Paying it forward

One of our regular customers came in one day and handed me $20.00. This customer provided explicit instructions that I was to give the equivalent of $10 to two customers during the course of the day and report back the following day with my stories.

It was a fun way to enhance my day at the till. I knew I had this money and it was up to me to determine who should be the recipient of this spontaneous generosity. I definitely had one regular customer in mind, but unfortunately the day was coming to a close and he hadn’t appeared. So I finally realized that paying it forward was a spontaneous act of kindness, not a pre-meditated nor orchestrated event.

The first recipient always comes in with a sunshiny smile and tends to be cautious in her expenditures. I really don’t know her circumstances but it just seemed that providing her with a financial break in her day may be greatly appreciated. And I was rewarded with a smile and words of appreciation that filled my heart. This game was fun.

The day ended and I still hadn’t passed along the final $10 surprise. It was an hour past closing and a young transient woman walked in staring at all the goodies in the display case. She was from Florida, was working the odd job, living in a van, and loved raw food. I kept asking her what she wanted and she finally, though hesitantly, pointed to 2 items. I told her it was her lucky day. Even though we were closed, I was going to give her those treats courtesy of one of our generous customers. She then told me her favourite movie was Pay it Forward and she started to cry. Thirty minutes later she returned and bought crackers and cream cheese, again thanking us profusely.

Everyday, Chef Jim gives young children a strawberry or raw-colate. He is constantly letting people sample our treats. Sometimes it garners business. Sometimes it satisfies their curiosity enough that they just walk out. What it always does is makes us feel better. We see surprised smiles. We hear compliments. We feel appreciated. We know we’ve made a difference in somebody’s day. Other ways we pay it forward is by giving our time. Each one of our staff have spent time with someone who has walked in with a health opportunity. We have shared our knowledge, our experiences, our best guesses, and referrals and connections to others who may make a difference in their journey. Some of those people have become regular customers and some we never see again. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is the moment and the opportunity to connect on a human level and be of service.

There are many ways social marketing has capitalized on the notion of paying it forward with their source crowding campaigns. You’ve seen them and perhaps you have contributed to them. Maybe you’ve just ignored them and deleted. It is a popular way for young artists, who without the benefit of recording contracts, are trying to fund their tours. A case in point is our son Jean-Paul Maurice. The concept is to contribute and you will support a worthy cause and in return you will receive a perk, dependent on the generosity of your contribution. Anything from a postcard to a house concert. And through these donations, they will donate back 10% to a worthy cause. Paying it forward all round.

Our customer delighted in the stories the following day. We debriefed the reactions and the results. I shared how I felt and how this act of generosity lightened my day and gave me so much in return. It highlighted for me why we are really here. We are here to be of service to others.

You’re alive. Do something. The direction in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like: Look. Listen. Choose. Act. – Barbara Hall


The recipe this week is water.  The following information is taken from an article by Dr. Mercola. Clean, pure water is a cornerstone of good health. Your body is mostly water, so the ongoing intake of water is essential to your every function.

It’s common knowledge that most water sources are now polluted, but there is tremendous confusion about what kind of drinking water is the most health promoting, and what kind of home water treatment produces the best drinking water.

Today, too many people are choosing soda instead of pure water as their primary beverage, and the health of an entire culture is at risk.

The number one source of calories in the U.S. comes from high fructose corn syrup primarily in the form of soda. Americans drink an average of one gallon of soda each week, and this excessive fructose consumption is a driving force behind obesity and chronic degenerative disease in this country.

The most practical and economical strategy to combat obesity and chronic disease is to replace all sodas and other sweet beverages with pure water. – Dr. Mercola

The concept of the acidity or alkalinity of your body – or of water – is based on the pH scale. PH is simply a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions. In fact, the acronym “pH” is short for “potential of hydrogen.” The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, and a pH of 7 is neutral.

Anything with a pH below 7 is considered acidic, with battery acid being the most extreme example, around 1. Anything with a pH above 7 is alkaline (or basic), with lye at the top of the scale, around 13.

Natural water on our planet ranges in pH from 6.5 to 9.0, depending on surrounding soil and vegetation, seasonal variations and weather, and even time of day responses to sunlight. Human activities further influence the pH of our water, from the barrage of toxic industrial pollutants.

What you want is pure water – water that is clean, balanced, and healthful, neither too alkaline nor too acidic. Ideally, the pH of your water should be close to 7, which is neutral. Somewhere between 6 and 8 is likely fine. Avoid bottled water which is around 5. Cheers.

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