Pay It Forward

At the doctor’s yesterday – waiting in my examining room with the door open (it’s the eye doctor, so you don’t have to take your clothes off) I overhear staff and doctor discussing Mrs. Somebody who is in the waiting room, has insurance issues, will be self-pay, and doesn’t have money. Mrs. Somebody is asking if the doctor will see her anyway. He tells the staff he will see her at a reduced fee, which he names. (sounds generous to me)

I finish up my exam and go out front to pay. Mrs. Somebody is in the waiting room weeping and making a scene. Another patient – an old Jewish lady who reminded me of Mildred Gromfine – interrupts.

“Can I help?”


“Do you need some money? Can I help? How much is it?”

“It’s a lot. It’s $100”

“Oh, $100….. That is a lot.”

The conversation ends. My co-pay taken care of, I slink out to the hallway and end up riding the elevator with Mrs. Somebody, while staring very hard at my shoes.

I want to be the kind of person the old Jewish lady almost was.

I want to be Honey I Can Help You.

I want to be Pay It Forward.

But of course, I don’t want to be a sucker….

What would you do?

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