Video: Instead of Paying Our Kids to Do Their Homework, Let’s Teach Them Gratitude

At this pay-it-forward restaurant, everyone's meal is paid for by previous guests—out of generosity. Karma Kitchen's founder on how kindness became contagious

Imagine walking into a restaurant and realizing your meal has been paid for before even ordering food. Would you then pay for the next customer’s meal, continuing the flow of generosity?

The check is zero because the person before you pays for your meal and you pay for someone else.

Nipun Mehta, speaker and founder of ServiceSpace, an organization whose goal is to spread kindness, says an act of compassion breeds more compassion.

Mehta tells the story of Karma Kitchen in the video, where this pay-it-forward approach sparked chains of gratitude. One result was a server taking the shirt off his back for a customer—and the customer giving two $50 eBay cards back in return.

“When many people start paying it forward together… what happens?” Mehta asks. “We start to shift from transaction—which is me- and my-centered—to trust, which is very circle oriented”

The circle of gratitude and trust resonates, leaving people motivated to spread generosity through their own lives.