This past weekend, Jessica and I volunteered at Polish Fest. When we were selling tickets, we saw something awesome.

On Friday, there was a discount on tickets. Normally they cost $12, but that day they were only fifty cents. Both Jessica and I were working in the cash-only windows, and throughout our shift, we saw people pay for others’ tickets.

The first occurrence that we saw was when a woman at Jessica’s window paid for her ticket and twelve more. She asked Jessica to please give those tickets to other people in line. Some of those people did the same thing, paying it forward.

It wasn’t only Jessica’s window in which this happened, either. Several times, someone would give me too much money, telling me to keep the change and pass on that ticket to someone else.

By the time our four-hour shift had ended, we counted at least ten separate occurrences in just our two ticket windows of people paying it forward. At my window, I saw four people in a row pay for the next person’s ticket.


Sometimes volunteering can be a drag. It can be boring, tedious, or even a straight-up bad experience. It’s not that I need validation, exactly, but it’s nice to see sometimes that people can still be good to one another.

This weekend, volunteering at Polish Fest was that for us. We got to witness firsthand people just being good to each other. No reason, no connection, just one heart reaching out to another, and another, and another.

My time working in retail taught me that everyone has a crap day, but it’s also in everyone’s power to make someone else’s day just a little bit brighter. I’m not always successful, but I try to. I’d encourage you to do the same. So, in closing, I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Bill and Ted:

Be-Excellent-to-Each-Other