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Paying it Forward


For several weeks, I had been meaning to get my wife flowers. Everyday I would leave for the office in the morning reminding myself to get flowers on the way home, but would always forget. Finally one day, I decided to repeat the word, “flowers” (as though it were a mantra) as I drove home to make sure I remembered. It turned out that that day the flowers were on sale, two bouquets for the price of one.

While I was at the store, I came across two neatly folded $20 dollar bills with no one around. I picked up the bills feeling like this was a universal sign and went home with my flowers knowing that the money had to be used for spreading kindness.

After I gave my wife the flowers, I told her I had another surprise and showed her the money. My wife definitely felt like this was a calling since just the other day she mentioned how she wanted to tag a few people for her birthday (30 tags for the big 30). We each took a $20 bill and decided to spread some kindness. The possibilities were endless… excited and ready to start we rushed out the door to go find some folks to tag!

First, we headed to a local grocery store to buy flowers and chocolate bars. We bought two bouquets. My wife decided to separate her bouquet and place one flower on each of the cars in the parking lot with a smile card attached to each one. I decided to keep my bouquet intact and give it to someone. While my wife was placing flowers in the parking lot, she noticed an elder woman walking to her car. My wife, somewhat hesitant, but super excited approached the woman and handed her a vibrant purple daisy. The woman was surprised and smiled and said, “Well, thanks dear”. I could tell my wife had a very excited hop in her step after this.

I, on the other hand, was still walking around with my bouquet, waiting for the right moment to give it away to someone. I felt I would know when the moment was right, so there was no need to rush it. My wife spontaneously decided that we should walk down the block to a Mediterranean restaurant to tag someone with a dessert! We entered the restaurant behind another couple. While we were all waiting for the maitre d, the gentleman in front of us, grabbed my bouquet of flowers and gave them to his significant other. The gentleman smiled jokingly and said, “Thanks man!” I was quite surprised but knew this was the moment I was waiting for. The gentleman turned back around and tried handing back the flowers, “I was only kidding; here you go!” I looked over with a big smile and said, “They are yours. I was looking to give these away!” The gentleman and his significant other looked over at my wife, “What about her? You should give these to her.” I replied, “I bought her two bouquets earlier today.” The couple was shocked and very happy. The woman who received the flowers was happily admiring their beauty.

The final tag of the night also took place at this restaurant. We asked the maitre d to help us tag someone with dessert. We presented him with a $10 bill and a smile card. We requested that the next dessert that goes out would be covered with this money and the table would be given a smile card. The owner was taken aback, but we knew he understood the concept when he replied, “This is an anonymous act of kindness thing, right?” My wife and I smiled from ear to ear and said, “You got it! Thanks!” We walked home that night plotting our next list of tags to spend the money we had left.

It was a blessing to be able to give and equally receive so much in the process. We both felt uplifted and grateful for all our abundance in life. Sometimes it really is all about sharing a smile or a laugh that brightens someone’s day or makes him or her feel special.




Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You

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