A viral photo of a note on Reddit reveals an altruistic act of generosity which took place at the Tampa International Airport earlier this week, when a stranger paid for a man's mandatory baggage fee after his credit card had been declined.
The man, known only to the media as "Andy," had reportedly stepped up to the ticket counter of an airline at the airport to pay for his mandatory baggage fee, only to learn that his credit card had been declined. Confused, Andy stepped away from the counter to check his balance on his phone, and upon his return, a stranger had left a handwritten note on the back of the receipt, explaining that they had paid his bag fee.
"Hey, I heard them say your card was declined. I know how it feels. Your bag fee's on me. Just pay it forward the next time you get a chance. Have a safe flight. :)" the note read.
Andy then posted the note to image-sharing website Reddit under the username "brbmycatexploded," writing in the description: "My card was declined in the Tampa airport the other day. Stepped out of line to check my balance, and when I came back this was waiting for me. If you're reading this, thanks for making my day."
"Having my card declined was extremely embarrassing, even though I didn't know a single soul in that airport," Andy told Yahoo Shine of the incident.
When one Reddit user asked how Andy plans to pay forward the generous act of the Good Samaritan, he responded by saying he is unsure; he would rather his act of kindness be unplanned, just like the one performed at the Tampa International Airport.
"I'm honestly not sure. I like to think that it will be a random decision, not something I plan out, ya know?" Andy wrote on Reddit.
Andy's posting prompted other Reddit users to share their own personal Good Samaritan experiences. One user told the story of when they were suffering from depression, they received free music tickets from multiple strangers, and attending concerts helped lift them out of their gloomy mood.
"I was given free tickets to three shows in a row one summer. [...] all from random people. Music really helped drag me out of my depression. Whenever I go to a show now I always buy an extra," the user wrote.
This story of a random act of kindness contrasts sharply to another Reddit post which went viral in February, showing a receipt from an Applebee's restaurant in St, Louis, on which Pastor Alois Bell refused to tip the waitress, writing "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?"
Bell was referencing tithing given in churches on Sunday. The photo of her receipt sparked outrage on the Internet, and the waitress who posted the photo ultimately got fired for sharing private customer information with the public. Although many were outraged at Bell's act, it unexpectedly sparked a series of good acts by those hoping to dispel the negative image of pastors and Christians inadvertently created by Bell.
About a week after the incident, Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, posted a photo of his own receipt to a waitress, offered a generous tip of 30 percent and included the note: "Great Job! I'm a pastor and I don't leave bad tips."
"We should be known as a generous people. We should be known for our love. Not just with waitresses and waiters at restaurants, but with everyone," Stetzer wrote in a blog post following the posting of the photo.