Pay It Forward: My Own Reaction, by Stacey

I am the Stacey that Meg refers to in her blog “Pay it Forward.” Meg and I are good friends.  She usually takes the bus to work in NYC and I take the train.  But sometimes Meg takes the train and I am always excited when Meg joins me so we have a chance to catch up. We chat the whole way to New York, probably to the chagrin of our fellow passengers. After we arrived in Penn Station on that day in June, we walked together to the subway. In her blog, Meg mentions how she had an “insufficient fare” on her Metrocard and a NYC police officer swiped a card for her so she could enter the subway for free. Meg wrote that she felt “inadequate, even flawed” and that the officer was “taking pity” on her. Even after reading her blog, I was surprised by Meg’s reaction. Since I have gotten to know Meg, I have seen what an incredibly smart, beautiful, fun, insightful and accomplished woman she is. I have also been amazed at how she juggles her high powered job and does an amazing job raising three well-behaved and sweet children, while being a wonderful wife and great friend to her many friends. She is such a capable woman that at this point, I usually forget that she has any “difference” at all.  It is not something that I notice. I think of Meg as Meg, period. So, when the officer swiped the card for Meg, it did not even enter my mind that it might be because of Meg’s “difference,” nor did I think it was on hers. I just assumed he was being nice, helping Meg either because she is a beautiful woman, a woman clearly in a rush on her way to work, and/or because she had a friend waiting for her on the other side of the turnstile. Regardless of his reason, I’m glad that Meg is now able to move beyond it, not read too much into it and just appreciate the act of kindness. Like Meg, I hope we can all “pay it forward” – and give small acts of kindness without regard to what the recipient of the kindness looks like. And, I hope that Meg knows that her friends that love her see her just as Meg.

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