“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Friday, May 1, 2009

Paying it Forward

I loved this movie. The concept that the little boy came up with is genius. So, today I had an opportunity to pay it forward. I was on the trolley 2 stops away from my destination when the trolley Officer hopped on board asking for tickets and passes. I pulled out my wallet and showed him my pass for April. He brought this to my attention and so I pulled out my April pass and showed him the one for May. There was a teenage girl sitting across from me who pulled out her pass and showed it to the officer. He said, "That is for last month. Today is the 1st of May." She was clearly taken by surprise. He went on to explain to her that she needed to get off at the next station and by herself a ticket and that she needed to realize that the citation would have cost $125. After the trolley officer went about his business, her eyes welled up with tears as she called her dad. She explained to her dad that it was a new month and she only had $1 on her and that she didn't know what to do. I tapped her on the leg and asked her how far she needed to go. She said America Plaza (4 stops away). I told her that I would buy her ticket. She told her dad and got off the phone. We got off the trolley and I pulled out my bank card but the ticket machine didn't take credit cards. So, I ran across the street to the 7-eleven ATM machine. When I came back with my new crisp $20 bill I put it in the machine. The trolley Officer standing nearby explained that the largest bill the ticket machine took was a $10. Argh! So I ran back to the 7-eleven and bought a pack of gum and ran back across the street to help this poor girl. Success! I bought her a $5 day pass so that she wouldn't be stranded in the afternoon. She said that if she ever saw me again that she would pay me back. I told her "No, you'll get to help someone else out someday." I gave her a hug and bounced off to work. Nothing like doing a good deed to start your morning off right! So, I say, pay it forward. I hope that I made an impression on this girl and I hope that she never forgets to help people in need. I'm not talking about just giving money to a homeless person on the street. I'm talking about recognizing a situation when someone really needs help and it's the type of help that you can provide.


beebee said...

I'm so proud of you!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a great story! I couldn't agree with you more. However, I am embarassed at the transit aspect of it...non-helpful officer, ticket machine not taking credit cards or big bills. That's just inexcusable. But good for you for making the best of it and making the world a better place!