It had been awhile since I had faith that there was still good people in the world. I was tired of the constant hate, misunderstanding, disagreements and anger that I was seeing on the news and on social media.
I've been working as a server for years now and have dealt with my share of rude customers. I always expect the same people to come in on a near daily basis… maybe a soccer mom demanding food in 5 minutes or a table completely stiffing you out of a tip. Well, this night was different.
I had gotten a table, two older adults and their daughter. When I greeted the table they kindly told me that their daughter had specials needs so they would be ordering for her. The table showed me kindness and understanding (it was a decently busy shift) throughout their time in the restaurant and I really enjoyed having them in my section.
I was behind the bar when this older gentleman, probably at least in his late 70's or 80's, walked up to me and stuck his hand out. I had noticed him a half hour earlier and I saw that he was sitting alone...I felt bad for him. I looked down to see him moving several bills towards my hands. Confused, I looked up and asked him what the money was for. He replied with, "do me a favor and go pay for that tables bill". He pointed at my table and before I could get his name he walked out of the door. I looked down and saw he had given me $110. This was just shy of enough to cover their bill for the night. I was ecstatic for them.
It took me a solid 10 minutes to try and figure out how to tell my table that this man had paid for almost their whole bill. Finally, I walked up to the table and started with, "So, I have a bit of a surprise for you." Of course they looked confused because why would a restaurant worker be surprising you with something?? "A gentleman sitting nearby wanted to "pay-it-forward" and cover $110 of your bill." Their reaction was what you see when someone wins the lottery. They smiled so big and you could see that they had tears starting to well up in their eyes. It wasn't that they needed the money to pay for their bill, it was the thought of a total stranger looking at them and thinking they were deserving of a kind gesture.The man I had felt bad for had a heart of gold. He wanted to make someone's night and I do not think he knows how much it impacted that family and myself.
After my table had left, I picked up my book only to find they had left me $100. I was completely blown away. I decided at that moment that I would not spend a dime of that money on myself, rather, I wanted it to go towards another "pay-it-forward". I vouched to use that money for some sort of good. I took the money and spent a "chunk" of it on clothing and essentials for a youth homeless shelter and I plan to use the rest for another "pay-it-forward" in the near future.
I feel it is so important to support one another, to grow our connections, learn about differences, and lend a helping hand when you can. I urge anyone reading this to live life to where you not only care about your loved ones, but treat your neighbors as if their lives are important too. At the end of the day, many people in this world are struggling. Many people have it worse off than you do whether it be lack of money, struggles in mental health or physical health, and so much more. Pay-it-forward with a smile, a kind gesture or by paying for someone's meal. No matter what you pay-it-forward with, you are making a difference in that persons day. One random act of kindness can restore your faith in humanity and inspire a chain of positive reactions. Isn't that what we need more of in this world?