For our New Years Resolution Post, I briefly discussed a experience I had where an older couple was kind enough to pay for my meal, it was a wonderful and eye opening experience and I would like to share the whole story in depth.
So I was in a local pizza place getting some dinner with my cousin, we ordered a pizza to share, (it was delicious by the way.) During our meal the pizza place was rather dead, except for an older couple sitting on the other side of the restaurant. Every now and then I would notice them looking over at us, and it seemed as though my cousin and I were a topic of their conversation, they would talk with their waitress and make brief eye contact towards our table. However I then dismissed it and, never really thought anything of it. A little bit of time passed and soon they made their way out of the restaurant. My cousin and I continued our meal, and I forgot all together about the older couple. That is until it came time for our check.
Our waitress approached us and I began to ready my payment. I was stopped by our waitress and what she told me next baffled me. The older couple completely covered our meal! I was in disbelief, I was not even sure how to respond. I took a few seconds to absorb what really just happened, and that’s when I was overcome with the realization that there are still good genuine people out there. I asked where they were but of course they were gone. That made it sink in even deeper. They did this act of kindness solely because doing good brings them true happiness, and THAT is the way we all need to live our lives. These people were not looking for any type of response, they did not want gratitude, and they did not seek recognition. They made it a point to be gone by the time we knew what happened. We can learn so much from the elders in our community. They have been here the longest and undoubtedly have the most wisdom. If you want to know how to live a happy life, look at the elderly. They know that material items are not the root of happiness. Kindness, and making a real difference in other peoples lives bring you happiness.
I sat there in my booth and one thing came to mind. A movie I once saw in school as a child. A boy makes a pact to “pay it forward” doing one good deed for someone in hopes that they will carry the torch on to another. After watching the movie my teacher told me “There will be a time in everyone’s lives where you will get the opportunity to pay it forward, its simply up to you to recognize it and then act upon it.” Well 10 years later and clear as day was my golden chance to carry that torch. Without hesitation I took a $20 bill from my pocket and requested that our waitress use this money to cover whoever she served next. I did not want those people to feel pressured to do that same. I think that is a decision everyone has to make on their own, to come to that realization and then act upon it themselves. I can only hope that the next customers did the same, and with any luck, the ones after them as well.
The hardest thing anyone can do, is to be the person lighting the torch. To be the first one. However that is the most rewarding. Its just up to us the be the big person and to actually make that step. I promise it wont be one you regret. So here is to making a pact, that everyone who reads this will in one way or another “pay it forward” and not to seek gratitude, not to seek recognition, but to seek true happiness.