Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Pay-it-Forward Coffee Karma

--by Andrew, posted May 10, 2010

Every day I go into the same coffee shop on the way to work. It's part of a large chain here in the UK.

I am new to the anonymous act of kindness concept.  I came across it recently, and a few weeks ago I worked up the courage to ask the Barista if I could pay for a coffee for someone later that day. He looked at me kind of strangely and said "okay" and then put the  money in the till. I walked out feeling doubtful that this would ever happen (and privately thinking he might just add the money to his tips). 

This chain stamps a card every time you buy a coffee and when you get 9 stamps, the 10th coffee is free.  I had just completed my card today and was due a free coffee next time, so I cheered up as I headed out of the coffee shop. I think giving these cards to people on the street is better than giving them cash so I forgot about the barista and passed the card on to a homeless guy I met later.

A week later I was in the same store and I ordered my usual coffee and the barista (a different one) said "your coffee is on us". I was surprised and asked why he would give me a free coffee?  He said that the staff were allowed to give out one free coffee a day to anyone they chose.  And that today I "was it".  He said they knew that I was a regular and that "I was always so cheerful with the staff". (By the way, I am not sure I am first thing in the morning!).

This put a big smile on my face but I decided to ask if I could chose to pay-it-forward to someone else instead.  They wouldn't let me - so beware, sometimes paying forward isn't as easy as it sounds! :)

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Readers Comments

Ami wrote: I think this is a really good example of human kindness, making people happy by paying for a coffee is a good display of how people can cheer others day up.

I wrote a piece which i feel compliments your piece here http://www. Thelunchbreakblog. Com/slices-of-life/2012/8/29/pay-it-with-coffee. Html i have spoken about different examples of the pay it forward movement and how doing random acts of kindness can spread a very positive message.
Zevelina wrote: Great! And we should all learn to accept as well as we give. Joy all around! :)
Warrior Spirit wrote: What a wonderful tale! Sometimes it is challenging to do small acts of kindness, especially in our world where consumerism is the dominant mindset. But that's all the more reason that warriors of kindness (like you! ) should keep up the spirit of small act of gifting.

And how cool that the coffee shop tagged you too! :)

We look forward to reading more stories of inspiration. :)
Beastly wrote: Wow, leap and the net will appear!
sonrisa wrote: What a wonderful story -- thanks so much for sharing! Isn't it amazing to see the ripples of kindness right in front of our own eyes?
jenwuzhere wrote: Wow, to think that just by you doing such a simple thing, it had a huge effect in that coffee shop that they even started choosing people to give free coffees! So awesome! Love it
bummiggity wrote: Andrew, that is truly a wonderful feeling! I am reminded the lyrics of michael jackson's song, man in the mirror.

"i'm starting with the man in the mirror,
I'm asking him to change his way and,
No message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change"

Thanks for the inspiration!
bwawili wrote: Andrew, that is truly a wonderful experience and hearty congratulations on following through with your first but not the last random act of kindness! :) i am looking forward to hearing more kindness stories!
InnerAlchemist wrote: The universe works in mysterious ways. As conan o'brien said in his farewell speech, "work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen. "

Looks like your kindness came around full-circle. Keep it up!
RedHappyDragon wrote: Wonderful story, andrew!

Full circle, full cup of java (more than twice over); and, the net is jewel-strewn.



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