Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paying for the Person Behind You

     I finally got the chance to do it!  I've always heard about people paying the toll for the person behind them on a highway, but these days, with EZ Pass and other electronic payments systems, it's hard to do this.  Well today I was in Atlanta and as I headed north of the city on Route 400, I came to a toll that was $.50.  Since I don't have EZ Pass in my rental car, I pulled into the lane marked "cashier" and prepared to pay my toll.  Then I remembered that I could actually pay for someone else too.  I gave the cashier a dollar and told her that I was paying for the person behind me as well.  
     As I pulled away, I watched in the rearview mirror to be sure the next person wasn't required to pay the toll.  I was also curious to see if the driver would acknowledge the gesture in any way - perhaps a flash of the lights or a wave or anything.  They didn't, which was OK, since I certainly didn't do it for that reason.
     As with all anonymous acts of kindness, I'll never know what their reaction was when the toll collector told them their toll had already been paid.  Were they surprised?  Happy?  Did it cause them to want to do something nice for someone else?  I hope so, but I'll have to be satisfied that at least I did my little part to spread some kindness today.

1 comment:

  1. This has happened to my twice within three months at Dunkin Donuts, the person in front of me paid for my ice coffee. I was really surprised both times, thought maybie I knew the person or something. But its just people being really nice. I was really touched by such a simple gesture. I will start doing this.