Tonight I walked into a Little Caesar’s Pizza Restaurant to pick up a pepperoni pretzel crust pizza. When I ordered they said it would be a 7 minute wait. So I told them I would be back in a few minutes, I needed to sit with the kids in the car (which was right by the front door, but I didn’t want to leave them alone that long.) When first I came into the restaurant, there was another customer. I asked him if he had been served and he said yes he had. He was just waiting for his order.
I went out to the car and read library books with the kids while we waited, as we had just been to the library. I looked at the clock on the dash and when seven minutes had passed I went back into the store. I had to wait for a couple of minutes while they prepped and boxed the pizza. The same gentleman who had been waiting before was still waiting. We engaged in small talk about the weather since it looked like it might rain. When the pizza was finally ready and the employee handed it to me, he said it was taken care of. I thanked him thinking maybe it was because of the long wait and he said that the gentleman waiting had taken care of my order for me. I was so surprised, but managed to thank him before leaving the restaurant. He humbly acted like it was no big deal and I went on my way.
The chances of him reading this post are slim, but to the kind and generous patron at Little Caesar’s thank you. You didn’t know much about me other than I have kids and ordered a pizza tonight and yet you kindly paid for our dinner. Maybe you saw a busy Mom and thought “I am going to give her a break.” Whatever your reason, thank you.
What he didn’t know was that my husband works long hours finishing up his dissertation so ordering pizza tonight was a gift to myself of a night off in the kitchen. I love my kids more than life itself, but the days are long when my husband works late. He also didn’t know that we are on a tighter budget than usual since my husband is between jobs at the moment.
And he didn’t know that we will soon be going through some big transitions including a move for my husband’s new job. We are excited, but this will mean big changes for our family. Considering everything happening in our lives right now, his small gift meant more than he could have imagined.
I would like to challenge you to pay it forward when the chance arises. You never know what your small gesture could mean to someone else. It could be paying for someone else’s pizza, passing on a free cart to another customer at ALDI (cart rental is 25 cents), picking flowers and sharing them with an elderly neighbor; better yet spending some time with an elderly neighbor. The possibilities are endless.
If you have ever paid it forward by doing a random act of kindness or been the recipient of someone else’s kind gesture feel free to share. I would love to hear your story.