Play it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept “pay it forward” is old, but the phrase is believed to have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight. Here’s a slightly different twist on ‘play/pay it forward’:
We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter: ‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?” My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.” Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’.
While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks ‘Do you have any suspended coffee?’ It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it.” very respectfully, Scott Sonnon www.facebook.com/ScottSonnon
Here and there I ‘pay/play it forward’ but not nearly as much as my heart and soul wishes I would. So here at the start of a sparkling new year, I commit to myself to share my fortunate life more with the world, without expectation. Yet, I know whatever I give will come back to me multiplied. I am grateful.
If you can’t feed
a hundred people,
then just feed one.