Lessons from the Drive-Thru

I’d rather have a million people give me a dollar than one give me a million. That way you’ve got a million people involved

-Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

When it comes to making a difference, I think many people (sometimes myself included), believe that bigger is better. Donations have to be significant, volunteer hours have to be astronomical, and a mission trip has to be overseas. Why? Why can’t doing good mean doing the most with what you have?

My mom is an angel. I’m actually pretty sure of that. She is the most selfless, caring and humble individual I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Giving comes first nature to her. And my family is by no means millionaires. One of favorite examples of my mom being herself is when she pays for the person behind her at the drive-thru. Such an easy task that will probably cost her very little but the results are incredible. I have seen her do this numerous times and so one day, here at school, I felt compelled to do the same. I had no idea who the people in the blue mini van behind me were, but I asked the cashier if I could purchase their order as well. $1.10. This random act of kindness cost me no more than the amount of change in my cup holder. They followed me down the road waving and beeping and thanking me through the window for my one dollar and ten cents.

Did I change the world? Not yet. Did I make someone’s day a little brighter? I think so. So then just maybe those people went and did something nice for someone else and impacted others. Doing good feels good and makes other people feel good. It doesn’t have to be something earth shattering and the cool thing about doing good, is other people don’t have to know about it, it can be a growing experience just for you (contrary to what you may see on Facebook).

*I should note that I am aware I just talked about my good deed but I’m going to continually assert it was to solidify a point and not to brag about what an incredible individual I am to spend less than a dollar fifty on another deserving individual.

It should not be unbelievable when someone does something nice. It should not be completely mind blowing when someone unexpectedly performs a random act of kindness. Are selfless acts so foreign to us that we have to wonder why someone would do them? If doing good became commonplace or an expectation even, can you imagine what a beautiful picture that would paint?

Referring back to the quote I started with, small moves make big waves. The more people doing good things for all the right reasons, the deeper the impact.

-Kelli Anne Louthan


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