How a Free Meal at Chipotle Reminded Me to Pay it Forward

New Chorizo? Sure, I’ll try it. Brown rice, no beans, pico, sour cream, cheese, guac, lettuce with a bag of chips. I usually get steak, but other than that, there you have my standard Chipotle order. The manager was training a new staff member and pulled him over to observe processing the order in the computer. The manager looks up at me and says,
“Okay, that’s all. Your order is on us today.”

Confused and thinking it was a joke, I must have asked four times if he was serious. Sure enough, I walked out without spending a dime. I left in such a good mood, I was looking for nice things to do for other people. Since then, I picked up sunglasses that someone dropped on the subway, told a young lady her book-bag was open with her wallet exposed, signed up to volunteer at an animal shelter and other small tasks that came up.

Small reminders of kindness in our world can jump-start a major feel-good campaign. If you are in a place to do something nice for someone else, why wouldn’t you? In a world where we are constantly on the go, it is nice to take a humble step back and do a nice thing to make the world a better place, one person and one day at a time.

Here are some ways to pay it forward:

Pay attention.

People might not come out and say they need help. Pay attention to what they are not telling you. Your help might just be the thing that saves them tons of stress that day.


Walk a neighbor’s dog, babysit (without charging) at the last minute, visit a nursing home. There are endless ways to put a smile on someone’s face.

Make it a habit.

Add it to your to-do list, mark it on your calendar, make it a family tradition…whatever you need to do to make it a regular occurrence. Helping others makes you and them feel good. Keep it going!

What have you done to pay it forward in your community? What can you do to make #TeamHuman better?

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