I covered a story that really stuck with me recently. Not because someone died or anything doom and gloom. In fact, it was quite positive. It made me realize, as human beings, we expect the worse in each other.
Employees at a local credit union are handing out free envelopes over the next month. Inside are $5, $10, $20 and in some cases $50 tucked in the blue envelopes. There’s no gimmick to get you to sign up for an account. No strings attached. Seriously, it’s free money. It’s their way of paying it forward and hoping others with do the same. Amazingly enough, as I followed some of the employees who were trying to hand out the envelopes, people didn’t want to be approached, some quickly made a u-turn. They thought they were going to hear a sales pitch. Many simply didn’t want to be bothered. Even though the employees quickly said, “I just want to give you some free money” and tried to disarm them with a smile (typical sales technique)…EVERYONE was skeptical. Hey, I was at first!
What I realized is how many people missed out because they didn’t just take a second to stop. Then there are people who didn’t miss out and were so shocked and thrilled. It’s incredible how $5 can brighten someone’s day. The best gifts are the ones you don’t expect after all right?
I’ve heard stories of people paying for someone else’s lunch with their new found fortune. One man got an envelope in a coffee shop and turned around and bought someone else’s coffee. Someone is donating their money to an animal shelter. And some people kept it, deposited it or bought their own lunch. (Nothing wrong with that either).
I just think the whole concept is pretty cool and made me think, we truly do expect the worst in people. When someone approaches us saying no strings attached, we don’t believe them. Most of the time, people are lying. It’s rather sad don’t you think. So for a business to do something nice and expect nothing in return (other than getting their name out there), it’s definitely inspiring.