Recently I got to be part of an unexpected random act of kindness of paying it forward, and at a gas station no less!
It was right before Christmas when I stopped to get gas at a Sunoco. While I was getting ready to pump my gas, a woman with a white pick up truck, in a white t-shirt, khakis to the calf, very short hair, a buzz cut, a butch looking Rosie O’Donnell if you will, starts walking over to me.
Of course when someone does that to me, I automatically go into Fort Lauderdale mode and think they want money or worse. It’s happened before, not in my neighborhood on the west coast of Florida, but when traveling on the east coast of Florida doing our events, people approaching you trying to scam you.
So my guard goes up and I start quickly running through scenarios in my head as to why I wasn’t giving her money or what I was going to do if she got all up in my flava.
But instead of asking me FOR money, she was actually OFFERING me the $3.00 of gas left in her pump. She said she didn’t want to go back inside and get the $3.00 back and I could just take it. I looked at her stunned. I asked if she was sure, and said she was.
The funny thing is, is that she pulls up to the store to go in to tell the clerk that she was giving me the $3.00 left on her pump. The clerk tells her that her pump was already wiped out and I couldn’t do it. What does this white pick up driving, white t-shirt, khaki wearing, butch looking Rosie O’Donnell woman do then?
She walks over to me and hands me $5.00 and says, “here, use this.” I ask her again if she is sure, and she says, “Yes! Merry Christmas!” I was blown away by her kindness! So I check my gauge and see that my car can take another $3.00 more in gas. I go into the clerk and tell her $3.00 more on my pump and what this kind butch-esk Angel said to me.
I gave the clerk the $5.00 and told her to keep the change, that I was paying it forward the kindness that was paid to me. While the amount may not have been a lot, the energy and kindness of giving me the $5.00 was a worth million bucks in my book. Now I’m not saying a million bucks wouldn’t also be greatly appreciated, but the generosity of a stranger made me feel like a million bucks!
It also reminded me that there is a lot more good in the world than bad and….
It’s All Good!
If we all heard more stories like this, the opinion of the world would start to change. To many experiences like the ones that ran through your head in the first moments is why the world thinks what it does. Great moment to remember.
When I have let my guard down, I have had people take advantage of me or try to. But she was such an amazing reminder that we can have our guard up and still be open. She affected me in such a positive way, it does have a ripple effect and if more people did that, the world would be a different place. I have to say growing up in Ft Lauderdale did make me very distrustful of people. Last night leaving work a guy tried to ask me a question from across an almost empty parking lot, him I ignored. It was after 10pm and no one was around.