With all of the organizations and charities in the world, each one has created a positive ripple effect for individuals and the world as a whole. Maybe we don’t have millions or thousands to drop and donate, but if we are making the initiative to help and make a change, then who could measure that amount?
High School Haunt
I don’t know why, but this memory from high school has always bothered me and it has stayed in the back of my mind. I was in my high school cafeteria picking out my lunch. [Looking back, vending machine snacks really don’t count as a meal. But, that was the cool thing back in the day, mom! Haha.]
There was this guy in my grade, I never talked to him and we ran in different crowds, but I remember this specific day. He had his food tray and was ready to pay for his lunch. The lady looked on her monitor to find his name, but she flat out told him that he didn’t have enough money in his account to pay for his lunch. He didn’t order anything extra, it was just a standard meal as far as I remember.
I don’t think he had a lot of money growing up, and I don’t think he had money in his pocket to cover the lunch.
He mumbled something to the lady and I remember just standing there awkwardly for a few seconds. She wasn’t a friendly one, so her cold stone gaze didn’t really help the situation. The guy ended up leaving his tray on the counter and sat at a nearby cafeteria table empty handed. I can still picture the look on his face as he sat down and laid his head on the table.
While this was going on, I felt my face flush and my heart started pounding. I wanted to pay for his lunch for him — because no one should go without eating a meal, ever. High school me was so timid to speak out in general. I hated that moment, and it still bothers me that it happened. No, it wasn’t any of my business and who knows if the guy would have even let me, but I’ll never know.
I know it’s not the lady’s job to cover the meal since he could possibly take advantage of the kind gesture, but that hurt my heart a little for that to happen to anyone. I’d probably go broke paying for meals in that case. I don’t remember why I didn’t speak up and offer, but I wish I would have.
Pay It Back
My aunt volunteers/works at my old middle and high school, and she has such a kind heart. Whenever kids wanted a cookie or other treat, she would buy some for them every now and then.
I’ve never told anyone about this story because it didn’t seem to matter. Looking back, I was wrong and I should have been so much bolder to offer to cover his meal. I regret just standing there, not doing anything to help the guy. I don’t know what he’s doing now after high school, but he seems to have followed a different path in life.
Just jolting back to that time, how sad is that? Sometimes school lunch is the only real meal a kid will get to eat during a day. Well, one that’s adequately filled with nutrition, that is. I’ll believe it just a teensy bit that school meals have some nutrients and healthy elements in them, but it’s probably not as wholesome as a homemade meal.
Since that day, I’ve made it intentional to help someone, even if it’s just a small gesture. Not for bragging rights at all — why rub something in people’s faces? — but just because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Throughout my senior year, I bought lunch for one of my friends because she couldn’t afford school lunches. I wish I could’ve done more since she was a wonderful person and friend, but teenaged me didn’t consider the things I know now. I’d buy myself a Snickers ice cream bar and I consider that my lunch, haha. I’d always have nutritious snacks in my purse, so I was covered.
Just Make the Day Brighter
In my freshman year of college, I bought the person’s groceries in front of me. That probably startled the lady, [why would a girl ask to buy my groceries for me?] because she looked back and just nervously thanked me as she took her groceries without paying. I remember that it was around Christmas time too, but this shouldn’t be applied just during seasons, I know.
Another small gesture is that I’ll buy someone’s coffee on occasion whenever I go to Dunkin’. It’s not to make me feel like a better person, even though it slightly does, but the more important aspect is that I feel so much gratitude on the days where someone will pay for mine. Impulsively, I want to thank the person because that small gesture shifts my mood and improves my whole day. Although being in a drive thru, I can’t really do that, but I always want to thank the person for being thoughtful.
With everything terrible going on in the world, it’s nice to have some lovely moments spring up on us to make it a little better. Let’s start making it that way, shall we?
The gesture doesn’t even have to cost money. It’s awkward to flash a smile at a stranger, but why is that? I’m nervous when it comes to complimenting people, yet I see how others are so quick to tear one another down.
Life is complicated enough, so it’s nice to radiate some positivity around.
I’m still a little nervous about some things, but I’m trying to compliment people and just help build them up. You never really know how a few words can make a person’s day.
I hope you all are having a fabulous week so far, and that your weekend was just as great!
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