Pay It Forward | Teen Ink

Pay It Forward

February 3, 2014
By Juggler98 GOLD, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Juggler98 GOLD, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
10 articles 0 photos 1 comment

It all started with a warm feeling deep in my stomach. A whole trend of watching smiles multiply faster than rabbits came from the same feeling I could have gotten by reading a good book. It’s hard to believe that it’s possible to change the entire world – or even a small part of it – by being willing to look like an idiot or give up six pieces of candy.
My birthday was a little over a month ago. My mommy was busy studying and didn’t have time to make a cake, so after a huge meal at Olive Garden we decided to hit Target to get a little treat. What’s a birthday without desserts, right? My sister had given me a “Happy Birthday” tiara, and done my hair up in a Cinderella-type style. Since we had gone out to eat, I was dressed nicely, but not over the top. While my mommy was checking out, I was just standing there. It’s hard to stand in one place for long, especially after the soda from dinner, so I walked up to the automatic sliding doors and started walking back and forth, watching them open and close for nobody.
Well, not exactly nobody. Every once in a while, a shopper would walk out, pushing a heavy buggy or lugging their groceries in their hands. It was a Wednesday night, sometime after nine thirty, and all those people looked so tired and ready to fall into bed and never get up. I moved out of the way, smiled and said in a chipper voice, “Thank you for shopping at Target, have a great night!”
I got a lot of confused glances, muttered thank-yous every once in a while. I wasn’t wearing a red shirt, and khaki was nowhere to be found – I obviously didn’t work at Target. But, I could see hidden smiles behind those stoic Norwegian exteriors. And that was when I got the feeling – A warm, happy sensation swirling around in my gut. From that moment I was hooked! And the nice gestures started spreading like wildfire.
My next good deed was to make someone’s day just a little brighter. So I rounded up some mints I had shoved in my pockets, pilfered ribbon from the dog’s hair-bow drawer, and snatched left-over wrapping paper right from my parents’ room! It took me five minutes to wrap the mints, stick on a bow, and write a little note. I put it in the mailbox. The next day a thank-you card was waiting for me from the mailma’am. That’s right; the present was for the mail-carrier! That feeling was back – but it was even greater than before because I knew my gift was appreciated.
I’ve made it my personal mission to bless everyone I see in some way. Whether through a smile, a kind word, or an unexpected gift, I want to leave happiness behind me wherever I go. And starting at me, maybe – just maybe – the smiles will grow exponentially.

The author's comments:
I won an essay contest at my school for this essay. I just thought I would see how it does in Teen Ink!

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

JRaye PLATINUM said...
on Feb. 15 2014 at 4:18 pm
JRaye PLATINUM, Dorr, Michigan
43 articles 10 photos 523 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."

"Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, 'I just don't care.'?"

Well this inspired me!!! :D

on Feb. 12 2014 at 3:03 pm
SunnyDreams BRONZE, Niger Falls, Other
1 article 0 photos 274 comments

Favorite Quote:
Can you feel what I have seen, when no one else has lived through what I have?-HalveOfLife

This is very good indeed. I was wondering if I could put this on my blog.. It would be an honor to post it there.