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Paying It Forward — Heather’s Experience

Plane (Getty)
Getty

I flew solo to NC this past weekend to attend a friend’s wedding, and I met some interesting people flying back and forth. I flew from Buffalo to Newark, N.J., then to Raleigh, N.C. on the way down, and Raleigh to Washington D.C., then to Buffalo to get home.

My Newark to Raleigh seatmate was a man who was born in Portugal, named Tony, and he came to this country all by himself at the age of 22. Even though he didn’t speak the language, he owned his own business after only two years here and has done very well for himself.

He was on his way back to Raleigh to see his family after doing some missionary work in Portugal, and we talked about his family and just life in general. He said to me at one point, “You plant potatoes, you get potatoes. You plant tomatoes, you get tomatoes.” Honestly, I wasn’t sure what he was trying to say initially, but then it dawned on me: You reap what you sow, or basically what you send out to the universe, you get back.

On the way back to Buffalo last night, I met a mother and her daughters in the Raleigh airport. They were Canadians from Toronto, and we talked about the attacks in Boston and how horrible it was! On the plane from Raleigh to Washington D.C., I sat down next to Miss Lilly and her mom. They were heading to Brazil for two weeks to see her grandma.

Miss Lilly
Miss Lilly

When we landed in D.C., I wandered to my gate and decided to get some coffee because I knew I wouldn’t be home until almost midnight. The mother I had spoken to in Raleigh was in line for coffee with her daughters. I said hi and she asked me if I was going to get coffee, and I said yes.

She told the barista that she was going to pay for my coffee, and I told her she didn’t have to do that. She said after all the horrible events in Boston, she wanted to do a little good and asked me to “Pay It Forward.” I thanked her, and as she walked away, I thought what a great example she was for her daughters.

I plan to “Pay It Forward” here in Buffalo, and I encourage you to do the same. We all need to live together in this world, and sometimes a little bit of good goes a long way. If you don’t understand or haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it!

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