The Power of Kindness by Ann Haywood Leal

The plane pulled into the gate and the passengers rose all at once, trying to crowd to the still-closed door like first graders in the recess line.  After the woman in front of me practically pulled her barely legal overstuffed carry-on down on my head, she ran over my toes with her luggage wheels.  Even though she was sitting a couple of rows behind me, she plunged ahead in the aisle, never pausing to allow an elderly woman out of her row.  By the time I left the airport and stopped at a taco place for food, I was sweaty and crabby, and not feeing very good about human beings, in general.

At first I didn't understand what the woman at the cash register was saying.

She waited patiently for me to pick up my tray from the counter, and made no move to take my money.  She waved me away and smiled.  "It's already taken care of.  The person ahead of you paid for your meal."

My thank you hung in midair as that generous person in front of me turned their car onto the street.

That simple, anonymous kindness turned my entire week around.

Paying it forward is such a wonderful concept that has the capacity to push through all of the madness of the holidays.

It doesn't need to cost you any money.  In our digital world, the spoken word holds its own currency.  A thank you or a simple greeting. A kindness to someone who needs it.

So go ahead and let someone have that up-close parking space.  Clear the snow from your neighbor's windshield.  Pay it forward.  I dare you.


  1. There is no other feeling that quite matches the one you get from doing an unsolicited kindness for another. The true spirit of giving. Thanks Annie.

  2. Totally believe in the power of a kind word. Thanks for this...


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