A really sweet thing happened recently at a drive through in Brainerd, Minnesota and I think it could just as easily happen here.

Over the course of two and a half days 900 cars participated in a pay it forward chain at a Dairy Queen. In other words, 900 cars going through the drive through paid for the order the vehicle behind them had placed. This according to a report from KMOV televsion.

It's not that surprising that someone paid for someone else's order. The surprising part is that the chain lasted for 900 cars over two and a half days. As the restaurant manager noted in the report, usually pay it forward chains fizzle out after 15 or 20 cars. I was impressed when I wound up in a pay it forward chain at the Starbucks on Maguire and the cashier told me the guy in front of me paid for everyone in the drive through line.

I get the impression these chains happen fairly often in our area. I have that impression because I've been the beneficiary of this kindness three times in the past year. Once at the McDonald's on Maguire in Warrensburg. Once at the Starbucks on Maguire in Warrensburg. And once at the McDonald's in Sedalia on Highway 50 and Thompson Boulevard in Sedalia. I might also have been the beneficiary one other time but I can't remember.

Each time it's been a real treat to not have to pay for my order, and once it actually did lighten the load a little as it probably wasn't the best financial choice for the Creighton bank account that weekend. But do you know what's even better than the feeling of a free coffee or a free meal?

The feeling of passing that generosity on to the car behind you. I did it one day I was treating myself to lunch on pay day. Just paid for the guy's meal in the truck behind me. And I was so floored at the good karma of being part of several vehicles the guy before me in the Starbucks line paid for, that I just had to pass the good karma on to the first car that the guy didn't pay for.

Maybe I'm naive, or perhaps I've just been lucky. But if I've been the recipient of this good karma four times, then I have to believe a pay it forward chain could happen here the magnitude of what happened in Minnesota.

Mostly though if you have the means, I want to encourage you to pay for the person behind you in the drive through. And if you experience the good karma of receiving that free meal and you can afford it, keep it going.

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