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Pay it Forward - what is your experience?

(77 Posts)
Applegran Thu 06-Feb-20 15:48:53

Long ago I came across the idea of random acts of kindness, and I love the idea – as well, of course, as celebrating non-random kindness, to people you know and care about.
Here’s a random act of kindness which happened to us, years ago: we arrived at a foreign airport, complete with two children and a lot of luggage, with tickets to catch a bus onwards to where we were going to stay. By the time we had got all our luggage together and emerged from the airport – the bus had gone. We asked in the bus station office what we could do – and there were no more buses going to our destination that day. A bus driver who happened to be in the office sprang into action: he told us that he was going out in his bus soon, and for the first part of the journey his route and ‘our’ buses’ route were the same. He contacted the other driver, got us on to his bus, and set off. The two buses met in a lay by – and we were speedily transferred to the right bus. This was years ago – but I’ve never forgotten it.

Here are other random acts of kindness I’ve come across :

A woman , seeing a mother in a supermarket with a 2 year old having a tantrum, went up to the mother and said “Don’t worry! All of us who are parents have been through things like this. Is it ok if I talk to your daughter?” the mother said ‘yes’ and the woman proceeded to distract the little girl – admiring the picture on her T shirt and the colour of her shoes. The little girl gazed and responded and the tantrum was over. The woman walked quietly away.

A driver going over a toll bridge, paid for the next 6 cars.

Someone returning an overdue book to a library, tried and failed to find the money in their purse to pay the fine – and the person behind them in the queue paid and said “Just put the money in a charity box, when you can”

I could go on – but I wonder what random acts of kindness other Gransnetters have come across – either as giver or receiver, or through seeing kindnesses done by others. Its sometimes called “Pay it forward” – I am fairly sure that many Gransnetters are part of creating a chain reaction of kindnesses going onwards into the future.

craftergran Thu 06-Feb-20 16:01:05

A small deli type cafe in a nearby village have a pay-it-forward coffee scheme. The idea being that you purchase a coffee for someone in need when buying your own and anyone can go in and claim a free coffee no questions asked.
He keeps account of the number of paid forward drinks on his large menu board and there are always plenty.

knspol Fri 07-Feb-20 10:45:51

Having been less than a week in a new country and DH away on business I needed to fly back to UK for a funeral. The air ticket had been Fed Ex 'd but not arrived. I eventually found the right phone number and was directed to their depot to collect at which point never having driven on the 'wrong' side of the road and not a clue as to the directions I was being given the person I was speaking to told me not to worry she would make a detour on her way home to bring them to me and she did. I was so grateful for that act of kindness which enabled me to fly the next day and attend my father's funeral.

TerryM Fri 07-Feb-20 10:47:54

When dad was in hospital (hospital rang to say he was dying ) just prior to his passing mum was adamant she would catch a cab from home to the hospital .
About 15 mins away .
Flatly refused to wait for one of us to get her
Mum should have been at the hospital by 4.30 pm. By 5 we are panicking . By 5.30 my husband says we need to ring the police .
Then my mother strolls down the road
"Mum what happened "
" I caught the bus " can I point out very proudly statedby mum
"Out of curiousity mum which bus ?"
"The bus daughter the bus !!!!" Ok mum is cranky just let it go
Found out the next day mum had walked up the top of the street , caught a bus in the wrong direction , didn't pay and had no idea where she really was going .
Bus driver decided to talk to mum and ask where she was going
Long story short , he arranged for an inspector to meet her at the next possible stop and that inspector put her on the bus and organised another inspector further down the road to get her off and put her on the final bus to the hospital
Mum didn't pay at all
They were so lovely to her and were thrilled to hear the next day she had arrived safely
Before anyone wonders why my mother with dementia was travelling by mother could argue under water and win with or without dementia smile

grannybuy Fri 07-Feb-20 10:50:18

This is timely for me! Last week, I decided to take DH out of the nursing home in his wheelchair by myself for the first time, knowing that to get anywhere it meant going uphill. It was much worse than I thought! I counted eight people who offered to help when they saw me, plus a policeman got out of his car when he saw me struggling to get the wheels straight. I also asked two people to help, and they did so very willingly. I was quite overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.

