25 Ways to Grow a Smile (Pay It Forward)

25 Ways to Grow a Smile (Pay It Forward)

We were waiting in line at the grocery store once. A woman behind us asked me if I could watch her cart while she ran and got something she forgot. I said sure. Some moments later the person paying finished and the whole line moved forward. As BD started putting out groceries on the conveyor belt I grabbed the cart behind me and moved it forward with us. He asked why I had done that if the woman wasn’t back yet and we didn't know if she was coming soon or not. I told him I was simply being nice. Then I laughed and said, ‘Look I can't afford to pay someone else's restaurant check our groceries, so if I can help by pulling their cart along with me so she doesn't lose her place in line I will. IF when we're done she's not back, well then nothing I can do then.’ 

She came back a few moments later, apologized for the delay and thanked me.  I told her it was nothing because to me it really was.  I don’t know if she was in a rush. I don’t know if she had to get somewhere after.  I don’t know if she was just sing a casual relaxing stand day. To me it doesn't matter. 

You always read stories about someone paying groceries or restaurant checks or whatever for others. Among the many YouTube videos, one that stood out to me was YouTuber Rahat turning homeless people’s coffee into coins. I’m not much of a crier (although since I've had my king I am slightly more sentimental) but that video brought tears to my eyes. Another YouTuber that does awesome things for others (and who I am possibly totally in live with) is Stuart Edge.  I would LOVE to do these things but, realistically speaking, I cannot. If I were to hit the Powerball (or if things improved some) I'd help out more than I can now. 

I know there are people in my same boat, but some have this thinking that because of our situation we can't do any pay it forward/good deeds. This isn't true. It's just about doing anything positive for someone else, even if they didn't ask and without getting anything in return (other than the warm feeling of doing something for someone else).  Holding someone's place in line is just one of the many ways.  To give you a few 25 ideas:
    1. Leave a good book behind somewhere where someone can find it and enjoy it too.
    2. Donate anything you no longer use or if you don’t have a donation spot in your area, give it to a homeless person, or set up a table in front of your house with a sign that instead of saying “Garage Sale” it says “Free”.
    3. Compliment a stranger.  (Use with caution and care if you’re complimenting someone of the opposite sex: there’s a difference between “I love your shirt” and “ I loooooove your shiiirt”).
    4. Let someone cut in front of you in a line.
    5. Hold the door open for someone.
    6. Give up your seat on a bus or train.
    7. Smile!  Smile at strangers or anyone who looks sad.
    8. Offer to babysit for free for a single parent or couples that don’t have a babysitter.
    9. Offer the delivery person or mail person a cold glass of water if it’s hot out or a warm cup of cocoa or whatever if it’s cold out.
    10. Help a pregnant woman with her bags, or the door, etc.
    11. Sit and talk with a homeless person.
    12. Talk to the shyest person in a group at work, at school, at a party, etc.
    13. If you have certain skills/knowledge, teach them to someone who might find them useful.
    14. If you have certain skills/knowledge, donate your services.
    15. Help out an older person (neighbor, friend, someone at an elderly facility) or just spend some time talking with them.
    16. If someone you know runs a business, refer them to others you speak to and/or share their business online.
    17. If someone is running a donation campaign, then share on all your social media networks and with others in person.
    18. If you go someplace that has excellent customer service and/or that you really enjoyed, leave them a review online.
    19. If you go somewhere where you were treated beyond well, then speak to the manager about the excellent service. (Don’t forget to mention specific employees’ names!)  If they do those review surveys, be specific and don’t forget those names.
    20. If you’re leaving a store or someplace where the parking is full, wave down someone who is waiting for a spot and give them yours.
    21. If you’re somewhere where tourists are taking pictures with extended arms, offer to take the picture for them.
    22. Give away any unused coupons you won’t use.
    23. On a rainy day, offer a “hitch” under your umbrella to someone without one.
    24. If someone has set a goal for themselves (getting healthy, learn something, etc), be their personal cheerleader giving words of encouragement and celebrating their achievements along the way.
    25. Leave encouraging notes behind in different places: inside a book at a library, slip it on someone’s tray at the fast food place, or simply give it to someone you don’t know as you pass them by.

And when someone thanks you, tell them that to thank you they should simply pay it forward.  ;o) 


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