Pay it, period.





  1. Nathan July 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Standing behind a woman at the grocery store I considered paying for her groceries. I noticed she was buying a large amount of alcohol. I suddenly felt judgmental and was about to consider going to another line, then realized I was being judgmental and chose her. I asked if I might pay for her groceries. She looked at my, almost fearful, and asked why. I said it would be my pleasure, and was part of a sort of exercise I was doing. Still hesitant she said, “Ok.” She then said, “I hope you win.” Once I slid my card through the register, she then smiled, and said, “Thank you.” At that second she suddenly was a whole person, we had sort of a moment of connection. As she walked away she said to the grocery store attendant, “He paid for me!” I wasn’t sure if she did so because she feared someone would think she hadn’t paid, or because she finally was enjoying this moment.” I suspect a bit of both.

    Since then I have done this many times, and with my kids, who think it is great fun and want to keep doing it, especially in line at the ice cream stand.

    • Benton August 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Nathan, our two experiences raise such an interesting question about “worthiness”. Some might feel they deserve the treat and others not. Some we may deem worthy at first glance and others not. But what determines this? Are we not all worthy of someone’s kindness? And besides, if anyone would answer “no”, what is the harm in being kind to someone not “worthy”? Your post is a such a great example of how all of that nonsense melts away through connection. Well done!

  2. Benton August 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    We tried this with our kids at the ice cream store and paid for four firemen who were in line ahead of us. They said thank you several times, but as our son said, “It kind of seemed like they expected it.” They seemed to assume we were treating them BECAUSE they were firemen. Well, this turned into a really great conversation with my kids about the important work our firemen do, and how we could be doing more to show our appreciation. The kids started brainstorming what we could bring to the fire station, and I couldn’t believe their energy! It felt really good to see them get so excited about being generous.

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