MFL Success Story #1

by Robert Rizzo | Twitter, Facebook,

Smiling Woman

[Note: This post is part of a series that I will refer to as MFL Success Stories. They are added to provide inspiration for giving and help define what Mediocrity-Free Living looks like in practice. They are NOT intended to make me look like a great giver. I’m just like you, sometimes I give and some times I don’t.

As I receive your submissions, these will focus on stories submitted by the MFL Community.]

Would you give money to someone you didn’t know? Most of us would say yes, especially if it wouldn’t inconvenience us or require us to go without anything of significance. But would you give money to someone who just offended you or who seemed somehow undeserving? That was the decision I had to make.


On one occasion, I pulled into my local grocer in Northern Colorado on my way home from work. It was a cool, clear evening and the sun was slipping behind the mountains. I parked my car at the back of the parking lot because it was crowded and the walk would be refreshing.

I may have been distracted by the beautiful weather, or the shopping list I was forming in my head, but when I stepped from behind my SUV a passing car had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting me. I smiled repentantly and mouthed a Thank You at the driver but the elderly woman  would have none of it. She frowned and scolded me as she went on to find her parking space.


I was a little disappointed that she hadn’t accepted my attempt to show remorse and went on into the store. As I got in line to check out, I suddenly realized I was behind the woman who had scolded me only a little while before. I thought about changing checkout lanes but then someone stepped in behind me and I decided to stick it out behind the woman.

Then a funny thing happened.

As the woman was paying with cash it became obvious that she didn’t have enough money to cover the few things she was buying and she was distressed.


I had to make a decision. The woman didn’t deserve my help. At least, I didn’t think so after she scolded me in the parking lot.

But before I could finish debating in mind, I found myself reaching into my wallet. I didn’t often carry cash then, but I happened to have five dollars which I quickly handed to the clerk.

The elderly woman tried to refuse my offer but I gently insisted.


The look on the woman’s face was priceless as she realized that I was the guy in the parking lot. I could tell she wondered whether I recognized her. I imagined the movie sound effects playing in the background as the tires screeched, metal crashed and glass shattered.

She was so confused, I don’t think she even said, “Thank you. “ I smiled as she walked away with a puzzled look on her face. I never saw her again and really didn’t want to. I had my chance to help someone else succeed and I was delighted I got it right, that time.


Do you have a story about something big or small you did to help someone else succeed?

Share it here and I may include it in an upcoming MFL Success Story.
Or if you prefer just drop it in the comments below.
I just love to hear from you.

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Robert is the founder of | Mediocrity-Free Living. He is passionate about helping people discover the rewards of daily giving.

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