As I continue with my Blogging 101 course, today’s assignment is to write a post with a specific person (or people) in mind, an ideal audience member that I’d like to have as a reader. I think I had identified my ideal blog reader early on…women, ages 30 to 99…. with a hope of influencing women to believe in them themselves, to go where their spirit leads them and to seek adventure and opportunity.
That being said, I met a young woman recently, a brief encounter in a hotel lounge.
Have you seen the Pay It Forward campaign popping up on facebook lately? A post indicating you’re participating in the Pay It Forward initiative and asking 5 friends to Pay It Forward along with you. By doing so, you send them a random gift at some point in the coming year. As a woman who would rather give than receive I quickly jumped on board about a week ago, as did 5 of my friends. I encourage you to copy and paste the following to your Facebook timeline if you’d like to keep it going forward.
So with this Pay It Forward thing top of mind, I go on with my normal day-to-day life, mindful of the special gifts I’m soon to give.
I spent the past week in the NYC area and found the temperature to be colder than it was in my home state of Minnesota. Of course, never quite packing for the appropriate temperatures no matter what the climate, I found myself lacking a scarf to protect my neck from the brisk wind that blew in on the city. I had some time to kill one afternoon so I set out for a good half-mile walk to downtown Brooklyn in search of a scarf. I perused a couple women’s clothing stores before finally finding one that carried scarves, I clearly was not in Paris! I made my selection and off to the counter I went to pay. I chatted with the gentlemen about where my accent was from, he asked the kind of work I was in town for, blah, blah, blah. He complimented me on my smile and said (in his thick Brooklyn accent), “here, I want you to have one more scarf, a gift from your new friend in Brooklyn.” I of course said no and he said in his accent, “no you take it!” I thanked him, we removed the tags and off I went, a toasty neck and a warm heart, mindful that I was the recipient of an act of kindness.
My colleague and I went out to meet with clients that evening and upon returning to the hotel, we decided to stop for a nightcap in the bar. We summarized our day and began visiting with a young couple sitting on the stools next to us. Typical conversation consisting of where are you from, what do you do. Come to find, they were locals, just around the corner from their apartment. We exchanged lively conversation for a good hour, perfect strangers with so much in common. Before calling it a night, my new friend Beth, commented on the set of rings I was wearing, still sparkling as I had just purchased them a week earlier. I took off the rings, handed them to her, she tried them on and they fit perfectly which we both commented was rare because we had a size 6 finger, not many women have slender fingers like ours.
She sat admiring my rings, loving the bling and I said wonderful, they’re now yours!
You see, I had promised the man who had given me the scarf earlier that day, that I would Pay It Forward when I had the opportunity. And Beth was the recipient of my gift and I in turn asked Beth to Pay It Forward.
That’s how these things work. A simple act of kindness to Pay It Forward by doing a good deed to others. I’ve written many times about how people come into our lives to either teach us or we teach them, my short encounter with these two New Yorker’s that day was a perfect example of this.
Carpe diem ~
“Gifts aren’t to be paid back, they’re to be paid forward.” Cedric Crawford