I wanted to try something a tad bit different today. In the continuation of 100 Random Acts of Kindness, I wanted to go to a different coffee shop and start something similar to the drive-thru difference.
If you don’t know what the drive-thru difference is, you go through a drive-thru, pay for your order, but also pay for the order of the individual behind you. The hope is that they, in turn, are impacted by the gesture that it either gives them the strength to overcome a challenging time, or where they continue the chain until it ends with somebody who really needs a “pick-me-up.”
You might think that I am a coffee addict (which I am) with both of these occurrences being at a coffee shop, but to be truthful, it’s where I spend a good amount of my time. You don’t need to go doing something crazy to help change the lives of others around you. Doing something for those whom you interact with every day and those you love the most is more than enough.
Things never go according to plan, though. I was hoping to wake up, to drive to the coffee shop with a smile on my face, and be in the best mood ever knowing that I was going to help to bring some happiness to the lives of others.
When I got out to my car, though, I realized that it had been broken into overnight and that I was missing some belongings. Nothing too severe, but enough to make me want to go bad to bed and feel sorry for myself.
I didn’t, though. While my morning didn’t start out the way that I wanted it to, there is always somebody out there who is going through a more difficult time than me – somebody who may just need to have their coffee paid for in order to brighten their day.
It was the thought of making somebody else smile that gave me the strength to climb in my car and go to the coffee shop by my house. When I got there, it was perfect. There was nobody behind me so the individual whose coffee I was about to pay for didn’t know who had actually bought it for them.
I found a table to sit at close to the cash register, and I watched behind from behind the screen of my laptop. When the barista told the gentleman that his coffee had been paid for, a smile immediately stretched across his face.
What came next, though, is what I was hoping to see. Instead of accepting the free drink and simply going on about his day, he continued the trend and paid for the individual behind him as well. This time, it was a middle-aged female and her elderly mother. Again, a smile stretched across the face of the middle-aged female, and she continued the trend by paying for her mother. Her mother – she did the same in paying for the lady behind her as well.
The streak ended at five. All five of the individuals had accepted the free drink from the person in front of them, said thank you with a smile on their face, and continued the kindness by paying for the person behind them. That’s five different individuals who had their days brightened just a little bit all before 9am. Who knows how this will impact them for the rest of the day. Maybe they start the drive-thru difference at a different place, or maybe they go out of their way to uplift somebody who needs it. Either way, the possibilities are endless.
As for me, seeing five people smile helped to brighten what was a rough morning… Knowing that I helped to create a smile on five people’s faces made me forget about what had happened earlier in the morning, and it just made me feel happier in general.
It also helped me to realize that doing something kind for others is enough to make them want to do the same for those around them. Sometimes it just takes one small random act of kindness to initiate a major difference. Over these 100 days, that is something that I am seeking out to initiate.