Most mornings, for most people, begin with a half-comatose fumble to the kitchen, where they then proceed to make their first cup of coffee of the day. Coffee is a well-known stimulant and is, in fact, the most widely used stimulant in the world. Renowned for its energy providing qualities, most people rely on coffee to get through their day, benefiting from the boost in mental agility and cognitive function it provides.
However, throughout the world, people are beginning to realize the mental and emotional benefits a cup of coffee can provide. Other than the physiological effect of a release of caffeine, coffee can help increase your mood – especially when it’s free…
Playing your part to make other people happy
The Pay It Forward (PIF) foundation, created in 2000 by Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of the Pay It Forward novel of which the famous film was based upon, is a non-profit organization with a worldwide commitment to kindness. Dedicated to “inspiring, recognising and celebrating the kindness and gratitude of individuals”, they encourage people across the globe to “change the world through simple acts of kindness.”
PIF urges people to do random nice acts throughout the day, such as giving up your seat on a crowded bus, holding the door open for someone or simply offering kind words to someone who is hurting, with the premise that the receiver of these niceties will be more inclined to do something nice themselves and, effectively, pay the kind act forward.
Pay It Forward believes these are the kind of acts that can change the world, generating an evolution of kindness between strangers. The Pay It With Coffee movement challenges you to buy someone a coffee, whether it’s a stranger, a friend, a co-worker or a relative. You’ll be amazed how far this one small and simple act of kindness can go, completely improving someone’s day and enhancing their mood. They even suggest carrying out this act on a Monday morning, as a way to kick-start someone’s week with a smile.
Real examples of kindness
There are many examples of people using coffee as way of exhibiting kindness. One example takes place in Corner Park, a small, locally owned coffee shop in South Carolina where, two years ago, an anonymous woman left $100 behind the till, saying she wanted to pay for everyone who ordered after her until the money ran out. She has since returned every two or three months to repeat this act and it has generated a wave of kindness throughout the small coastal town, with more and more customers leaving money behind for other people’s drinks.
Josh Cooke, the shop’s owner, told local news that nobody leaves their name, only money, and a jolting feeling of inspiration throughout the community. And one customer, Michael Aldea, simply said “it made my day, it really did.”
Another example is Dan’s Coffee Run. What started as one man buying coffee for all the chemotherapy patients at Michigan Cancer Centre every Thursday, has evolved into an entire organization working in conjunction with Starbucks to put a smile on a host of patients’ faces in hospitals throughout Michigan.
Dan’s Coffee Run initially began when his father was a patient at the Michigan Cancer Centre and one day, upon looking around, he found himself buying everyone going through treatment a drink of their choice. His father has since passed but, in his honour, he kept up the weekly coffee runs and over the years the movement has grown, and people are now able to donate towards his coffee trips through Facebook and PayPal.
How to play your part
These examples show how something as simple as a single cup of coffee can make a huge difference to your day, even your week, and can completely enhance your mood. Paying it forward with a cup of coffee doesn’t even have to have involve money. Why not prepare a fresh cup of coffee for when your partner, mother or friend returns from work? Or make a co-worker a cup of coffee from the vending machine as you make yours? Forget office coffee politics and suggest making everyone a drink – not only will everyone be surprised and touched at your random kindness, they will also carry that feeling with them throughout the day.
So the next time you flick on the kettle or head over to the office coffee vending machines, have a look for any empty cups – and then pay it forward.
Ami Hassall is our guest author for today on behalf of Express Vending who are a complete vending machines and refreshment supplier based in the UK. More of her work can be found on the Express Vending Blog about different aspects of the coffee vending industry.