy him a cup of tea or something. I need to pay THAT forward.