The other day, I was standing in line at Target (of course, ha) waiting to be checked out. The older man in front of me couldn’t get his card to work — happens, right? I remember thinking to myself to be patient, even though I had to get home to feed Harlow. It’s so easy to let these little, insignificant moments take over. The person behind me was huffing and puffing, I lent her a smile. A few minutes later, the sweet man told the cashier that he recently lost his wife to cancer and couldn’t remember her pin. His face melted, and my heart shattered. I could see the pain written all over his face. We locked eyes, and I assured him that he’s doing an amazing job. It reminded me to slow down, and be kinder, gentler. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
I’m also following the most courageous four-year old, Hazel via Instagram. She’s magic. Recently diagnosed with B cell ALL High risk leukemia. She’s a cancer fighting unicorn that’s kicking some serious butt. Her journey is raw, gut-wrenching, emotional and filled with milestones that are worth celebrating. I don’t get through a post without crying. Her mother has a way with words — she’s so brave (also has a 3 month old baby girl, Vyla). If you can donate, there’s a GFM account here. She also has a PO box, and loves receiving cards! If you’d like the address, please e-mail me here or send a DM on Instagram.
Both of these stories have reminded me to slow down and exercise patience. They’ve reminded me to pay it forward, to spread love, to smile more at strangers, and to be kind. Whenever you find yourself discouraged because the line is taking too long, just remember these brave strangers stories.
10 ways to pay it forward for FREE
- Smile: Smile at strangers more. That shit is contagious.
- Donate Blood: Hazel’s mom has expressed the extreme importance of donating blood. Her baby girl goes through countless transfusions. It’s free, and you’re saving lives. (one pint of blood saves 3 lives)
- Hold the door open for the person behind you: There’s been countless times that people haven’t held the door open for me (with a stroller!)
- Write a review: Yelp is pretty powerful, folks. Write a positive review about your favorite business. They’ll really appreciate the gesture!
- Hug a friend: Always tell your friends how important they are.
- Stand up for someone: Lend your voice, don’t just stand by. Often, the powerless/homeless need someone to speak up for them. They’re people, too. They need our help.
- Take time to teach someone a skill: I’ve seen this countless times in the blogging world. It really is such a supportive community with room for everyone. The amount of bloggers that lend their findings/knowledge for free is pretty incredible. Make sure you pay it forward!
- Leave encouraging notes: I’ve never done this myself, but I’m going to try it next week! Stick positive, encouraging notes in random places for people to find. Libraries, banks, malls — you never know who may find it.
- Become a tutor: Offer your brain for free to people in need! Help someone with reading/writing/math — whatever it may be.
- Compliment: Compliment your significant other, your BFF, stranger. We need to compliment each other more! It makes the soul fiery.