APPLE SEEDS: Smile and everybody wins.


APPLE SEEDS: Smile and everybody wins.

Sometimes I just love this life. 

I know that sounds like the lyrics in a country song (and it is – Great song and video from LOCASH – scroll down to watch) but there are days when simple acts of kindness,  a smile in any form including cookie, or just the fact it rained (my farmer roots coming out) transforms the day from ordinary to something quite special.

That happens… all of the time if you let it.   It happened to me Tuesday.

After a 7 a.m. meeting at the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, which is too early for me to function in full gear, I pulled into the Tim Horton’s drive-through on Sidney Street in Belleville, on my way back to the office to officially begin my day.  

It was my daughter’s 26th birthday, and my mind was occupied with lists of tasks and deadlines to make sure my work day ended in time to host the traditional family birthday BBQ.

When I got to the window, the young gentleman asked if I wanted a “Smile” cookie.  I immediately thought they had screwed up my order.  Not fair, and that hardly ever happens, but I had been up for too long without my morning allotment of caffeine. 

As I began to explain that my order was a muffin and a coffee, he immediately jumped in with his own explanation. The driver in the car ahead paid for it. 

I don’t know if they knew me or perhaps it was the cute, red Fiat brandishing the logos and the gift was from a reader.  Perhaps, and this is the most likely, it was a kind gesture from someone whose intention was just to make the day better while supporting our local charities.  Just because you don’t want a cookie, doesn’t mean you can’t participate. 

With my eye on the rear-view mirror (I didn’t want to delay the science of the 1 minute drive through) I expressed my absolute delight and gratitude for the kindness.  He said quite proudly, “It happens all of the time.”

He then relayed a story of someone who had purchased 10, with instructions to distribute randomly.  Smiles weren’t just in the paper bag on my passenger seat.

Now, if you haven’t been paying attention, until Sunday, Sept. 18, SMILE cookies are back at Tim Horton’s throughout the region, with all proceeds going to local charities like the Children’s Treatment Centre in Quinte West and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hastings Prince Edward.  You only have a few more days to get your smile, and if you are able, share one.

Thursday, Sept 15 is the Alzheimer’s Coffee Break at McDonalds on North Front St. and at the Bayview Mall in Belleville.  Buy a medium or large coffee and 50 cents is donated to the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.  Coffee and supporting a local charity – I am hearing 2 birds chirping in the background – I do need coffee.

One of my all-time favourite movies is ‘Pay It Forward’  (watch trailer). 

Basically, someone does you a good turn, and you pass it on to three people.  Then they pass it on, and so on, and so on.

What a concept…  In past columns I have referenced the dark place that most journalists fight to keep their head out of, trying to stay in the sun as long as they can.   Imagine what a place we would have if paying it forward happened - regularly.

And then, once again, my faith is renewed when get an email notification and in the subject line, “Paying it forward”.   (Seriously – this just happened mid-column, and yes, I am hearing the Twilight Zone theme song in my head)  A curling club member is offering to purchase head-protective equipment for someone in need. 

Did you know there is an actual “Pay It Forward Day”? The next one is happening April 28, 2017 – 226 days from now.  The ‘Day’ was founded in 2007 by Blake Beattie in Australia. 

Do we need a day?  Why can’t we just try to be ‘that person’ – the one who isn’t self-absorbed, the one who picks up trash on the street, even if they didn’t put it there, the one who buys a cookie for the car behind them.  

We can, but in the raucous activities of a day-in-the-life of a normal family, it is easy to stay inside your bubble, while stepping over the trash.    Reminders are necessary.  

In 2016, 79 countries participated in Pay It Forward Day. Yes… Canada was one, with Ontario proclaiming their involvement in 2012.  Official proclamations are in place from 48 cities – ONE in Canada -- THUMBS UP to Okotoks, Alberta.  

I leave you to peruse the ‘Pay It Forward Day’ website which is full of ideas, stories, and inspiration. 

“Be the change you want in the world”   Ghandi

It is easier than you think. 


Just in case you need some added inspiration -

check out this Video of an 8 year old girl Ella who left a restaurant to give a homeless man her dinner. 

LOCASH - I Love This Life

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