Paying It Forward at the Drive Thru

Cup of coffee and coffee beans on wooden table

Starbucks is known for making drinks, from the standard drip coffee to arguably the most popular – the Pumpkin Spice Latte. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is that every single day little random acts of kindness happen right in front of them. I am a barista at one of my local Starbucks and in the drive thru I witness random acts of kindness all the time when people like to “Pay it Forward.”

Paying it forward is when people pay for their own beverage and then pay for the car behind them. Sometimes people will even pay for multiple cars at a time. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t pay it forward. Once, when I was working the drive thru, we got more than 250 cars to pay it forward and that broke the record in our district by more than double!

Another memorable time, someone paid it forward for the car behind them and when that car got to the window and I told them they broke down in tears. It turned out that their father had just died and having that one other person pay for their order without even knowing what had been going on in their life made them just a little bit happier. I sat there for about a minute and shared a little prayer with them and they were so touched that someone who they didn’t even know stood there with them doing a small gesture.

Even if there’s a lot of hate in this world, love and kindness breaks through and makes things a little bit brighter. These caring and generous people bring compassion and empathy to those around them. Love beats hate always and little acts of kindness can sometimes genuinely help people.