Monday, July 2, 2012

Flower Tips and Paying It Forward

While we did not lose power because of the storms, many of my friends, co-workers, and Nannie did, and some are still without power. Lucky us because my Nannie has been staying with us for a few days until her power is restored.

Tonight after my mom fixed dinner, she went outside to help my dad with some tree related things before eating, so my Nannie and I waited for them enjoyed dinner together. She has been reading my blog and from the post seen here she let me in on the identity of those flowers. The ones that I termed as "fuzzy" are actually Mimosa Trees, and the "peaceful, white ones" are Queen's Anne's Lace

Initially these just struck my fancy as I made my drive to and from work everyday. Little did I know that they would tug on a different heart string for someone else. After explaining to me what each one was, my Nannie told me that as a child she laid underneath a Mimosa Tree that was on my Grandparent's (her parent's) farm on those hot summer days. Now whenever I see them, I will always think of my Nannie laying under them as a kid. 

On another note, I forgot to mention something pretty crazy that happened to me this weekend. On Saturday night I went to the movies with my cousin and decided to swing through the Chik-Fil-A drive thru and grab a sandwich first. I proceeded to the payment window where the employee told me that the woman in front of me wanted to do something nice for someone today, so she paid for the person's meal behind her. Which was me. I was shocked and completely humbled by this woman's actions. I noticed she had pulled into a parking spot just beside the stop sign that I would come to before leaving the parking lot. I got my sandwich and drink and pulled up to the stop sign before going to the movie theater. I looked over her way and mouthed thank you with a huge smile, in which she returned a thumbs up and a huge smile. 

I think this affected me the way that it did because working with the public, no matter the setting (fast-food, restaurants, customer service, cashier at Kohl's or the grocery store, or your legal drug dispenser, a pharmacist) can be extremely trying and exhausting. I'll even go so far as to say that it can sometimes make you bitter - not better. People never cease to amaze me by their actions and the words that leave their mouths - and I DO NOT mean amaze me in a positive way. More of a Icantbelievetheyjustsaidordidthat kind of way. 

I immediately posted on Facebook what had happened to me and was almost just as surprised that so many of my friends liked it on Facebook.
The next morning upon waking, I began to think some more about what the woman had done. In a psychology course that I took in undergrad it was mentioned a few times that various studies have been (and I'm sure still are) done to see people's reactions/responses to different situations - like if someone were lying "injured" on the street or if an "elderly" person needed help crossing a busy intersection, what would you do? This made me think that maybe this woman was doing something similar - let me do something totally random and kind for someone and see if they even acknowledge it. Perhaps she was doing one of those let me do something to better mankind things for 365 days - an attempt at bettering the world with hopes that each person/thing that she does gets noticed and transcends. Or maybe she was just doing something nice, and expected nothing at all. 

Either way, we should all live with this mentality. Maybe she will see this and realize that she affected someone more profoundly than she had planned. Maybe she won't. At the end of the day, we are responsible and will be held accountable for our actions no matter what.

What will you do to pay it forward?



  1. Hey Susan- I just came to your blog my way of Layla's. Better late than never, as it's several months since you posted your experience which led me to this post. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience here. I try to start my days with something inspirational and today it was Layla's blog post about the hand written notes and reading her followers responses. Than onto your blog, etc... You moved me to tears, and loved that you shared your random act of kindness done to you on your facebook. It is with young people as yourself that we can work to change the world... My 18 year old daughter would do this all the time when she was in high school and would go through the Caribou drive thru with paying for the customer behind hers beverage. She used her own money, so it was very gratifying for her. Twice she was chased down by the recipient, for an extra special thank you. I know this made her heart sing... My Dad always taught us that the bible says, "it is more blessed to give than receive", and that still holds true...
    Have a great day! And keep your chin up when you have rude customers and people in your life. I've found that even the crabbiest and sourest grapes can turn to delight when they see you, if you continue to pour a lot of "cream and sugar" on them when you see them. THat extra sweetness eventually seeps into the sour heart and like tentaciles reaches into their hearts and gives them some joy. One of the most bitter people I knew, now treats me like a queen. The background story is that she was widowed at a very young age, had a child born with a medical disorder, and she was bitter at God for her lot in life. She has slowly become a changed person over the last 5-10 years with people pouring lots of "cream and sugar" on her life. She needs extra loving and doses for sure...
    Just remember like I try to do so as well and have to remind myself when I'm now putting this in print, that we know not, what that crabby person has been through and we often are just the recipient and not the cause. We need to just keep on keeping on with random acts of kindness, notes and words of joy.
    Have a blessed day and continue to be the upbeat, willing to learn and loving gal that you are. Your Nana sounds like a gem...and one that is filled with wisdom. I wish I could have my days back with my Nana's and my Mom, as I would love them more, learn more, and spend more time with each of them.

    1. Gretchen - YOU are THE sweetest! I totally love your "cream and sugar" reference. Sometimes I think I should carry it around in a bag with a hose and spray some folks down HAHA! You couldn't be more right about the ones that need a little extra and that WE'RE the ones that can give it to 'em. I know your daughter probably savors every moment she has with you -- mommas are the very best, after all. God bless ya pretty lady!