04 January 2012

Target and Paying it Forward

Those who know me well know that I have a deep and undying love for Target.  Seriously, Target and I have a love affair that has lasted the majority of my life.  I will go there for any reason or, sometimes, for no damn reason at all; I’ll just go to bask in its existence.  If I’m sad, Target is probably where you’ll find me wandering around aimlessly with a cart full of shit I find on clearance endcaps.  It’s my happy drug.

This will probably be me someday.
On a recently trip to my favorite store just before New Year’s, I grabbed a few things and found a place in line behind a woman with two kids and an elderly lady.  All of our chosen items were laid on the belt neatly separated by the plastic dividers.  It was business as usual.

As the checker was ringing in the family’s items, the mother suddenly turned around and moved toward the elderly lady.  She began to speak to her and as she did she removed the plastic separator between their purchases, moving forward a bottle of aspirin and a few personal items that the elderly lady was about to buy.

“I’m going to take care of your shopping today,” she said to the woman as she placed her arm around her.  “Might as well start the year of right!”

I have never seen a person more thankful than that little old lady in line at Target.  The additional items likely totaled less than $20, but to this woman, in this moment it meant the world.  A simple gesture had made her day.

It might seem like a rather small act, but sometimes the simplest things mean the most.  It didn’t change the world or make a difference to a lot of people, but in that one instant it was perfect.  All I know is that it made me want to be more conscious, considerate and thoughtful of others.  It made me want to pay it forward.

I haven’t found my moment yet, but I’ll know it when the time comes.  Or at least I hope it will.  Until then I’m just going to make sure that I’m mindful of the people around me.  Maybe I can make a little difference too.

So how do you pay it forward?


  1. Okay, that made me cry. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I saw someone do that at the grocery store a short while ago and it brought a similar reaction to me. To see the recipient's reaction was priceless and we knew that she truly was appreciative.

  3. Sometimes, when I'm in the drive-thru at Starbucks, I will pay for my own as well as whoever is behind me. Not much, but someone did it for me once and it made my day!



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