Ripples Of Goodness That Intersected @ Red Rock Cafe

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Mar 31, 2010
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On the streets of Downtown Mountain View, he runs into his college friend whom he hasn't seen in years. "AJ?!?"  "It's been so long!"  As they start to shake hands, his friend holds out a little card.  "Someone just paid for my coffee and gave me this Smile Card," and excitedly starts to explain the pay-it-forward concept.  "Man, I know all about Smile Cards -- I know the people that started it!  Who gave you the card?"   "That woman right there.  She paid for my coffee and gave me the card."  Immediately, he runs up to her and asks, "M'aam, who gave you these Smile Cards?"  "Well, there was a guy in front of me who paid for my coffee and handed me a Smile Card.  Then, he gave me $60 and this stack of Smile Cards, and asked me to pay forward for all the people in the line!"  He couldn't believe it. :)

Fast forward six months. 

I'm at Red Rock Cafe with two community organizers.  One of them says, "You may not remember me, but I've been to couple of Wednesday meditations, four-five years ago."  "Oh, really?  That's great."  "You know, I actually got a stack of Smile Cards and for the longest time, I didn't get around to using it.  And then I had all these questions of how and why, and what to measure and its actual impact and what not."  We exchange some stories about the ripple of a kind act, as I share the story above.  "This guy, who wasn't even a recipient of the coffee, sent me an email titled, 'Oh My God' with the message 'Call me now.'  He was totally rocked, and then he carried forward the inspiration in unbelievable ways."

Almost amazed by the coincidence, he says, "Funny thing is that my kind act was exactly sixty dollars too!"  "NO WAY!"  I immediately sense a connection.  "In fact, I did that act right at this cafe."  After hastily exchanging some details, we discover that it was him!   Sure enough, I am in front of the man who started that $60 ripple.  I couldn't believe it!

The energy at our table just skyrockets, with a chills-up-the-spine kind of ambiance.  Here is a man who was unsure about the impact of an anonymous act, and here I am telling him stories about the ripples of his own act.

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