Paying It Forward With Kindness

I was browsing through social media the other night and read a fantastic article by Kristen Hewitt.  The article is called 31 Ways to Spread Kindness in December and if you want to be inspired start reading it now!

I immediately thought it would be a fun idea to follow along and journal my intentional acts of kindness on social media by using #31daysofkindness.  Then I realized that December is so busy and while it might be fun I’d never have the time to complete the challenge.   Performing kind acts and tagging photos every day between work, Mommy duties and the usual December madness seemed overwhelming.  Then I walked home.

My husband is traveling for work this week so I decided to stop in a deli and bring home something for a quick, easy dinner.  An elderly woman was on the line in front of me.  As she went to pay for her sandwich the cashier told her that she was $1.89 short.  I wasn’t paying attention.  I was silently panicking about all the homework that would inevitably need to get done and how I was going to get my son in the shower and to bed on time for a full night of sleep.  That’s when I heard her sobbing.  She asked the cashier if she could have the sandwich anyway since she didn’t have the full amount.  In an annoyed voice the cashier said that was not possible.  The woman cried that she was just so tired and hungry and had used up all of her money for the month.  Once I realized what was going on I offered to pay for her sandwich in full.  The woman looked at me with her tear filled eyes open wide and whispered “You’re an angel.”  I really didn’t think about it at the time but game on!  This kindness challenge decided to start itself!

I wanted to get into work early the next morning since I knew I had a few meetings on tap.  I dropped my son off to school early for a “special treat” of breakfast in school.  I walk two blocks, trip on a crack in the street and look around to see if anyone saw me flailing around like a clown. You know that stupid feeling…its happened to the best of us!  Anyway, my face gets dangerously close to the ground and hello Mr. Lincoln!  I am staring at a brand new, crisp $5 bill.  There’s no one on the street but me and good old Abe.  In my pocket he goes.  I’m a little slow in the morning but it only took me another two blocks for it to dawn on me.  Seriously?  I gave the cashier $7 for the sandwich the night before and here comes a $5 bill my way.  I was back down only $2 very close to the $1.89 that the woman actually needed.  Karma is a pretty cool cat!

The thing about living in New York City is that you walk everywhere. My commute to work is 20 blocks.  It’s great because while I don’t have a lot of time to exercise I build my cardio into the commute.  It’s also great because about 3 blocks after you find $5 you see someone who could use it more than you.  Sitting on the corner was a homeless man reading a book.  I stopped for a light and he asked me if I had anything I could give him to read.  He said that he loves to read and he has to read the same book over and over unless people give him their old books.  I couldn’t believe he wasn’t asking for money.  He just wanted to read.  Goodbye Mr. Lincoln, you have a better purpose!

The funny thing about kindness and paying it forward is that it really does pay off in spades.  I get to work and there is a Secret Life of Pets DVD release promotional truck in front of my office.  It wasn’t just a truck though.  It was a truck filled with puppies, kittens and bunnies for everyone to pet!  A truck full of happiness and joy!  Every New Yorker in sight was lining up and stopping in for some love, including myself!

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Kindness breeds happiness.  It just happens.  

So set it in motion with Mommy in Sports’ #31daysofkindness.


Want to be inspired?

You can follow Kristen Hewitt-Mommy in Sports on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!




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