Damn straight, I broke up the faux ‘Pay It Forward’ at Starbucks

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On Wednesday, a reported 378 people “paid it forward” at a St. Petersburg Starbucks by buying the drink of the customer next in line.

Regardless of whether people in the line knew they were part of a “Pay It Forward” chain, each of those 378 purchases were true acts of kindness.

What is not an act of kindness is what is happening today at the same Starbucks, where customers are being told that they had had their drink paid for and then asked would they like to pay for the drink of the person next in line.

That’s not generosity, that’s guilt.

When a new “Pay It Forward” chain started today, I decided to put an end to it. Not because I am against paying it forward, but because whatever is going on Starbucks is not paying it forward. It may even be a nice thing, but it’s not the charitable concept “Pay It Forward” is supposed to be about.

So, yes, I drove to the Starbucks, purchased two Venti Mocha Frappuccinos (one for me and my wife) and, even though someone in front of me had paid for one of my drinks, I declined the barista’s suggestion to pay for the drink of the person next in line.

Chain broken.

Now, let’s get back to dumping ice water over our heads for a good cause.

P.S. I gave the baristas a $100 tip just to prove that I am not a 100% grinch.

P.P.S. The only concept worse than a faux act of generosity, is the local media hyping it.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.