This morning, as I was imbibing my daily dose of blog-related inspiration, I happened upon a post by Kelle Hampton over at Enjoying the Small Things. As you may or may not know, Kelle writes a blog (and has a best selling book!) about motherhood, and a special focus of that is on her daughter, Nella, who has Down Syndrome. One of her readers wrote in to talk about losing her sister a year ago – a sister who had Down Syndrome and who was the light of a lot of lives. In honor of her, today they are hoping to raise awareness over social media by driving home the message of “Paying it Forward.”
They would like others to do something special for someone else and then share it with the world over social media with the hashtag “HonoringMaura.”
Now I didn’t know Maura, and I don’t know Kelle. I don’t have a child with Down Syndrome, and frankly, I don’t think that is the point. A beautiful life is being celebrated in a beautiful way, and I wanted to be a part of that. Every life is special in this world, and if we can remember all of those who went before us, I think it makes it that much more special.
A few weeks ago, I was in the drive through at Starbucks. I had my window rolled down in anticipation of receiving my beverage of choice, and so I heard the squealing of the woman in the car two ahead of me. She was at the window, and I just kept hearing her say, “REALLY?? That is SO cool!” I thought nothing of it, and when she paid and left, I pulled forward and waited for the next car to be through.
But once again, with my window down, I heard the driver say, “Seriously? That is awesome! Hell yah!” I wondered at that point if maybe Starbucks was having some sort of promotion or something. Or maybe there was a celeb inside. Who could know? Again, the car ahead handed over his cash and left. It was my turn.
As I got to the window, I craned my neck to look inside to see if there was something going on, and I was so focused on finding the source of the excitement that I nearly missed it when the cashier started talking to me.
He had a big smile on his face. “Okay, so the first car that came through this morning bought drinks for the car behind them. When the second car came through, they paid for the drinks behind them, too. Each car has paid for the car behind, and the car in front of you has already paid for your drinks.”
I found myself repeating the squealing excitement of the cars that came before me. “Really?” I enthused! “That is SO cool!”
I whipped out my Starbucks card and immediately said, “Let me pay for the car behind me.”
It felt so good to be a part of a chain of paying it forward. Helping others truly does make a person feel good. The more we do for the world around us, the better our lives become. And I think that is the point of today.
So for Maura’s family, whom I’ve never met, today I honor you.
As I went through the drive through of Starbucks, I paid for the car behind me. I have no idea if the chain will go on, but I feel good about doing one small thing that may have brightened someone’s day. I urge you, dear reader, to find some small way to show the world you care. And if you do, please join me and help Maura’s family feel your love by tweeting with the hashtag #HonoringMaura. Pay it forward. Make it count. Be the change you want to see in the world.