A weird way to spend $40 that’s guaranteed to make you happy

This wasn’t going well.

“You want to do what?” asked the waitress.

“I’d … like to pay for that guy’s lunch”, I said, pointing to a 50-something dude sitting in the corner.

“Do you know him?”, she asked.

“No, I’ve never met him.”

She crossed her arms, cocked her head, and eyeballed me:

“So … why are you paying for his lunch?”

“Because it’s a nice thing to do”, I mumbled.

“That is … so  … weird”, said the waitress, holding out the EFTPOS machine.

Okay, so that wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.

Still, the moment I walked out of the restaurant I had a spring in my step as I thought about the chain reaction I’d just set off. The dude would go up to pay, and be given the good news. Then he might choose to pay it forward. And on, and on, like a Mexican wave.



Then again, I spent $5,000 on a 10-day family cruise that gave me the runs (and the kids head lice).

Buying a stranger a meal cost me $40 and it put a smile on my dial that lasted the rest of the day.

Here’s the deal: collectively we donated $500 million to the bushfire efforts last month.

It felt good to give, right?

That’s because the ‘science of spending’ tells us that we get a bigger kick out of spending money on other people than we do on ourselves. In other words, there’s a genuine psychological benefit to being generous.

So now you’ve got a taste for it, why not take a few more swigs from the kindness cup?

Now, you could be a weirdo like me and buy lunch for some random, or coffee for the guy behind you in the line. 

Or you could just buy a few extra tins of baked beans at the supermarket and donate them to Foodbank (I’ve recently seen how valuable these can be for fire-affected communities.) 

The generosity was the best thing to come out of the horrific bushfires, so let’s make it stretch!

Tread Your Own Path!