Traveling to celebrate Easter with family, we stopped at a toll booth and the attendant said the previous car had paid for us. “Wow,” we thought, that was nice. On the way back home, our fare was paid again. Double wow. That night my in-law’s took our girls to their house to keep them for the week while we refinished our floors. The next day a friend came over and offered to come back later in the week to paint trim, then another friend came over to vacuum and made us dinner and housed us in her in-law apartment since we couldn’t sleep with the fumes of the floor sealer.

Wow, we are lucky to be on the receiving end of generosity. We bit off a big project refinishing our floors on our entire first floor, including the girls’ bedrooms (which meant relocating their beds and stuff) and we haven’t been too proud to accept help. I think the people offering help are having a good time, too. The help can work both ways, benefiting the people on each end because a bond is created.

At the toll booth, we didn’t know who paid our fare. It was a random act of kindness, but we smiled and I am sure that the people paying for us smiled.

Often at the grocery store, I will offer for the person behind me with only one or two items to go in front of me when I have more items. Every time it is a nice exchange. I feel good for being able to help and the person who thought they would have to wait is thankful.

When my home improvement project is finished, I will be ready to help out folks in similar situations. Helping feels good, but accepting generosity is often something many of us feel guilty about; we have to remember that by accepting generosity, we allow others to give.

When have you been on the receiving end of generosity when you really needed it?

How do you pay it forward?

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