Saturday, April 12, 2014

Would you pay it forward?

I was talking to my parents last week when my mom told me she found $20 in the parking lot of a huge strip center. She felt really bad that someone lost it. The money was paper clipped to a shopping list. It had obviously fallen out of someone's pocket or purse. And now it was gone. There was no way to know who it belonged to, or where they might have been shopping.

Before I had the chance to ask her what she did with the money she said she "paid it forward." She didn't feel right about keeping it. She wanted to pay it forward.

Now it's not like she found a bagful of money, or even a $100. It was $20 dollars. Many of us spend $20 without even thinking twice about it. But something about this $20 and the note attached made this personal and my mom didn't feel right about keeping it. Maybe it was the handwriting, or the items on the list. Who knows.

My dad immediately chimmed in saying she didn't pay it forward to him. He wanted to add it to his Starbucks card, but my mom said no way. What if it was someone's last $20? She had to pay it forward to someone who really deserved it. Apparently my dad didn't fall into this category on this particular day. Poor guy.

She tucked it in per purse waiting for the right moment.

Having the $20 in her purse was a lot like having birthday cash to spend. She was anxious to pass it on. It didn't take long. They went out to dinner the next night and the server in the restaurant was fantastic. So my mom decided she was going to give it to her. When the server collected the check my mom told her how great she was and that she was giving her an extra $20 tip. She then explained how she was paying it forward.

The server smiled and thanked my mom and then surprised her by saying she was going to pay it forward to.

You don't know know my mom, but if she were a peacock she would have knocked that server over with her feathers. 

So it got me thinking, what would you have done?

Would you have:
1) tried to find the owner of the money
2) kept it
3) paid it forward

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