Mouse Fri 07-Feb-20 10:51:23

I was the recipient of a random act of kindness just yesterday. I went to collect a parcel from a local shop. They needed to scan the barcode delivered to my phone. To my dismay when I took out my phone the battery had died. That meant I would have to walk home then back again later. Not that easy as I have mobility problems. The young man behind me came to the rescue. He produced a charger, plugged it into the most enormous music player I’ve ever seen and charged my phone just enough so I could get the bar code. I was so grateful. Chatting to him he was just on his way home from work. This had been a two hour drive yet he was so happy and willing to help a stranger.

Lizzle10 Fri 07-Feb-20 10:53:00

Christmas Eve before last my partner and I went to a remote country pub for dinner . It was pretty much empty apart from a family and a young couple with a dog . We stopped to fuss the dog and said hello to the young couple . We sat down and ordered and over the course of dinner exchange a few words with the couple as the dog was very cute and amusing . They got up to leave wished us a merry Christmas and left . Not long after we asked for a bill and was told that the young couple had settled it for us . Apparently he is known in the pub and every year at Xmas he does something for a stranger as an act of kindness and good will and this year was our turn . I managed to get his contact details and sent him a message thanking him . It’s amazing what a beautiful feeling you get when you are on the receiving end of an act of kindness .

firdaus19 Fri 07-Feb-20 10:58:08

What a lovely thread this is going to be. Thank you for starting it, Applegran. Kindness is a topic which brings such encouragement. I have pictured each of the stories you shared and imagined the help/comfort/peace felt by those involved.

gillyknits Fri 07-Feb-20 11:05:17

The older lady in front of me in the supermarket had forgotten her “bag for life” I gave her a spare one that I had. She looked completely shocked and kept asking me if I was sure about it.
I like doing random things like that, but have yet to be on the receiving end of it!

Pearlsaminger Fri 07-Feb-20 11:13:27

Christmas Eve 2019. Had a lovely day out in London, visiting the Saatchi Gallery to see the Kin Tut exhibition.

Was all ready for Christmas, shopping done, presents wrapped, and Christmas Eve is my day off to do what I like.

Came home and looked on the Neighbourhood site. Saw a lady asking for help to deliver a microwave to a very needy family who had unfortunately had their benefits stopped and reassessed, due to the husband being diagnosed with dementia. Their cooker had broken down and they were struggling.

I offered help, but a driver had already been found. I spoke to the lady in need, and she said they had very little in the house for Christmas.

Couldn’t bare to leave it at that so asked if I could get her a few things and she said yes please, bread, milk, butter and potatoes.

My daughter and I rushed down to the supermarket and spent £50 on shopping - mostly essentials but a few treats too. We had time against us, it was almost 4pm and the shops would close soon.

We put £10 in a Christmas card and took it around to the lady, and have her the groceries which included a cooked chicken for Christmas Day which could be reheated in the microwave.

She burst out crying saying ‘I didn’t think there were good people like you left in the World. Thank you so much - we can have a Christmas now and top up the electric.’

Felt very humbled to be honest.

I often offer help to people, and hope one day someone would help me if I was in need.

Currently caring for my 80 year old neighbour who has become housebound. I do her shopping, pay her bills for her, take her to hospital appointments etc ... she has no one left in the world and I can’t just leave her 🤷🏻‍♀️

Growing0ldDisgracefully Fri 07-Feb-20 11:15:30

I've had many kindnesses given to me by strangers, eg help when I've dropped my motorbike, people holding doors open for me when my hands are full of shopping, waving me forward in a supermarket queue when I've only 1 or 2 items to pay for. Whenever I can I do similar, eg slowing up traffic behind me to allow elderly persons or mums with buggies and small children to cross in front of me, letting people in front of me at the supermarket, and stopped to help pick up an older lady who had overturned her mobility scooter while she was driving it, etc. I think that all kindnesses come back round and are repaid, and should be repaid as well. Not sure if I'm in debit or credit, but it's just a nicer world if we can look out for others.

Lancslass1 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:19:23

I had not heard from an elderly (92) ex Colleague M , at Christmas and feared the worst but wanted to know.
I now live over 200 miles away from where she lives so I telephoned an Estate Agent near there and said that I didn’t want to buy, sell or rent a house and explained the situation.
She said to leave it with her.
The following day she rang up to say she was making a few phone calls and two days later she rang to say that she had managed to get in touch with one of M’s neighbours.
M had fallen in her house,lay there for some time before a neighbour noticed the milk was on the doorstep and managed to get into the house.
M is now in a Convalescent Home and is doing well.

