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On Sunny Lane - Paying it Forward

Last week I was on my way to line dance class at 1:00 in the afternoon. I couldn’t be late, as I was the leader.

It was 20 minutes before class time, but I needed to pick up two items at the supermarket and I didn’t want to backtrack after class was over. I could find what I wanted and be back in the car in less than five minutes. The only holdup would be the checkout line.

First of all, how many checkout lines would be open? How many customers would be checking out when I was ready? How much stuff would each customer have?

Well, I found what I wanted and went directly to the register. Wouldn’t you know it? There was only one register being used and there were two people there with full carts.

I asked the nice man at the end of the counter if he objected to me going ahead of him. He said he didn’t, so I moved ahead quickly, before the clerk could start ringing up the order.

Turns out the order on the belt belonged to a different customer and she was only too happy to let me check out before her. Then, she wanted to pay for my items. I objected, as I was happy just to be given the gift of time.

Paying it forward seems to be a good deed that is catching on. Sweetheart and I have been the recipients of it twice in the last two months and it is a very humbling experience. The idea is that, once someone has paid for your purchase, you pay for someone else’s purchase—either on the spot, or somewhere down the road.

I read once about someone paying for the next customer’s meal at a drive-in window at a restaurant. Each customer, in turn, did the same for the entire time the restaurant was open. Now, that should go down in the Guiness Book of World Records.

One time Sweetheart and I were paid forward. We struck up a conversation with a woman as the three of us waited to be checked out. We were enjoying the moment and then, as she paid for her purchase, she told the clerk she wanted to pay for our items, too. Sweetheart didn’t want to accept her generosity, but I explained to him that she was paying it forward.

After all, how can a person do a good deed if there is no one to accept it. Scripture says it is more blessed to give than to receive, but, if there is no receiver, there can be no giving. If you refuse the good deed a person wants to do for you, you are robbing him/her of a blessing.

I think we all left the store a little happier that day.


Dorothy has recently published a book, “Miles and Miracles”, and it can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle, and is now available by contacting Dorothy via email at

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