As I stood in a busy lunch line at Arby's I was becoming increasingly worried I would be late getting back to the office. A grandmother and her grandson were keeping the only available cashier busy. The woman had difficulty with all the choices and, after finally placing the order, became very flustered trying to find her cash or her credit card.
While this was going on, the cashier had the most gentle and benevolent expression on his face, never once making the woman feel under pressure. His mood transformed my own. I caught his eye and quietly indicated I would pay for the order. He understood and took care of it without embarrassing the woman.
Then when I eventually placed my order he paid for my lunch! As I stood aside waiting for my order two other customers spoke to me about what had happened and said they would also "pay it forward" as a result of witnessing the scene.
The experience was transformative for me! I will never forget that young cashier who set such an inspiring example that his spirit of kindness and generosity created a cascading group of random acts of kindness.
Given a little inspiration, people are wonderfully generous!