I have a confession to make

I read this story this morning and cringed. Here’s the headline: “10 hour ‘Pay it forward’ line ends with customer No. 458 who refuses.” What??? The story is really about over 400 who paid for each other at a Starbucks drive through, but local media decided to lead with that headline instead.

So, why does this make me cringe (other than the obviously rude and irritating headline)? Because I was once THAT person. When I was in my early 20’s I went through a drive-thru and was told the person in front of me wanted to pay for my meal. I said, “Oh, wow, thanks!” and continued on my way. I had no idea I was supposed to pay it forward. Honestly, it didn’t even cross my mind. For all I know, I was car number 531 in a long line of nice, generous people. *cringe*

So, yeah, I feel bad for car number 458. Maybe she had no idea what was going on. Maybe she only had the money to pay for whatever item she ordered. But, I’m sure she saw that headline today and is cringing, just like I do every time I hear about these “Pay it forward” stories.

Have you ever been in a “Pay it forward” line? Did you ever mess one up? I know I never will again!

Photo by: Perry McKenna

2 thoughts on “I have a confession to make

  1. That kind of “pay it forward” is just like a wave at the ballpark. Everyone has to do something because some guy started it and you don’t want to be embarrassed by being the one who ends it. It’s fun, but come on–it kinda misses the point, doesn’t it? The great thing about true “Pay It Forward” is that it brings hope or even salvation to someone holding on for dear life in some way. It can be life altering and you know that, having accepted someone’s generosity, you will be able to “gift” someone else in that way sometime down the road. The conga line at Starbucks was cute and fun, but definitely now cringe-worthy.

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