pay it forward.

DSC_6402 copy.jpgIt’s not rocket science that we love kindness in all forms but do you like receiving it more than you like doing a good deed? For me, I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the smile on someones face after I’ve done something nice for them. From the smallest token of kindness like holding a door, to doing a family’s photos free of charge, it warms my heart.

It’s no secret that I’m struggling to make a go of my photography full time when the weather is the way it is during a Nova Scotia winter. Most of my income is generated by outdoor family sessions and we all know how much fun it is to stand in the cold for a few hours (if only you could hear the tone of sarcasm in my voice right now.) It’s difficult for me to find a niche to supplement my income without making people go outside and freeze so I tend to just hope there are enough funds to cover my bills as I optimistically creep photos of warmer days and cross off another calendar date closer to April and May. That said, I don’t sit back and count my pennies either.

This morning, like most, I hopped in my Jetta to go get a black coffee with one sugar at McDonald’s. I shuddered as my butt hit the freezing leather seats. I cursed for a second as I noticed that the frost on my windshield was on the INSIDE so my washer fluid was useless, forcing me to sit tight for a few minutes as my butt finally warmed up (or became numb) and the frost melted. Of course, I also took this time to doodle some profanities into the frost, knowing my frustrations would just melt away as the frost melted. Finally, I was good to go!

As I sat in the lineup at the drive-thru, I ordered my coffee as usual and headed to the first window to pay. On the odd day, I’ll pay for the order behind me. It’s not a large gesture, not even close. A $2 coffee doesn’t break most bank accounts for the most part BUT it’s the gesture that counts. The attendant took my $10 bill while taking the order behind me. I heard her repeat “that’ll be $1.80. Please proceed to the next window” and as she handed back my change, I said I’d pay for the one behind me. I watched the little quarter-ton truck pull up behind me and watched his face as she told him it had been taken care of. The man driving, roughly in his mid-sixties grinned from ear to ear and gave me a wave. I instantly smiled and felt like my day was made. It was a small gesture but it could have made both of our days, as small as it was.

My name is my business. I work hard for my money but that said, I don’t hoard it for myself. It feels better to give it away than watch the zero’s add up (self made thousandaire over here.) Don’t get me wrong – I love spending on myself. If I could have a new iMac and maybe another trip to Australia, it’d be great but honestly, it makes me happier making others happy.

I didn’t write this to get a pat on the back or recognition for what I did. It was $1.80 and honestly would have just bought me another bag of chips that I don’t need. I got a smile out of it and that’s what counts. It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it won’t be the last but it will hopefully give you a little warm feeling in your heart to want to do the same. I encourage you to do a little random act here and there to not only warm someone else’s heart, but yours also. It could just be the little gesture that gets someone else through their day. As Ellen Degeneres says often “be kind to one another.” xx

Leave a Reply