Justanotherwannabe Fri 07-Feb-20 11:20:04

I love this thread.

GrannyBettie Fri 07-Feb-20 11:21:48

Last Thursday I was in London and as I took my ticket out of my pocket at Waterloo station, a five pound note came out with it. I hadn't noticed this and a lady about 25 came after me telling me I had dropped it. Although only a small sum I was very grateful to her.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 07-Feb-20 11:27:15

People are so so kind, I have been helped and in return I always try to help people. I took a very elderly couple who had missed their bus and needed to wait another hour to the next town for a lunch they had planned at a pub. They were celebrating his 85th birthday. In return I have had coffee given to me when I have forgotten my purse and many other little things. People are good.

LJP1 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:40:30

These are great! Long live kindness,

I used to go down to London regularly with a trolley loaded with files which was fine in most stations on the underground but a real problem when there was no lift or slope. I never had to pull the trolley up or down steps! An offer by, usually young men, was welcome - every time. I was so grateful and it really boosted my faith in human nature.

Lancslass1 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:53:06

Have you found also that what goes round ,comes round?
Often when you have done a good turn for somebody something really nice happens to you.
A win win situation.

GrandmasueUK Fri 07-Feb-20 11:56:23

My mum once went to the newsagents to pick up her newspaper. She had put a 50p coin in her pocket but when she got to the shop she couldn't find it. A young man was in the shop and offered to pay for it, but she said it was fine and as she was a regular customer the shopkeeper said she could pay the next day. On the way home, she put her hand in her pocket and the young man had slipped a £5 note in her pocket. (She later found the 50p in the lining of her coat!)

sodapop Fri 07-Feb-20 12:00:52

Love the coffee idea craftergran

I was struggling with a tech problem and a new phone in a French supermarket. One of the assistants came to help and spent half an hour sorting it out and translating for me.
A few years ago we mentioned to a French neighbour that we were short of hay for our animals. The next morning two separate people turned up with tractors and left bales of hay.

libbyann Fri 07-Feb-20 12:07:21

On the 20th January this year Brighter Cumbria was launched. On that day the people of this beautiful county were encouraged to carry out a random act of kindness and for it in return to be paid forward. The response was overwhelming to say the least. Eg School children gave out flowers to passing shoppers. Lots of shops and businesses got involved as did the general public. My little contribution was to take some groceries to my local foodbank. The feel good factor was amazing!!

3nanny6 Fri 07-Feb-20 12:10:51

I do not really call them random acts of kindness it's just things I see when out and about and I just react to the situation.
Last few things I have done ; Noticed a homeless man outside supermarket who had a blanket wrapped around him, I went and bought him some food from hot food counter and also a drink. (I was not the only one to do that for him)
There was a mum in the supermarket another day and her toddler was getting into a bit of a tantrum, I started talking to her while the child watched us after several minutes he slowly walked over to his mum and clasped her hand and off they went.
One more there was a young woman in her wheelchair and she seemed to be trying to catch the attention of a passer-by.
I went and asked her if she was okay she told me that she could not get her wheelchair up the small slope in the pavement and she was stuck, I helped with just a small push and she was okay and could carry on her journey.

I will now call things like this my random acts of kindness who knows who I may help today when out and about.

Nannylovesshopping Fri 07-Feb-20 12:14:14

I was meeting a friend, was already 20 minutes late, had txt her, it was a town I didn’t know with a hideous one way system, lovely sil had written down where to go, still lost, saw couple wandering down street, asked them, they said we will hop in and show you the way, and they did, 10 minutes later was where I should have been, so relieved, thanked them profusely, and on they went. Relating this to my daughter later, she was horrified I had invited two strangers into my car, i hadn’t even thought of that! I am still allowed out on my own😂

granbabies123 Fri 07-Feb-20 12:16:52

I've just had a little weep. There is so much bad in the world and it humbled me to hear of all this goodness. What a lovely post.

Patticake123 Fri 07-Feb-20 12:17:20

A brilliant thread.

MerylStreep Fri 07-Feb-20 12:18:47

How true. Many years ago a friend was going through hard times financially. Then, to cap it all his car died.
We had a spare car so we said just take it until your ok
He had it for about 3 months. He came to us and said i can't afford much in repayment for your kindness but here are 3 premium bonds, I hope they're lucky for you
Some months later we had a big win on one of them.
Strangely enough we have the full amount of premium bonds but have never had a big win on any of them.