Apparently I put a price tag on kindness.
I didn’t know this about myself until today.
A friend and I were heading out for the day. We went through a local drive-thru for some coffee and bagels. As we pulled up and started to hand our money out the window to the girl, she leaned out and said “it’s already been paid”. She nodded her head towards the truck pulling away. We wanted to then pay for the vehicle behind us and keep the chain of kindness going. I joked “as long as it’s not fifty seven dollars”.
The young girl looked at the cash register and said “it’s up to eleven dollars and they’re ordering a lot.” We waited a few seconds. She then shook her head no and said “it’s all right” because they were still ordering.
I didn’t mind paying eleven dollars for an act of kindness. I didn’t mind paying more than eleven dollars for kindness. We ended up driving away so we wouldn’t hold up the line. The car was still ordering.
I have to admit I felt pretty awful for not paying it forward.
Until I sat down to write this.
As I wrote this and was willing to own up to my skipping out on kindness, it suddenly occurred to me that the kindness paid to me and my friend was not diminished in any way by what we did or did not do. It stands on it’s own worth, the action of one person was given, it was received, and it gave us the kind of feeling we are sure that person intended us to have.