Revolutionizing Toll Booths In San Francisco

Posted by Pancho Ramos Stierle on Apr 23, 2011
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My biological sister, her partner and a cousin were visiting me from the part of the Planet we call Mexico last week.  Naturally, I was trying to introduce them to many inspiring things -- including Smile Cards.

When we were about to cross the toll booth at San Francisco's Bay Bridge, I thought it might be a great opportunity to explain the pay-it-forward idea in a concrete way.  So I gave them some background, pulled up to the toll booth, paid our $6 fare and said: "And this is another $6 for the car behind us.  Can you give 'em this Smile Card to pay forward?"

Anyone who has done this knows that it gives you a joyous high.  All of the sudden, the car driver that was visible in your rear view mirror, becomes a part of you in some unexplicable way.  But today, the experience went even further.

The African American toll booth attendant says, "You know, everybody seems to using these cards.  We get them a lot around here.  It is really beautiful to witness this. How can I get one?"

I mean, wow!  One small act at a time, by so many people, is really starting to add up to the point that toll booth attendants know about Smile Cards!

Sure enough, we pulled out another card and said, "M'aam, here you go.  This Smile Card is for you to use, and do a pay-it-forward kindness act."

All four of us drove off with an exhilarating feeling.  I didn't need to give any extra explanation of the Smile Card. :-)

Posted by Pancho Ramos Stierle | | permalink

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